Global Worship and Prayer in the End Times
by Mike Bickle
Artists and Authors
This blog is adapted from Mike Bickle’s latest book, Growing in Prayer. It is the second part of an article focused on the Characteristics of Prayer in the End Times. Read part one »
4. The end-time prayer movement will be musical (Isa. 42:10–13).
Another aspect of the end-time prayer movement is that it will involve music. Isaiah emphasized the place of singing and music in the end-time prayer movement. Music is one expression of the kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven.”
Music is an essential part of our human makeup. The human spirit is musical because we were created in the image of God, who is musical. The Bible tells us that the Lord sings over His people:
The Lord your God . . . will rejoice over you with singing.
The writer of Hebrews describes Jesus’ singing praise to the Father (Heb. 2:12). Jesus is surely the greatest singer, musician, and songwriter in human history!
Music touches the deepest part of the human spirit. Anointed worship music helps God’s people express their hearts to God in adoration and love. It also draws them together in unity by giving them the opportunity to sing the same thing to the same Man at the same time. In addition it helps people learn and remember the truth of God’s Word. Most importantly, the anointing of the Spirit on worship music tenderizes our hearts, increasing our ability to receive love from God and return it back to Him.
Music is not only enjoyable, it is also essential in the economy of God. The Holy Spirit has a musical dimension to His being. God the Father and God the Son sing, create music, and enjoy music. For years before we started the International House of Prayer at Kansas City (IHOPKC), music was not central to our daily prayer meetings at the church I pastored. Eventually we added music to our times of prayer and worship, and the meetings became not just bearable but enjoyable!
Isaiah called end-time Israel to sing while the people were still spiritually barren, before the fulfillment of God’s promise of mercy and restoration: “Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child! . . . For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations” (Isa. 54:1, 3).
In a similar way Isaiah is calling those who are a part of the end-time worship movement to sing even before we see revival. God will raise up a prayer movement that will break forth in intercessory singing until the fullness of God’s salvation is manifest.
Though it is characterized by music, the end-time worship movement is not a Christian music festival. It is an environment in which music flows from those who grow deep in the knowledge of God. Young adults especially are responding with great zeal. Around the globe they are catching a glimpse of the beauty and worth of Jesus and of how He is worshiped in heaven.
The worship order King David established included antiphonal, interactive singing (Ezra 3:11; Neh. 12:8–9, 24) just as the worship order around God’s heavenly throne does (Rev. 5:8–14). Here in Kansas City, at the International House of Prayer, the harp and bowl model of intercessory worship includes antiphonal singing in an interactive relationship between the worship team and the intercessors. Antiphonal singing provides an opportunity for them to operate in team ministry in worship and prayer. It also provides diversity in night-and-day prayer, making the prayer time more interesting and sustainable.
We have established three ways to antiphonally sing the Word in our prayer meetings.
Echo the phrase. The singer sings the exact words of the person who prayed or sang before him. Repeating the same phrase increases the impact.
Paraphrase the phrase. The singer summarizes the theme in similar words.
Expand the phrase. The singer uses totally different words to enhance the idea.
You can watch our worship teams through our live webstream, which is broadcast 24/7. View the webstream»
5. The end-time prayer movement will be global (Isa. 24:14–16; 42:10–12; Mal. 1:11).
The Scripture is clear that the end-time worship and prayer movement will extend all across the earth, even to the most remote and difficult-to-reach places. It contains numerous prophecies of a global worship movement that will involve singing to the Lord from the ends of the earth:
Sing to the Lord a new song . . . all the earth.
Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise from the ends of the earth.
King David and others prophesied that the worldwide worship movement would involve all the kings of the earth.
…Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him.
All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord, when they hear the words of Your mouth. Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.
Isaiah prophesied that a global intercessory worship movement would usher in Jesus’ return:
Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you coastlands . . . Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains . . . The Lord shall go forth [Jesus’ second coming] like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies.
In his prophecy Isaiah is saying that the redeemed will worship from one end of the earth to the other until Jesus returns. Simply put, the end-time worship and prayer movement will be in every place—even the hardest and darkest places—offering up worship to Jesus (Mal. 1:11). Isaiah highlighted that God’s people will sing to the Lord in the islands, which are often remote and hard to get to (Isa. 42:10). He spoke of worship going forth in the wilderness, or desert places, even in Islamic villages such as Kedar in Saudi Arabia and Sela in Jordan (v. 11). The prophecy reveals the zeal with which the Holy Spirit is raising up a worldwide worship movement. Jesus is not coming in a vacuum but in answer to a global worship movement.
6. The end-time prayer movement will be missional (Rev. 7:9, 14).
The end-time worship and prayer movement will be instrumental in ushering in the greatest harvest of souls in history and the fullness of God’s justice on the earth (Mt. 24:14; Lk. 18:7–8; Rev. 7:9, 14). Jesus said that we must ask the Lord to release laborers into the harvest (Lk. 10:2).
We can identify a pattern by studying the account of the early church, in which communities such as the one in Jerusalem mentioned in Acts 2 and the one in Antioch mentioned in Acts 13 gathered together in worship and prayer. The result was that missionaries were sent out, evangelism movements were unleashed, and a significant harvest of souls was reaped. Jesus connected night-and-day prayer to the release of justice on the earth (Lk. 18:7–8), in the context of the end times (Lk.17:24–37), with specific reference to His second coming (Lk. 18:8).
7. The end-time prayer movement will be intergenerational (Mal. 4:5–6).
The end-time prayer movement will be intergenerational, joining physical and spiritual fathers and mothers with their children. Malachi prophesied that the Holy Spirit would turn the hearts of the fathers to the youth in the generation in which the Lord returns:
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.
The Holy Spirit desires for spiritual fathers and mothers to focus on God’s purpose for young people, causing the young people to respond with honor and love so that there is great unity and power in God’s house.
Statistically most people who turn to Jesus do so before they are twenty-five years old. The majority of the current population of the earth is under this age! I believe the Holy Spirit is emphasizing prophetic worship and the revelation of Jesus’ beauty in this hour to draw a massive number of youth to Jesus once again, as He has drawn them in many of the great revivals of history.
Just before He died, Jesus prayed and prophesied in what I call His “high priestly prayer” that He would pour out His glory, enabling His people to walk in a level of unity that would greatly enhance the effectiveness of the gospel (Jn. 17:21–23).
The end-time worship and prayer movement will function in gracious cooperation because God has entrusted different aspects of His purposes and plans to different parts of His Body. Out of necessity, the prayer movement will be profoundly unified as we experience the fullness of God’s purpose by honoring and serving one another in relationship. Unity will be achieved because God’s supernatural grace will be poured out upon the Church, enabling His people to walk in love and in a spirit of unity—for unity is the place where God commands His blessing in the greatest measure:
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity . . . for there the Lord commanded the blessings—life forevermore.
As we can see, the Holy Spirit is calling the Church to rise up in unity and participate in an end-time global prayer movement, offering fervent, continual intercession and worship that flow from prophetic music and intimacy with God. From our position of strength as intercessors we will work together to fulfill the Great Commission and bring in the greatest harvest of souls in history. Jesus will respond to the voice of His Bride calling out as one with the Spirit for Him to come in power to vanquish His enemies and fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord.
The great conflict at the end of the age will be between two houses of prayer—two global worship movements. The Holy Spirit is raising up the most powerful prayer and worship movement in history. To combat this worship movement of the Spirit, the Antichrist will establish a state-financed, worldwide, false worship movement (Rev. 13:4, 8, 12, 15). But Jesus has a plan in His heart, and His plan will not fail. Jesus’ worship movement will be stronger, more creative, and more anointed than anything Satan can produce.
You may not be called to be an Anna, but perhaps God is asking you to attend a prayer meeting once a week at your local church to intercede. Perhaps He wants you to lead worship for a prayer group meeting in someone’s home. Perhaps He desires for you to sing on a worship team made up of members from the Body of Christ in your area or to engage in street evangelism. As Mary, Jesus’ mother, told the servants at the wedding in Cana, “Whatever He [Jesus] says to you, do it” (Jn. 2:5). And don’t delay.
Learn more about Growing in Prayer »
Mike Bickle is the founder of the International House of Prayer, an evangelical missions organization based on 24/7 prayer with worship. He is also the founder of International House of Prayer University, which includes full-time ministry, music, and media schools.
Mike’s teaching emphasizes growing in passion for Jesus through intimacy with God, doing evangelism and missions work from the place of night-and-day prayer, and the end times. He is the author of several books, including Growing in Prayer, Passion for Jesus, God’s Answer to the Growing Crisis, Growing in the Prophetic, and Prayers to Strengthen Your Inner Man. Mike and his wife, Diane, have two married sons and six grandchildren.