Harp and Bowl, in the simplest terms, signifies worship and prayer. This phrase comes from Revelation 5:8:
“Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
The “harps” represent musical worship and the “bowls” are the prayers of God’s people. The Harp and Bowl model itself is not a musical genre or style, but actually a way of communication that helps the worship team, prayer leader, and those in attendance engage in united, focused prayer.
We desire to worship God as He is worshiped in Heaven and pray for His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. When we pray, we join with the Great Intercessor, Jesus Himself, in filling the golden bowls in Heaven with the incense of our prayers.
Why We Combine Musical Worship with Prayer
Musical worship helps facilitate an atmosphere where prayer is more sustainable in lieu of a prayer-only gathering. Worshipers sing phrases from the heart of God (prophetic worship), stirring the hearts of the intercessors to pray, and vise versa. Other highlights of Harp and Bowl include singing in the Spirit and antiphonal singing, such as how the living creatures cry “holy” back and forth to one another day and night in the Throne Room scene of Revelation 4-5.
This is similar to the around-the-clock worship initiated by King David in the Old Testament. Inspired by the worship of Heaven, he set up what is now known as the tabernacle of David, where 288 singers and 4,000 musicians were employed full-time in the ministry of worship and prayers to God (1 Chronicles 23:5; 25:7).
A Resting Place for the Lord
God desires to see His sons and daughter in pursuit of Him and His Kingdom across the globe, with our hearts attentive to Him day and night. Joining together in unity as the Body of Christ is one expression of this attentiveness. As each believer gives their heart to worship and prayer as God leads them, we are together fulfilling the call to pray without ceasing.
Like King David, our mission is to provide our hearts, homes, and ministry as a resting place for the Lord, in the relational expression of worship and prayer ascending to His throne to the fullest extent possible on this side of eternity. As we make room for Jesus to be exalted, those from every facet of life and from every nation will be drawn to Him.
“All these I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
(Isaiah 56:7 AMP)
More Scriptures About Worship & Prayer
“I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, And give Him no rest till He establishes And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”
(Isaiah 62:6-7 NKJV)
“And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him,
though He bears long with them?” (Luke 18:7 NKJV)
“‘After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up;
So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the Lord who does all these things.'”
(Acts 15:16-17; cf. Amos 9:11)
Resources: Prayers of the New Testament (pdf)