As I stated earlier, our worship team was on a fast last week. When I called the fast I sought the Lord regarding what to focus on during the fast. He put a list of 10 prayer points in my heart. So I released them to our worship team, and now I want to share them with you. Below is the email I sent to our worship team with the prayer points and a bit of revelation the Lord provided in one of my prayer times. If you are a worship leader or pastor these can be beneficial to your worship or leadership team. If you are a congregation member, these can be beneficial to your everyday life. There’s something for everyone in here!
As I’ve been praying over the past two days, I’ve been noticing that as I hover around each of our prayer points I’ve been using the same phrase as I touch on each point. “Lord, show us your heart”. Yesterday I didn’t pay much attention to it, but this morning it really stuck out so I began to deliberately focus on it to hear what God was trying to say through that phrase.
What I got was…each of the prayer points requires certain level of an understanding of the heart of God to achieve…
1. Deeper individual level of intimacy with the Father.
We need a revelation of His heart’s desires in order to know what it is that captures His affections and attention.
2. Deeper revelation of the true nature of worship.
Despite our singing to 50 people or to 50,000…God is really the true and only audience of our expressions of worship, and only He knows what He takes delight in, what pleases Him, what expressions of worship he desires or requires. We need a revelation of His heart to know what true worship is actually composed of.
3. Heightened sensitivity to the flow and unction of the Holy Spirit (both in our individual lives and in corporate worship)
4. Greater outpourings of God’s presence in our worship experiences
Much like with #2…we need God to reveal his heart’s desires to us so that we know what captures his attention in our services and so we can more accurately sense changes in the flow of the Spirit. This is the one that really spoke to me because the current structure of mainstream church worship is pulled straight out of tradition. A couple fast songs, a couple slow songs, a few raises of the hands, maybe a shout here or there…but for the most part it’s been the same routine for the better part of a century or two. It’s what we know so we stick with it. If we want God’s presence to be released in a greater way then we need to do something different…and only He knows what changes are the right changes that will capture His attention and cause Him to respond with a tangible experience of His presence…and we won’t know what those changes are if He doesn’t reveal them to us…so we need a revelation of His heart if we want an outpouring of His Spirit.
5. That the congregation would, by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, break through the barriers that prevent them from reaching new heights in their corporate and personal praise and worship experiences. (i.e. fear/intimidation, pride, guilt/condemnation, oppression, apathy, etc.)
6. That the congregation will prioritize and engage in “praise” (upbeat, excited and celebratory expressions) as greatly as it does “worship” (deep, solemn and intimate expressions).
Just as we need a revelation of the heart of God to know and experience Him at a greater level…the congregation needs that same revelation to get the same result. Sometimes we grumble at their lack of enthusiasm in praise, or their lack of participation…but we are the leaders. They won’t dance if we don’t. They won’t leap for joy of we don’t. They won’t shout if we don’t. They won’t raise their hands if we don’t…and on and on. We must LEAD them…and if we don’t have a revelation of the heart of God that’s so real that it transcends our own fears of looking foolish or crazy “un-cool”…that transcends our own pride that says ‘I’m too dignified’ or ‘I’m too cool’ to dance, or jump, or shout…that transcends our own guilt and condemnation that says ‘what are you gonna raise your hands for…you weren’t raising them when you were doing _____________’…and transcends WHATEVER it is that separates us from true expressions of praise and worship…then we’ll never be able to impart the capacity for that level of revelation to the congregation…and our worship will remain the same.
7. Continued growth, maturity, development and mastery of our respective giftings/crafts.
We can practice until we’re blue in the face…and we’ll sound good…but there’s something about a worship service that is fueled by a release of grace, an expansion of the anointing of the members, and an increase of the power that backs up that anointing. There’s nothing like it! Those things ONLY come from the Lord…and we need a revelation of his heart to know what it takes to get into that “zone”.
8. Increased unity and fellowship as a group of co-laborers within this worship ministry
We need God to reveal to us His heart for how we are to engage in interpersonal relationships…particularly, as in our case, when God has specifically called us to co-labor in a particular assignment. We can better love one another when we know the heart of God regarding unity and fellowship.
9. Increased opened doors for ministry opportunities (both invitations to minister in song as a worship team and opportunities for the sharing of the gospel on an individual basis)
As we grow and word spreads about the awesome things happening in the worship experiences at our church…people are going to want us to come and minister to them too. We could be raggedy like some people and go to the churches that give us the biggest checks…or we could seek the heart of God so we can know where we are to go and to where we are called. In like manner, we need a revelation of the heart of God to see the individuals to which we are called…and what it is He is wanting to say to them through us. We don’t know what they are going through and what words will ignite something in their heart that will produce a desire for the Lord…but He has in His heart every need, desire, expectation, and “hot button” of every individual. We need a revelation of that if we desire to increase the effectiveness of our evangelism. Singing can happen anywhere. Witnessing can happen anywhere. Furthermore…the Word, the Gospel, and the nature of praise and worship are both powerful enough to insure that ministry can happen anywhere…BUT…something on a whole other level happens when the appointed people are the appointed place at the appointed time speaking and/or singing that which they have received from the heart of God.
10. That God would continue to add members of like mind and heart to this ministry (more musicians and more vocalists)
Just as we need to know where to go…we need to know who to go with. We have been blessed in that we don’t have singers and musicians who are living any kind of way through the week and then running up on stage to sing or play on Sunday just to be seen or to get a check. We’ve got like minded people, all with a heart for God, co-laboring together with the desire to please the heart of God and to draw His people into His presence. As we grow…we want to keep it that way. We need a revelation of the heart of God to know who is equipped and properly postured to join us in our mission.
So today, in your prayer time and as it comes upon your hearts…and in conjunction with praying for the points on our list…let’s pray that God will reveal His heart to us. Ask Him to reveal to us what He takes delight in, what makes Him smile, what He requires of us as worshippers, what causes Him to release His presence in a new and tangible way, what grieves Him (so we can stray from those things), what it takes to hear Him more clearly, etc…so we can do those things and exponentially enhance the nature of our worship experiences FOREVER.