Pray for the Arts 2022


(by Ruth Webb)

Often the Arts are considered as a great vehicle for evangelism or for influencing culture with a Biblical worldview. Its very existence can be ‘justified’ on these grounds. These are all good. 

My story is somewhat different. 

The Lord began by directing me into music at a young age. Through a series of miraculous circumstances eventuating in scholarships, I found myself studying under some of the best musicians our land had to offer at that time for piano, trumpet, composition, music /art history. I had started studying at the Melbourne Conservatorium (now Melbourne University Music Faculty) in early 1970’s. Great joy and fulfillment—for a few months! 

Nothing was wrong per se. But I was troubled. In hindsight, and now knowing the voice of Holy Spirit much better, the Spirit of the Lord had clearly begun to stir my heart. 

Deep down I wondered, in a time of crisis, would music be as essential as food or shelter? Was music vital for survival?

There was a dilemma in my soul. 
I was being taught to be a performer—even if it was a good one, nevertheless it was still to entertain people. And I started to feel uncomfortable. 
Deep down I wondered, in a time of crisis, would music be as essential as food or shelter? Was music vital for survival? Could we live without it? How indispensable is it for life? 

It was like the Holy Spirit was asking the questions, and then guided me to find the answers! First He nudged me read the whole Bible, cover to cover, and see what He had to say about music and the arts! And He also led me to do a journey in music therapy, where the first therapist acknowledged is King David with his harp when an evil spirit afflicted King Saul. 

So my journey began. 

Looking back, I wonder if those questions put there by Holy Spirit were, on another level, prophetic of the times we now live in where we have shortages of food and fuel, and an energy crisis. In such times, questions about the role and value of music and the arts come into sharp focus. While this was my dilemma 50 years ago, the Spirit of the Lord is currently speaking about the importance of His sound releasing the future of Australia. Sound is at the lower spectrum of frequencies, while the higher spectrum is light. Therefore, music and the other arts go hand in hand, as I will come to in a moment. 

the Spirit of the Lord is currently speaking about the importance of His sound releasing the future of Australia

In my journey, I found important answers by following two pursuits, (Bible and music therapy). In this article I focus on what I found in Scripture. 

As directed by the Lord, I read through the Bible using a green highlighter to mark all the instances in the Bible, when music was used, as this was my initial focus at that moment. (When studying music history, we always considered all the arts and its relationship to culture.) Anyway, I ended up with a green Bible! 

Of particular note was King David, bringing the Ark into Jerusalem—as a reflection of the throne room of God in heaven, as per book of Revelation 4-5. 

The downloads the Lord gave in those years, have guided me ever since—including the naming of our ministry! 

Within that account of the Ark being brought into Jerusalem are key lessons for us today—for all of the Arts. 

establishing the Tabernacles of Moses and David, and then the Temple, utilized all of the arts … gifted artisans were called upon 

The process of establishing the Tabernacles of Moses and David, and then the Temple, utilized all of the arts. Israel had to set apart a space to worship the one true living God. It was to distinguish them from all the other nations around about them. To build the Tabernacles and Temple, gifted artisans were called upon. 

These are a few of the nearly thirty different skills that were called on. 

  • Curtains were needed with embroidered cherubim on them, requiring appropriate skills 
  • Holy garments for the priests required skilled designers, tailors and embroiderers. 
  • Jewelry artisans were needed to put gemstones in priests ephod and breastplate 
  • The thick veil required artists to design and produce it.
  • The various altars needed skillful craftsman with wood, bronze, silver and gold. 
  • The vessels, and poles also required skillful craftsman to make them: those who could work with silver and gold. 
  • To shift the Ark and altars, they needed to be covered ram and badger skins; and these too needed skilled craftsman to produce. 
  • The anointing oil and incense required those skilled in the art of the perfumer. 

Even though they were still in the wilderness, the Lord gave to Moses very specific design. And Moses called for the skilled artisans to produce them—in the wilderness! 

David’s Tabernacle then added the skill of musicians—prophet psalmists. It was not ad hoc. Rather, musicians were anointed and appointed to worship before the Lord 24/7. That was their role, call, and ministry. And this was an earthly manifestation of the worship in heaven around the throne—24/7! 

The ‘job description’ for these prophet psalmists was; 

And he (King David) appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the Lord God of Israel” (1 Chronicles 16:4 NKJV) 

They were to “record, give thanks and praise”. The Hebrew word for “record” is zakar and means to mark, to mention, and, to remember. Their songs of praise were to give thanks, but also by recording what God had done, they would assist Israel to remember God—His goodness, His Word and His miracles. 

Forgetting God is a particularly nasty, though sometimes subtle, device of the enemy. When we forget the goodness of God we tend to murmur, complain and grumble. When Israel did this in the wilderness, it ‘wounded the heart of God, and limited Him to help them! (Psalm 78: 40-41 TPT) Consequently most of that generation died en-route to their destiny! 

The enemy loves us to forget God, because it is stage one to lure us away from worshipping the Lord with all our heart, and to slowly seduce us to worship other gods. 

We can even idolize the gift God has given us. Lucifer did. And I know the Lord corrected me on this too.

The great Creator wants our undivided hearts. My greatest creativity flows when I am yielded to Him, bowing before Him in adoration. 

Conversely, idolatry is a serious sin against God, one we too often do not pay enough attention to. It violates the first command given through Moses. Jesus reiterated the greatest commandment is to love God with all our hearts. And Paul in 1 Corinthians 10 reminds us, we should heed Israel’s experience in the wilderness—so we learn not to repeat the problem! And he also admonishes us to flee idolatry! We can even idolize the gift God has given us. Lucifer did. And I know the Lord corrected me on this too. 

Biblically, many artisans were not only used to construct all of the Tabernacles and Temple, but many used their gift to create idols. It is too easy to cross the fine line between appreciating His gift, to seeing its value almost like a ‘liberator’ of culture. 

To minister to the Lord first, is our highest call

Remembering the Lord first, thanking Him for His goodness, His mercy and miracles and honoring Him for who He is, is not a trite call. In fact, it is the first command. To minister to the Lord first, is our highest call. So often we want to minister about Him. But what about to Him? 

The Ark of the Covenant is a symbol of God’s Presence, his Shekinah glory. We often hear about the ‘Glory’ being released in the midst of great harvest. To fully explain the glory would need another article (or more). But two important Scriptures are; 

  1. Romans 6:4 states that “Christ was raised from the dead by the ‘glory’ of the Father…” 
  2. Ephesians 4: 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in ‘glory’ by Christ Jesus. 

Resurrection life is in the glory! Resurrection life releases all miracles. All that we need in life, is supplied within the glory. 

When the Ark was brought into Jerusalem, it was front and centre of their life. Consequently; 

  1. The government of God was installed in the midst of Israel and 
  2. Israel’s enemies were finally subdued. They [Israel] had a period of immense peace and prosperity. 

Giving God honour and thanks, and releasing His glory contain so much of what is needed in our world today. 

For the Ark to be created, housed, transported, and established in the midst of Israel, required all the arts: music, song, dance, and every skilled artisans of every description. 

Today it is a joy to witness, not just in our own ministry, but also across the Body of Christ, the increased utilization of the arts as a prophetic expression in welcoming His glory and Presence through Throne-room worship. A wide range of creativity is being seen in many places where the Holy Spirit is given freedom to flow through those so gifted. Yes music, but also prophetic art, banners, dance, poetry and so many other areas. 

Recently, at our Shavuot / Pentecost celebration, a creative one among us, created paper decorations for the dinner table, and for beside the worship team. Sheaths of wheat, and tongues of fire were recreated with paper! It was an extraordinary creative contribution which stirred deep conversations, as each one remembered, different things the Scriptures have to say about Shavuot / Pentecost. 

Would not the chief Creator, appreciate creative worship from grateful and transformed hearts?

Of recent times we have been able to see pictures from NASA telescopes which have enhanced our appreciation and awe of the Lord who in the beginning, created the heavens and earth. Would not the chief Creator, appreciate creative worship from grateful and transformed hearts? Kat Kerr has had many visitations to heaven and describes the immensity of our Lord’s creativity, and how He loves to give even more creative gifts to express our knowledge of Him and love for Him. As I already testified, our greatest creative output comes when we are mindful of, and intentionally embrace His Presence. 

I want to base my concluding statements on the words of Jesus in Matthew 6. 

Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 

Based on my story, and the words of Jesus to, “seek first the kingdom”, I sometimes wonder, if the Arts altered its priorities, would it become a purer vessel and more fruitful for the kingdom? What do I mean by that? 

I sometimes wonder, if the Arts altered its priorities, would it become a purer vessel and more fruitful for the kingdom?

If the first priority of the arts was seen and encouraged as needed to worship God first, i.e. to “record, give thanks and praise”, and to assist the church to remember God—His goodness, His Word and His miracles—would the ‘other’ things fall into place? I believe yes. 

Being a more pure vessel is surely the desire and challenge for every believer—and especially those in the arts. In the Presence of the Lord, our lifestyles are challenged and stirred to align with His Word. 

I am sure we all desire our artistic contributions to be more fruitful! This would be especially, that our contributions would be effective in evangelism and be more influential to stimulate a more healthy society. 

The greatest blessing for any society is to first, worship the Lord God Almighty with all of the heart, mind, strength and every resource! Everything else flows from this! 

My prayer is that skillful artisans and prophet-psalmists, be in position to accompany the glory as it is ushered into our midst. May we be in position to activate the spiritual and natural 5 senses of the Body of Christ to hear His sounds, and see what He is doing as He continues to create new life. 

As Handel and Bach often scribed on their works, may our artistic endeavors be— ‘to the glory of God’. And in so doing, may we have the privilege to be carriers of His glory—who like King David, ushered the presence, Shekinah glory, and government of God, into the very centre of the nation! 

© Ruth Webb 2022 
Ruth Webb B. Mus. Ed.

Ruth and her husband Laurence are the founders of Tabernacle of David (Bendigo)—a centre for throne-room worship. 

Ruth is an anointed psalmist, an experienced musician, music teacher and adjudicator. 

She has authored “Restoring True Worship” and “Grumble Fast-40 Day Gratitude Feast”. And either on her own or with the T.O.D. team, Ruth has produced 7 worship Albums. 

Ruth has led a prophetic intercession team for “Pray Bendigo”, prayer for Israel, and trained worshipping warriors and watchman across central Victoria, and together with Laurence they have hosted several strategic worship gatherings in Bendigo, and have also led worship assignments, releasing the song of the Lord across Australia, Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, China, Indonesia) Israel and New Zealand. 

They have connected with worship teams from across Asia to complete many worship watches in City of David, Mt Carmel, and with churches and prayer houses in Jerusalem. 

Since covid restrictions, Ruth has been producing a weekly radio program, and wisdom slots on 105.1 Life FM. 

Ruth and Laurence have been commissioned by ARC Global, a community of apostolic leaders & networks, based in Australia and connecting with ministries globally. 

Scripture Reflection 

(all references from the New International Version) 

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High 
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, 
my God, in whom I trust.” 
(Psalm 91:1-2) 

You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands. 
(Isaiah 55:12) 

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world. 
(Psalm 19:1-4a) 

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
(Genesis 1:3) 


(by Bjorn Schmid) 

My soul praises you my Lord! 
All my inmost being praises Your holy name. 
My soul praises you my Lord! 
I will not forget all Your benefits: 
You forgave all my sins 
And You healed all my diseases, 
You redeemed my life from the pit 
And You crown me with love and compassion, 
You satisfy my desires with good things 
So that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 
My soul praises you my Lord!
(based on Psalm 103:1-5) 

Know an artist, musician, visual designer, graphic designer, choreographer, film/theatre/stage maker/producer/director/actor/hand/writer, or someone who works in and/or with and/or supports those who work in the Arts? Well pray for them, and with them if possible, to our Heavenly Father; the ultimate source of perfect and eternal inspiration and creativity! 

Father thankyou for creating such beauty and life around us and in us. 
Reveal Yourself in Christ Jesus to those who seek to express themselves in the Arts. 
May they come to an intimate relationship with You and be truly refreshed. 
Transform their expressions to have an eternal voice of life, granted through Your Holy Spirit. 
May all their works glorify You and inspire others to see Your radiance and love; to be drawn to You. 
We ask this in Jesus name, Amen! 

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