Practical Ways to Lead Spontaneous Singing

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This article is from my friend Adam Parker. I thought it was a great rundown on how to lead a prayer meeting in spontaneous singing.

This article is for worship leaders and prayer leaders of a prayer meeting that is of any size. I hope this encourages you to try incorporating spontaneous singing into your prayer meeting.

“I will sing with the Spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.” (1 Cor. 14:14-15)

There are two ways to sing spontaneously. First, we can do this by singing from the Scriptures. Secondly, we can sing with our spirit in tongues.


Paul says in Ephesians 5 to be filled with the Spirit by speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. The Word of God does not return void, so when we sing the scriptures we are singing and speaking forth words of life. In 2 Chronicles 29:30 it says “King Hezekiah and the leaders commanded the Levites to sing praise to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness…”

Paul also talks of the necessity of praying in the Spirit with all perseverance.  “…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…” (Eph. 6:18). When we praying and sing in the spirit we are speaking mysteries, or in other words speaking inspired ideas to God and receiving inspired ideas from God in our prayers and our spontaneous singing. “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; However, in the Spirit he speaks mysteries” (1 Cor. 14:2).

When To Go Into Spontaneous Singing

You can go into spontaneous singing at many different times during a prayer meeting, however it usually works best at the end of a worship song. After singing a known worship song, continue with an easy chord progression and begin to sing spontaneously with your spirit or in your understanding from scriptures singing about the truths of who God is.

At IHOP-KC we incorporate spontaneous singing as a regular part of the prayer meeting entering into it after a worship song. This also acts as a signal to the prayer leader that we are moving from a time of “Worship Songs” to “Spontaneous Singing.” This is helpful because the prayer leader knows that a time of “Intercession” will usually come next.

Pick Easy Chord Progressions

Picking an easy chord progression is really helpful to the singers on the worship team, but also very helpful for everyone else in the room who want to join. When we make it easy for people to join in with us by avoiding difficult chord progressions, we help bring the room in unity as well as invite people to engage with the Lord by singing their own song to the Lord.

Another thing for the worship leader to remember is to sing melodies that are in a range that 90% of the room can sing. Avoid singing in a very high octave and avoid highlighting one particular person during this time. Everyone should sing together all at once so as to invite everyone to lift their voice to the Lord together.

Make Clear the Time to Begin Spontaneous Singing

It is important for the worship leader to clearly signal that it is time to begin spontaneous singing so that everyone will feel free to sing out with boldness, especially singers on the worship team. Two ways to bring clarity to the beginning of spontaneous singing are:

  1. The worship leader simply begins to sing in the spirit and not in English. This way the singers, the prayer leader and everyone in the room know that the worship leader wants to begin singing spontaneous singing.
  2. The worship leader can say, “Lift your voices to the Lord.” This is another way that lets everyone know it is time to enter into spontaneous singing.

Either the worship leader or the prayer leader can also encourage the people in the room to lift their voices and sing to the Lord their own song that is on their heart. This encouragement helps everyone know what is going on if it is new to them as well as gives them freedom and permission to boldly engage.


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