“At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto god: and the prisoners heard them.
Paul and Silas had been witnessing in the market place and by and large their testimony had been rejected. They were thrown into prison and left in stocks. At about midnight Paul and Silas began to sing praises to God. The scripture says that at that time an earthquake shook the prison. The foundation of it was shaken, all the doors were opened, and everyone's bands were loosed. I think that is rather symbolic of praise. It opens doors that are shut and causes fetters that have bound us to fall off.
On the day of Pentecost there was another encounter with heaven where a sound came and released over an entire city. That sound, which I am sure was mixed with music, was so powerful that the foreign languages that were uttered by these early disciples grew in multitudes. The phenomenon of the sound came as the wind of God which brought about a shift within the city in which thousands came to Christ. Whenever people gather to pray and let their hearts raise in praise towards God, heaven is never far away.
There are a number of descriptions that are given in the book of Revelation about the sounds of heaven which the apostle John was exposed. He described it as the sound of many waters. I can say for myself that I had an encounter once in my life some years ago in which I heard the angels sing. The sound was profoundly beautiful. I remember being overwhelmed by its beauty and purity. Somehow I was not hearing with my ears, but with some kind of inner hearing which was even more real to me than my own natural hearing. It was a special and profound moment. There was a divine harmony that is almost impossible to describe. I will never forget it because it left me with an understanding of the sound of many waters washing over me. I was completely vulnerable to it and had no fear of it and did not want to come out of that moment. Even though moments like this are rare and the experience was highly subjective, something was being shown to me about the beauty of heaven and the power of praise and worship.
The Psalmist David and other writers of the Psalms endeavoured to capture, with God given words, the power of praise. In fact, much of the DNA of the Psalms is God bringing, through worship and praise, progressive revelation of His character and power. I believe that this is perhaps an area of teaching that we need to embrace. It is a kind of paradigm shift to enter into prophetic worship and powerful praise toward God. This church, without prejudice, will set aside its inhibitions and give itself holy to a new dimension of worship and praise. It is not about us inventing something; it is about us becoming a part of the songs and sound of heaven.