So here is part 2 of the post I wrote three weeks ago. If you’re interested in having some more perspective on this you can read the last one here.
There is a Hebrew word for praise called TEHILLAH. This word simply means to sing or laud unto the Lord. Psalm 22:3 “The Lord is enthroned on the ‘TEHILLAH’ of the people of Israel.”
Most nights when putting my daughter down to sleep, I’ll sing her a little song, the funny thing is, it’s never the same song. I’ll think about her spirit or what she’s done that’s made me smile or laugh throughout the day, and I’ll start singing it over her. It can be funny, joyful, peaceful, whatever the feeling, I have the opportunity to bless her with a song that’s never been sung before and perhaps never will again.
Pertaining to the character God, we get to tell Him each day something fresh and new about how he’s touched our lives. The songs we get to sing from the deep places of our souls touch the heart of God so much that the scripture says he’s “enthroned” on that type of praise. Some translations would use the words, “inhabit” or “live.” This is really good news in my opinion. It’s a wonderful promise that in and through our expression of worship through spontaneous song God comes and sits down in that place.
For most people congregationally, this is a vulnerable concept. It’s an expression that requires the individual to tell God how he or she feels. The worship leader shepherds these moments by making room for silence or inviting the congregation to speak or sing out what’s on their heart in the moment.
From my last post I mentioned the familiar song always gathering people and the “new” song always propelling people to a new place or expression with the Lord.
If you want more freedom in your corporate worship times, this would be a good place to start. It always is a bit awkward at first because you’re teaching and leading people into something new. A good place to start would be with your band or worship team.
If you really want this to be integrated into your culture of worship, then let it start with the leaders you have on the platform. Give them the opportunity to do this. Here’s one thing I’ve tried that’s been helpful: on occasion, I give the band a key and the chords to play and tell them this is how we’ll start rehearsal. I invite all the musicians and singers to simply start singing what’s on their heart. It may be a scripture passage or a prayer they’ve been praying for a season, or it may just be one word over and over again.
Father doesn’t want to see our shiny skill as much as he wants to see our pure heart. TEHILLAH praise is the kind of praise that allows the Father to ride on the melodies of his children. What melody will He live in next?