Why Christians should pray for the sick

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why the church should heal the sickJesus is our model

He told his disciples: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” (John 14:12). He also explain that just as the Father had sent him to the world he was sending his disciples out to the world to freely give to others everything that they had freely received from him.

God uses man to release the blessings of reconciliation

  • God uses man to preach salvation
  • God uses man to teach sanctification
  • God uses man to exercise spiritual gifts to edify the church
  • God uses man to bring deliverance from demonic oppression
  • God uses man to break the curses of poverty and hopelessness
  • Many times God uses man to heal the sick

God can do all of these things using his own spiritual power, and in some cases He does. However, most of the time He desires to use human beings to fulfill his work, to bring salvation, spiritual growth, deliverance, help to the poor and hope to the hopeless.

God uses man to release the blessings of healing

In the Old Testament, most of the healings recorded in the Scriptures happened because of the action of a prophet or leader.

  • Moses prayed for Miriam’s healing of leprosy. (Numbers 12:13)
  • Elisha prayed for the resurrection of the widow’s daughter. (2 Kings 4:18-37)
  • Elisha sent Naaman to bathe seven times in the Jordan River for his healing. (2 Kings 5:1-19)
  • Isaiah commanded that an ointment be prepared for the healing of Hezekiah. (2 Kings 20:1-11)

In the New Testament, we find numerous instances of healings operated by the Lord through the hands of men. The Gospels are full of cases of healing performed by the Lord, generally by a touch of his hand or some other physical action. As we noted before, the Lord also sent his disciples to preach and heal (Matthew 10; Mark 6; Luke 9, 10). Some healings of Christians happened after the ascension of the Lord:

  • Philip healed many in Samaria. (Acts 8:5-7)
  • Ananias restored Paul’s sight. (Acts 9:10-18)
  • Peter healed the paralytic at the Temple (Acts 3:1-8)
  • Peter healed Aeneas in Lydda. (Acts 9:32-35)
  • Peter resurrected Dorcas from the dead at Joppa. (Acts 9:36-42)
  • Peter resurrected Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:12)
  • Extraordinary miracles were wrought by Paul in Ephesus (Acts 19:11-12)

There are few recorded instances where God healed through his supreme power without using a human agent. Paul wrote that the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including gifts of healing (verse 9), are given to man to edify the church (1 Corinthians 12:1-11).

God offers us these gifts because He expects us to make good use of them! However, if God has released the blessings provided by the death that Jesus suffered on the cross to the children of God as well as to non-Christians, then those who believe in Jesus must involve themselves more and more in the ministry to the sick!

Ministry to the sick is a demonstration of the love of God

God’s heart and desire is to heal. God demonstrated his heart to heal through the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. He revealed his heart as a means of healing in Isaiah 61:1-4, which the Lord refers to in Luke 4:18-21 mentioned previously in the following manner:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are out oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” and He began to say to them, “today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. (Luke 4:18-19, 21)

Jesus repeatedly indicated that He only did what the Father revealed to Him, and that He only did what He saw the Father doing. Jesus healed all of those who came to him for healing. There were no exceptions! There is no recorded case where a person asked Jesus to heal someone and He refused, even when great multitudes pressed in on Him.

When evening had come, they brought to him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick. (Matthew 8:16)

Luke described the same occasion as follows:

When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. (Luke 4:40)

The heart of God clearly shows that He desires to heal all of those who come to Jesus. The Psalms are full of examples of how the psalmist cried to the Lord and how He responded by delivering them from various difficulties. In Psalm 103, David commented that God “heals all sicknesses”. David must have witnessed healings of all types through divine intervention.

Healing the sick is a demonstration of the power of God

The Father gave authority to Jesus over infirmities, sicknesses and demonic oppression. The fact is that He possessed and still possesses authority over all of the earth. The Scriptures confirm this in various ways. Here are two examples:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in him all things consist (Colossians 1:15-17)

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18)

Jesus also was able to transfer his power over sickness and oppression of the devil to his disciples. Lucas said:

Then He called his twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. (Luke 9:1, 6)

In Lydda, Peter ministered healing to Aeneas, who was bedridden and paralyzed for eight years, saying:

And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” Then He arose immediately. (Acts 9:34)

After Peter and John healed the lame man at the Temple, the high priest asked Peter, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” (Acts 4:7) Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, answered:

If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man stands here before you whole. (Acts 4:9-10)

Why Jesus healed the sick

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why Jesus healed the sickThe Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (Isaiah 61:1)

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. (Luke 4:18)

Certainly healing the sick was a central part of the ministry of Jesus. When he referred to the prophecy about himself, in Isaiah 61, he specifically mentioned healing of the brokenhearted, liberty to the captives, restoration of sight to the blind and liberty to the oppressed (Luke 4:18). In addition, in the Gospels, the majority of the references to His ministry declare that, together with his teachings and sermons, he healed the sick and cast out demons.


He did not specifically say why he emphasized healing, however we can come to several conclusions from the Scriptures.

Jesus gave His life and ministry to fulfil the Scriptures

The prophets of the Old Testament clearly declared that he would heal the sick. Jesus knew that His Father sent him on a mission to the earth. Several times, he commented that His Father had sent him, for example:

In the case of demonic oppression, this means casting out demons:

But I have a greater witness then John’s: for the works which the Father has given me to finish – the very works that I do – bear witness of me, that the Father has sent me. (John 5:36)

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me. (John 6:37-38)

I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent me. (John 7:33)

Approximately 12 times, as in John 6:38 and 7:33, Jesus referred to His Father as “he that sent me”. This idea had already been expressed previously by the prophet Isaiah that Jesus was “the sent one”, when Jesus mentioned in Nazareth that He had come to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah.

The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. […] And he began to say to them, “today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18-19, 21)

Jesus knew that He was fulfilling a prophecy, and Matthew recorded this in his gospel account:

Do not think that I come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one title will by no means pass from the law until all is fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17-18)

As we have noted in John 7:33, mentioned above, Jesus knew that when His mission on the earth was fulfilled, he would return to His Father in heaven.

Someone always asked for healing

In the cases that have been recorded for us, Jesus healed because someone asked him to, or because the sick people came to him when he was preaching or teaching, in other words because people asked for healing.

As far as the Scriptures show us, Jesus healed as a response to those who asked for healing, or to the requests of friends and relatives. The recorded incidents are too numerous to be listed. Some examples are:

  1. The healing of the centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:5-13) – He pleaded
  2. The healing of the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:22-24, 35-43) – He begged Him earnestly
  3. The cleansing of a leper (Matthew 8:2-3) – he worshiped
  4. All of those who came to Him whenever He would preach (Luke 4:40)

Jesus healed because He always did what His Father told Him to do

God’s heart is to heal. This is evident when He revealed himself to Moses, a little after the Israelites left Egypt:

(God) said, “if you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)

The name of the Lord has not changed He is still Jehovah-Rapha! The Bible suggests the level of God’s mercy to heal in the passage in Exodus, and in Psalms 103, in which David writes:

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is in within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all of your diseases. (Psalm 103:1-3)

Jesus himself healed constantly, and said of His works:

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me. (John 6:38)

For I have not spoken of my own authority; but the Father who sent me gave me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore whenever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” (John 12:49-50)

Since Jesus always did what His Father commanded, and since he himself healed all of those that came to Him for healing, His Father must have commanded Him to do so. It is also evident that the heart of the Father is to heal!

Jesus gave His power to heal the sick as a proof that He was the Messiah

The Scriptures not only show that healing is part of Christ’s work on the cross, but that the Lord Jesus also used it to prove that He was the Messiah. In the beginning of His ministry, Jesus announced in the synagogue of Nazareth, that He came to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 61, concerning the coming of the Messiah. The prophecy included healing of the brokenhearted, sight to the blind, freedom of the captives; therefore, it was proper for the Messiah to minister healing.

Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on him. And He began to say to them, “today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:20-21)

Even though John the Baptist was already convinced that Jesus was the lamb of God that took away the sins of the world, he sent two of His disciples to ask the Lord: “are you the one that was to come or should we wait for another?” The men arrived when Jesus was preaching to a multitude and healing those who were sick. Luke wrote the following account of this meeting:

And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” (Luke 7:21-23)

Jesus healed the sick to prove His authority to forgive sins.

Luke recorded a familiar event: Jesus was teaching in an overcrowded room and some men brought a lame man in a cot to the house, believing that Jesus would heal him. Unable to enter because of the multitude, the men removed part of the roof and lowered the paralytic with ropes down to Jesus. Luke describes this meeting in the following way:

When He saw their faith, He said to him, “man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier to say, your sins are forgiven you, or say rise up and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “we have seen strange things today!” (Luke 5:20-26)

Jesus healed the sick to prove that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, or in other words, on the earth and among men

Jesus believed that two kingdoms were at war on the earth – the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. He referred to Satan as the enemy. In the parable of the wheat and the tares, He spoke about the one who planted the tares in the field: “an enemy did this.” (Matthew 13:28). He considered sicknesses as being works of Satan. When the Jewish leaders criticized Him for healing a crippled woman on the Sabbath, He said:

So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound – think of it – for 18 years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” (Luke 13:16)

Peter expressed what he certainly had learned from Jesus, in his message to the people at Cornelius’s house. Peter commented that God had sent the Word:

The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ – He is Lord of all – that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. (Acts 10:36-38)

John wrote of Jesus’s mission on the earth:

For this purpose the son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8)

Jesus saw this conflict as the reason for preaching the message that the kingdom was at hand, saying:

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)

So then He demonstrated that the kingdom was at hand, casting out demons and healing sickness. Concerning the same subject, when the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub he said:

But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Luke 11:20)

Scriptural basis for divine healing

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The basis of God’s provision for healing

???????????God has provided healing for us just as he provided our salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus. All Christians are widely familiar with the simple and common theology that Jesus gave his life as a sacrifice on the cross and paid the price for our salvation, taking upon himself the punishment for our sins, and that by faith in him, we can be saved from the punishment of our sins and freed from death to eternal life.

For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the apostle Paul revealed the practical manifestation of the Father’s love for us:

But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price: therefore glorify God in your body and your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Perhaps the theology that Jesus, by way of the cross, also paid the price for the healing of both physical and emotional sicknesses is a little less familiar than that of salvation of the soul but, the Scriptures indicate that it is exactly this that Isaiah prophesied:

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)

The word “expiation” means, “to bring into unity”. Expiation is the process of bringing together those who are separate from the body. Here the term “expiation” refers to Christ’s suffering at the hands of Pilate and his crucifixion. Matthew cites this passage, saying:

When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “he himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” (Matthew 8:16-17)

Peter commented about the suffering of Jesus:

Who himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you are healed. (1 Peter 2:24)

Through the death of Christ, God provided many blessings for the world he loves so much. The death and resurrection of Jesus were a complete triumph over Satan and his kingdom. The expiation of the cross is sufficient to free us from all types of satanic slavery, from slavery to sin, guilt and shame, from demonic oppression, from any and all curses, from any and all satanic activities, from the slavery of sickness, diseases and emotional sickness.

However, the blessings of the cross are not automatic; and I will discuss the principles that determine the element of human responsibility in future posts. For now, I want to stress that God releases his healing in the same manner that he releases the other blessings of the cross, through the prayers and actions of his ministers. In the case of healing, this means through expectant prayer for healing of the sick.

Divine Healing – An introduction

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Divine_HealingNothing can substitute the experience of praying for the sick and seeing them healed as a result of our prayers. If you have an opportunity to participate in a class or practical course, or if it is possible to accompany someone who has experience in this ministry, take advantage of it. The Holy Spirit is a marvelous teacher and wants to help those that cannot get experience in any other way other than taking a step of faith and praying for others. Those with more experience must depend greatly on the direction of the Holy Spirit in their ministries. The most important ministry that you can have is to be a channel through which the love of God can flow until a person is able to receive their healing. The second most important ministry that you can be involved in is to be a vessel through which God pours out His Spirit and the life of Jesus upon a person that is receiving prayer.

…out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38b)

… you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. (1Timothy 4:6b)

…and exercise yourself toward godliness. (1Timothy 4:7b)

Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel. (1 Corinthians 14:12)

Let all things be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:40)


Healing the sick is expressly a spiritual ministry. Healing the sick is releasing one of the blessings (healing) of the death and resurrection of Jesus to those who need it. God releases the blessings of reconciliation through the ministry of men. Jesus left us His ministry of healing the sick:

  • As a proof that he was the awaited Messiah
  • As a proof that he had authority on the earth to forgive sins
  • As a proof that the kingdom of God is near
  • As a proof of God’s love
  • As a proof of God’s power
  • As one of the first helps for evangelizing, through His disciples

Healing the sick was a commission for the disciples of Jesus. Healing the sick is a commission for the disciples of Jesus today.


The biblical basis for ministering to the sick is at the same time and in the same way, a biblical basis for deliverance. Among the various reasons for this we see:

In the Gospels – the references to the ministry of Jesus in general include the healing of the sick and expulsion of demons. The majority of Jesus’s comments seem to apply to both.

On various occasions – the word “healing” or equivalent seems to include deliverance of demonic oppression. An example is Luke’s comment about the ministry of Jesus when the disciples of John went to Him.

And that very hour he cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits. (Luke 7:2a)

Another example is Luke’s description about the ministry of the 12 disciples, after Jesus sent them:

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases […] So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. (Luke 9:1, 6)

We should consider the two ministries to be similar. Jesus grouped these two ministries together in His commission to the disciples mentioned above, as well as in His “Great Commission”.

And these signs will follow those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. (Mark 16:17-18)

In our fallen world, all types of sicknesses, wounds and emotional dysfunctions exist in abundance. Medical help benefits many people. However, sometimes, the medical treatment is slow and even ineffective. For some, there is no medical help available, and others do not want to submit themselves to the treatments. For these and other reasons, many people are interested in seeking divine healing.

Aspects that afect praise and worship

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aspects that affect worshipWhen a car engine is not properly starting, you do not solve the problem by checking the air pressure in the tires. God’s ways are just as defined as any scientific or mechanical law. There must be a specific reason why a meeting is going well and why another meeting fails to flow. We will list some principles that affect praise and worship in meetings, whether positive or negative.

1.    Prayer

The worship leader, the musicians and other leaders have come to the meeting already having prayed sufficiently. If we want to have a powerful meeting with praise that flows well, we must pay the price in prayer before the meeting.

2.   Faith and dependence

When the leaders possess sufficient faith to enter into the emphasis that the Spirit wants to bring, there is complete dependence and the abandonment of all self-confidence, then there will be an adequate atmosphere for God to act.

3.   Choice of adequate songs

This is important because, if we randomly choose songs for worship, there will be no emphasis in the meeting. However, if we adequately choose them, according to the emphasis that the Holy Spirit wants to bring, then this choice will influence the level of praise.

4.   Spend time with God

If we are willing to spend time ministering before God, then we can expect to see great manifestations of his presence.

5.   New leader

The people may not yet feel accustomed to the worship leader and as a result, they do not feel secure. If the people feel insecure, they will not correspond and consequently this insecurity will affect the level of praise.

6.   Location

When there are few people in a large physical building, there is a sensation of dispersion, of attention as well as expression. We must encourage the people to move closer to each other in order to have more flow in worship.

7.   Tone of the music

When the music is in a key that is too high, the people have a hard time singing. This disperses attention and disrupts praise

8.   Tiredness

In midweek meetings, many people arrive tired after a long day of work. Under these circumstances, sometimes it is good for them to remain seated, so that they can better respond to worship and praise. If we deny them this, we will be harming the meeting.

9.   Too many distractions

If the people are seated when they should be standing or if there is a lack of attention in the atmosphere, this must be corrected, otherwise, we will not be able to lead the people anywhere.


The refinement of the ability to lead praise takes years to accomplish, therefore be patient with yourself and with the musicians with whom you are working who also commit mistakes. God allows a lot of room for our mistakes. No meeting is lost because we were unable to attain the ideal. We must learn to recuperate in the midst of mistakes and learn from them so that we can avoid making the same mistakes in the future. It should be obvious that the devotional life of the praise leader is of highest importance in order to move in the level of the spirit. It is not necessary to see these directions as methods to lead people into the spiritual dimension, but merely as some tips to help us be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit. We can only give that which we ourselves have; therefore, the worship leader must spend a lot of time in prayer and preparation just as the person who ministers the Word.

Instruction to Worship leaders

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General instructions for worship leaders

instruction for worship leadersUse a system of signs to lead and direct the musicians. Wherever there is more than one worship leader, the system of signs must be uniform to avoid confusion. These signs are useful for raising or lowering the volume, increasing or decreasing the rhythm, returning to the beginning of the song, repeating the song, changing the key, preparing to enter worship, do not stop abruptly but end gradually.

Lead the people, don’t simply announce the next song

Sing in a loud voice demonstrating visible confidence. The anointing is on the voice of the leader that encourages the others to join him. At the beginning of the verse, sing ahead of the people for a fraction of a second to give assurance to the congregation and to the musicians.

Maintain control of the praise

Do not lose yourself in your own worship or you will not be leading. Keep your eyes open and your external attention on the people at the same time and maintain your internal spiritual receptivity. As was already mentioned, this is learned over time and through experience. Make sure that the people are following you and believe that God is able to lead them into worship.

Avoid exhorting the people to be more expressive

The sheep can only be led and not pushed or forced; otherwise, those who lead worship will only reinforce their religiosity, causing them to respond exteriorly. The worship leader must find the key to guiding them to God so that the response that they give comes from the inside. Avoid songs with actions that obligate external responses when there is no flow of praise. You must be sensitive to the moment and wisely choose when and if to use songs with movements.

Know which direction you are going

In order to lead people, those who minister praise and worship must discern God’s direction in a meeting. Just as a pilot of a sailboat, the leader must discover the direction that the winds of the spirit are blowing. The worship leader must discern the direction that the Spirit is moving and trim the sails accordingly. If the boat is not moving, then the leader knows that he or she has committed an error in judging the direction of the spirit. At least he has discovered the direction that the spirit is not leading. What we mean by referring to direction is the emphasis that the Spirit gives in a certain meeting.

Consider the type of meeting that you are leading

It is important to consider the type of people who are participating in the meeting: whether it is the customary group, a marriage ceremony, many visitors, etc. In each specific meeting, the leader must follow an adequate direction.

Changing direction

You will become accustomed to things working well for a certain amount of time, while the Lord is leading the church in a certain emphasis, but one day the Lord will begin to lead in a different direction and you may get in the way. If this happens, continue seeking the Spirit and he will lead you and establish you again.

Don’t preach sermons or make comments after each song

Sometimes this is appropriate, especially when the people need their attention directed to what they are singing; but this is more of an exception than the rule.

When to teach a new song

There are times for teaching a new song, but it is certainly not at the beginning of the meeting. Only after the meeting has overcome its difficulties is it convenient to teach a new song. It is also not a good idea to teach more than one new song in the same meeting or a new song in every meeting.

Don’t overly use the same song

If you use the same songs week after week, they will lose their freshness and meaning to those who come to worship. Later, you can return to these same songs, but seek to continually introduce new and different worship songs. There are hundreds of good songs; there is no need to sing the same one every meeting.

Use silence effectively

In all deep worship music, there are moments of silence. There will be times when total silence is desirable. Lead the church in worship with no instrument playing, in a quiet and expectant atmosphere of His presence (Hebrews 2:20; Zechariah 2:13; Revelation 8:1).

It is better not to reveal the mechanics of leading praise in front of the congregation, such as we are doing here. This will only attract attention to the leader. Avoid saying things like: “I feel…” or “I saw in a vision” to lead a meeting. Simply follow the direction that you feel or hear to accomplish what God want you to do.

How to lead a worship meeting

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how to lead a worhsip meetingThe best way to learn how to lead praise and worship is to serve under another person who has more musical leadership ability than you do. Simply because a person has been designated as a praise and worship leader does not mean that the person is sensitive to the Holy Spirit and is able to immediately sense the direction that the Spirit moves within a worship meeting. Above all, minister in submission to your pastor or to any leader that is more sensitive to the move of the Spirit than you are. Worship meetings generally follow a “bell” pattern in spiritual intensity and depending on your leadership ability in worship you should do everything necessary to stretch out the level of spiritual intensity.

It is not enough to be submissive to your leader, it is also necessary to minister in unity. It is much more important to maintain unity among the leadership in a meeting than to insist on doing something merely because it is the correct way to do things. Discord in the leadership quenches the Spirit and renders our best efforts useless.

Before commenting about the rules for the worship leader, it is important to say that they are merely general comments and not rigid principles without exceptions. Occasionally the Lord works outside of the ordinary and the customary, but such occasions are an exception and not the rule.

Remember that the majority of the following points represent the ideal. God allows a lot of room for errors. The worship service will not fail just because we have not exactly reached our goals and objectives through the meeting.

Begin the meeting

Begin with light songs – begin with something light (preferably something that the musicians already know how to play). Have the musicians play songs that give light and joyful testimonies (concerning God but not to or for Him yet). While the people are entering into the church building, even if there is not yet an atmosphere of faith, there must at least be an atmosphere of hope. Unless the people have hope, they cannot attain faith. One thing is certain; stay away from devotional songs or songs that call for consecration in the beginning.

Use well-known songs – always begin with songs that everyone knows. Few things destroy a meeting from the start like choosing a song that the people do not know.

Begin where the people are spiritually – maybe you have already prayed sufficiently and are ready to enter into praise, but the people may not be. Move slowly until the majority of people are with you.

Start on the right musical note – the correct key of the song is necessary so that the congregation can sing in the best manner. Make sure that the musicians are already playing in the key that you want to use for the song that you plan to use to begin the meeting. In morning meetings, it is better to sing songs in a lower than usual key. In the morning, people’s voices not yet warmed up and it is hard to reach the higher notes.

Do not be mystical concerning the right song to begin the meeting with – the majority of people will not be able to remember what the first song of the meeting was anyway. The beginning of the meeting is the period of involvement and the first three songs should serve only to get the people to think of God. Maybe you feel that the Lord has given you a song, but it is better to use it later or you will waste it. Look for songs with the emphasis that you feel the Lord wants to stress for a given meeting.

The climax of the meetings

If we try to lead the people into spiritual songs too early in the meeting, the atmosphere will become sentimental and melancholic, on the level of the soul (natural level). The spiritual atmosphere becomes heavy and weaker brothers can even feel condemned because they want to respond but are not able to. Some try to please the worship leader by making movements as if they were worshiping but this just encourages religiosity.

What are spiritual songs? The answer is a full, interior response of the worshiper inspired by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:19). Spiritual songs are expressions of pure love offered in fresh spontaneity (Psalms 149:6; 66:17; Revelation 5:9).

As the meeting progresses, our whole being pours forth thanksgiving. At the end of the song, the leader will lead the group in a spontaneous expression of worship and praise in the spirit, a spiritual song to him who is worthy. If the leader is singing with a microphone, it is important that he sing the song in an intelligible tongue. In the Holy Spirit, each person should independently try to harmonize and mix the musical keys with the worship and praise of the rest of the church.

This new song can eventually appear (sometimes prophetically) through an individual, when the congregational singing diminishes in intensity. After this free and spontaneous expression, it is renewed for the whole church now that the individual spiritual song ends.

Get to know the songs that produce such a climax – not all songs are conducive to spiritual songs. Get to know which songs lead to the climax of worship and perfect them. Try to vary the songs in the meetings and have different songs for each type of emphasis.

Proceed slowly until reaching the high point of praise – reduce the rhythm a little before leading the congregation to exalted praise. This attitude serves as a subtle sign without words to the congregation and to the musicians.

Intensify the refrain – sometimes you can repeat the refrain or use the refrain from another song.

Learn to feel the culminating moment – there are correct moments for elevated praise. In order to find them you must be sensitive. If you wait too long, singing too many times, you can lose the intensity that you could have reached. However, if you do not sing long enough, the praise will not reach the intensity that it could have otherwise reached.

How to lead worship

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Principles for praise and worship leaders

Each worship service is an encounter with God

how to lead worshipThe principal purpose of every worship service is to encounter God and not to meet with each other, or even to have our needs met. In light of this, we must not consider praise and worship as simply preparation for the ministry of the Word, but a means by which a congregation can approach God. Through music, we elevate the level of faith in the people allowing them to become more sensitive to God. As this happens, we establish an appropriate atmosphere for the reception of the ministry of the Word and prayer for the needs of the people.

We must remember that we go to a worship service to praise God and adore Him. The more that a congregation shares such perception, the more glorious the praise and deeper the worship will be.

The normal flow of praise in a worship service

In a church meeting or worship service, the people generally go through three distinct phases of relationship and fellowship with God. The tabernacle of Moses graphically illustrates this:

  1. Outer court – songs that testify to what God has done for us
  2. Holy place – songs of praise, of exaltation to God for who He is
  3. Holy of holies – songs of worship, exaltation, attitude of brokenness, spiritual songs.

God’s purpose is for everyone to enter into the holy of holies in every meeting, but frequently a large part of the congregation never reaches this place of worship.

As we have observed, the worship service in a meeting follows a normal pattern or a specific order: involvement, praise and worship. Because of this, the worship leader should have a list of songs subdivided by topics, by musical notes and by alphabetical order. These subdivisions help us to choose an adequate song for each moment of praise.

A basic subdivision for a topical index could be:

  • Testimony / praise – Sing to the Lord (Psalm 96)
  • Worship – To the one who is seated
  • Victory – I will celebrate
  • Love – What I most desire
  • Faith – We are overcomers
  • Spiritual warfare – He has broken the chains
  • Consecration – Here I am Lord

Praise and worship leadership as an art

Leading worship is an art, this means that it is not a mere mechanical or psychological exercise (this is exactly what we want to avoid since we run the risk of leading worship in such a manner that it becomes mechanical and lifeless). It is important to recognize that leading worship is an art that we can perfect. Learning all of the techniques of painting does not make a person an artist, but the mastering of these techniques gives the person that possesses artistic talent the full expression of his inspiration. The perfection of the techniques for leading praise will allow us to be channels of the greatest master of the expression of inspiration of all time . . . the Holy Spirit whom God has given us.

Needs of the praise and worship leader

Wisdom, knowledge and anointing in the spirit, are among the principal and necessary characteristics that worship leaders must cultivate. Merely one of them will not be sufficient. Knowledge is the sensibility or discernment of a spiritual condition. However, wisdom is the knowledge of how to act in a specific situation, which comes from the knowledge of the principles through which God acts. Perhaps a worship leader knows all of the principles, but if he does not know how to discern the situation, he will not know which principle he must apply. In general, we learn both wisdom and knowledge through years of experience. It is important that we understand that the enemy will attack us in specific areas and it is up to us to discern his activity, and which songs will emphasize the truths that will lead the people to freedom.

Besides wisdom and knowledge, the worship leader and the musicians must be people filled with the Spirit in order to fulfill the purpose of God for the meeting (Ephesians 5:18-20). The following are some examples of targets of attack and the songs that stimulate faith to counteract the attack:

  • Accusation – Songs of Confess of sins
  • Insecurity – He that abides in the shadow of the Almighty
  • Problems – I believe all things are possible
  • Discouragement – Awake for the Lord is coming
  • Religiosity – Cause me to come to your rivers oh Lord
  • Ungrateful spirit – I will enter your gates with thanksgiving
  • Mercy – Examine my paths
  •  Condemnation – By faith we have peace

We should never forget that our objective in praise is to enter into the holy of holies, in worship. As we emphasize some songs over others at specific times, we will help free those who struggle with bondage producing the faith necessary to approach God effectively. We must avoid all possible distractions. There are too many distractions in our fellowship with God. All of us are easily distracted and we should not increase this by calling attention to ourselves. We should not make comments such as “brothers and sisters, I feel an evil spirit attacking our meeting”. If you perceive this, go on the offense and attack the enemy, but you do not need to say this in front of everybody. Lead the people in songs that counteract the enemy, and do this wisely.

The wisest manner of doing this is the smoothest way possible: in the song transition, the transition of musical notes, and the transition of the order of service, etc. to reach the maximum flow of the spirit. In other words, keep yourself away from the center of attention as much as possible so that the attention is always focused on the Lord in order to maintain the flow of praise and worship in his direction since he is worthy of our full admiration and attention.

Barriers to worship and praise

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8 Barriers to worship and praise

barriers to worshipMany Christians struggle with diverse barriers to worship and praise. These believers offer many excuses and put forth great effort in explaining the reason why they fail to adequately worship and praise the Lord. Some people try to excuse themselves based on their natural tendencies or temperament. They claim that they are shy, that they are not naturally “expressive” or that they do not like to demonstrate their feelings.

The truth is that the Bible does not exempt anyone for any of these reasons. David said:

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 150:6).

If you have breath, then you must praise the Lord!

The dead do not praise the LORD, Nor any who go down into silence. (Psalm 115:17)

Many believers encounter difficult barriers to worship and praise, but God wants us to deal with each one of them. We must not accept any of them as valid reasons for failing to offer adequate praise to God. Some of the most common and difficult barriers to praise include the following:


Sin is perhaps the greatest barrier to praise and the basic reason why many new converts fail to praise God. It is also the reason why some mature Christians experience the same difficulty. Un-confessed sin inhibits us in God’s presence. We do not feel at ease or free in the presence of God if we are conscious of any sin that we have not yet dealt with in our lives. David said:

If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. (Psalm 66:18)

Sin and iniquity separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2); it will cause us to lose the fellowship that we may have enjoyed before. The perception that we have sin in our lives binds our tongues before the Lord. The only thing that we really feel free to speak of in these circumstances is confession of our sin.

There is an obvious answer to the problem of this barrier: sincerely confess your sin to God and accept His forgiveness and purification so that a correct relationship can be restored and the flow of praise can once again be released (1 John 1:9).


Even though the Lord has forgiven us, we do not always accept this forgiveness completely or succeed in forgiving ourselves. Many Christians live in condemnation. Even though God has graciously forgiven them, they cannot forgive themselves, which in general is the result of feelings of unworthiness. The freedom to worship has been blocked. The sensation of the presence of God tends to make them more conscious of their unworthiness than of His mercy and grace which has been freely granted to all of us.

Generally, this attitude develops when someone becomes overly conscious of himself, instead of being conscious of God. If we are constantly weighing our hearts with a negative attitude, always searching for weaknesses and guilt, it is obvious that we will find them. Nobody is perfect. This ultra-critical self-examination is extremely unhealthy. It always focuses its attention on the ego and not on Jesus.

The Bible exhorts us to “look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). This involves at least two things:

In the first place, the more we look to Jesus, the more we think of Him, meditate on Him, and occupy our thoughts with Him, the more we desire to praise him. Praise begins as we look to Jesus and as we continue to contemplate him our admiration and appreciation for Him will continually grow and our awareness of his value will increase thus promoting more thoughts of praise and worship to him.


Oliver Cromwell once defined worldliness as “anything that chills our affection for Jesus Christ”. Worldliness is the opposite of spirituality; it is the predominant condition when we centralize our minds and thoughts on the things of this world instead of on the things of God and his kingdom.

People with worldly minds think that the praise of God is extremely embarrassing and offends their carnal feelings and dignity. The cure for this problem is to become more and more focused on Christ. In the measure that our consciousness and appreciation for Him increases, worldliness will decrease proportionately.

One of the symptoms of worldliness is the obsession of maintaining “dignity and decency”, an excessive consciousness “of what people will think”, or too much concern over what people’s reactions might be. Our first interest as Christians is to please the Lord, which will not always be agreeable to the carnal man. If we are too concerned about pleasing man and gaining his approval, we will certainly run the risk of displeasing God.

A wrong concept of God

A wrong concept of God is a strong barrier to praise. Many have a completely negative vision of God. They see Him as someone who is constantly trying to catch them in some fault in order to condemn them, someone who is against everything that they do. They think that there is little chance of pleasing Him and of enjoying His approval. They see God as a boogeyman, someone determined to prevent people from having any fun. How can anyone think of praising a God like that?

Praise begins to rise up in our hearts only when we receive the correct concept of God. The Holy Spirit must show Himself to us as He really is. The reading of the Word of God is a marvelous cure for the wrong concepts we have of God, but this only happens when we are open and permit the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to us. Many people read the Bible with their minds closed to the truth. A true consciousness of God, of whom and what He is, will certainly lead us to praise and worship.

Religious traditions

In the days of Christ, many people allowed the vain traditions of man to invalidate the Word of God (Matthew 15:6). Unfortunately, many people do the same thing today. Many Christians who grew up in Christian traditions disproved of praise and worship, since traditions condemn praise as a mere manifestation of emotions.

Remember, “Religion oppresses, but redemption liberates”. In general, those who have been imprisoned by the traditions of men also have wrong concepts of God. To them, God is extremely negative, severe, totally devoid of emotion and a deity that prohibits everything.

Those who believe in a god like this become people with these same characteristics. The cure for this condition is to have the courage to expose human traditions boldly with the Word of God and an open heart and mind. Whenever the Holy Spirit reveals the errors of tradition, we should be willing to abandon them and embrace the Word of God in their place.


This is a difficult problem to deal with because of the lack of willingness to recognize pride in our own hearts. Our own selfishness does not allow us to do this! God however can break this type of pride and free the imprisoned.

Pride refers to the concern with self-image, the constant desire to maintain a good reputation, to be seen doing what is considered right and appropriate.

Fear of man

Proverbs 29:25 tells us that the fear of man is a trap. The fear of man, his thoughts and opinions creates a dangerous trap that imprisons many.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 9:10).

If we truly reverence the Lord, we will never have to fear man. One of the things that we most fear is the rejection of others. The great majority of people have a great fear of being ridiculed and the despised by others. When we praise the Lord, we must have within us the same spirit that David had when he brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He danced and gave praise to the Lord with all of his strength without being concerned with the opinions of others (2 Samuel 6:12-22). We cannot live like slaves to the expectations of others, seeking to please them all of the time. We must seek to please God first.

We should always seek to please the Lord in all things, and logically we must praise Him in order to do this. If others do not like this, it is their problem. Never allow man’s opinions to get in the way or hinder your desire and intention to give God the praise that is due Him.

Satanic repression

The most serious barrier to praise is a satanically inspired repression of it. It is difficult to understand the deep hate that Satan has towards God and how much he hates it when people praise the Lord.

Satan’s fall was due to his deep jealousy of God. In his pride, he sought to be greater than God was. He burns with irrational envy whenever we praise and exalt God. Therefore, he tries to discourage and suppress all praise of this type.

When someone is under the direct control of Satan or one of his demons, the person can hardly even speak the name of Jesus. When encouraged to do so, their throat becomes paralyzed and they simply cannot speak the words. When someone mentions the name of Jesus in the presence of such people, the demons within them become furious. Satan always reacts negatively at the simple mention of this name. Sometimes his victims foam at the mouth, begin to convulse, rail and blaspheme, so violent is this reaction to the praise of God or Jesus.


Whenever the Christian becomes aware of any aversion to praise, he should make a sincere examination of his heart. We must ask God in prayer to reveal the nature of our problem and whatever restricts or blocks the flow of praise. After we discover the problem, we must repent and abandon the cause of the interference. Then we need to direct our heart in obedience to God and give praises to Him.

If the flow of praise still seems impossible, we should seek the help of a spiritually mature and sensitive brother or sister in Christ. There may be satanic repression in some of us that must be broken. Until we take care of this, we will never be able to serve God adequately.

The inability to praise and worship God indicates rebellion in some area. Obviously, we must deal with the problems that such rebellion causes in order to release the flow of praise and worship in the lives of believers with this difficulty. We must continue to seek God until we get the victory overcoming all barriers to worship and praise and until the Spirit releases rivers of worship and praise within and through us!

Worship as portrayed in the Tabernacle

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Allusion of Worship in the Tabernacle

worship as portrayed in the tabernacleOne of the basic principles of biblical interpretation is the “law of multiple mentions”. This principle states that the number of times the Bible mentions or gives space to a certain subject indicates its importance. When we consider how much space is devoted to the description of the tabernacle (51 chapters in the whole Bible: Exodus 15; Leviticus 18; numbers 13; Deuteronomy 2 and Hebrews 3), we can perceive how important this subject is. Since the principal purpose of the tabernacle was the worship of God, we see that God is transmitting to us the vital nature of worship and the tremendous importance that He gives to it.

The first part of the tabernacle that God describes is the Ark of the Covenant, which was placed in front of the mercy seat. God said, “And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat” (Exodus 25:22). The holy of holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant, was the place where God met and had fellowship with man face-to-face; it was a place of worship.

In the Old Testament system, only the high priest could enter into the Holy of Holies and then only once per year on the Day of Atonement. How blessed we are under the terms of the new covenant by having the privilege of continuous access to God’s presence by the blood of Christ.

The basic teaching for us Christians implicit in the tabernacle is that of worship. God had taken his people out of Egypt “with great strength and a strong hand” (Exodus 32:11). Once the deliverance from Egypt was complete, the first thing that he did was to command Moses to build the tabernacle. God’s first desire, after our freedom from Egypt (sin and its slavery), is to place us in the ministry of worship.

The tabernacle teaches us the order and progression of worship. As we enter into the outer courts of the tabernacle, the first thing that we see is the altar of bronze for the sacrifices. It is here that our sins and iniquities are treated and we receive God’s forgiveness.

The next piece of furniture was the bronze laver, which symbolizes the purification through the “water” of the Word. The potential worshiper had to pass through these two experiences before arriving before the veil of the holy place.

Inside the holy place, was the table of showbread, the golden lampstand and the golden altar of incense, all of which have a deep meaning in the teaching of worship.

Finally, we arrive in the holy of holies, a sanctified place of fellowship, which typifies the most elevated and pure forms of praise and worship. This is where the Holy Spirit wants to take us. There is a definite progression in learning the abilities of worship. God wants to lead us through all the phases until finally we are qualified to enter into the last stage of holy worship the place within the veil, the Holy of Holies where the fullness of His presence abides.

How to lead a time of praise and worship

Here are some suggestions to help you introduce your church or cell to the ministry of anointed music with praises to God:

Begin all meetings with thanksgiving and praise in the form of songs

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. (Psalm 100:4)

Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of appropriate songs

God has a theme or message for each meeting. In general, the appropriate songs prepare the way for the theme or the message.

Don’t be afraid to repeat worship songs

Many times God begins to move through a specific song, so do not be afraid to repeat the song several times. Sometimes you should repeat a specific part of a song that manifests a special anointing or blessing.

Exhort the people to “Sing to the Lord” from the heart

Many times, we sing hymns because it is part of our tradition and custom. There is however, a much more valuable purpose than this, to worship God through song, or to direct our attention to heaven through songs.

Begin with songs of praise and thanksgiving

Allow the people to express their praises through the songs. The songs are not praises in themselves. They are mere vehicles through which we can express our praise. It is possible to sing many hymns and songs without expressing any true praise.

Praise songs inspire the people to worship

In general, we begin with praise and progress as people move through various levels until entering into worship, the most elevated level of praise.

Don’t rush the time of praise

Many pastors consider this part of the meeting as something merely “preliminary”, a tedious and traditional need. Allow this time for singing, praise and worship. These are important acts in our meetings.

Give the congregation an opportunity to participate

Encourage spontaneous expressions. Someone can lead the congregation in prayer, which can result in the direction for the meeting. Perhaps someone else will prophesy and the exhortation can supply the theme for the rest of the meeting.

Practice the gifts of the Spirit in the Church worship meetings (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

Do not “quench” the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Encourage the expressive participation through spiritual gifts. However, the designated and anointed leader should retain the spiritual authority at all times over the meeting.

Do everything to attain mutual edification

All biblical manifestations are legitimate and appropriate, but everything that is done and the way that it is done must serve for the edification of the whole congregation (1 Corinthians 14:26).

Avoid “contributions” that cause confusion

“God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33). If the meeting begins to become confused, take control and remove the confusion. If necessary, pause and explained what is happening to the congregation, clarifying the situation. Use such situations to teach the right and the wrong manner of doing things.

Do everything for the Lord and for his glory

Remember that the goal of all meetings is to glorify God and edify the believers not to display musical talent and ability. Naturally the worship team must possess talent and gifting and flow in their abilities but the purpose is to focus attention on God and his Spirit and usher his presence in the place of worship.

Use a songbook or projection media so that the people can participate

Do not be afraid at any given moment, to put aside the songbook or the lyrics of the song and simply worship the Lord through the heart.

At all costs, avoid becoming mechanical or formal

Be flexible and allow freedom. Do not insist on following the program. Always be sensible to the direction of the Spirit and be willing to follow Him. In order to direct praise and worship through songs much more is necessary than moving your arms and making gestures even though this can be done correctly. The freedom of the Spirit and spontaneity are more important than technical precision.

Strive to manifest the presence of Jesus not that of the worship team (Matthew 17:8)

The cry of God’s people is “we want to see Jesus” (John 12:21). We should always remember that the people do not come to see us or to hear us. They come to see and to hear Jesus. Our task, with the help of the Spirit, is to open the veil, so that all eyes can see the Lord and worship before Him. This should be the most valued objective of all the servants of Christ that lead worship meetings.

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