Prophetic Worship: What the Bible Says About Prophecy and Music

During our early years of itinerant ministry in New Zealand, my husband Malcolm (aka ‘The Hunk’) and I often began with a song of praise or worship, accompanied by his acoustic guitar. [1] We sometimes used this to launch into a prophetic proclamation of God’s purposes over a church in song.

Prophetic praise and worship continues to be close to our hearts. I have recently been writing on the topic of prophetic worship, including:

Today I would like to share about the Biblical basis for prophetic worship by reviewing what the Bible says about the relationship between prophecy and music.

7 Windows on Prophecy, Music and Worship in the Bible

There is a strong link in the Bible between prophecy, instrumentation, and worship.

Here are some glimpses of this from both Old and New Testaments:

1. In 1 Samuel 10, the Prophet Samuel gave these instructions to the young Saul: ‘…as you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying.’ (1 Sam 10:5)

The Spirit of God came upon Saul when he encountered the prophets, and God chose that moment to anoint him for his calling as King.

2. The Prophet Elisha valued musical accompaniment as a means of providing an environment for prophecy. The Bible tells us, ‘While the harpist was playing, the hand of the LORD came upon Elisha and he said, “This is what the LORD says…”‘ (2 Kings 3:15-16)

3. King David formally instituted prophecy to musical accompaniment, along with praise and worship, in the Tabernacle of David. We read in Chronicles, ‘David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals.’ (1 Chron 25:1)

4. Many Psalms—not just those written by David—are prophecy set to music. In the Psalms, prophecy and praise or worship are frequently interchangeable. Many Psalms contain Messianic prophecy that is fulfilled in the life of Jesus. (See for example Psalm 16:10, Psalm 41:9, Psalm 34:20, Psalm 110)

5. The early church recognized that praise and worship comprised of different types of songs, including ‘songs of the Spirit.’

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul made reference to ‘psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.’ (Eph 5:19-20 and Col 3:16-17) The Greek words translated ‘spiritual songs’ are oide pneumatikos and could also be translated ‘songs of the Spirit.’ (See also 1 Cor 14:15) These songs could be prophetic in nature, as well as spiritual songs of praise to God.

6. In providing instructions concerning a Church service, Paul anticipated that the meeting would include songs and prophecy, as well as teaching and instruction. (1 Cor 14:26)

7. In Rev 11:16-18, we read of throne room worship that included prophetic proclamation of what God was about to do.


Notes:

[1] Here’s a random piece of information for guitar lovers out there. Malcolm’s guitar is an American-made Guild D25 arch back, with mahogany sides and back, and a spruce top. It is over 30 years old (purchased during our dating years) and sounds as rich now as it has always done.


Can you think of some other times the Bible links prophecy and worship together? Or do you have a thought or testimony you would like to share about prophetic worship? Share it with us in the comments section of this article. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

4 thoughts on “Prophetic Worship: What the Bible Says About Prophecy and Music

  1. James Goodman

    Hi Helen – wonderful post again! Many thanks for the encouragement.

    I love it too that singing is a feature of heaven and a characteristic of our God. The Lord rejoices over us with singing, as we are reminded in the book of Zephaniah 3:17. We sing to Him and He sings back to us! The Hebrew for that verse might possibly be translated that ‘He spins around in joy, with shouts of gladness!’

    As a guitar lover, Malcolm’s guitar sounds wonderful. Guild are a superb manufacturer.

    God bless
    James

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi James, I love that verse in Zephaniah
      Back ‘in the day’ Oden Fong (‘Mustard Seed Faith’) used a Guild like Malcolm’s. Loved his music! Found an old tape recently and enjoyed it all over again.
      Blessings to you all in Wales. Looking forward to hearing of Father’s exploits through you all 🙂

  2. Chris Shannon

    Hi James

    Have recognised the anointing on my guitar playing and certain others musicians ( like a prophet minstral type) at times, it seems particularly strong when a prophet is in the church or visiting and it is most often followed by a prophetic word

    I am interested to know a bit more about this

    God bless

  3. Spence

    Thank you for the insight!

    I am so new to operating in the prophetic. I have been reading a lot about it, particularly from the information given on this sight. I can identify!!!

    I always wondered why my praise would suddenly be interrupted during worship with a word or sentence or a brief vision. These manifestations have been and still are consistent in my life. I welcome them and I am eager to understand how I am to operate in this realm so as to bring glory to my father while blessing His people in the process.

    I am so thankful,

    Spence

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