Progression: Worship Leader to Psalmist
Over a decade and a half ago with the rise and influence of the ‘charismatic movement' in our churches [Anglican] I led congregations or groups on renewal/revival weekends in praise and worship. During that time I began a careful study of the scriptures and gave presentations on praise and worship; what it is and what it is not. I followed closely the writings and teaching of Dr. Terry Law a Canadian evangelist and author who wrote “The Power of Praise & Worship” and “Praise Releases Faith” which I read extensively. Over time I developed my own teaching and have given many presentations on the subject, which is found in the Ebook “An Interpretation of Worship & Guidelines”. What I wish to share now is my progression from leading worship to that of becoming a ‘psalmist’. As is my custom, I searched the scriptures for a biblical foundation for this ministry. I found several but the most significant to me were the following: Hebrews 2:12 – “….I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises” and Zephaniah 3:17 – “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."These two scriptures are important to me because the words that I received from the Holy Spirit were directed to God and afforded me yet another opportunity to express my devotion and love to HIM. It has become for me another way of communicating intimately with the Lord. Much of the songs I have composed are a direct result of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit during a revival or regular church service or in some instances they came during a time of crises and periods of doubt. I must admit here that I cannot write music so I have recorded the words and tunes that I received. The one I choose to share here is a song of dedication:
Lord I dedicate this day to You,
let all I do please You.
Lord I dedicate this day to You,
let me bring glory to Your Name.
Chorus: But I need Your Grace to help me,
send Your Spirit and fill me now, Lord I need
Your Grace to help me, send Your Spirit
and fill me now; for I dedicate my all to you.
Much of what I am speaking about is for private devotions and meditations however, further study in the word has shown me that this is also a ministry that will send messages from God to HIS people in the form of song; which is expressed in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. I found that it can also be used for healing and deliverance by the playing of a musical instrument as in 1st Samuel 16:14 thru16 – “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our Lord now command thy servants, who are before you, to seek out a man, who is skilful in playing the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it and you will be well.” Psalming was used in the Old Testament to receive 'a word from the God'. This is the case in 2nd Kings 3:15 - Elisha called for a minstrel as was the custom of the day in order to hear a word from God. It is very much a ministry that is initiated by the Holy Spirit; therefore you must have a listening heart sensitive to the voice of the Master.
Let me say that this is my personal account and I am grateful that the ministry of psalming is being revived. It is my prayer that worship leaders will aspire to become psalmists and as Isaiah proclaimed [42:10a] “sing to the LORD a new song…”.
Author: R. Cecilia Askew
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