The Furnace of Intercessory Worship
This message is a follow-up of our 1st “Harp & Bowl” intercessory worship time we had here at The Furnace a couple weeks ago, and it follows my last message on David’s Tabernacle.
I would like to speak more about intercessory worship, because on January 9th, a Monday Night at 7pm, The Furnace will begin Devotional sets and move into Intercessory and Worship the Word sets to bring the full harp and bowl model here.
Our hope is that we will fill this room with people not only from this church, but others from churches in the area to pray and worship together.
II. The Furnace
We have three components to The Furnace, Community, Worship & Prayer, and Social Justice.
With the establishment of the church meeting here on Saturday nights, we have begun the 1st component, Community. We are just beginning, but as we grow we operate as an Acts 2 church.
The 2nd component, Worship & Prayer will be the midweek sessions starting with Monday nights, moving to multiple days until we reach the goal of 24/7. Those sessions will involve as I spoke of earlier, Devotional sets, Worshipping the Word sets, Intercessory Prayer sets, with time for prophetic words to be spoken over individuals and time to pray for individuals to be healed.
And the 3rd component is Social Justice, ministry to the homeless, intervention to end sex trafficking in our area and provide safety and shelter for women, general assistance to those in need, all connected into a Dream Center here in Kenosha.
We have a lot of work ahead in front of us, but this is what God wants, so He will make it happen and we will be the instruments he uses for the vision to come to pass. Amen!
Let’s talk about intercessory worship.
III. INTERCESSORY WORSHIP
A. Intercession and Worship in Heaven
Our model for intercessory worship is heaven, how they worship God.
Revelation 5:6-14 “6
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb.
9 And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." 11Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" 13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" 14The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.”
In Revelation chapters 4:8, “the four living creatures do not rest day or night saying Holy, holy, holy.”
So in these scriptures, we see worship in heaven. The elders around the throne of God, falling down and singing, worshipping Him. Verse 5:11, “Thousands upon thousands and ten thousands time ten thousands angels worshipping around the throne.” Just think of that sound. I’ve been at Lambeau, Death Valley at LSU, Miller Park, County Stadium, Wrigley…… Nothing would compare to this. Nothing….. This is our model. This is real worship.
The Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ reveals to us worship at the Throne of God. Not only adoration to God in worship, but intercession through that worship.
In verses 6-8 in chapter 5 of Revelation we see the Harp and Bowl. We read that the bowls full of incense were the prayers of the people. The harp represents music, so we see worship with instruments with singing but also prayer before the throne. What are prayers before the people? Intercession. This prayer and worship was for the love and adoration toward God, but also involved the prayers of the believers.
There was devotion to God, adoration to God, a love for God, with knowledge of the power of God. Because the worship was to His greatness along with His mercy and loving-kindness and when you believe in a great God, then you believe that the great God can do all things. You add the prayers of the people into the faith mix so the power of the worship moves the power of the prayers.
B. Intercession and Worship on Earth
1. The Past
Our model for intercessory worship on earth is David’s Tabernacle. I spoke about that a couple weeks ago. King David when he established his tabernacle for the Lord in 1 Chronicles 15-16, was a mirror what was going on in heaven. David, a man after God’s own heart was led to establish 24/7 prayer before the tabernacle that housed the Ark of the Covenant where God was to them. The Israeli view that God lived between the Cherubim on the Ark, His throne. An ark that was a copy of one that was already in heaven. Revelation 11:19, “and within His temple () was seen the ark of the covenant.”
King David set up the tabernacle of worship so it would be established for future generations of Israel; He knew they had to give God the worship He deserved. He loved God; it was evident through his Psalms. His heart like ours, we were created to worship.
Jon Piper said in his book Desiring God, “God is the greatest thing that exists, ever has existed or ever will exist. Therefore, for us to glory anything else, would be sin, as there is nothing greater than God, there is no calling greater than praising God. This is true not only for us, but surprisingly also for God himself, he being the greatest, to glory in anything else would be idolatry. Therefore, if the greatest thing God can do is give himself glory, and no created thing does can be greater than God, the greatest thing we can do (our purpose, you might say) is to glory him.” Give him constant Glory.
As I brought up a couple weeks ago, what David did was profound, so much so that it was prophesied by the Prophet Amos that David’s tabernacle would be re-established in the future, in Amos 9:11, the Lord saying He will restore David’s fallen tabernacle. Then in Acts 15:13, the Apostle James spoke at the Council of Jerusalem about what the “Word’s of the Prophet’s” spoke of that God would return and rebuild David’s fallen tent or tabernacle and will restore it that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name. God had a plan.
What strikes me is the commonality between the physical heavenly worship and the worship David set up out of Revelation 15, it speaks of the Temple of God in Heaven and it states, “that is the Tabernacle of Testimony’, or known as “The Tent of Meeting”, where the Ark of the Covenant was stored. So David and Israel not only worshipped God in and around a replicated physical structure, but also worshipped in kind like what was happening in heaven. God had a plan for His worship, and King David the man after God’s own heart would display it as a model throughout the days of men.
We don’t have to worship God around a tent of meeting anymore, or make sacrifices for the remission of sin, or wait for the high priest to intercede for us. God lives in us.
We are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor. 3:16 “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?”
When we get together in this day, and worship and intercede the way God intended, following what He established thousands of years ago, I believe we go to place that our forefathers never entered. God manifested himself before men in the past, but today He manifests Himself in men.
Before Pentecost, you had small glimpses of men who moved in the Spirit. After Pentecost you read of the Church as a movement of the Spirit, activated to bring miracles to others to show the love of God for His people and bring them to repentance.
We have Spirit filled intercession today, something they did not have. God was not in them like us.
Even looking at past great awakenings, the awakenings were calls to repentance. Sinners ran from their sins to God. People ran to the altars, and filled churches. God’s Spirit moved on the people, but in those moments, there was no in filling.
The next great awakening will be similar concerning repentance, but due to a 2nd Pentecost, Azusa, I believe there will be Spirit power, as we have never seen in the church.
As was prophesied by the prophet Amos, and by the Apostle James we see the Tabernacle of David being restored but it is being restored with infilling power of the Holy Spirit to heal and transform lives.
D. Why Intercessory Worship
1. Spiritual Warfare: To supplant the kingdom of Satan with the Kingdom of God. Bring Heaven to earth.
2. Reconciliation: To reconcile people back to Him.
3. Spiritual renewal of the church concerning the Holy Spirit: The church is at war with that too. There are those that don’t believe in it. They don't believe in the manifestations of the Spirit. The presence of God needs to be allowed back into the church again. The church needs to come back to its first love, being a church of power again.
E. But Why Harp & Bowl?
When the harp (worship music) comes together with the bowl (intercession), then a spiritual dynamic occurs. God determined that the worship music around the throne of God would flow in an interactive relationship with intercession. As praise is joined with prayers that present the needs of others before the throne, great spiritual battles are released on earth.
When we go back to Revelation 5:, we read that the worshipers sang a new song. That is significant. When you look back at King David’s crew who led the musicians and singers, they had the gift of prophecy. Harp and Bowl worship is Spirit led worship, where the Spirit of God interacts with the mix of song and instruments; new Spirit inspired songs are sung through the prophetic. God proclaiming His Word through the intercession.
We have heard it here, we pray, then the singers under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, sing the prayers inspired by the Holy Spirit some times in English, and some times in the Spirit. It not only connects us in worship, but also brings unity of the Spirit. When we are worshipping God, like they did in the temple in Revelation, or worshipped like in the time of David, our unified spirit worship saturated prayers go up to heaven, and rises as an incense before the throne of God.
It takes us to a totally different higher dynamic of Spiritual Intercessoral Prayer. David sang in Psalms 22:3, “You inhabit the praises of Israel”, in other words inhabits the praises of His people. The word inhabits in Hebrew means “to sit”. In other words, He "sits" in His people.
Jack Hayford said of this verse, that, “Praise creates a dwelling place for God in man’s present situation.” He is in the middle of it. He is in the middle of our prayers.
The only thing I could think of concerning the Harp & Bowl model of intercessory prayer and worship was we as a group of supernatural intercessors, through the Spirit, target with precision, areas God wants to influence and infiltrate from His Kingdom in Heaven into the Earth.
Intercessory worship destroys specific strongholds and replaces those strongholds with the life giving power of Jesus. People are given an open door to have a relationship with the Savior to be set free.
In Rev 5, the new song was a song of global harvest. That’s the goal. Our song may be to break strongholds in Kenosha, for unity of the body of Christ that God’s love may abound through the church, or anything else the Spirit of God may lead us to pray. But all directed for a harvest of people into the Kingdom of God.
And seeing that we appear to be moving into the end times, a great end times harvest by the church is unfolding. We see today that intercessory prayer and worship in certain elements of the church is beginning to cause the largest prayer movement in the history of the church.
You have the International House of Prayer in Kansas City’s influence, Lew Engle & The Call, now One Cry, and others. In turn, it will cause the greatest harvest seen by the church since I believe, its inception.
Dick Eastman said, “But we have to remember, the harvest is not goal of the church, worship is.”
The harvest is the outcome from a worshipful praying church. Worship exalts the throne of God, it makes God big, and when God gets big especially in our eyes, Satan gets smaller and smaller and we realize how much of a defeated foe he really is.
In Isaiah 14:16, “Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: "Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble?” Satan is not God, not even close; he is like Michael, just above a man. You may say, “He is a mighty being.” It will take only one Angel to grab him and put him in chains.
There is more about Intercessory Worship that I am going to speak about in the future, but I would like to close with this. What I believe a greater part.
F. Intercessory Worship Causes Renewal and Change
I believe one of the most impactful changes that come from intercessory worship is the change that takes place in us who participate in it, either in a group, or individually.
We come into the presence of God.
When we worship God, and pray to Him in the Spirit, there is a connection that is not only supernatural, but creates a bond of peace that creates a connection to the Creator that is beyond any other connection we have on earth.
God’s Word comes alive in us. Faith builds because of Holy Spirit fire that builds up within us. God gets big, we believe, we have confidence that God will do what He says. We see God move, we see Heaven come to earth, darkness flees, lives are transformed. We know whom we serve, and have understand through the Spirit of His greatness and His glory.
As Mike Bickle says, “Intercessory Worship draws us into with God’s heart and us with God’s people as it us and us to function in His “heavenly” government while ruling in partnership with Jesus.”
So there is a Spirit connection as we intercede, and that intercession deeply joins and unites our heart to God, each other and even for places like Kenosha. We love what and whom we pray for.
Thus, intercession produces community with people and ownership of God’s purposes in other places.
Concerning the church, one reason that most of the NT prayers are for the Church instead of the lost, is so that we grow in love for the Church that we tend to despise due to being overly familiar with it.
An anointed Church will always bring multitudes of people into the Kingdom (Acts 19:10-20). A church that goes after God, and allows Him to do what he wants, will be a church that has a heart not only for Him, but also for His people.
Worship saturated prayer from a sanctified believer is a key to personal transformation and anointed power that makes us attractive to people who need Jesus. No wonder why when we get together to worship and praise and pray, things happen.