“But now bring me a harpist. While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha.” – 2 Kings 3:15
Like Elisha, Intercessors who want to feel the touch of God in prayer will often enter His presence through worship. This combination of worship and prayer is known as “Harp and Bowl Ministry” from the vision of the Elders holding a harp and bowl, representing prayers, in Revelation 5:8.
The pathway into God’s presence begins with songs of joy and thanksgiving, declaring the greatness of God (Psalm 95:1-5). This helps us shake off the day’s worries and focus on God. As we move closer to Him, we bow in worship, acknowledging His care and love for us (Psalm 95:6, 7). By our worship we express love for Him, and it is in the atmosphere of worship that we hear His voice and open our hearts to Him (Psalm 95:7, 8). Worship also brings intercessors into a place of unity with each other and with God where they can tap into the power of the prayer of agreement within the prayer group.
It is not unusual for the initial worship time to be followed by a period of silence as intercessors enter God’s presence and begin to hear His voice. After a time, the holy hush will be broken as the intercessors move into their prayer time. During the prayer session worship music should be used sparingly, leaving room for the intercessors to finish covering a prayer point. Worship should be used to underscore a prayer point or mark a transition to a new prayer area. For example in a prayer room for a seminar a joyful song came forth after prayers for joy, and a religious spirit over the seminar was broken. Worship music can also be used to bring the meeting to a close and seal the prayers offered.
It must be remembered that the purpose of the worship music is to lead intercessors into God’s presence, because God inhabits the praises of his people (Psalm 22:3, KJV). The experience, taste, and preference of the intercessors must be taken into account to maximize their participation. We have seen success with Gregorian Chants, high church music, acapello singing, worship CD’s, iPod’s, acoustic guitars, keyboards, and full worship bands. Great old hymns, praise and worship choruses, and even children’s church music can be effective so long as the music touches the hearts of the intercessors.
Thanks to our modern technology, even the most musically challenged prayer leaders can employ the Harp and Bowl ministry to bring in God’s presence and unify the intercessors for powerful prayers.
“May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double edged sword in their hands.” – Psalm 149:6