What I’m Reading: Growing as a Prophetic Singer

I’m a prophetic singer in the house of prayer, but it kind of happened by accident. I’ve had very little musical training, and when I first went to IHOPU it was not with the intention of being trained as a singer or worship leader. I had a few opportunities to sing on student teams (with other non-music students), and I had several excellent coaches who gave me some great encouragement and pointers, but it wasn’t until I became part of a smaller house of prayer in Texas and found myself leading worship with my meager skills 10+ hours a week that I started to take myself more seriously as a singer and worship leader. I still feel very green as a singer, and I need all the help and encouragement I can get!

Anna Blanc is one of the singers/worship leaders at IHOPKC I most respect and admire for her faithfulness and humility in singing in the prayer room for years and for her earnestness and Bible-centredness in pressing into God through her worship. Plus, she’s dang talented. Her song “Isaiah 42” (“You are the Lord, that is Your name/Your glory You will not give to another to be praised”) is one of my favourite anthems to declare the supremacy of Jesus in the context of His return.

We have Anna’s book, Growing as a Prophetic Singer, in our little library at The Prayer Room. I picked it up this week, thinking I probably would really benefit from learning from Anna.

Boy, was I right.

Anna’s book addresses the varied dimensions of anointing, excellence, and endurance that affect a prophetic singer. All three are vitally important. A person can be highly skilled without having that anointing from God that makes them a truly powerful prophetic singer, and a person can also be super anointed without pursuing excellence and the increase of skill at whatever level they may be. We don’t have to choose one or the other. God gives anointing, often in response to diligent seeking, and He also values excellence as an extravagant offering. And on top of these two components, it also takes endurance to persevere through the emotional roller coaster that is singing on worship teams for years–through promotion, demotion, and just plain mundaneness.

Here are a few of the key themes I was strengthened by in this book:

  • Stewardship over our gifting and calling involves growing in both anointing and excellence. As I said above, we need God to fill us with His Spirit, and we also need to continue growing in musical excellence.
  • God is glorified in our obedience and worship, even when we are weak. For the beginning singer (or the proficient singer on an off day!), God is still so delighted by our sacrifice of praise.
  • Singing to God alone in the secret place is so precious to Him. He LOVES hearing our songs when no one else is around! Those hidden times are often more powerful and transformative than worship experiences before a huge audience.
  • Both promotion and demotion bring unique challenges. When we’re promoted, we can easily become prideful. When we’re demoted, we can easily become offended (which also stems from pride). God strategically takes us through both to purify us.
  • Singing the Word anointed by the Spirit is POWERFUL. God moves so powerfully when we declare His truth in song. There’s really nothing like it.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who desires to touch the heart of God through singing, especially in a team context, and especially especially through prophetic worship in a house of prayer. (Really, a lot of it applies to anyone in ministry in general.)

It’s on our library shelf at The Prayer Room, so feel free to read it here at the base if you’re local, or you can pick it up on Amazon or IHOPKC.

BONUS — Anna has a number of videos on youtube sharing her heart as well as practical tips to grow as a singer, which can be found on this playlist linked here.


LIVE Worship Video from The Prayer Room – “Beautiful”

The past few months, there’s been a trend of worship leaders at The Prayer Room making a Facebook Live video as they play. I was super nervous at first, but I finally did a few myself. (If you’re my Facebook friend, feel free to look them up!) One day we hope to be able to stream all our prayer room hours on our website, but in the meantime, Facebook Live is a really fun way to share a glimpse into the atmosphere of prayer and worship we’re cultivating.

I’d like to share a video with you, but I need to tell you a little bit about it first.

This video has a special place in my heart because the song I’m playing, “Beautiful” by Sam Lane, was introduced to me by Ted Dekker. He used the chorus of it in his book Green, the fourth book released in the Circle Series. In this scene, the spiritual community called The Circle is ceremonially reenacting our “Great Wedding” with Elyon — God.

Six maidens in white faced Thomas and Chelise on their knees and sang the Great Wedding’s song. Their sweet, yearning voices filled the valley as they cried the refrain in melodic unison, faces bright with an eager desperation.

You are beautiful… so Beautiful… Beautiful… Beautiful…

…And in many ways they were all perfectly beautiful as Elyon was beautiful. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful.

-Green, Ted Dekker, Thomas Nelson 2009

Shortly before Green was released in 2009, I attended a Ted Dekker fan event near Nashville at which Ted went all out to bring us into the world of his stories. He gave us an exclusive cd which included the original recording of the song (you can find it on youtube) as well as a message from himself describing his heart for Green and this song. In Ted’s own words:

“I have to say that this song has always exemplified the heart of the Circle Series, of God’s creation calling out to Him, ‘You are beautiful,’ but also God, Elyon, saying to his creation ‘You are beautiful’–the Lover and the Beloved crying to each other, singing to each other, ‘You are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.’ When I first heard this song many years ago, you know, it brought me to tears. It was an incredible touching experience, where I thought, ‘This is what it’s really all about.’ In the end, everything distills down to this moment, this song, a song like this. And I knew I had to write about it…

“Really, at the heart of this whole series is this song, ‘You are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.’… think of the people on the edge of the lake singing this song to Elyon over and over and over again… It’s all about this yearning that we have to be reunited once again–on the lake, on the shores of the lake, in the bowels of the lake, deep in the lake–to go back and be with God, with Elyon (in this story), in the same way we once were. It’s an irresistible calling to us. My hope and prayer is that this song would work its way into your spirit.”

-Ted Dekker, The Gathering 2009 cd

This is what it’s all about. This is actually my third time this week blogging about the beauty of Jesus, and I didn’t even plan it that way. The purpose of all existence is anchored in the beauty of Jesus. He is so deserving of all of our obsession and adoration, and this is our truest and deepest life’s calling–to sing this song to Him and to hear Him singing back to us. To love and to be loved.

In this recording, in between choruses of the song, I also started singing spontaneously some scriptural phrases from Song of Solomon and other passages about His beauty to us and our beauty to Him. Below you can listen to the song on Youtube (it’s unlisted, so you won’t find it if you try searching Youtube itself), and below that you can read the verses that I was singing from. (The song “Beautiful” in the video is only about the first 11 minutes, and the rest of the video segues into “Jesus, You’re Beautiful” by Jon Thurlow.)

“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”
Hosea 6:3

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17


“Let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.”
Song of Solomon 2:14

“Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves.”
Song of Solomon 1:15, also 4:1

“Turn away your eyes from me, for they overwhelm me.”
Song of Solomon 6:5

“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you… You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.”
Song of Solomon 4:7, 9


You are fairer than the sons of men”
Psalm 45:2 NKJV

My beloved is white and ruddy, chief among ten thousand.”
Song of Solomon 5:10 NKJV

“In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious,”
Isaiah 4:2

“Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”
Psalm 29:2, also 69:9 NKJV

“There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you;”
1 Samuel 2:2

“…so that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God.”
Exodus 8:10

“The LORD is my light and my salvation;”
Psalm 27:1

“even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”
Psalm 39:12

Caught Up In Mercy

I’ve been caught up in mercy
I’ve been caught up in grace
All my cares have fallen off now
And this joy I can’t explain…
-Zac Dinsmore, IHOPKC, “Caught Up In Mercy”

This song was one of the primary tools God used to encounter and change me during my time in OTI. (The new studio version is available on itunes HERE.) A conversation with a friend brought it all to the surface again the other day, so I decided that now’s a good time to share this part of my story.

I’ve often had difficulty understanding the abundance of God’s grace toward me because since I got saved when I was three, I’ve often felt like I don’t have much of a testimony. There wasn’t much of a dramatic before-and-after; I was three, for heaven’s sake! I had a hard time with verses such as Luke 7:47, which says, “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Of course, I know that because of Jesus, I’m not going to hell, and that in itself is huge, but… I still felt like I was missing something, like all of the ex-drug-addicts could somehow love Jesus better than I could.

One night, as Zac was singing this in the prayer room, I was thinking back again through my life and who I used to be. God really has brought me so far. I normally start telling my testimony at age three, then jump to high school when my spiritual rennaissance began, but that night God started reminding me of all the childhood sins I’d like to forget… things that are seemingly small in retrospect, but I remember exactly how I felt during those times and I know that it came from genuine darkness within me. I remember trying to bury the guilt, but I couldn’t undo the damage. I was a hard-hearted selfish little 12-year-old who was bitter at nothing in particular, and I hated that about myself.

The great mercy is that even then, God wouldn’t let go of my heart. I still somehow loved him and kind of wanted him. I knew I was missing something about the whole God thing, and I wanted to be a mature Christian someday, but really didn’t want to be “weird.” And so I kept God at a safe distance. Even though I was a church kid, my heart mostly lived in darkness.

And God broke in and rescued me from that. I would sit in my room and pray for “breakthrough” even though I didn’t know what I meant. I wanted to just wake up with all my darkness gone, because I hated it but didn’t know how to grow without the growing pains. He was faithful, though, and gradually he brought me out of that and into genuine light and love.

Through all this time, I was “saved.” I was a “good church girl.” I wasn’t acting out or doing crazy things, but I was still living in a shadow of what my life was meant to be.

He could have left me there. I was on my way to heaven, the big job was done, God would have been completely within his rights to leave me floundering and move on to the next lost soul, knowing that he would get all of me in eternity eventually anyway.

But he didn’t.

He wasn’t content to just leave me technically saved but still in the dark in so many ways.

He wanted all of my love NOW, immature and broken though it is. He actually WANTED me, the in-the-process me of today. He knew it would be a messy, bumpy road, but he so desperately wanted to be with me that he refused to wait. He fought to bring me to this place I am today. He died to bring me to this place of love and intimacy NOW, not just in the age to come. It wasn’t just about eternity. It was about me being free and knowing him TODAY.

He wasn’t content to leave me. He fought for me because he wanted me.

I cried for twenty minutes when all of that hit me.

What if he didn’t? What would my life have been like if he had left me there at age 12, or if I hadn’t gotten saved at all? Although it’s impossible to predict that alternate timeline with any kind of accuracy, I know the tendencies and impulses I struggle to quash on a daily basis. If left unchecked, they would no doubt destroy me.

I know me too well. And he loves me too well to leave me to that.

In his mercy, he not only rescued me from what was but from what might have been.

He saved me in every way a person could be saved.

That’s the grace I’ve been caught up in.

Click the pic to get it on itunes!

Click the pic to get Zac’s new single on itunes!

More Than Worth My Time

All My Devotion by Kristene Mueller-DiMarco. This song exemplifies to me much of why I want to go to IHOP.

Beautiful Man
Beautiful God
You’re more than worth my time
You’re more than worth these longings of my heart left unfulfilled
For a time

And I know you don’t come as easy as some
But I will watch and pray
I will watch and pray

Sloppy Wet Kiss

First of all, listen to this.

This is the original version of this song, written and played/sung by John Mark McMillan.

This song was first really popularized by Kim Walker of Jesus Culture who does a great version you can watch here. Worshipping with Kim at Jesus Culture 2006 in Orange County was the first time I encountered this song and I immediately fell in love with it, and with no line more than the incredible provocative “Heaven meets Earth like a sloppy wet kiss.”

What does that image bring to mind? For me it expresses something big and messy and extravagant… not neat and tidy and polished and traditional. This is GOD, meeting his people in a huge way. This is the beautiful disaster that happens when heaven collides with earth. You can’t predict it, and you can’t contain it. God is really, really bad at following directions. It’s like trying to pour a cloud into a jar. It will overflow and swirl and resist every effort to make it behave.

For other people, it brings to mind teenagers making out in the back of a car.

When David Crowder Band recorded a cover of the song, they changed that line to “Heaven meets earth like an UNFORSEEN kiss.” This made the song palatable to be played in any setting, in places where people were uncomfortable with the kiss idea.

I’ll be frank: I hate the change. It looses a huge part of the song’s impact, in my opinion, and it seems ridiculous to go out of our way to avoid that one line. Making a point of shunning it does not at all appeal to me.

“Unforseen”? Really? What, were they just hard up for three syllable words that day? Had they never read the Song of Solomon? Or are we really that surprised when heaven comes down, as if we’d completely forgotten that it was there? I want to live in hopeful anticipation of encountering God, not act shocked every time I bump into him. Flyleaf recorded a cover using the words “passionate kiss” instead. God bless Flyleaf. At least they maintained some of the extravagance.

I get a little excited about this, in case you couldn’t tell… maybe a bit too excited. The more I think about it, the more I realize that there are more important things at stake here.


If someone can sing “unforseen kiss” and encounter the extravagant love of God as they do so, who am I to quibble? I don’t want my hang-up on those three little words to become a stumbling block to someone else. I can willingly limit my freedom there for the sake of unity in the Body.

As it turns out, David Crowder asked John Mark McMillan’s permission before changing the line, which John Mark eventually granted. He still believes in the reason he wrote the song the way he did, but he respects David Crowder’s understanding of his audience. This is what he says:

All this to say, I don’t have a problem with David changing the line because he knows the people he is serving, and that line would have isolated the song from those people.

What I do have a problem with though, is that the condition of greater Christianity would be as such that he would even have to change it.  I think the fact that a line like “Sloppy wet kiss” could be controversial is ridiculous.

I’ve basically come to the same conclusion. I love the line for very specific biblical as well as experiential reasons, but if others feel more comfortable singing a different version, that’s really none of my business. I’d much rather us sing together than get into division over it. I kind of hate that people make it such a bone of contention, myself included… it really can only hurt the Church in the long run.

Try these on for size: grace. humility. unity. As St. Augustine said, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

After all, this whole argument started out by being about Love. Maybe my extravagant display of love will be to worship God in spirit and truth alongside my brothers and sisters even if I (gasp) don’t like the lyric.

Maybe then, the sloppy wet kiss of heaven meeting Earth can actually come to pass.