Thursday, September 01, 2011

Introduction to Harp and Bowl Prayer


Fervent prayer – that’s a good thing, right? There’s a model of prayer meeting going around that is called “Harp and Bowl.” The term “Harp and Bowl” is taken from imagery in  Revelation 5, where the 24 elders held harps (worship) and bowls (prayers of the saints). Harp and Bowl is just one model that integrates worship and prayer, which of course is not a new concept. But the term Harp and Bowl refers to a specific stye of prayer meeting developed by Mike Bickle and the International House of Prayer (IHOP). Ok, admit it, the illustration to the right did get your attention, didn't it?

Here’s some things you need to be aware of:


1. The Harp and Bowl model is by its very nature integrated with Mike Bickle's IHOP ministry. Even though there may be no formal (or publicly revealed) connections‐ instructional material, training, lists of “Apostolic Prayers,” and personnel are in some way connected with IHOP. Various “satellite” prayer rooms travel to other communities and plant more 24/7 prayer rooms. These new prayer rooms feed new "interns" to the Kansas City prayer room or other regional prayer rooms, also internships at the various regional prayer rooms or the mother-ship will often feed people out to the new plants.


2. Those connections are solidified as existing prayer rooms send out apostolic teams to other towns and bestow "Apostolic Keys" and decree “prophetic mandates” to select individuals (I can't make this stuff up). It’s a budget form of church planting. The movement is spread through the laying-on-of-hands in the best Latter-Rain tradition.


3. 24/7 prayer rooms in the IHOP tradition most ALWAYS start out as ecumenical efforts, and usually for just a few hours a week. As things grow, more often than not, this ecumenical para‐church organization becomes a church of its own, drawing off the most passionate people from other local churches. By removing itself from established churches, it also removes itself from church oversight, allowing it to easily slide into heresy.


4. The Proselytizing nature of Harp and Bowl functions to further Mike Bickle's objective of the city church," a key feature today of the Apostolic/Prophetic movement. This movement functions under the fallacy of the restoration of the Offices of Apostle and Prophet.


5. Harp and Bowl is built on a flawed premise ‐ that God cannot or will not do anything until we fill the bowls with the prayers of the saints. Theologically, this is based on dominionism. Quoting their manual: “God does not act apart from human beings partnering with His heart.” Proponents believe they can “mandate” things, in effect tell God what to do.


6. At its roots, Harp and Bowl is based on a Post‐Trib, Pre‐Mill eschatological scheme called "Apostolic Premillenialism." Its central biblical rationalization is Revelation 5:8, which in the Pre‐Trib mindset, takes place in the future. Because of its emphasis on the Manifestation of the Sons of God, it cannot be eschatologically neutral.


7. Harp and Bowl to the casual observer appears very spontaneous and "spirit led." However, it is a very structured scheme which is liturgical in nature. Most objectionably, the scheme is promoted as God's chosen way- His “strategic plan” for the end times. Most all churches have an “order of service,” which is what we call liturgy. Few churches would dare to claim that their traditional order of service is God's chosen plan for the end times. Harp and Bowl makes that claim.


8. Harp and Bowl has been compared (by its proponents) to the Latter Rain "Restoration of the Tabernacle of David." In large scale operations it involves paid "missionaries" (musicians, intercessors) and establishes a class of priests apart from the laity. This, of course, fosters elitism. It is a model, in the here and now, that is alien to the New Testament. More info here.


9. Harp and Bowl is seen as a spiritual warfare tool, where intercessors issue "decrees" and sometimes become involved in telling angels how to battle for us. The "fullness of the faith" is seen in those who press in to operate on "a true spirit of prayer" implying that those outside the model are not. Within this movement the concept of the sovereignty of God is but a fleeting thought.


10. The foundations of Harp and Bowl are Manifested Sons of God. It is taught that only the "elected seed" (Bob Jones) will enter into this ‐ "those chosen from their Mother's womb" (Mike Bickle). Bob Jones was one of the prophets who prophesied the coming of the IHOP movement in the early days of the Kansas City Fellowship. "Those who are foreknown and predestinated for the end times, for you see, they’ll be the best of all the seed that’s ever been. . . This will be the end generation that is foreknown and predestinated to inherit all things...For they are the best of all the generations that have ever been upon the face of the earth. And the best of all generations are those elected seeds that will glorify Christ in the last days. . . They will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before. Every miracle, sign, and wonder that has ever been in the Bible‐‐they’ll move in it consistently...because the Lord Jesus is worthy to be lifted up by a church that has reached the full maturity of the God‐man!." (Bob Jones). This is the "new breed" teaching of the MSoG heresy.


These are course are generalizations. The movement has been building for almost 30 years and its theology is complex and often contradictory. But any movement which claims to have the corner on truth (This end time's prayer movement - Harp and Bowl- is God's chosen strategy) should be prepared to have their presumptions investigated.

Understand that one of the core teachings from Mike Bickle, the founder of this movement, is that people who question the movement are "rabid dogs" and that no defense - no answer- should be given to them. So don't expect a meaningful response from the supporters of this movement. Expect to be 'cut off.' Expect appeals to 'unity'. Interesting that 'unity' as they define it always depends on an acceptance of the teachings and practicies revealed (only) to them as God's specially anointed apostles and prophets.Tags: Harrisonburg, JMU-HOP, jmuhop, theprayerfurnace, Fredericksburg Prayer Furnace, 24-7 Virginia, Chi Alpha, IHOP, David Bradshaw, Scott Bradshaw, Bowie Curry, Randy Martinez, Mark Kazmier, FPF Missions Base, The Prayer Furnace, The Burn, The Burn Service, Solemn Assembly, Prayer Room, Campus Strike Force

15 comments:

  1. Even though there may be no formal (or publicly revealed) connections..

    Clarify please... I ask because while I have heard of this through their teaching in DVD, I seem to remember at a seminar I attended with one of their people leading it, that this WAS an IHOP developed thing.

    But then I also have attended seminars on prophetic worship" and the method is the same when it came to the "hows" of doing this type of worship. I learned this method before IHOP was even a glint in their eye. So maybe this is why they do not take direct credit for the method but just "revised" the name to meet the Revelation verse.

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  2. Virtually all Harp and Bowl type meetings are connected in some way with IHOP - through training, cross-pollination, published manuals and prayer-lists. By formal, I mean there is no formal oversight by IHOP-KC, as they do not work under a centralized governmental style. Its not a denomination, but the ties are strong.

    Significantly, the IHOP Harp and Bowl model is propagated through the 24-hour broadcasts on the internet.

    As to the origin of the model, that is beyond the scope of this article, but I believe that the 2 hour prayer cycle was refined in the prayer room at IHOP-KC.

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  3. same method?

    The Basics of the Harp and Bowl format

    Every week has 84 – 2-hour sessions in the House of Prayer

    Every 2 hour session is made up of 3 – 7 “cycles”

    Each “cycle” is made up of four parts

    1. Corporate song
    Song everyone knows or can read on overhead.Brings unity to the whole room

    2. Spontaneous singing – (can be…) Singing from the Word
    Out of the overflow of the heart
    Singing in your heavenly language

    3. Developing a passage

    Prayer leader presents passage from the Word. Gives reference, focus application, reads through passage

    Opens with simple “on ramp” prayer

    Begins to systematically work through the passage

    Keeps prayers short and single - thematic

    Interacts with singers alternately

    Exhorts whole room to join in choruses or “warring in the Spirit”

    Singers interact with responsive singing

    Must stay on same theme as prayer leader

    Can exactly repeat the prayer leader

    Can be paraphrase of prayer leader

    Can be a response from “God” – His acknowledgement of prayer
    (their quotes- not mine - ed)

    Interacts with prayer leader and other singers in-turn

    Chorus leader (team captain) finds or promotes choruses for whole room

    4. Warring in the Spirit - optional

    Used as natural outflow of high times

    Engages whole room in corporate experience

    Is a “rally cry” and a resounding corporate “Amen!” – “So be it!”

    Can be:
    Singing from the Word – same passage that has been used

    Out of the overflow of the heart

    Singing in your heavenly language

    Then anther cycle begins …. And so on!!!!

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  4. Same method as in terms of what is taught in one of the points of your response...

    Music played (any cord pattern that works)...

    1) Scripture read

    2) Someone comes and sings that scripture to the music being played

    3) Next person comes and sings a paraphrase of that scripture to the music...

    4) Someone else comes and sings an "application" of the scripture to personal life or situations.

    5) then if it happens someone sings a "prophecy" that would come out of the preceeding singing, usually has something to do with the topic of the scriptures but not usually, just a "word from the Lord"....

    That was what I meant by method...

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  5. Anon,

    Yes that sounds quite familiar. I can remember leading a froday night prayer watch where we also incorporated worship and prayer, but more in the tradition of Mahesh Chavda.

    Anyhow, my current point, is that Harp and Bowl (tm) refers to the Bickle traditions (liturgy) and that most of not all prayer rooms incorporating this draw on the IHOP teachings a theology even though there is not a formal tie.

    The ties are there, nonetheless, through impartation, training and cross-pollination.

    You may note that most ofthe HOPs and Prayer Furnaces have their own training manual which are most often a copy-and-paste from an IHOP document, in many cases showing the IHOP/FOTN header or footer. You can also examine the metadata of the documents and often see a connection. Most often Jack Hill's name will appear there; he is the "Global Chief Technology Officer" at IHOP-KC.

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  6. I understand and you are correct. I look back at what my old church tried to do in starting this and yes, there WAS their own agenda ("vision") on how to do this but incorporated the IHOP Harp and Bowl as part of the vision, but also used their CDs to train with.

    And then of course, woud participate in seminars in the local area to get practice and training that another house of prayer would sponsor, inviting IHOP KC staff to teach at the seminar.

    Anyway, that was just a side note on your post, back to the main thing!

    Thanks

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  7. Glad to make it clear. That was the point of item 1.

    1. The Harp and Bowl model is by its very nature integrated with Mike Bickle's IHOP ministry.

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  8. ". . . one of the core teachings . . . of this movement, is that people who question the movement are "rabid dogs""

    I have no connection with the "Dominionst" movement but that "rabid dog" quote caught my eye.

    As a former Jehovah's Witness I can tell you that they have been using that phrase for over a hundred years.

    Nothing changes.

    Good luck to all of you; I know what it feels like to join with people only to be betrayed by them.

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  9. I go to IHOP, but am not on staff or anything at all there. I know many people who come down here just to focus on the Lord. That is exactly what it is for me. I enjoy it immensely, although I have not been swayed to join them in their endeavors of training people etc...
    BUT I will say one thing: God being moved to change his mind through people praying IS biblical. Look at Abraham with Sodom and Gomorrah... He pleaded with God and God was moved and sent Angels to search the city for righteous people. They found none and spared Abraham's brothers family... There are a few other instances where that happened. God partners with people all the time to bring forth His desires and plans in the earth. Are they off on somethings?? Maybe... Do they love the Lord YES! Do I trust that the Lord will correct them and continue to speak life to them about who God created them to be YES! Maybe you could pray blessings of the wisdom of God on how to manage and govern better??? I have found in my prayer life when I pray blessings for people that that is what God usually wants to do: give us more insight into his heart... which is maybe what they need... I hear your point, but let's lift them up and pray for God to give them more wisdom because like you said, they won't listen to "criticism" anyway... which I haven't experienced too much here and i have challenged a few things since I have been here. I do notice apprehension when I do, but that's expected with ANY ministry... Anyways, God bless :)

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  10. I do notice apprehension when I do, but that's expected with ANY ministry...

    Are you saying that YOU have aprehension at times from what they challenge you on?

    Really, did you ever consider that the aprehension just might be the Holy Spirit giving you discernment that something wasn't just fitting what God said in His word?

    TJH

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  11. Wanted to quote anon here:
    Music played (any cord pattern that works)...

    1) Scripture read

    2) Someone comes and sings that scripture to the music being played

    3) Next person comes and sings a paraphrase of that scripture to the music...

    4) Someone else comes and sings an "application" of the scripture to personal life or situations.

    5) then if it happens someone sings a "prophecy" that would come out of the preceeding singing, usually has something to do with the topic of the scriptures but not usually, just a "word from the Lord"....

    This is actually the 'worship with the word' format, except the scripture is sung or read but accompanied by music. It is different than the 'intercession' sets. We used to call it 'harp and scroll'. This usually involves only 1 or 2 musicians and 2-3 antiphonal singers, rather than a full intercession team.

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  12. @Chad,

    Actually, this was taught in Pasadena at the yearly "Worship Symposium" evey last weekend of January. It is a break out session and then it is done for real at a Saturday culmination night with full orchestra (or who ever would be there with instruments other than guitar/bass/drums) and a choir and a full worship team. This was not just some 1-2 players with a piano. It has about 20 - 30 instrumentalist and singers, full dance teams, full flag/banner teams, terrible tamborine players and 100+ in the congregation who were given the freedom to come to an open mic and sing/prophesy or whatever. It was and is the precurser to Harp and Bowl. Harp and Bowl IS NOT something "new" for intercessory prayer. It has been around for quite awhile, just taken on a new "name". In fact this is the place that I first heard that the "Beatles" where prophetic of their time and that "propheticness" was attributed to God speaking to the world. I was at a local seminar and when the leader brought it up, they where challenged whether that was scriptural or not and even the assistant to the leader got the leader to back off because it was controversial.

    Just saying that the likeness of both Harp and Bowl, a poor hermanuetics of the Revelation Scripture, and what I was taught are the same.

    TJH

    You can call it what you want but I have done "Harp and Bowl" and it is just the same as what we did in the "prophetic Worship" classes that I took and taught.

    The only difference I see is that you either sing the prayer back or a portion of a sentence of thought or scripture that might be shared and, IMHO, it is nothing more than "a jam session" with poor theology behind it

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  13. Indeed, there have been, and will continue to be many forms of prophetic prayer worship. Personally, I spent a few years leading a "watch of the Lord" in the Mahesh Chavda style. We did go back and forth between worship songs and prayer.

    What makes Harp and Bowl offensives is not that it is a STYLE of prayer/worship; it is promoted as THE STYLE. Becxause "God" revelealed to Mike Bickle that thsi was how the end-time forerunners would usher in the return of Christ. Either he is correct or he isn't. And that means that either his eschatology is correct or it isn't.

    And this what was behind point $7, which I need to further develop in a future article:

    7. Harp and Bowl to the casual observer appears very spontaneous and "spirit led." However, it is a very structured scheme which is liturgical in nature. Most objectionably, the scheme is promoted as God's chosen way- His “strategic plan” for the end times. Most all churches have an “order of service,” which is what we call liturgy. Few churches would dare to claim that their traditional order of service is God's chosen plan for the end times. Harp and Bowl makes that claim.

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  14. I agree, the problem is the "elitist" attitude, which I believe starts in the "BluePrint Prophecy" and Harp and Bowl being, as you say, THE way to do it.

    Jesus is no longer the same yesterday, today, or forever, but as changed His mind on what Has been established in the scriptures. Though they are using the sfriptures to support thier theology, they do so with poor hermanuetics and grid the scriptures to their needs than to their discernment.

    TJH

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  15. I also wanted to comment on point #7 and agree that it IS a scheme. I went to a seminar in the Salem Oregon area where one of the IHOPers from KC was there to lead it and he taught a whole group of people who were worship leaders how to do Harp and Bowl. There was nothing spontanous about it. It had a beginning with purpose, a middle section that had a purpose and an ending with a purpose. It was all laid out on what to do and how to get to a certain point to accomplish a specific purpose and yes very much warfare in nature.

    It was exactly the same as I was taught in the Worship Symposium each year in Pasadena. I could have gone on that platform and taught the same thing because that is what I did, only I wasn't focused on Intercessery Prayer.

    I used the very same method with a program called Cleansing Stream which was and is a deliverence/warfare ministry. The method fit perfectly.

    So you see the method is universal, you just make it fit for the specific ministry that one in in. And I agree, it is liturgical in nature, As an ex-Episcopalian and very much involved in those services I understand what that means.

    Hope you take time to develope the #7 point soon.

    TJH

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