Restoring Singing In The Spirit Worship
During the Charismatic Renewal that took place during the 1970s and 1980s, a worship phenomenon took place that was called singing in the Spirit. This is something I believe God wants to restore to the church because it reflects worship as it is in heaven more than singing songs by memory reflect heaven's worship.
What is singing in the Spirit? Well, if we follow the description of a friend of mine during the 1970's, when I was just learning more about the things of the Holy Spirit, he told me it was hitting a high "C" note and singing on that note our own praise song to the Lord. But ideally the words come to our mind while we are singing. As you sing your own song to the Lord you are trusting the Holy Spirit to give you the words to sing and carry you along.
These were the days before the on stage worship teams became the predominant worship in the church. The congregation took a more active role in worship and often the songs that were sung by the congregation later phased into singing in the Spirit toward the end of the worship service. These were the best days of active congregational worship and most people do not realize that singing in the Spirit is the form of worship that takes place around God's throne.
Dean Braxton, who died and went to heaven, saw a multitude of beings singing in heaven and "each being was singing their own individual love song to the Father. It did not sound like they were harmonizing and he did not hear the sound of a symphony or an orchestra. Each being sang out of their innermost being. These voices did not clash when praising." Don Piper, who also went to heaven, confirms this report. Piper says that he "heard thousands of songs sung at the same time without chaos." See his report below.
A woman who went to heaven describes her farewell before she came back to earth. She says: "Suddenly thousands of angels surrounded me....they began to sing. No music I had heard in my life..... compared to this. It was grand, glorious, awesome,.....it was overwhelming.
They sang spontaneously, parts not so much memorized as instantly known, instantly felt. Their voices were pure and each note was clear and sweet." (Embraced By The Light, p. 120)
John Piper also describes the heavenly singing: "The melodies of praise filled the atmosphere. The nonstop intensity and endless variety overwhelmed me....the most remarkable thing to me was that hundreds of songs were being sung at the same time - all of them worshiping God.... Every sound blended, and each voice or instrument enhanced the others..... I couldn't calculate the number of songs - perhaps thousands - offered up simultaneously, and yet there was no chaos...." (90 Minutes In Heaven, pages 30 - 32)
What is described in the above paragraphs sounds very much like the singing in the Spirit that took place during the charismatic renewal of the 1970s and 1980s with many voices singing spontaneous praise songs without chaos. I was amazed when I discovered these confirmations from heaven many many years after the Charismatic renewal. But why should something so precious as singing on earth as it is in heaven disappear from the worship services of so many churches that claim their lineage from the Holy Spirit?
Worship services that truly want to reflect the realities of heaven should lead the congregation into a climax of singing in the Spirit. Prior to singing in the Spirit, a number of anointed songs can be sung and then at the end and as a climax to the time of worship the congregation can be led into a time of singing in the Spirit where everyone is singing their own individual love song to the Father.
You may be asking for a scriptural basis to singing in the Spirit. Well, there is one, but even if there was not one, that does not mean it would be any less valid. God is not bound to always act according to what is written because he is a creative God and is doing new things in the earth. But let us look at a couple of scriptures that talk about songs in the Spirit or spiritual songs. We will see that there are actually two kinds of singing in the Spirit.
Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19,20, and 1 Corinthians 14:15 all talk about spiritual singing. The first two talk about the song of the Lord or spiritual songs that we sing to one another as a form of admonishing and teaching and we do it unto the Lord. This kind of singing is discussed on this web page about spiritual songs. The third verse above talks about singing with the spirit. I believe this verse could be applied to both spiritual songs which are more individual, and it can also be applied to congregational singing in the Spirit.