I remember my song in the night; I commune with my own heart and my spirit made diligent search. Psalms 77:6.
When Asaph speaks of his song, he is not talking about his favorite tune. The word negenah refers to music played to enter into the prophetic spirit. Asaph was chosen by David to minister in this capacity.
Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph and of Heman and of Jeduthun who should prophecy with harps, with psalteries and with cymbals. 1 Ch 25:1.
Negenah, a prophetic song, comes from the word nagan, which refers to playing an instrument in tune with the spirit.
And it came to pass when the spirit from God was upon Saul that David took a harp and played (nagan) with his hand so that Saul was refreshed and was well and the evil spirit departed from him. 1 Sam 16:23.
Asaph uses two word pairs to bring forth his prophetic word in this psalm: zakar-to remember and seyach– to commune or meditate, which means here “talk through your situation” in an inner dialog. Seyach is translated differently each time used.
I remembered God and was troubled, I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Psalms 77:3.
Here seyach is translated complained in the KJV, other translations use moan and groan, when commune or meditate on God is all that is expressed. He is troubled, and the translation interprets his inner dialog rather than translate the word and allow the following verses to describe his deliberations. Again, the same word was translated commune in verse 6, used as the main text for this discussion. He then asks a series of questions to God to express his anguish before drawing his conclusions.
And I said this is my infirmity, but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most high. I will remember the works of the Lord, surely I will remember your wonders of old. I will meditate also of all your work and talk of your doings. Psalms 77:10-12.
In verse 12 we find the third occurrence of the word seyach, this time translated talk in the KJV, meditate in most other versions. When he says “I will remember” in verse 11, zakar is used twice and should read, “I will remember to remember”. Here he expresses the all too common human reaction to trials to forget God’s faithfulness and “stress out”. He then concludes:
Your way O God is in the sanctuary (our place of prayer or seyach) who is so great a God as our God? Psalms 77:13.
He then finishes the Psalm with a memorial to the Lord’s might. So how does prophetic psalms pertain to us in the church today? What if we don’t play an instrument? Is this strictly the gift of the musicians and worship leaders? On the contrary, the Holy Spirit within you is able to provide the same “song in the night” to anyone seeking God. Paul describes this gift in 1 Corinthians 14:
What is it then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the understanding also, I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding also. Verse 15.
How is it then brethren? When you come together, every one of you has a psalm has a doctrine has a tongue has a revelation has an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edification. Verse 26.
If a congregation’s worship team is allowed to flow in improvisational prophetic worship, it is easy in this setting to sing in the spirit and be edified. But what about when you are alone in your prayer closet? Do you pray in the spirit and sing in the spirit? You don’t need an instrument, just allow the spirit to move in you the way worship in church moves your spirit, and you will commune with the Lord in the night, and your spirit can make a diligent search. For the way of the Lord is in the sanctuary.