The Altar IHOP, Tokyo

building His altar of worship in earth's largest cities

Our Worship & Worshipers

Our Worship

Harp & Bowl is a modern term for antiphonal singing; a long established musical style where two groups sing back and forth with one another. Call & Response is another and more commonly held name for this musical style. In the house of prayer and Harp & Bowl context, it’s a conversation with music about and/or to God. This style of singing has been used through the ages and is documented in biblical times through various locations in the Old Testament. Specifically, during worship in David’s Tabernacle & Solomon’s Temple. This style of singing can alternate between:

new, spontaneous & never heard before songs

comfortable, familiar “everyone knows them” songs

spoken scriptures & words

prayers & petitions

These are used in the 4 versions of Harp & Bowl style worship:

Worship with the Word | Bible verses help us corporately focus on God.

Devotional | Similar to Worship with the Word, more instrumental & individual.

Intercession | Singing & praying over a specific topic or theme (i.e. human trafficking, a city/nation/region, a people group, government, revival, a crisis & disaster, etc…)

Prophetic Worship | The most spontaneous style where the Holy Spirit leads.


The expression “Harp & Bowl” is from Revelation 5.8-9 and refers to the context of worship around God’s throne in heaven.

“Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song….”


The version or exact style of worship is usually determined by the lead worshiper and how he/she feels the session should go. Every session looks a little different than the one before it. The most important thing to be aware of is that the ultimate purpose of worship, regardless of style or genre, is to draw us closer to God.

 Our Lead Worshipers

We prefer the term Lead Worshipers as opposed to Worship Leaders.
What’s the difference? Lead Worshipers are just that, they lead others into the place of worship. They are passionate worshipers of Jesus who are most happy and content when their eyes are fixated upon Him, the One who is Worthy. Their focus and heart posture towards the Lord set the stage for a throne room experience before, and in the presence of, an audience of One. Their goals and objectives? To behold Jesus and to worship in spirit and in truth. And to create an atmosphere allowing others to do the same.

Are you a Lead Worshiper? Do you have a burning passion for the prayer & worship movement in Japan?
Tell us about it. We may have a place for you on our team!