How Music Enhances Prayer
by Adam Wittenberg
You probably know from Scripture that King David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). David did many things—he was a ruler, lover, poet, and warrior—but the quality that best defines him before the Lord is his extravagant worship.
David worshipped passionately, and he created a place for his nation to worship God together.
After he conquered Jerusalem and brought the Ark of the Covenant there, David set singers and musicians before it to minister to the Lord (1 Chronicles 15–16). This new worship order, which continued day and night, reflected the Lord’s worship order in heaven (see Revelation 4–5).
David gave his son Solomon the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord . . . also for the division of the priests and the Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord. (1 Chronicles 28:11–13)
“All this,” said David, “the Lord made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.” (1 Chronicles 28:19).
The worship included 288 singers, 4,000 musicians, and 4,000 gatekeepers. It continued night and day (1 Chronicles 9:33) and was commanded for future kings to uphold (2 Chronicles 29:25, 35:4). For more on the history of night and day worship, read an excellent article here.
Extravagant worship is pleasing to God. By modern estimates, David gave more than $100 billion to fund the building of the Lord’s temple, and also supported the singers, musicians, and gatekeepers (watch Mike Bickle’s teaching on David’s extravagant worship).
In our day and age, the Lord is rebuilding ”the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down” (Amos 9:11; Acts 15:16). Many people and ministries, including IHOPKC, are joining heaven’s unending song of praise (Revelation 4:8). Prayer is rising, and churches are beginning to focus more intensely on the beauty of Jesus (Isaiah 33:17).
One of the keys to day and night prayer is worship. The presence of music makes prayer accessible, sustainable, and enjoyable for more people. It is also biblical:
The twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (Revelation 5:8).
The harp speaks of music and songs of worship to God. The bowls containing incense speak of prayers to God. Around the throne of God, worship and intercession flow together. This end times verse is becoming an increasing reality on earth as the Church grasps the pleasure—and power—of worship-based prayer.
In the heightened dynamics of the end times, Christ’s bride will find herself warring in the Spirit through prayer and worship. Spiritual warfare can simply be described as agreement with God.
When we worship (“You are worthy, You are good”), we are agreeing with who God is. This invites His presence, since He inhabits the praises of His people. It also strengthens us to pray more, as we draw closer to Him and His goodness.
Intercession, or prayer for others, is agreeing with what God has promised to do (“Lord release Your Spirit,” “Save souls”). It’s our experience that more people will cry out for greater periods of time, and with greater unity, when their prayers are based in worship (see Isaiah 56:6–7).
Prayer in an environment of worship fills our tanks, so to speak, so we can keep going, even when things are hard, and guards our hearts from discouragement and frustration.
Prayer and worship also help us find our voice. As we encounter God, He leads us to share His love with others. We become Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).
If you are seeking a special place to experience Jesus’ presence, we invite you to Onething 2016. Join 20,000 young adults for four days of worship, prayer, and ministry in the Spirit’s power. Together, we will be released to proclaim Him to this generation.
To learn more about Onething, visit ihopkc.org/onething.
A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. He also serves in the NightWatch (overnight prayer hours) and is active in evangelism. He, and his wife Stephany, have a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.