Harp and Bowl worship is dangerous.

God shows up, explodes His Manifest Presence.

Right there! Right there with all those human beings in the room!


The very atmosphere becomes explosive.

Angels can be seen moving about.

Many, many supernatural things happen.

Healings. Signs. Wonders. Miracles.

It gets really weird.

It gets really wonderful.

Many things happen that will totally violate most religious people’s sensibilities.

Heaven breaks out on Earth.




<>It will be congregational, led by a ‘band’ and ‘lead worshipers’

   <>Speaking from the ‘platform’ will be addressed to the Lord, and not involve any formal teaching or preaching

   <>Designated sessions last 90 minutes to 2 hour blocks, but will flow together into 24, 48 or 72-hour planned worship by leaders and bands ‘taking shifts’ [a Scriptural idea in 1 Chronicles!]

   <> It will include congregational spontaneously ‘singing in the Spirit’. For those not from the Charismatic flow, this means prolonged times of singing of individual songs by the congregation all at the same time, for 5 to 15 minutes, with no real musician leading or playing. Some of the congregation may be ‘singing in Tongues’ [ theologic term: glossolalia, (from Greek glōssa, “tongue,” and lalia, “talking”)

   <> will incorporate the ‘Harp and Bowl’ approach, which refers to a God-directed blend of Presence, worship, intercession, and what this section is here to explain!

Harp and Bowl Worship

‘Harp and Bowl’ worship is

   -a ‘pursuing the Manifest Presence of God’ activity

   -an approach to corporate gatherings

   -a model that fits across cultures and languages

   -has roots in the biblical framework of the Tent of David worship in the books of 1 Samuel and 1 Chronicles

   -an inclusive way to incorporate music, singing, worship, physical movement, dance, intercession, prayer, prophetic words, Scripture and corporate responding to the Manifest Presence of God

In the Tent of David movement, especially the meetings that go for the ‘longer time-frame’ of 24-hr+, ‘Harp and Bowl’ is popular.

Yes, I’ve been to Tent of David-type events and they didn’t ‘Harp and Bowl’ the whole time.

Yes, I’ve been to Harp and Bowl meetings that were not Tent of David meetings.

Yes, times of Harp and Bowl have been some of the most precious and memorable corporate gathering memories for me.

Harp and Bowl is a model, a group of ‘ways of doing’ in a gathering of Believers.

It can be practiced in private prayer, but it fully connects ‘on all cylinders’ in a group setting.

Biblically, it’s a way to worship that God actually commands. [More on that later]

Harp and Bowl an approach to a time in the Presence of God, especially if we plan on being there for a long time.

Harp and Bowl is more than just a ‘time-filler’. It really is about connecting with God and something on God’s heart, alignment with His intentions and Plans, and partnering with Him to see it happen on Earth.

Harp and Bowl is not something that is easily programmed. It won’t fit well in a 15-minute space between a 3-song worship set and announcements in a Church Service.

Actually, if you ‘go Harp and Bowl’, plan on being there for a long, long time!

Harp and Bowl is dynamic, spontaneous, active engagement.

Harp and Bowl is a positive model, where we reflect and respond together to the Presence of God in a way that has Biblical footing.

It harmonizes with many key Scriptures related to the Biblical ‘Davidic Worship’ and the Tent of David.



He [David] appointed some of the Levites [dedicated Lead Worshipers] to minister before the ark of the Lord, to extol [petition or intercede], thank and praise the Lord, the God of Israel: Asaph was the chief, and next to him in rank were Zechariah, then Jaaziel,[b] Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-Edom and Jeiel. They were to play the lyres and harps, Asaph was to sound the cymbals, and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow the trumpets regularly before the ark of the covenant of God.

That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the Lord in this manner…

[then the text in Chronicles is a direct take of Psalm 96:1-13]

(1 Chronicles 16:4-7   NIV)

Elements of ‘Davidic Worship’ towards Harp and Bowl worship in 1 Chronicles 16 are:

*The Ark… the ‘Box of God’… right there! No veils or curtains! [Oh, yeah, like what happened right when Jesus said ‘It is FINISHED…]

*You… me… face-to-face with the Box that God declared HE would actually put His Manifest Presence on!

*Ministry TO God… not for but to God… that’s new!

*Differentiation of THANKS and PRAISE… thanks for what He has done, praise for who He IS…

*Music as a vehicle to enter in and dwell in His Presence… in the twenty-second century church environment, it is easy to lose the explosive and profound meaning of this NEW COMMAND… music to worship God? That’s new! Play on loud, stringed and percussive instruments? [AdoreTheLord will unpack this in a separate blog… could it be the Revelations 3:7 ‘key of David’ is the un-locking of worship in God-focused music…???]

*Psalms as real-time testimony and prophetic promises. Historically, when the 1Chronicles16 passage actually happened in Jerusalem with David, the Psalms were just starting to be written down on scraps of papyrus by the writers, or shards gathered from the hidden nooks and crannies around Israel. It’s no accident that Psalm 96 was basically blurted out at this ‘Tent of David Dedication’, and it was clearly as a declaration that GOD IS, that He DID some incredible things (testimony) and that HE WILL DO IT AGAIN (prophetic promises!).

Oh, yes, my friends, that is exactly what the Psalms are to us now… while we pretend they are childrens’ nursery rhymes and read them like they are cute poetry… really, they are nuclear reactors, whole suns ready to explode into solar-system life and light, ready to explode with the un-imaginable power and glory of God’s own awesome-ness.

[May you come into the reality of what the Psalms really are!]

REVELATIONS 5 [The ‘Harp and Bowl’ name-sake passage]

“Now when [Jesus in heaven] had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Revelation 5:8 NIV)

The five elements cited towards ‘Harp and Bowl’ in Revelations 5:

Jesus: ‘Harp and Bowl’ is totally God-focused in prayers, ‘call-outs’, intentions, speech, worship, singing. The focus is GOD and GOD alone, not me, not us, not the Church, not the Church program, not any-thing or any-one else BUT GOD.

Scroll: ‘Harp and Bowl’ digs into the Scriptures, reads and calls out Scripture, moves out in ways that the Scriptures teach and model. Usually, there is a ‘scribe’ at a ‘Harp and Bowl’ session that records the numerous Scriptures that the Holy Spirit calls out, so that deeper meditation and revelation can be harvested after the session.

Fell Down: ‘Harp and Bowl’ is tethered to expressive, radical, passionate worship, worship, worship, God-focused worship, adoration, abandon, broken and contrite hearts, acknowledging the Manifest Presence, seeking the Holy Spirit and following.

Harp: “Harp and Bowl’ is like a tapestry, and music makes up the basic binding threads. Harp is a string, chord-based and single-note musical instrument, perfect for reflective instrumental music, as well as providing the chords for congregational singing. Like King David directed in the book of First Chronicles at the Tent of David, music and musicians help provide the environment for the human heart to ‘break through’ into God’s revealed and Manifest Presence.

It’s important to note that the music-related decrees David made to the Priests and Levites managing the Tent in Jerusalem constitute the FIRST real time that full music and singing were structured INTO the worship experience in the history of Scripture. Before the Tent of David, trumpets and percussion were used as calls to worship, but not as part of the worship experience. David brought his own ‘Worship Encounter’ experience as a boy with a stringed harp in some lonely far-away field into a context of corporate adoration.

Bowl: ‘Harp and Bowl’ is about prayer expressed by the Saints. The verse in Revelations is pretty descriptive to identify the Bowls as ‘…the prayers of the Saints’. This exercise of prayer isn’t about casual, throw-away, written-out, liturgical or repetitious rote prayers. They are golden bowls, meaning royal vessels being actively used by the Priests of God in daily worship. The incense going up has to be purposely replenished and kept lit in the moment. Clear intention is portrayed here. The prayers, like incense, are moving and rising and dynamically inter-acting with the environment. Also, they are ending up before the Lamb as each Saint falls down in the Presence.

Harp and Bowl leaders regularly teach on the deeper issues of prayers and intercession from Romans Chapter 8, clearly connecting that these prayers are not just creatively coming from the people praying, but are Holy-Spirit-inspired, flowing through the individuals and the corporate congregation. They are praying the revealed thoughts, desires and intentions of God. They are praying ‘from Heaven towards Earth’, as described in Ephesians. This unique concept of ‘partnering with God and praying out His intentions’ energizes and empowers these times of prayer. [For more on this, dig into the book of Ephesians]


Harp and Bowl is a time-frame where the combining of music, singing, worship, Scripture, prayer, and intercession spontaneously flow together and engaged by a congregation, as directed and inspired by the Holy Spirit and the meeting leadership.

The initial ‘time’ starts with worship songs and people responding to the songs. This is the Psalm 100 ‘Let us enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with Praise’.

The Harp and Bowl aspects usually starts by one of the meeting leaders standing up and ‘calling out’ a sense from the Spirit that together we should direct our prayer in a specific direction. There may be a Scripture read, and others would stand and read portions of Scripture the Spirit inspired for this encounter. The ‘worship band’ continues to provide and instrumental soundtrack. The ‘prayer target’ can be a significant local, national or world event. Prayers will be spoken out by leaders, ‘leaning into’ that direction called out. The musicians and singers will continue to play and sing, sometimes with an un-planned song that ‘fits the moment’, slowing into a spontaneous chorus or song, or spontaneously singing out a phrase from the Scripture. Sometimes the congregation is called upon to engage ‘a new song’, either in known languages or a time of glossolalia [Spirit-given language], while the musicians play a key-chord for musical structure.

Sometimes, designated ‘intercessors’ will lead the room in a few minutes of very specific, ‘targeted’ prayers and prophetically-given aspects to pray.

As this is all unfolding, the people in the room begin to openly pray, sing, agree, intercede and respond. They also begin to lift hands, move about, kneel, dance… Sometimes, hand-flags, banners, standard-poles are employed.

This ‘calling out’ with a time of response may last for… five minutes… fifty minutes…?

[The longest singular Harp and Bowl time I was involved in lasted 2 hours… and I was one of the lead worshipers, flowing with it all, leading the band and singers…]

The leaders may stand and add additional ‘Spirit-spoken’ direction, prayer-points, Scriptures.

The musicians and singers continue to play, sing and flow.

Sometimes, it is nothing but beautiful coordinated chaos that creates an atmosphere of God’s Presence.

The wonderful people at International House of Prayer in Kansas City (also known as IHOP, and nothing to do with pancakes), describe Harp and Bowl;

“…this dynamic structure creates an environment of enjoyable corporate prayer, inviting those not on the worship team or prayer microphone to participate through agreeing with the scripture and spoken prayer and singing the chorus composed by the worship team. As it flows, it’s lively, energetic, and accessible for all.”

Here’s a link on this model from one of the longer-running Houses of Prayer


Yeah, I had to get that out there… Harp and Bowl worship…

Here’s a video from the UK David’s Tent 2022 with a bit of Harp and Bowl…

written by crisbaj


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