by Cynthia Buhain-Baello
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Praise ushers in the presence of God. Songs of praise declare the CHARACTER of God and Who He is. Praise songs, therefore, must center on God's qualities and express in music and melody those divine qualities. Songs of praise are never "about us" - they are all ABOUT GOD.
"Shout with joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of His Name;
Make His praise glorious!
Say to God. how awesome are Your deeds!
So great is Your power
That Your enemies cringe before You.
All the earth bows down to You
They sing praise to You
They sing praise to Your Name.
When we come to Worship, we are all distracted initially by the many goings-on in our lives and it takes a few moments to internalize that we are coming before God to worship HIM. It takes a while to remove our minds from the present demands of life and focus on God's Presence. That is why it is imperative that Praise & Worship singers and musicians be spiritually prepared to take us into that "rest" through the choice of songs & music. Sometimes all prayer comes from the heart as the praise & worship music is played. No fancy words can replace the very Presence of God when He comes every time we worship. A singer or worship leader need not have an excellent singing voice, he or she just must be filled with the Presence of God in order that he/she may "flow" that Presence outward in music and song. It is not by human effort but by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
I have seen many try to "put on" that anointing but sadly the praise & worship falls flat.
The reason for this is the person does the ministry in his own strength - not through the Holy Spirit. Good music is just that, good to listen to. But real worship music brings us to the very Presence of the God of the Universe, the Almighty Powerful Eternal God - awesome in majesty and splendor! That Presence will shake us and melt us - make us realize our nothingness and praise God for His Greatness. Just like Isaiah in Isaiah 6: 1- 5 "Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and i live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
A church functioning as the Body of Christ can always unite and come before God to seek His face. The Worship Team alone cannot do it. A team of intercessors must continually pray and ask God's anointing and LEADING in every worship service. They must not only intercede for the songs but must also pray intensely for the preaching. I mention "intense" in prayer because one cannot just pray mechanically like ticking off a list of groceries and praying "just to get it over with." No.
For the Praise & Worship to be ushering all of us into God's Presence we must pray mighty prevailing INTENSE prayers. The Worship Team must themselves cry out to God for His Spirit to set them blazing with His anointing touch that every word or note they breathe out in song will be like flames coming straight out from the Holy Spirit. Let the walls and the edifice shake with God's Spirit as we praise and worship Him. He is Worthy and deserves no less!
Souls so hungered and thirsty for the very precious Presence of God will do more than just "sing" or clap hands - they will cry and they will shout, because God fills the space in their hearts that is RIGHTLY HIS. Then we can say as the psalmist says :
"Oh God, You are my God.
Earnestly I seek You;
My souls thirsts for You,
My body longs for You
In a dry and weary land
Where there is no water.
I have seen You in the sanctuary
and beheld Your Power and Your Glory.
Because Your Love is better than life,
My lips will glorify YOU.
I will praise You as long as I live,
And in Your Name I will lift up my hands."
Psalm 63: 1-4
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