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How To Activate Prophetic Worship

What is prophetic worship? How can I be prophetic in everything I do? Where do I start? Dive into what it means to be a prophetic worship leader and begin to discover the answers to these questions, as Brandon Lake unpacks his process and values.

Giving Prophetic Songs as Gifts - Time: 2:21-14:08


  • Brandon had everyone get a piece of paper and ask God, for one thing, He says they are. Once they had written it down, Brandon had them shout it out, “real loud.” “Boom! You’re prophetic! Like it really is that simple.” “Like Jenn said, it’s hearing the voice of God and then saying it. And the beauty about our jobs, if you’re a worship leader, is that we get to pair this word, God’s heart, with a melody. And I think it’s so powerful because what we get to do is we get to give someone a gift they can go home with that they’re gonna be able to remember and bring back time and time again.” While watching people quoting scripture at the Western Wall in Israel, Brandon noticed that it was done to rhythm and melody. “. . . the best way to remember, I think, God’s word is to attach it to a melody.” Brandon continued by asking, “How many of you are going home after Sunday and you’re singing those same songs, and they’re washing over you?”

  • Brandon didn’t grow up in a prophetic worship environment and he wasn’t taught how. He started with his love language: words of affirmation. “And so I thought I was just growing up being sweet and kind to people, but what really I didn’t realize I was doing is I was partnering with God, I was tapping into what He saw, how He created this person, and then I was just speaking it over them and helping them to see how God created them.” At eighteen, Brandon was given a “college ministry as a worship leader.” In this ministry, he could do whatever he wanted, which actually really scared him. In contrast to his very structured worship environment at church, Brandon could experiment. He told the students, “Find a different room . . . a place and a people to experiment and to just go after it.” Brandon used the analogy of different rooms in a house to describe different styles of worship. 

  • Brandon realized that “the times between the songs became as sweet if not sweeter than the song itself.” He “started songwriting at the same time” and he “kinda just went for it.” He messed up so many moments, “but every once in awhile, we’d get this sweet moment . . . there wasn’t any pressure, I was just having fun.” 

  • Brandon highlights the importance of going after your why when he says, “Please, don’t feel the pressure to be a prophetic worship leader because it’s the cool thing to do. We have to be careful not to worship. . . . If we’re not careful, the product of worship can be what we’re worshiping instead of the person of Jesus.” Brandon continues as he says, ‘‘Stepping into the prophetic on the platform shouldn’t be a means to look like a better, more creative worship leader. It should always be a means to love people well. It’s always about love.” 

  • When you’re stepping out, how do you know it is God? “It’s a really good question to ask because we only want to say what God’s heart is and not our own. We can easily speak out of our journals and not His love letter or the Bible.” There are a few questions Brandon filters a word or moment through: “Is it in alignment with God’s word?” “Is it something the Spirit is impressing on my heart? This is a really good indicator of whether it’s for right now or maybe later.” “Is it adding value to this person’s life, or adding value to the congregation?” “Is your word or your chorus loving people well?” Consider 1 Corinthians 14:1. “If your word isn’t pointing them to Jesus, back up.” “Does your word, does your chorus lift the room or does it distract?” “I, personally, I feel like I’m under the influence of the Holy Spirit . . . it takes over . . . I usually know it’s God when I go ‘I can’t shake this.’” Part of the significance of knowing whether or not “it’s God,” Brandon says, is “you don’t want to manipulate a room. We gotta be careful that we’re singing what God’s heart is.” “The prophetic song should feel like a gift.”  


A Lifestyle of Overflow and Prophecy - Time: 14:09-21:16


  • “To lead prophetically, you should live prophetically. It starts off the platform. . . . it needs to be who you are, not just what you do when it comes time to leading worship.” Then Brandon asks, “How are people supposed to trust it on the platform when you are not that person when you step off?”  

  • “See it, say it.” When you see something on someone else’s life, say it. Often times it is the Holy Spirit speaking, and “it’s probably not just for you to hold on to.” When you do speak a word of encouragement over someone, you are giving them a gift and you do not know how often they will come back to that word in the future. Brandon shared a story of when God showed a couple of strangers who he was and how God planned to use him and they shared it with him, at the gas station. That word, “You’re a man of God and I know you’re gonna write songs that will travel the nations,” has been sustaining to Brandon. 

  • “To lead prophetically . . . we have to have an overflow.” “We have to realize that our primary call is not to ministry, it’s to intimacy. Everything has to flow out of that intimacy.” “Are you constantly filling yourself up with life and truth?” Matthew 12:34 says, “For whatever’s in your heart determines what you say.” Brandon extends this to “what you’re gonna sing.” Brandon quotes Bill Johnson when he says, “What feeds me will feed my congregation.” “What are you feeding on and how often are you feeding?”

  • Brandon shared some practical choices he makes to “create overflow:” spending time in his car “just listening” (“a prophetic chorus can come to you before the service time”), listening to “many different genres and voices of worship” (“this helps your melodic overflow,” so that you don’t sing the same melody in every moment), songwriting (“time with God strengthens your ability to hear His voice. Time songwriting strengthens your ability to package it in a catchy way that people can follow”) so that you don’t sing the same melody in every moment). 

  • To illustrate creating a chorus that your congregation can follow, Brandon said, “you are driving a bus, not a sports car.” He asks himself, “How can I make this simple enough that I can take every single person in the room on this journey with me?”


Leading with Trust and Authority - Time: 21:17-29:36


  • “To lead prophetically, you should practice often. One of the easiest and forgiving places to practice is with your team. . . it would be extremely frustrating, I think, is if you were the only person trying to like tap into this and grow in this on your team. Why not bring your entire team in on this?” Brandon encourages the students to carve out time and prioritize it. And God shows up. 

  • “To lead prophetically . . . learn to watch other trusted leaders' prophecy.” Brandon used the example of Elisha watching his leader, Elijah until Elijah dropped his cloak on his way to heaven. Then Elisha picked up the cloak and returned to the river. When he arrived, he struck the river with Elijah’s cloak but, as Brandon said, “The only reason why he knew to do that is ‘cause he watched Elijah do it.” As he wrapped the point up, Brandon said, “Learn to not necessarily imitate the word that they’re speaking, but imitate in the way that they’re leading prophetically.”

  • “To lead prophetically, you have to trust the nudges. It’s never gonna be 100%. It’s so nerve-racking, but you, at some point, have to step out of fear, into faith. . . . most of the holiest moments that I’ve experienced with the prophetic have all just come from nudges. . . . just this little prompting like ‘I think this is Him and it sounds like Him. I’m gonna go for it.’”

  • “When you lead prophetically, please do it with authority. . . . He knows He placed you on this platform. He knows that you are His mouthpiece. Why wouldn’t He want to give you something beautiful to speak to His people?”

  • “Make me believe you. I want to know what you’re singing is something you really believe. Do it with conviction and just trust the Holy Spirit.” Brandon admits that “it’s terrifying stepping out,” but he says, “there’s something about when you say yes to God, He just uses you.”  

  • To wrap up the session, Brandon picked up his guitar and walked the students through his internal process of creating a spontaneous song. During the demonstration, he highlighted being aware of what you feel God is doing and the thoughts flowing in your mind, the setlist topics and flow, and creating a simple melody people can follow. 



No prayer was recorded in this video.