For whatever reason, when I pray it usually comes out as a song, and vice-versa. There is an unmistakable, Godly connection between prayer and song. From Moses and Miriam singing and dancing a song of thanksgiving (Ex 15:1-21) to David putting to song his prayer of thanks to God (1Chronicles 16:8-36), it is evident that God has truly put a heart of worship in each of us. I just think at times we have a hard time expressing it.
Throughout the Bible we are encouraged to sing a new song unto the Lord. (Psalms 40:3 96:1 149:1) Just as prayer comes from the heart, or at least should, so does a song. I think that is why, at key moments in their lives, both David and Moses sang and danced a prayer instead of just reciting it. That built-in connection kicked in and a new song was born.
Revelation 5:8 talks about the elders falling down and worshiping the lamb and, “Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song:” (Rev 5:8-9) To take this one step further: where does the bowl of incense reference come from? In Psalms 141:2 David says,”May my prayer be set before you like incense…” In Ex 30:8, it lays out the guidelines for the priests as it relates to burning incense “regularly before the Lord for the generations to come.” Actually in verse 7 it says that Aaron is to burn “fragrant incense”.
After putting all of that together it would seem there is a definite correlation between prayer and singing a new song.
I am of the belief that something has to be relevant for it to be any good; otherwise, it is just useless trivia. So, here is the relevancy and it comes in two parts:
- Both Old and New Testaments refer back to Davidic Worship as a pattern for believers. David’s passion and practice was key in not only his extraordinary life but the lives of many, many others. It is that passion that came out in prayer and song that reverberates still today. If we can grab hold of that “worship” we can have a new level of intimacy with our Saviour that we’ve never had before.
- It is through the connection between prayer and worship -I’ll refer to it as intercessory worship- that a covering of God’s grace and love is spreading throughout the world. Through intercessory worship, people are being called on and nations are rising up with a new song; a song that is from their heart. In Acts 15:16-17 Luke references the prophet Amos, “After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name…” God is using this wonderful connection to reach people in ways we haven’t seen before.
This is just scratching the surface. Tomorrow we will begin looking at specific dimensions of prayer and worship.
In the mean time; the next time you pray, sing unto the Lord a new song.