I have participated in what is now termed “Harp and Bowl” worship at the All Nations House of Prayer (ANHOP) in Grand Prairie, texas, for the past two months. No single type of spiritual act has challenged me as much as this has. Something about the still and peaceful attitude of worship demands so much more of my focus and attention. It requires a man or woman to be fully engaged. We still sing familiar songs that everyone knows. But those songs are the starting place, not the end. They allow us the ability to begin on a common note, a common idea, and we progress into singing in the spirit. Here, all the singers on the team are encouraged to be bold and sing out in unison with various tongues, melodies, and sounds.
The prayer leader reads aloud a Scripture, which is then sung by a chorus leader. After the chorus leader sings the passage two times, the singers sing out different phrases that relate to the theme of the passage. It becomes a dialogue of the whole group singing to the Lord, elaborating on his beauty, his glory, his majesty, and so on. Each time of worship is different. The spontaneous parts are always fresh and challenging. We must engage the Lord with our hearts in order to follow what the Spirit of God is saying at that time. He leads us into themes which release waves of revelation, refreshing, healing, or peace.
It’s not a perfect model, but I love it for what it offers: enough structure to keep us on the same page without stifling the flow of the Holy Spirit.