Prophetic Song – Both Old And New

I got an email this week from a friend who had visited our home for a meal and a time of soaking.  She said one piece I played had a different style than I usually use.  She sensed it was the exultation of people from all tribes and nations as they testified of their redemption, with a sound of wonder and joy.

As she said in the email, the sound was one I hadn’t played before.  But it touched a memory of an encounter she had had with God almost twenty years ago.  In 1993, she sensed she was hearing the song of the redeemed from many nations and tribes as she attended a special meeting.

The sound was new to me, tugging me into a new style.  But it was old to her, touching a memory from 1993.  Sometimes as we let God flow through us with new songs, He may give something that is new and old at the same time.  Jesus mentioned that the old and the new mingle for the scribes who know the kingdom of God:

Therefore every scribe which is instructed concerning  the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.  (Matthew 13:52)

 Prophetic song can be like this householder.  It can be a new sound to some while it touches a deep and distant memory in others.  This week I was the musician playing a new sound, though my sound wasn’t new to everybody.  But many years ago, I was the listener who heard an old sound when someone else sang a new song.

When I was nineteen years old, I wrote a song for guitar. It was Psalm 66, and I set the whole Psalm to music.  “God be merciful and bless us,” it began.  Then the main tune was on the words, “And cause His face to shine upon us.”  After those words had been sung, their tune wrapped around the other lines of the Psalm.

I never did learn to play it smoothly, so I never sang it in public.  The chords and the fingering were too much for me.  Basically the bass strings moved from chord to chord while the treble strings played the main melody again and again.

Years passed.  By now, only two people knew what the song should sound like:  God and me.  But as I was in a home meeting in Avoca, New York, we all sang in the Spirit for a few moments.  Then as the volume dropped, one man kept singing.  Tears were pouring down his face as he sang these words to the melody I had written years before:  “Cause Your face to shine upon us; cause Your face to shine upon us.”

What did it accomplish?  I don’t know.  But God sang to me with love language that surely meant more to me than to anyone else in the room.  I suspect that my song the other day had a similar effect on the friend who wrote me the email.

Never forget that God is the Good Shepherd who leaves the ninety and nine to pay special attention to one.  He may use your prophetic song to do something unique in the life of one.



Stan Smith  ::  © 2011, GospelSmith  ::




One response to “Prophetic Song – Both Old And New

  1. As I am sporadically able to read thru your back entries, I was intrigued by this one because while I was in college I was given “filk” songs, (new praise words for old or current tunes), along with regular songs, and just put it down to the rhyming gifts God had given me and my desire to praise Him. (In the late 60s and early 70s I didn’t run into too many people doing this in the Christian “arena”, but perhaps that was because God sent me to an LDS university so I would better truly learn His Word to be able to defend what I believed against the onslaught from what they called “another Testament”.)

    I wrote them down for myself and a few friends, but didn’t find much other use for them, (and now many of those have been lost in repeated moves.) I was able to use them with children, but adults didn’t seem to interested.

    During that time I noticed that God might give a similar song across several groups, in several different parts of the country, and even the world, because He was giving His children His Heart, and giving them music and words to sing reciprocal love songs back to Him. That was another reason I felt no “push” to share because I saw that He was giving His music to any of His children who would listen and I could not claim as mine what I was discovering He was sharing with all.

    As the Praise and Worship movement grew, there were so many new songs to learn the words to that I didn’t often need anything extra “in English” to express my heart to Him, (also, perhaps, because I was no longer so scared of letting the singing of my prayer tongue “do its own thing.” Until I had a prayer tongue I just sang out the notes of the music, like a bird, without having any words for it.)

    However, now, I was extremely grateful to find that with all the new English language songs that were coming into the Body, the music seemed to already be at least partially in my heart, allowing me to be able to follow or harmonize with the melody while leaving my mind free to concentrate on each new song’s specific lyrics in relation to the rhythm.

    As I listen to and enjoy God’s various expressions of His Love exploding again thru His Body, I now believe that eternity will not be long enough to even listen once to all the songs of love God has shared with His children, let alone all the other kinds of songs he has given us.

    Lately my daughter was told to tell another “singer” that she was to sing Worship etc. over, and for, a Christian brother who has been slowly losing his organs to a disease the Drs. don’t know how to fight.
    When she passed that Word on, I thought of you and your singing, and then the reminder that God has been putting into the Body, of Paul and Silas singing in Prison after being beaten. (Then of course there is the Fall of Jericho.)

    So don’t stop singing Stan, even if it is only in your mind and heart.

    I have a dear friend, now with the Lord, who survived MS for 25 years after she was sposed to pass on, because her heart was always in Praise even at her darkest moments of pain, and because her deepest desire was to bring others closer to her beloved Jesus.

    The Lord inhabits the Praises of His children, and gives us back such tremendous Joy in His Presence when we sing back to Him the heart songs He gives us.

    Thank you so much dear Brother for all your posts,


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