I wrote this piece almost 20 years ago as an informative flyer for people coming to church services at The Vineyard in Santa Rosa, California. It’s still true, and even more relevant today. This was during the time that we were implementing the concept that God had shown to me that we called “Creative Community”. God honored our unabashed and wholehearted worship to Him and broke out among us in many powerful ways. As the effort in Kansas City moved forward and we began to hear of this new “House of Prayer” concept, we realized that we were pursuing the same thing.
One of our central values in the House of Prayer is to express our love and commitment to Jesus by and through the many expressions of worship. We encourage each other to return our various talents to God for the expression of our hearts to Him. In offering our many giftings and talents to God in worship we purpose to:
- Enter into the very presence of God.
- Minister to the great and loving heart of God through our unique heart expressions.
- Encourage and inspire each other corporately to enter into worship.
- Give multi-sensory expression to the worship in our hearts, a scripture, a prayer, or the prophetic.
- Be well pleasing to the Lord. 2 Cor. 5:9
In addition, all worship expressions are tools of spiritual warfare. It was with singers and trumpets that the Israelites often won their battles. The Bible also tells us, “Let God arise, and His enemies will be scattered”.
Music- Our worship teams provide an atmosphere that is intended to facilitate worship visually, musically and spiritually. This is accomplished through song and the use of various kinds of instruments; from drums to guitars, from keyboards to ethnic percussion instruments. The psalmist encourages us to “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”
Dance- Worship dance can be any choreographed or spontaneous physical expression of worship. Dance and processions give us a physical release for our hearts, and a physical demonstration of our worship.
Worship dance is found all throughout the Bible. The word dance in Hebrew means to turn, twist, move in the round, skip and leap. Singing and shouting often accompanied dance in biblical times. We find that God’s people danced when they were released from bondage in Ex. 15:20, King David danced before the Lord in 2 Sam. 6:14-16, We are commanded to dance in worship in Psalm 149, and the lame man danced when he was healed Acts 3:8-10.
Flags and Banners- The Bible has many references to “banners”, “standards” or “ensigns”. All three words mean the same thing. When Moses and the Israelites were victorious over the Amalekites in Exodus 17 Moses calls God by a new name, Jehovah Nissi, which means “the Lord my banner”. Song of Solomon 2:4 tells me that “His banner over me is love”.
Flags and banners are used in worship to exalt Jesus and the kingdom of God before men and before the powers of darkness. During worship or ministry time flags proclaim the dominion of God’s kingdom and mark our spiritual territory. They are a declaration of our salvation, redemption, healing and the authority we have obtained in the heavens and on earth through the work of Christ. They may also serve to invite and usher in the presence of the Holy Spirit. In flag worship the flag bearer is truly “raising the standard” of spiritual dominion and unity.
Flags are found in scripture:
- For warfare in Psalm 74:4, Isiah 31:9, Psalm 20:5 and Song of Songs 6:4.
- As a rallying point in Isaiah 11:10.
- As a proclamation in Jer. 50:2, 4:6, 51:12, and Isaiah 62:10.
Poetry and Writing- The Bible is a book of poetry, stories and prophetic writing. The Psalms is a book of poetry, Song of Solomon is an excellent example of an epic love poem; the whole bible is ample testimony that the art of writing has a definite place in our worship expression.
We use writing in our worship expression by writing down our thoughts, feelings or visions and then displaying them, reading them aloud, or audiotaping them, often along with music. Writing is an important way to communicate our hearts and vision in worship.
Visual Art- The visual arts have been a wonderful and rich part of worship expression from the days of Moses to the renaissance. Architecture, painting, worship implements and stained glass, among other visual expressions, have profoundly enriched man’s experience of the worship of God for thousands of years.
From the beginning God has been a God of creativity, Gen. 1:1. In Moses’ time God commanded the skillful creation of beautiful implements of worship, Ex 25-28. Jesus must have designed and built furniture as a carpenter in Galilee, and Paul used his creative skills to make his “tents”.
We want to release ourselves and each other to create beautiful, creative expressions of our hearts, of scripture, or the prophetic in our worship. This kind of expression often results in a powerful communication of the truth or of God’s presence. Visual art is an important avenue of communication in our culture, and what better subject matter than the worship of our God?
Intercession- Intercessors are an important part of worship. When intercession and worship are intricately woven together they create a powerful force that can push back darkness and provide a space of spiritual safety. Intercession can break us through into higher and deeper places with God, while worship moves us into those new areas through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The simplest definition of intercession is “to go between”. Intercession is the ability to help carry another’s burden in prayer, or to stand between the people of God and the opposing enemy in prayer to cause a breaking through in the spiritual realm, creating a clear space so worship can enthrone Jesus to do His will on earth. Only then can mercy and justice flow forth into the streets of our cities.
There are many avenues of intercession. Whether it is through dance, flags or vocalized prayer, the art of Intercession is welcomed and encouraged.