In our Bible-study group, we were examining the first five chapters of the book of Revelation. We spent time talking about the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders who sang a new song when they heard that the Lamb was worthy to open the seven-sealed scroll (Revelation 5:9-10).
One member of our group asked, “What is the significance of the objects they held in their hands? Why a harp and a bowl?”
We learned that since Old Testament days, the harp has been an instrument of worship. Psalms were often sung to the accompaniment of a harp, by choirs of priests and the congregation. The golden bowls, saucer-like pans filled with incense, sent up an aroma that was pleasing to God. The rising smoke represented prayer—the prayers of the saints rising up to the Lord.
Singing and prayer are integral parts of the Christian’s worship experience, both public and private. The two are often linked in Scripture. We may have a scratchy voice or sing off-key, but through song and prayer we can express our adoration to Almighty God.
What about your times alone with God, and your public worship? Let them include both a harp and a bowl—worshiping the Lord with singing and prayer.
Meet the Savior in the morning,
Kneel in quietness to pray;
Lift your heart in praise and worship
At the opening gates of day. —Adams
A heart aflame with worship begins with the kindling of song and prayer.