Have any of you had experience of prophetic worship / playing in the Spirit / Spirit led? I've heard these terms before but don't know much about them. Is it just a case of leaving room for instrumental type sections or is there more to it?
I'll lay out my personal beliefs and let people dissect them as they will. :)
First, unless anyone has actually heard what was described as prophetic instrumentals described in 1 Chronicles 25 (I haven't, I'm old but not THAT old), we're just guessing what it was like in those days. I would like to think my guess the best, but it is still a guess.
Next, I'm assuming that since we use the term 'prophetic music', it will follow the guidelines given regarding prophecy given in 1 Corinthians 14. One person (or instrument) speaking at a time, at the most 2-3 prophesying, AND it is to be judged (evaluated). In other words, if you want to play prophetically, be ready to submit yourself for judgment.
In my experience, it usually arises after extended times of unifed worship. It's kinda like soloing, but it's not. Imagine using a broad paintbrush and painting the notes with large strokes. That's the kind of picture I have when I am doing it.
Difference between that and regular soloing? In soloing there is usually a chord progression and a beat of some sort. When the playing changes to this type I can spend a minute or two on the same chord (or doing pedal point). It's more emotive, a genuine crying out from the instrument. People talk about the music touching hearts deeply so often until it becomes a cliche. When you encounter the prophetic playing of an instrument you not only have your heart touched, the presence of God intensifies as the musician plays.
I'm trying to do the impossible here, to type what must be heard to be understood. :) The best examples of prophetic playing (other than my own, of course!) I have heard in my life are from two Kent Henry albums. In the Album "I Have Loved You" there is a piano solo between O Lord God of Israel and O Lord, You're Beautiful. You want to play prophetically? Listen to that over and over again.
Another one is in the Kent Henry album Frontlines 01. After spontaneously singing the song Make A Joyful Noise (you know it's unplanned, watch the faces of the singers in the video), Justo played prophetically on the soprano saxophone. After that Kent Henry lead the congregation to a reprise of the chorus.
To get the full effect, don't listen just to the solo (bad habit of musicians). Listen to the song before it, the solo itself, and the reprise of the chorus after that. It's the context that gives the playing its power and impact.
I don't prophesy, but there are times in worship where I feel extremely close to God - the walls come down, and I yield myself fully to His will - To me that is "playing in the Spirit" - where God is the one in control. I've sang also, and just sort of entered a different place - that's the best way I can describe it - where I am not in control, but God is. It's a true communion. You, your voice, your instrument, all working for the glory of God, being used by Him to bless others.
It's not something planned, and to complicate things further, I think as musicians we want our music to be perfect for the Lord - and sometimes that gets in the way of our drawing closer to Him, because we insist on wrestling our fingers from His grasp LOL :-D
Thanks for the question. I had an encounter with the Lord a few years ago in which the Holy Spirit began to sing to me through my voice. I was in an empty church in Canada. To hear part of what the Lord sang through me that day you can download free from my website www.davidbaroni.com this month the mp3 and lyric sheet that I call "The Song of the Lord". YOu can also see and hear an example of "prophetic playing" on this site in the video clip called "Within the Heart of God". If you are hardcore interested, my new book, "The Jazz Preacher" has a chapter where I discuss the above encounter and prophetic music in depth. I also have a teaching download called "The Prophetic Song" available for sale on my website.
Godrest and Godspeed!
I would say there is definately more to it than an instrumental solo. Because when you are playing prophetically, there is definate emotion involved.
There is no formula for "learning to play propheticaly". There is no how to. It is all about when the spirit comes down on you and you feel his presence sooo intense that words just do not do. The bible talks about "groans which words cannot express" (I know I terribly paraphrased that sorry. But I think thats what playing prophetically is all about. You have something in your spirit so intense that you have to share it. Something you CANNOT KEEP inside. And the only way to do it is thru music.
I experience this often in my worship time one on one with the Lord. And it feels the same way as if you prophesy in words. There is an urgency and a need to push something out of you. Im not a woman so I don't know about giving birth. But it feels so intense that its almost as if you have birthed something. Sort of like throwing up. You cannot control it and there is NO WAY you can keep it in. (Except this is not negative - although sometimes it may not be a happy message). And when you let go you often have no idea what just came out of you.
We often as Christian pray about being a vessel which God can use. That we would just be the vessel and he flow thru us. Playing prophetically is the living out of that prayer. In that moment you are only a vessel which God uses.
I fortunatley come from a church that encourages spirit led worship. Worship leaders are encouraged to be spontaneous and play whatever songs God puts on your heart at the time, or be creative with a song by changing it up.
Best way is to have as many songs memorized as possible so that if you feel God put a song on your heart, you won't say "can't play that, don't have my sheet". I usually practice with my group prior to Sunday, we have a set list. But we use it as a default, and change to other songs if we want, or tweak the songs DURING the songs if we want. If necessary I'll do a song by myself.
Having to do lyrics up on screens has been a deterrent as you have to provide the set and order, and if you deviate you totally throw off the tech person. But they have great software for that very thing, and a good seasoned tech can follow a spirit-led leader pretty easily. It takes lots of experience though.
Duh - and of course, in order to be spirit led, you must first be spirit filled. It's simple really, just read your bible a lot, pray a lot, confess your sins, get up close and chummy with God - and He does it. He's supernatural, you know! But in my experience it doesn't work well unles you have songs memorized. Helps for band to memorize also, or have a good system in place.
I have had the experience of worshipping with Bob Kaufflin of Sovereign Grace Ministeries who has the gift of prophetic worship and yes it is a gift of the Spirit and not everyone has it. He will be given a song in it's entirety that speaks into one persons life, the night I heard him do this he sang a song about a woman in the congregation who was struggling with a lost pregnancy and it was beautiful, poetic and musically stunning.
Singing in the Spirit is a much more common gift if we are open to it we all could do it. I think you need a pastors approval before launching into it though. I am a media coordinator at a church and had people mad at me for not having the lyrics up when one of the worship leaders started singing in the Spirit a the end of a song so clearly some churches are not ready for any form of Spirit led worship and it has to start from the top down.
But if you lead in a spirit filled church, I am sure you are already doing this and maybe you are ready to take the next step an ask God to really speak to someone thru your song.
Lastly, though I have never experienced it first hand I have heard of singing in tongues, yet another step in worshipping in the Spirit.
Yes: westarted worshipping in my home and some friends home as well back about 10 years ago and the spirit hit our house and we just started worshipping whatever the lord put on our hearts, it was increadable. then I had this word come to me to go out to Kansas City, we ended up at the international house of prayer and they were worshipping the same way, so we opened up a worship center near our area and we get together every tuesday night, it has been growing in prophetic worship for awhile now and the wisdom and revelations just continue to grow stonger every week, yes this is the direction I want to take the next place I lead worhip at, the music must be anointed by God. Gob Bless you Bill Phillips
For me as a worship leader I may pick my songs, but I am conscious of God....I make it a point not to just pick songs but to seek Holy Spirit for the songs He would like....
For me as a worship leader I'm focussed on several things when leading.....
1. The band
2. The congregation
3. The Pastors
4. Myself (in terms of singing the song right...lol...)
5. Most importantly Holy Spirit....for it is He whom I get my guidance.....
to me that is being spirit lead......
as for Prophetic worship......this usually happens after we have been singing a slow song, we then begin to sing in the Spirit....singing in our Heavenly Language....singing in tongues....there is such freedom in singing in tongues....it draws you to that place of letting go and letting God.....and when you are in that place you become sensitive and pliable to God....so that you then if God wants can begin to sing out a prophetic word......or be so overcome by His presence that you begin to blurt out a love song to God....Holy Spirit gives you the words for you to begin to worship in spirit and in truth....
there have been times where I have become so overcome with His presence I can hardly stand.....hahahaha and there have been times when it has felt so dry....i just want to go home....hahaha...lol...
I believe that this is the next move out of normal song preperation, where the Holy Spirit is in our precence and we are saturated by HIS precence and the music and songs are directed by HIM ,what do i mean? well in playing in the church for 20 years i realised that we can quence the move and direction of how we worship by the stop and go scenario, where programs fit the agenda that man creates,and worshiping in spirit and truth means being totaly controlled by the Holy Spirit and not by emotions ,great abilities but rather by creator of music, not to say that order is not in place, but believe me when HE is pesent all mans ambitions fall away.
Ok.....I think maybe we put to much emphasis on this. If a supernatural experience with the Holy Spirit takes over.....I am 'for it'. Meanwhile....LET'S GET THE JOB DONE! Are you HUNGRY to see people come to the Lord's mercy and Love? Is it a PASSION that BURNS inside of you......something that you lose sleep about?.... begging God to help you to be more effective....to lead people into His Holy Presence? To BE IN HIS SERVICE....to have the love of our heart, be to do the Lord's work in bringing His people to Him.....is as Holy and Spirit-Filled as any of us need to be. I can not think of a more Holy purpose that we can give our lives for....We are HOLY PREISTS if this is in our heart. If we have a 'cosmic/supernatural personal experience'....well that is certainly cool. But I think the point is not what 'we' experience...but to 'lead' others to an experience. I like to 'borrow' the words of John Kennedy and change them a little... "It's not what God can 'do' for 'you'....but what 'you' can 'do' for 'God' ." Just do the job, get it done to the best of your ability. The 'crumbs' that fall from this table, are all 'we' need.
This is a really wonderful question. We have the awesome opportunity in our church to be free to worship in spontaneous worship. That can entail a lot of different things. It is not just instruments, vocal, or emotional, and it has everything to do with allowing the Holy Spirit to work freely though and your worship team.
There are a couple of books that I would encourage you to get. "Developing Your Highest Potential" By Dana Roman, and "The Nehemiah Generation", and I think the other one is "The Gifts of the Spirit". She and her husband are what you call a prophetic worship leaders and teachers, her husband John is a musician, and they have been pastors for many years in California, and they travel the world and do evangelism. They are syllabus' and they will take you on a journey. I use all of these when I teach in worship seminars, and it would be a great add to your library. Celebrations Of The King Ministries, Inc. P.O. Box 1128 Loma Linda, CA 92354-1128 1-909-783-1324
Most of who I have become today as a worship pastor came from their mentoring, I have known them since I was 5 years old, but I really did not really understand in detail what it was I was doing for my entire life, that I was already doing until I read their books, it just gives you more detailed and experiences to glean from. I am sure that there are a lot out there and I have read most of the really high profile books, but what I will tell you is that I learned so much in detail by reading about their experiences, and I began to understand how the Holy Spirit operated. They are totally and complete yielded to the scripture, and you will enjoy them. They are not expensive. Their ministry e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brenda, do John and Dana have a website. I am very interested. I have read two books by Jack Hayford that are very similar, 'Manifest Presence' which is about Spirit-filled worship, and 'Rebuilding the real You' which is also based on the book of Nehemiah. I would like to find out more about this ministry.