Prophetic song is what happens when we let “Christ in you, the hope of glory” get into our music.
It’s usually spontaneous. Five of the Psalms command us to sing a new song to God; when we give ourselves to prophetic song, this will happen.
It’s intimate. It’s like the hand-written message in a greeting card – not quite as professional looking as the printed text, but much more heartfelt. Because it makes room for fellowship with God, it ushers His presence in.
It’s Christ-centered. Revelation 19:10 says the Spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. As we learn to focus our spontaneous songs on Jesus, we begin to get into a flow of the heavenly prophetic song.
It’s biblical. Prophetic song pops up all through the Bible. The books of Psalms and Song of Solomon are prophetic song.
It’s powerful. I have seen people convicted, healed, and delivered in prophetic song meetings. People receive visions and open-heaven encounters.
From a musician’s perspective, I have identified nine main sounds that occur in prophetic song – see Nine Sounds Of Prophetic Song – but as a Bible teacher, I would list just two. They occur in Revelation 1:10-15, where Jesus’ voice sounded first like a trumpet and then like a sound of many waters.
The trumpet sound is prophecy in the church. It is Jesus singing a fresh word from God to the congregation.
II Peter 1:21 says prophecy does not come by the will of man. It happens at God’s initiative. It is part of Jesus’ work as the mediator between God and man, as He brings fresh instruction and inspiration from the Father to His people.
What is prophecy? Most commentaries distinguish between forth-telling and foretelling – that is, biblical prophecy focuses more on proclaiming God’s message than in predicting the future. Prophecy in song brings Bible truth in a strong atmosphere of Holy Spirit conviction.
The sound of many waters is the sound of Jesus in His people, reaching up to the Father. Jesus likened the flow of the Holy Spirit to living water. In John 7:38-39, He said every believer can experience a river of the Holy Spirit pouring out from deep inside.
When everyone in the church begins to release their personal rivers, we hear the sound of many waters. This can happen in prophetic worship, but it also happens in prayer meetings when we all lift our voices at once.
The wonderful thing about this sound is that we can step into it whenever we like. Revelation 22:17 says, “Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
A pastor can teach the church to cultivate this sound; it’s the voice of a people who long for the presence of God. A worship team can reach for God with this sound whenever they practice; this will prepare them to flow with God in the church both in the sound of many waters and in the sound of the trumpet.
You as an individual can step into this sound whenever you like. Play your own instrument and sing along; sing with a CD; sing your own words during worship services at church. You can have as much of the river as you want.
I have sometimes sung with the rhythmic hum of a washing machine or the windshield wipers in my car.
Prophetic song is Christ in us, releasing our hearts to the Father and His heart to us. More about this at The Two Voices Of Jesus.
I am completely drawn to everything I’ve read so far. Singing in the Spirit while worshipping and soaking in His presence has been a part of how I spend time with God for many years, I just didn’t know about prophetic song. Recently I received a live prophetic worship c.d. and it was amazing.I don’t play an instrument, (wish I did), but I was in the praise and worship ministry for eighteen years and I love composing my own personal songs of worship to the Lord. I will certainly be following your guidelines from now on. I love the 2 sounds you mentioned, the sound of the trumpet and the sound of many waters. It’s so wonderful when you begin to sing to the Lord and you know that it is God Himself who is composing the lyrics While I’m home alone singing to God to minister to Him , in point of fact, I am the one who is ministered to as His holy presence engulfs me and fills the room and my heart simultaneously. I hope one day to sing prophetically as I heard it on the c.d. I have, and how you describe it. By the way, I cannot believe there were no responses to this site, but I’m honored to be the first and so excited that the Lord led me to your site. Thank you for it and God bless you. Keep it up.
Thanks for the encouragement. Prophetic song is happening on a grass-roots level as people like you have been led into it in their devotional lives. I often travel to teach about prophetic song; even if the host church says they know nothing about it, usually someone from the congregation comes up to me afterwards and says, “Now I know what I’ve been doing at home for the last ten years…”
Over the years, God has had me focus on different styles in different seasons; one that you might enjoy is to let a CD accompany you as you sing spontaneously to God. It can be an instrumental; as you get to know the music, it becomes easy to sing along — new words, new melodies. Or it can be a song with lyrics, and you can sing your own.
Anyway, have fun with it however you choose to sing the new song to God. And there’s no mistaking the fact that there is something about the new song that He really likes.
I agree with Eileen. Several years ago, as I led the prayer for one hour prior to service, the Lord would have me to sing prophetically. I was amazed as what words came out of my mouth for I knew it was from the heart of God. I must say that many years ago (Year 2000), I did the same thing at another church and I was told to sit down and that it was not real. I thank God for showing me that it is real and now I am encouraged to allow God to use me again in this area. Thank you so much for the explanation. My prayer is that the one church that sat me down several years ago will begin to understand that God can use anyone to sing prophetically for His purpose and that the most important thing is…He likes it! Thanks!
Thanks for your comment. I’m sure there are a lot more people out there who have stepped out in prophetic song and have been told it isn’t real.
Thankfully, many churches have caught the vision for prophetic song since 2000. Not all have the wherewithal to make room for it in their worship services, but even being able to recognize it as a gift of God is a step forward.
There is much in the earth that breaks God’s heart, but it is a joy to know that we can worship in Spirit and truth and bring gladness to Him.
I will sing with my spirit and I will sing with understanding, as the scripture proclaims. Passion for the LORD Jesus Christ, my God, oozes from within my sacred place of worship. Jesus is my treasure.
Yes — it’s about passion. I think of the sons of the prophets who came down the hill, prophesying on flutes, lyres, harps, and tabrets. They carried an atmosphere that made Saul a changed man. It took more than music — it was musicians who had met the passionate heart of God and who responded passionately.
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