I want to show you something about prophetic ministry. When Elisha wanted to seek the mind of God so that he could prophesy, he asked for someone to play a harp (2 Kings 3:15). As the musician began to play, the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha and he prophesied powerfully. There we see the value of godly music.
I can think of numerous times in my own life when during a time of worship and praise on Sunday mornings, the hand of the Lord has come upon me and given me a word that I did not have when I came to the meeting. There was a power in that anointed music, that brought the spirit of prophecy upon Elisha.
Even a prophet needs help at times from the musicians. That's why those who lead the music must be anointed. They must not be just good musicians. They must be anointed, and have a good conscience. David appointed singers and musicians, and they had to be anointed. Some of the music-leaders like Asaph, wrote twelve wonderful psalms (Psalms 50,73-83). Two of the music-leaders were called seers (prophets) - Heman (1 Chr.25:5) and Jeduthun (2 Chr.35:15).
So God needs anointed musicians to encourage and support anointed prophets. That's how the church is built. Some of you may not be called to be prophets, you may be called to be musicians. Be anointed musicians. I don't think Elisha would have been inspired that day, if the harpist had tried to imitate some worldly style of music. No. There was something heavenly about that music.
There is music that is worldly and that is heavenly. You can sense it when music is heavenly, because it will lift your spirit to worship God. Some music only makes you admire the musicians! You are an anointed musician if you can lead people to worship God and can bring the spirit of prophecy into a meeting.
In 2 Chronicles 20, we have one of the most amazing stories in the Old Testament that illustrates the power of praising God. There are many lessons that we can learn here. A great multitude of enemies had gathered together to make war against King Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat having learnt a lesson from his previous compromise with Ahab, now decided to seek the Lord. He prays one of the finest prayers of trust in the Lord - in the same class as the prayer prayed by his father Asa (2 Chronicles 14:11). Notice seven things that Jehoshaphat reminded God and himself and acknowledged in his prayer:
1. The absolute sovereignty of God (v.6).
2. What God had done for Israel in the past (v.7).
3. The promises of God (v.8,9).
4. That Israel was God's inheritance (v.11).
5. Their utter weakness (v.12).
6. Their utter lack of wisdom (v.12).
7. Their utter dependence on God (v12).
God responded to that prayer immediately by sending a message through a prophet saying, "Don't be afraid. The battle is not yours but God's. Go and face your enemies. The Lord is with you" (v.15-17).
So Jehoshaphat sent the singers into battle in front of the soldiers! And as these singers began praising the Lord, the Lord defeated all of Judah's enemies. Judah also became wealthy through all the wealth they got from their enemies. This story illustrates the way of victory: Through confessing the sovereignty and the promises of God in faith and praising the Lord in advance, even when the enemies (problems) are still there. Our faith is expressed in praise. "They believed His words - they sang His praise" (Psa.106:12). The reverse is also true: When we don't sing God's praise, it proves that we don't believe His words!