1 Cor.14:15 – I will sing praise with the spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.
Singing corporately in the Spirit was the trademark of the Azusa Street Revival. Azusa was the birth place of the Pentecostal – Charismatic Movement and is still having a major impact on the body of Christ today. When I first became a Christian I found myself in California amongst Pentecostal Christians. They were unashamed of the power of God and were unashamed of the gifts of the Spirit. Singing in tongues (or in the Spirit) was a huge part of our worship experience. Sometimes we would slip into singing our prayer language as a verse in the songs we sang in service. Other times there would be spontaneous, supernatural melodies that we would sing and harmonize together in the Spirit. These times of supernatural worship were life changing and brought us into an awareness of the nearness and power of God. Here are some thoughts by Frank Bartleman, one of the leaders at Azusa Street, on singing in the Spirit.
“But the “new song” captured me. It was a gift from God of high order, and appeared among us soon after the “Azusa” work began. No one had preached it. The Lord had sovereignly bestowed it, with the outpouring of the “residue of oil,” the “Latter Rain” baptism of the Spirit. It was exercised, as the Spirit moved the possessors, either in solo fashion, or by the company. It was sometimes without words, other times in “tongues.” The effect was wonderful on the people. It brought a heavenly atmosphere as though the angels themselves were present and joining with us. And possibly they were. It seemed to still criticism and opposition, and was hard for even wicked men to gainsay or ridicule. . . . In fact it was the very breath of God, playing on human heart strings, or human vocal cords. The notes were wonderful in sweetness, volume and duration. In fact they were oftimes [sic] humanly impossible. It was “singing in the Spirit.” “Singing in the Spirit” accomplished more than an expression of worship, however.”
I can’t imagine church without the supernatural song. It is from the atmosphere that this practice facilitates that people experience the power of His presence for themselves. It is in this atmosphere that lives are changed and miracles take place. I think its time for another good Azusa Street type revival. Not everyone will like it but people’s lives will definitely be changed.