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Restoring Christian Harp Music for Worship in the Church

Updated on October 27, 2017

"The marvels of God are not brought forth from oneself. Rather, it is more like a chord, a sound that is played. The tone does not come out of the chord itself but rather through the touch of the musician. I am, of course, the lyre and harp of God's kindness"

Hildegard of Bingen, Germany (1098-1179)

The Harp - Ancient Musical Instrument

The harp is one of the most ancient musical instruments. The first mention of the harp musical instrument in the Bible is found early in Genesis 4:21

“His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute” (NKJV).

The harp (Hebrew: nevel) and lyre (Hebrew: kinnor) are two stringed instruments most frequently mentioned in the Bible than any other musical instruments. According to Josephus, the first-century CE Jewish historian, the harp (or psaltery) is a ten or twelve-stringed instrument with a broad resonance body that is plucked with fingers for music. Scriptures indicates it is a ten-stringed instrument:

  • Psalm 33:2 “Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto Him with the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound”.
  • Psalm 92:3 “Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound”.
  • Psalm 144:9 “I will sing a new song unto Thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto Thee”.

Harp music worship is therefore practiced since the beginning of time. It was used for praise and worship, a sacred sound.

Sculpture of King David and harp, Old City, Jerusalem.
Sculpture of King David and harp, Old City, Jerusalem. | Source

Harp Music

In ancient times, harp music was used in worship, prayer, meditation, healing, deliverance and even battle. We find many references in the Bible about the use of harp music. The Biblical harp is a musical instrument, when played by anointed fingers and breathed-upon by the Breath of the Almighty (Holy Spirit), brings physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. The gentle soothing sound of the harp brings physical and emotional healing. Harp music was also used by many other ancient cultures of the world for healing when modern medicine was non-existent.

For example, David played the harp for King Saul when he was in despair and torment and he was refreshed and well, and evil spirit departed from him. David as a shepherd boy must have spent a lot of time in the field, looking after the sheep and playing his harp. He used it for meditation, to bring inner peace and harmony with God Himself and nature, His creation.

Today, harp music is being restored in the Church for worship, and what a blessed thing it is.

Harp music is also uplifting for personal devotion, prayer and special moments that call for healing and deliverance. Reviving the harp music in worship in the church today is divine and timely, according to God’s plan and purpose. The harp is a heavenly musical instrument. I believe restoring harp music in the Church for worship, prayer and intercession is God's will.

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”.

Revelation 15:2

“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, [and] over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God”.

I believe the author and origin of the harp is therefore God Himself. It is heaven’s musical instrument, given by the Creator to the first man (Adam & Eve’s descendants) to use for physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. It is given to man so that through the music of the harp, man can connect to the Source - God Himself.

Harp worship at Zion David's City, Jerusalem, with international harp instructor Michael David
Harp worship at Zion David's City, Jerusalem, with international harp instructor Michael David | Source

© 2012 Kejanny


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