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Dean Mitchum: "Three Keys to Releasing Instrumental Prophecy"

Dean Mitchum
May 1, 2022

From the Desks of Steve Shultz and Julie A. Smith:

Steve Shultz

The words "Instrumental Prophecy" jumped off the page as we read Dean Mitchum's word about this.

Dean is the director of Worship Ministries for Bishop Bill Hamon and is the worship pastor for Tom and Jane Hamon at CI.

Being instrumental, releasing our sound, is truly a gift from God, and there is so much we can learn from this as we enter into His presence.

Dean tells us here:

Sound has always been a method of communication, and instruments have always been tools of communication and ministry in the Bible. The trumpet has been used to sound warnings, to call to war, to summon meetings and for celebrations. The harp has always had a place in worship, warfare and ministry.

With musical sound being so important in communication, why is it that we don't embrace this powerful ministry of instrumental prophecy more often?

Steve ShultzNow those are some powerful statements! Read the rest of Dean's message which includes three keys you can use to release instrumental prophecy in your midst. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)


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If you are not engaging in the powerful ministry of instrumental prophecy, it could be because you're not quite sure of its purpose or role in the service. Or, it could be that you've been listening to the lies of the enemy accusing you of being prideful and drawing attention to yourself, and this keeps you from releasing the impact of your anointing.

In this article, I'm going to give you three powerful keys to go beyond the solo and into playing prophetically. These three keys are drawn from the prophetic worship framework where we combine Scripture, skill and Spirit into a powerful, prophetic flow. Plus, I'll have an activation at the end to help you gain confidence and sense the flow.

Communication Through Sound

Sound has always been a method of communication, and instruments have always been tools of communication and ministry in the Bible. The trumpet has been used to sound warnings, to call to war, to summon meetings and for celebrations. The harp has always had a place in worship, warfare and ministry.

With musical sound being so important in communication, why is it that we don't embrace this powerful ministry of instrumental prophecy more often? I believe there are at least two reasons why we don't. One is lack of understanding and the second is the lies of the enemy.

Lack of understanding causes us to honestly ask these questions: "Why would I just listen to someone play a solo? When worship is a participatory event, doesn't this cause disengagement?" If it is overdone, it can. If its purpose has not been taught to the congregation, it can.

When we understand the purpose of instrumental prophecy, we ask this question instead: "What is this person releasing or saying through their playing right now?" It could be healing, deliverance, victory, ministry or many other messages. Instrumental prophecy can minister to each Believer in a different way, and every Believer can receive ministry, if they are expecting it.

The lies of the devil are his ancient tools. The enemy knows the power of instrumental prophecy and wants to stop it. He tries to stop it through accusations of pride that accuse you of drawing attention to yourself. Especially if you're really good at playing an instrument, you can be accused of showing off.

So many people, for fear of being prideful and selfish, have diminished the power of their gift by not using it. When I was a young man people used to tell me that my playing was so anointed. I didn't quite understand it, but I believed it. All I knew is that I had a desire to play, almost a burden to play. (Photo via Pxfuel)

As I was preparing for a service one evening, I began to practice the keyboard. Someone walked over to me and said, "Man, I just feel the anointing." I wondered to myself, "I'm just playing a few chords. How can that be anointed?" That was when I learned about the anointing of the person and not the instrument. That was when I began to understand the anointing and power of instrumental prophecy.

Your desire to play a solo is God placing a demand on the gift He's placed in you. Your desire to play well is wanting to represent God and His Kingdom well. It is not prideful or attention-seeking, so go ahead and play. Play with all your might as David did. Shut the mouth of the enemy with your playing. Play before the Lord.

Instrumental prophecy is using the sound of music to express the heart, mind and ministry of God. There is a place and a time for it. Instrumental prophecy is one of the three expression of a psalmist. They are playing, singing, and writing.

Three Keys to Releasing Instrumental Prophecy

Three powerful keys to releasing instrumental prophecy are authority, delivery, and accuracy. Scripture gives us the authority, skill gives us the delivery, and the Spirit gives accuracy.

Prophetic songs can be likened unto arrows. We pull them from our quiver at the time when we need them. The arrowhead is like Scripture, which gives us sharpness and penetration. The feathers are like the Spirit, which give us the accuracy to hit the target. The shaft that connects the arrow to the feathers is like our skill—the ability to play.

We must link the Word and Spirit through our playing. Without playing, the Word or the Spirit is not delivered. Faith without works is dead. Therefore, play.

1. Scripture Gives Authority

In 1 Chronicles 25:1-2, King David established priests who would prophesy on the instruments by the order of the king. The King calls for our playing. According to 2 Kings 3:15, the prophet Elisha needed prophetic music. The prophet calls for our playing.

In Psalm 49:4, King David said that playing unlocked revelation. We initiate prophetic flow when we play. Scripture gives us the authority to prophesy on the instruments.

2. Skill Gives Us Delivery

By which standard do we determine skill? I define skill as the ability to perform without causing distraction.

We develop our skill by learning, practicing and playing. Develop your skill by becoming confident in chords and scales. Every key has a simple major scale, so learn the chords and scales for the most used keys.

Practice your skill. The reason we practice is so the congregation can worship without distraction. The reason we practice the prophetic is so we can flow without distraction. Practice in several keys so that you can launch from any song during your worship set.

Play with the power of simplicity. Trust the Holy Spirit to do His job. If music is anointed by God (and it is), then overplaying does not increase the anointing. Faith and obedience, along with purposeful playing, release the anointing. (Photo via Unsplash)

3. The Spirit Gives Us Accuracy

Accuracy is the timing and the target of our instrumental prophecy...the "when" and "where" of playing prophetically. Most often, in a corporate worship setting, you'll respond to what God is doing through one of the pastors or leaders, or to what God is telling you. Sometimes, at the end of a song, I'll begin to play on the keyboard. Our pastors will later interpret what I am playing, or they will follow the Holy Spirit in the ministry that is being released and call for altar ministry.

Sometimes, I will tell the congregation what I believe God is doing during the flow. You'll need to coordinate with your leadership for this to occur without chaos.

Trust the Holy Spirit. Trust the voice of the Lord and partner with Him.

Four Practices to Activate You

Here are four practices that you can do right away. They'll help you activate your faith and increase your confidence to sense what God is doing.

1. Play then pray. Take a moment and simply play your instrument. Once you play a few measures, stop and ask the Lord what is happening.

2. Pray then play. Before you play, ask the Lord what you are releasing.

3. Play then ask. Ask someone to listen to you play; then ask them what they heard or received from your playing.

4. Ask then play. Ask someone to tell you what God is releasing, then play that on your instrument. Learn to trust the Holy Spirit.


So in review, the three keys to releasing the anointing of instrumental prophecy are authority, delivery and accuracy. Scripture gives us authority, skill gives us delivery and the Spirit gives us accuracy.

Now you know the purpose and role of prophetic playing, and how to shut the mouth of the devil through your playing! Play with all your might! Partner with God through music, because every musician can experience being used by God.

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Dean Mitchum, Worship Leader
Vision Church at Christian International


Dean Mitchum serves as the director of Worship Ministries for Bishop Bill Hamon of Christian International and as the worship pastor for Apostles Tom and Jane Hamon of Vision Church at CI. He is a powerful, prophetic psalmist specializing in writing for the current moves of God, playing prophetically, and leading worship that changes the atmosphere. Dean is the author of Apostolic Kingdom Praise, The Tabernacle of God, and along with his wife Lisa, is the co-writer of more than 100 worship songs. Dean and his wife Lisa have been married 32 years and have five children and four grandchildren. They make their home near the beautiful emerald coast on the Florida panhandle.

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