MOBILE, Alabama-Hosanna! Music, a label of Integrity Incorporated, recently recorded Your Kingdom Come, its first album that combines intercessory prayer with worship.
The album, which features what has become known as "Harp & Bowl" intercessory worship, was recorded live over a three hour period at Metro Christian Fellowship in Kansas City, Missouri. The term "Harp & Bowl" refers to Revelation 5:8 which speaks of music and prayers being offered before God.
"The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (NIV).
Your Kingdom Come uses the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) as a framework for intercessory worship as led by worship leader Craig Smith. The songs and prayers on the album are divided into six sections that follow six verses from the Lord's Prayer.
Smith wrote all of the songs on the album and says that many began as spontaneous songs that the Lord gave during intercessory worship times at his home church, City Christian Fellowship in Forth Smith, Arkansas. The album also contains an example of a spontaneous song that was given the night of the recording. Following the end of the first section (Our Father who art in Heaven), a woman sings a worship song that the Lord gave her at that moment.
According to Hosanna! Music's production staff, there were numerous spontaneous songs during the three-hour long recording. The producers had not planned for that, but said that as the Holy Spirit took over, people kept praying and praising, giving them the unenviable task of cutting the album down to a more manageable size to accommodate CD and cassette formats.
Smith's church and Metro Christian Fellowship are not the only churches experiencing this type of intercessory worship. Many churches, including these two, have begun 24-hour, seven-day-a-week services modeled after the Harp & Bowl example.
"There's an interactive relationship that takes place between singers, musicians and intercessors," said Smith. "One intercessor might pray for a few moments... then a singer might paraphrase the same prayer in a spontaneous song. An intercessor might add to the prayer, then pause and allow the singers to pick up the prayer again. This is part of God's answer to Satan who accuses the Church night and day according to Revelation 12:10."