When I first heard LaDonna Taylor serenading the Lord with her violin, I discerned a strong anointing on every note as sweet melodies washed over the congregation like rivers of living water. But when I watched Taylor play her violin over people at the altar, I witnessed the anointing that breaks the yoke in action as people were healed and delivered in puddles of tears.
It's been said that music soothes the savage beast—and we know David's harp caused evil spirits to flee from Saul (1 Sam. 16:23). We also know there are sounds that set the captives free. David wrote a Psalm that holds the key to this mystery of heaven: "Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance" (Ps. 32:7, KJV).
Can songs actually come to our rescue? Can music really be an agent of healing? Are there sounds from heaven that usher us into the glory realm of God where all things are possible? Do certain songs compel God to move? What role does faith play in this artistic equation? Can we "soak" our way to freedom? How does this work?
"Psalm 32:7 offers big clues about songs of deliverance: He is your hiding place," says Taylor, a violinist who has played with the San Jose and Knoxville Symphonies and travels around the nation watching God open blind eyes and deaf ears—and perform other miracles against the backdrop of her instrument. "When you are hidden in Him, everything else is insignificant, like the old hymn It Is Well With My Soul. When you get to that place in Him, you get to the glory. (Pentecostal revivalist) Ruth Ward Heflin taught me the map to the glory: You praise until the spirit of worship comes, worship until the glory comes, and you stand in the glory."
Can Music Really Set the Stage for Miracles?
Beyond David's harp pushing back darkness around Saul, we see plenty of evidence in Scripture for music setting the stage for miracles. The Holy Spirit came upon Elisha after a musician started playing, and he prophesied provision (2 Kin. 3). God brought miraculous deliverance and victory in war to the children of Israel through singers, musicians and worshippers (2 Chr. 20:22-23). Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises in prison, and God sent an earthquake to free them, bringing deliverance to the jailer and his family (Acts 16:25-34).
"On a spiritual level, music bypasses our mind and goes straight to our heart, soul and spirit," says Julie True, a musician whose ministry is marked by soaking music. "It touches places that nothing else can reach. When we sing songs of praise and worship, we have the power to defeat the enemy as well. Worship opens up the heavens and moves God's heart."
Sid Roth, host of the television program It's Supernatural, has interviewed many musicians and singers through the years about songs that set the captives free. He has discovered that a combination of the Word of God and music that glorifies Him sets the stage for the supernatural. "The spoken word is powerful," says Roth. "But that same word when sung, is more powerful. When I lay hands on the sick in the name of Jesus, people are healed. But when I sing 'Be healed in Jesus' name' over them, more are healed!"
Even science agrees that music has healing power, and there are at least 5,000 registered "music therapists" in the U.S. who play sounds that set the captives free in hospitals, special needs classrooms, nursing homes and other environments. Harvard University researchers, among others, are reporting that music is a healing balm for stroke, Alzheimer's disease and the physical stress of premature birth. Harvard scientists have also learned that music can improve surgical outcomes, restore lost speech, reduce side effects of cancer therapy, relieve pain, improve mood and battle depression.
"Music might provide an alternative entry point to the brain because it can unlock so many different doors into an injured or ill brain," Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, a Harvard University neurologist, told the Los Angeles Times. Schlaug's research shows that pitch, harmony, melody, rhythm and emotion, which are all components of music, engage different parts of the brain—parts of the brain that are also important for speech, movement and social interaction.
Powerful Sounds That Bring Heaven Down
Music is a powerful force that originated in the heart of God—it has always existed in heaven; it is the language of heaven and plays a role in everything God does. Consider the few glimpses of the throne room we see in Scripture. The four living creatures are shouting "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty," accompanied by the music of heaven as they fall down before God's throne (Rev 4:8, MEV).
"Music is the primary, concentrated and connecting vehicle that joins us between heaven and Earth or hell and Earth," says Maurice Sklar, a musical prodigy who was accepted into world-class arts schools as a youth before launching into full-time ministry. "It is a concentrated expression of expressive power through sound that directly brings us into union from our hearts to God or to Satan. Whenever I play the violin, it speaks perfectly to every heart, no matter what language they speak. That is the greatest blessing of instrumental music—it does not require words."
When God created the world, He did it with words—sound. Sklar, who says he visited heaven and heard its sounds, explains that all matter started in the form of light, and light and sound travel in spectrums of wave frequencies that are part of the building blocks of our natural world. Light, he says, is the boundary between the Spirit realm and the natural realm. Since sound—and with it, music—is part of light, it connects us to the spirit realm.
"When we worship, we create an open heaven over our lives," says Janie Duvall, the program producer for the It's Supernatural television program for 23 years who has launched her own music ministry to teach the power of soaking in God's presence. "Worship changes the atmosphere, invites His manifest presence and sets the stage for encounters with the Father that can change our lives—and heal our bodies."
Do Certain Sounds Move God's Heart?
We've established that God's power can travel on sound, but do certain sounds move His heart—or move us into His presence—more than other sounds? Kathryn Kuhlman had her favorite songs, such as "How Great Thou Art," "Alleluia" and "Spirit of the Living God" that helped the masses enter into the miraculous healing presence of God. But are these personal preferences of healing ministers, or do particular songs attract the tangible manifestation of the Holy Spirit?
"Certain keys seem to take us to different places in the Spirit, and to open up different places inside my heart," True says. "Also, major keys and minor keys each have their own sound and applications. Different instruments also open up different places in the spirit. For instance, cello always affects me like a 'wooing' of the Lord. It draws my heart into the love of God and is able to so beautifully express human emotion through the sound when played with excellence."
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