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.