“It was praying that rent the heavens; praying that received direct answers there and then. The spirit of intercession was so mightily poured out that the whole congregation would take part simultaneously for hours! Strangers were startled to hear the young and unlettered pray with such unction and intelligence as they were swept up to the Throne of Grace by the Spirit of God. Worship and adoration was unbounded. Praise began to mingle with the petitions as answered prayer was demonstrated before their very eyes.” James Stewart
Fervent prayer prepares the way for revival. Day and night intercession and worship is a big key to revival. The combination of intercession and worship was a major part of the past revivals in history. Why are extended times of prayer so important? There are so many reasons. Prayer changes us, it sets us free from worldly pursuits, it opens the way for uninterrupted time with God, it builds unity, it gives us a burden for what is on God’s heart, it brings us into deeper humility and repentance, it draws us closer to God and brings revelation, it teaches us the Word, and it brings answers to prayer. The benefits are vast.
In all my studies about revival, I have seen that day and night intense, earnest prayer was one of the major keys found in all revivals. And it was prayer and worship together that brought the power of God to earth in a mighty outpouring of His Spirit.
Unity Created by the Spirit of God
God brings forth beautiful, spontaneous worship and when blended with prayer, it becomes a powerful weapon of His glory. I find this to be true as God’s people grow more familiar with the “Harp and Bowl” model (the model of Biblical prayer combined with worship and antiphonal singing). The Biblical prayers bring forth the antiphonal singing, singer adds to singer, and a beautiful unity comes forth as the very Word and will of God are prayed through the Holy Spirit. I have been in several IHOP prayer meetings. Each one is unique and powerful, testifying to the creativity of God’s Spirit. Here is a testimony taken from the Welsh revival of 1904 of how powerful worship and praise was to the spirit of God.
“The fact is, unless heard, it is unimaginable and when heard indescribable. There was no hymnbook. No one gave out a hymn. Just anyone would start the singing, and very rarely did it happen that the hymn started was out of harmony with the mood at the moment. Once started, as if moved by a simultaneous impulse, the hymn was caught up by the whole congregation almost as if what was about to be sung had been announced and all were responding to the baton of an invisible human leader. I have seen nothing like it. Such was the perfect blending of the mood and purpose that it bore eloquent testimony to a unity created only by the Spirit of God. Another witness testified: ‘The praying and singing were both wonderful. There was no need for an organ. The assembly was its own organ as a thousand sorrowing or rejoicing hearts found expression in the Psalmody of their native hills.'”
Not only is there a beautiful unity through the spontaneous worship created by the Spirit. In the same way, there is a beautiful unity when worship and prayer with the Word of God are combined. There is great strength in praying the Word of God. It heightens our awareness of the mind and heart of God. It adds tremendous strength and authority to our prayers.
How the Combination of Prayer and Worship Prepares the Way for Revival
“May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples… to carry out the sentence against them. This is the glory of all his saints. Praise the Lord” (Psalm 149:6, 7, 9).
How does 24-7 prayer and worship prepare the way for revival? Why is the combination of prayer and worship in 24/7 prayer so important? When we praise God and use His double-edged sword (the Word of God) in intercession, vengeance is inflicted on the nations. Vengeance is God’s just retribution on those who have attacked his Kingdom. We are at war, and God’s Kingdom is under attack. The combination of worship and prayer releases God’s judgment against sin and rebellion on earth. It opens the way for revival.
Never has there been a revival without extended times of intensive prayer. We will never see the final world revival ushering in the second coming of Christ without 24-7 prayer in the nations. Here are some reasons why the combination of prayer and worship help in extended times of passionate prayer that is so key for revival.
- It brings us into the reality of heaven – We must realize that worship and prayer are combined together in heaven around the throne of God. We are in the process of bringing heaven to earth in our cities and nations. We are copying what heaven is doing by combining the interaction of the harp (worship) with the bowls of incense (prayers). See Revelation 5:8.
- It unlocks our hearts – I find it so true personally how the atmosphere of worship and praise opens my heart in a greater dimension to fervent intercession and a greater passion for Christ and His ways. I cannot help but move to a higher level in my intercession when praise and worship are combined. I find this true corporately as well in 24-7 prayer meetings.
- It increases our faith – I have seen and experienced how the singers fuel the intercessors, and the intercessors fuels the singers until all seem to move into a higher realm of faith. The Word of God is prayed with greater certainty, with deeper passion, and with an unquenchable faith.
- It attracts us to enjoyable prayer – There is no doubt about it. God wants us to enjoy prayer. There is no way we can move into day and night prayer without an enjoyment of it. It is much too hard and strenuous a work. We need our hearts to say, “Yes, I want to do this! Yes, our city can get into this because God is making it enjoyable.” “The Lord will release joyful or enjoyable prayer to His church. Enjoyable prayer is prayer that will continue night and day (Luke 18:8). Enjoyable prayer is not necessary for prayer ministries meeting once a week but it is vital for prayer ministries going 24 hours a day.”
- It increases our perseverance in prayer – Many times I have heard people say that the time goes by so quickly. There seems to be an ability and grace to pray for longer lengths of time when prayer and worship are combined. Many who find it hard to pray for any length of time suddenly are able to spend hours in the prayer room.
- It brings forth an anointing for spiritual warfare – The atmosphere of day and night prayer and worship combined breaks the hold of the enemy in cities. It opens the way for a freedom for the proclamation of the Gospel. The Kingdom of God invades the territory. The combination of prayer and worship releases God’s justice as seen in the verses above. Praise and worship combined with prayer is a powerful combination and a mighty force against the kingdom of darkness. We come into agreement with God’s heart.
“There is an irrefutable law in history that revival (justice) is released in a measure whenever night and day worship and intercession are offered. Wherever night and day prayer has emerged in history there is always a Divine breakout of speedy justice. It cannot be stopped.”
God is giving a special grace and an increase in prayer at this time in preparation for the end-time revival. Some of us are just beginning to get started. Don’t be overwhelmed. A momentum is building and a spirit of prayer and worship is being released across the earth. My suggestion to you is to start small.
You can purchase harp and bowl worship through the IHOP bookstore or listen to the IHOPKC web stream. I am part of IHOPKC and spend lots of hours in the prayer room. I also play the IHOPKC web stream in the atmosphere of my home. Some people like to play it all day long. This will bring you into the atmosphere of what prayer combined with worship is like. It will create a hunger in your soul and an excitement in your heart for praying the Word of God. And it will begin to touch your church and city with the atmosphere of heaven. It will prepare you and your city for revival.
“Intercession is agreement with what God promises to do. Intercession is expressed by declaring what He will do. In heaven the worship and intercession flow as one river. When we tell God who He is then our faith expands with the revelation of the transcendent God of power and beauty. Then when we agree with what he will do in intercession we do it in great faith.” Unnamed quotes by Mike Bickle
By Debbie Przybylski