Entries tagged with “How to Exercise the Gift of Prophecy”.


prophetic word for 2010Are you interested in having an encouraging prophetic word for this year?

You can have your own prophecy to remind you of God’s faithfulness throughout the year.

Years ago, friends of ours shared with us how they usually prayed and asked the Lord for His word for the coming year.  For example, if the Lord told them it was going to be a year of fruitfulness, they then named the year, ‘Year of Fruitfulness.’

‘You should do that too,’ they told us. Receiving the word of the Lord for the coming year became an annual quest and has produced a great deal of encouragement over the years.

One year, I sensed the Holy Spirit nudge me with the word, ‘transformation.’ We were on a New Year’s break at a friend’s house and I was musing over what the word ‘transformation’ might mean for us personally. I looked it up in a dictionary, which produced a list of descriptions. One leapt out of the page and struck me hard. It was, ‘A sudden change of scene on stage.’

The Hunk agreed this word was from the Lord, and we felt both excitement and trepidation as to what it might mean. That year, key staff members unexpectedly exited from our ministry. A number of other changes occurred that created difficulties for us.

Even though ‘The Year Of Transformation’ was a tough period, we knew that God was orchestrating what was happening in our lives and ministry, arranging the next scene of His plan for us. The Lord had prepared us with His word.

One word from God can hold tremendous power.

A prophetic word from God for your year can:

  • Bring encouragement throughout the year
  • Help you stay focused on His plan or promise
  • Provide motivation to stay on track
  • Give you the strength to persevere through tough times
  • Help you see God’s bigger picture—His redemptive purpose in what is taking place

As the angel said to Mary, ‘For no word from God shall be void of power’ (Luke 1:37, ASV). God’s word brings power with it, to fulfil God’s purposes for our lives.

Here are some ways you can receive a prophetic word:

1. Pray and ask the Lord to give a word concerning His promise and plans for the coming year.

There are many ways in which you might receive a revelation. The Holy Spirit might speak through a through, scripture, a picture, an idea or some other way.

One year, I was opening up a program on our computer when the word ‘Discover’ came up on the screen, and that one word impacted me so much I knew the Holy Spirit was bringing it to my attention. We were about to enter ‘The Year of Discovery.’

2. Pray and ask the Lord for any further insights about the word.

I like to look the word up in a dictionary or thesaurus to clarify the meaning, as well as pray and seek out scriptures that reinforce what God is saying.

3. If the word goes beyond simple encouragement and compels you towards action or change, remember that the principles of interpretation and accountability apply to the word.

What you can do with your prophetic word:

1. Write down or journal about how you received the word and what it means to you.

2. Share it with those around your life who can rejoice with you when it is fulfilled and encourage you on when times get tough

3. Keep it in front of you throughout the year. Some ideas for doing this are:

  • Use it as a password for programs or websites you commonly use (not if you’ve shared the word widely, of course!)
  • Link the word to an accompanying scripture, and put both on a poster where you can see it daily
  • Write it on card and use it as a bookmark in your Bible or other book
  • Have it as a greeting on your mobile phone

4. Review the word and its outcome at the year’s end. Reflect upon what God has done throughout the year and how the prophetic word has been fulfilled.


Would you like to develop your prophetic gift?
Here are 3 things that can help you:

1. Prophetic Teaching:
Enter your email address in the subscribe box at the top right hand side of this page to receive:

  • regular blog posts containing teaching that will help you grow in your gift of prophecy, as well as articles on related spiritual gifts and spiritual renewal
  • news of resources to help develop your prophetic gift

2. Prophetic Training:

Check here for prophetic training opportunities

3. E-books to Help you Develop Your Gifts:


‘Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts’ is a high-value e-book specifically written to help you grow in your prophetic gifts – at whatever stage or season you are on the journey.

Check out our e-books page for more e-books related to prophetic and prayer ministry.


Related posts:

How To Develop Your Prophetic Gift Pt 1: Where To Begin

How To Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 1: Understand the Process of Prophecy

© Helen Calder   2010  Enliven Blog

Have you ever received a prophecy that left you feeling uncomfortable?B&W message from God

On rare occasions, I have received a prophetic word that has felt wrong—and yet because it was given to me in a ‘Thus saith the Lord’ manner, the person prophesying was inferring that to reject the prophecy was to be in disobedience towards God!

This dilemma has the potential to cause great pain and can especially be harmful to newer Christians. I have prayed with people who have received a negative or ‘off’ prophecy and together we have broken the power of the word spoken over their lives.

Prophecy is abusive when it does not give room for a receiver to weigh up whether the prophecy is from the Lord or not. This is true even if the word is one of encouragement. But if the word is mistaken, it has the added potential of becoming a curse that bears negative fruit in the recipient’s life until it is broken in Jesus’ Name. (For more information about breaking the effects of abusive prophecy check out the post and comments, ‘How Do I Know A Personal Prophecy is From God?’)

  • Releasing the Receiver of Your Prophecy

When you share a prophetic message, it is vital that you give the person or group you are prophesying over freedom to weigh up the prophecy and receive it, or set it aside.

You can do this by using releasing language such as, ‘I believe the Lord is saying…’ ‘Does this mean anything to you?’ ‘I sense…’ This communicates to them that you see yourself as a ‘human vessel’ that could miss the mark. You are submitting the word to them for their assessment.

You do not need to worry that the effect of the prophecy will be watered down by such an approach. The Lord honours humility in the use of His gifts.

This is not to say that prophesying as though God was speaking in the first person through you is always wrong. In fact, this approach can be incredibly powerful, especially when the prophecy is being accompanied by the impartation of an anointing or spiritual gift. However, I believe that this style of prophesying is best left to those who are mature in the prophetic ministry.

If you do move into first-person prophecy such as, ‘The Lord is saying…’ ensure that it has been prefaced or concluded by releasing language as we’ve discussed above.

When prophesying over individuals, I like to make available a brochure I have written called, ‘What to do With Your Personal Prophecy.’ The handout explains how to weigh up a prophetic word and what to do with it. It reminds them that they have the freedom to receive or release the word, and fulfils a duty of care on my part.

  • Be Honest About Conflicting Motives

Prophecy is not a format for us to give our opinion, nor under any circumstances should it be used as a cover for directing or counseling a person to our way of thinking.

If we are experiencing conflict about our motives in bringing a prophecy— it is better to abstain from bringing the word—or to be honest about this conflict as we deliver it. This can occur when we are familiar with the person or situation that we are prophesying over.

  • Provide Accountability

Whichever means you use to deliver a prophecy, it is important to do so in a way that provides you with safe accountability (you can review the Biblical guidelines in 1 Cor 14).

This means that if the prophecy is not delivered publicly or where there is at least another witness, it is able to be remembered and recorded in some way. That way, the recipient can receive advice or oversight about the prophecy if desired. It also provides you with protection should your prophecy come under question. Churches usually have their own guidelines and protocols regarding prophecy.

Writing down a prophetic word (or storing it electronically) aids with both accountability and the communication process. It also means the recipient can keep the prophecy for future encouragement or reference.

  • Prophetic Evangelism

When you are using prophecy in the process of prophetic evangelism, accountability would take the form of sharing what is taking place with Christians that are journeying with you.

If the person you have a prophetic word for is not yet a Christian, I would add the following guidelines to the above:

  • Be careful how you communicate that you believe what you have is a word from God. You could preface your insight with a statement such as, “I’ve been praying for you and I believe God is saying…”
  • Bring the word in a natural manner and avoid using religious jargon. This is preferable at all times, but especially so when sharing a prophecy with an unchurched person.
  • How To Release A Prophecy You Have Given

Once we have delivered our prophecy, we have completed our part in the process. It is over to the recipient of the message to assess the prophecy and decide whether to take current or future action on the word from God.

Bringing a prophecy is like a postman delivering a letter. Once we have faithfully ‘dropped the letter in the mailbox’, what the receiver does with it is no longer our responsibility.

We can pray about the person and the word, especially if we sense the Holy Spirit urging us to do so. However, we need to release the outcome to the Holy Spirit and to the recipient of the prophecy.


Would you like to develop your prophetic gift?
Here are 3 things that can help you:

1. Prophetic Teaching:
Enter your email address in the subscribe box at the top right hand side of this page to receive:

  • regular blog posts containing teaching that will help you grow in your gift of prophecy, as well as articles on spiritual gifts, prayer, spiritual renewal and supernatural Christian living
  • notifications about online prophetic training opportunities

2. Prophetic Training:

Check here for prophetic training resources and information

3. E-books to Help you Develop Your Gifts:


‘Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts’ is a high-value e-book specifically written to help you grow in your prophetic gifts – at whatever stage or season you are on the journey.

Check out our e-books page for more e-books related to prophetic and prayer ministry.


Related Posts:

How to Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 4: How to Deliver a Prophecy

4 Things You Can Do With Your Personal Prophecy

© Helen Calder   Enliven Blog

Message from GodAt the beginning of this series we identified 5 links in the process of prophecy:

1. We receive a revelation from the Holy Spirit

2. We assess the revelation and how to best communicate it in a prophetic message

3. We then deliver the prophecy to the person or group God is speaking to

4. The recipient(s) of the prophecy assess the message

5. The recipient(s) of the prophecy respond to the prophecy.

In the last two posts we have discussed how to receive a prophetic revelation, as well as how to assess its meaning and determine whether or not it is from the Holy Spirit.

At this stage, you believe you have received a message from God for a person, group or church that you have been praying for. It is time to deliver the prophecy God has given you.

For the purposes of this discussion, I am going to assume that you are delivering the prophecy using words, whether spoken, written or in song.

During delivery, you are framing your revelation from God (picture, word, scripture, impression, or feeling) with words

There are two ways that you can do this:

  • Describe the revelation
  • Unfold the revelation

1. Describe the Revelation

Describing the revelation is sharing the impression as you receive it, without elaboration. You may choose to simply describe the picture or vision, pass on the word or impression, or share the Bible verse or story that has come to mind.

The advantages of sharing a prophetic revelation just as you received it are:

  • It is easier when you are beginning in prophecy
  • The revelation runs less danger of being tainted by your own opinion about what it means
  • The revelation may have special significance for the person that you are unaware of
  • It aids the recipient in remembering the prophecy, especially if the revelation was a picture, verse or Bible story.

Simply describing a revelation also has limitations:

  • The person may not have the Biblical knowledge to understand any symbolism in your revelation
  • There may be more insight about the revelation that you have received, or could receive, but are not sharing
  • This method does not require a high level of faith
  • If you always use this method, you will limit your growth in the gift of prophecy.

2. Unfolding the Revelation

Another way you can share a revelation is to use the impression you received to launch into a more detailed prophecy.

When you unfold a revelation, you are bringing an interpretation of the revelation, and enlarging upon it, as the Holy Spirit illuminates it to you. By faith, you are also allowing the Spirit to direct the flow of your expression.

As you grow in prophetic ministry, you will find more revelation comes to mind as you are prophesying, enabling you to share an extended prophecy. You are assessing the new revelation during the process of prophesying.

The advantages of this kind of prophetic ministry are:

  • It enables the recipient to receive a greater clarification of the prophetic word
  • The impact and impartation of the prophecy increases due to the higher level of faith and boldness required to deliver this kind of prophetic message
  • It suits maturing prophetic ministry.

Some cautions about unfolding revelation in this way are:

  • At this stage, if not careful, you are prone to filter God’s word with your own ideas, judgements, history and experience (especially if the recipient of the prophecy is known to you)
  • If you step into this kind of prophecy when you are not ready, the prophecy can go awry!

I believe that it is usually best—if you feel confident enough to do so—to both describe and unfold the revelation you have received. For example, you may say, ‘I had a picture of… and I believe the Lord is saying…’

This way, the recipient receives the benefits of both the initial revelation and the extension of the prophecy.

I have seen mature prophets deliver prophecies in this way that have had a high impact on the recipient.

When beginning in prophecy it is best to start with simple sharing and work up to stronger prophecy as you grow in experience and wisdom, taking small steps forward at a time. This is where growing your prophetic gift in the safe community of a church is valuable.

Some Other Thoughts About Delivering a Prophecy:

It is vital that we use wisdom as to the means, context, place, manner, and timing of delivering a prophecy. I’ve often heard it said that the church carpark is the wrong place to bring a prophecy!

  • Verbalising a prophecy is only one way in which it can be delivered. Other ways you can share a prophecy include in writing, through prophetic song, prophetic art, multi-media and through symbolic action. Ensure that you are gifted in the media that you decide to use!
  • Deliver the word clearly. If the message is delivered in an unclear or ambiguous manner, it will obscure its meaning. Also remember that what is clear to you may not be clear to someone else and that you may need to adapt your approach at times;
  • Delivery also involves how you bring the message. It includes your style, the tone of your voice and your attitude as you give it (if you write a prophecy, this includes your writing style).Your attitude and manner of speech should reflect the heart of God towards the recipient;
  • Be sure to share the prophecy in a way that gives them room to weigh up whether the message is from God, and receive or release the word

In the next post, I will be discussing two very important aspects of delivering a prophecy that creates a safe environment for both giver and receiver.


Would you like to develop your prophetic gift?
Here are 3 things that can help you:

 

1. Prophetic Teaching:
Enter your email address in the subscribe box at the top right hand side of this page to receive:

  • regular blog posts containing teaching that will help you grow in your gift of prophecy, as well as articles on spiritual gifts, prayer, spiritual renewal and supernatural Christian living

2. Prophetic Training:

Check here for prophetic training resources and information

3. E-books to Help you Develop Your Gifts:


‘Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts’ is a high-value e-book specifically written to help you grow in your prophetic gifts – at whatever stage or season you are on the journey.

Check out our e-books page for more e-books related to prophetic and prayer ministry.


See also:

 

How to Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 3: How Can You Tell Your Revelaton Is From God

How to Develop Your Prophetic Gift Pt 1: Where to Begin

How To Share A Prophecy With Someone Who Is Not A Christian

© Helen Calder   Enliven Publishing

You are praying for yourself, another person, church or group and waiting for God to bring a prophetic word through you. Now you receive a revelation—a thought, picture, scripture verse, Bible story word, feeling, dream or other impression.

How do you know that it is from the Holy Spirit?

Our senses are constantly being bombarded with all kinds of thoughts and feelings. We need to carefully assess whether the revelation is from God and not our own opinion, imagination or even demonic in origin. This is important even when we are in prayer or waiting on the Lord for a prophecy.

As you grow in your prophetic gift, this process will increase in speed until it occurs almost simultaneously as you prophesy. As you start out, however, it can take a bit longer. In the early stages of developing your prophetic gift you may prefer to meditate on your revelation, journal it, or share it with a mentor or leader before sharing it as a prophetic word.

If you are unsure whether the impression you are receiving is a message from God, it is OK to dismiss it, or to shelve it for a later time. We need to give ourselves the grace that God extends to us in this process and not get hung up that everything we are getting has to be 100% perfect (see the post, ‘Not Word-Perfect’ for more about this). If this happens, pass over it and wait prayerfully for another revelation.

There are two things that we can do that will help us in this process:

  1. Assess the likely meaning of the revelation
  2. Assess whether or not the revelation is likely to be from God

1. What Does the Revelation Mean?

Broadly, revelations from the Holy Spirit can be either plain or symbolic in their meaning.

Plain Revelation

Plain revelation has an obvious meaning and can be interpreted in a straight-forward way. If the revelation were to be shared without elaboration—as is—to the person you are prophesying to, the meaning could easily be understood by them.

Some examples of plain revelation are:

*You think of a Bible verse, for example Psalm 23:1 ‘The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want’ or Proverbs 3:5-6 ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart… He shall direct your paths’

*A word comes to mind, such as ‘boldness’

*You have an impression, such as ‘God is releasing provision for an area of need’

*You have a feeling, such as, “I am feeling God’s compassion and love for this person’

*A non-symbolic picture or vision comes to mind, such as seeing the Lord embracing the person. Most visions and dreams, however, are symbolic in nature

Symbolic Revelation

Symbolic revelation occurs when the impression, picture or word you receive is representative of something else. It requires interpretation by yourself or the recipient in order for the meaning to be understood.

Some examples of symbolic revelation are:

*You recall a Bible story, such as David and Goliath (1 Sam 17). The presenting symbolism is that God is giving the person or group you are praying for victory over an enemy or adversity

*You have a symbolic picture come to mind, for example you see the person standing behind a huge shield. This seems to mean that God is encouraging them that they are shielded from something that could be potentially harmful. You are also reminded of Bible verses such as Psalm 3:3 that says that God is our shield.


Questions to ask about a symbolic revelation:

1. Is the symbolism Biblical?

If so, what does it mean in the Bible? Does it have more than one meaning? For example fire in the Bible is representative of the Holy Spirit—but it is also representative of trial and judgement (Acts 2:1-4, Ps 66:12, 1 Cor 3:13)

2. Is it non-Biblical symbolism? If so, does the symbol have a meaning in our cultural context?

A symbol can be a combination of both—for example, if a picture of a lighthouse comes to mind, you remember that Jesus said that His followers would be a light to the world (Matt 5:14). As the specific function of a lighthouse is to show ships the right way to travel and prevent loss and destruction, the symbol has an added value of meaning.

3. Is it a symbol you don’t understand?

Here you have a choice as to whether to dismiss the impression if you believe it may not be from God, or to proceed and share it as you receive it. The symbol may have a significant meaning to the recipient that you are unaware of—we will discuss this in the next blog post.

Sometimes a revelation can have both plain and symbolic elements.

2. How to Check Whether the Impression You Have Received is From God

Once you have assessed a revelation for its probable meaning, you can check the revelation, along with your interpretation of it, by passing it through a simple test:

A. Does it fall within the Biblical guidelines of being strengthening, encouraging and comforting? (1 Cor 14:3). In other words, does it ‘build up, lift up or cheer up?’

B.  Does it reflect God’s character and nature?

C.  Is it redemptive? (i.e., true to the ‘Good News’ of salvation, containing a positive outcome and speaking of God’s redeeming purposes)

D. Is it loving in expression towards the recipient?

E.  Does it adhere to scriptural principles?

F. Is it, or could it be relevant to the professed need of the person, group or situation that we are praying for or ministering to? (This may be difficult to ascertain, and this is where faith comes in as we mature in the prophetic gift)

G. Is it true to God’s voice as He normally speaks to you?

As you start out in prophecy, you experience doubts as to whether the impression you have received is really from God or was from your own imagination. However, if it is Biblical, and builds up, lifts up or cheers up, it can still bring encouragement.

You will know for sure whether it was from the Lord by the fruit, or outcome of the word after you have delivered it. Time will tell. Deliver the message in faith and watch what God does.

A good guideline for beginning in prophecy is, ‘No direction or correction; no dates or mates.’ If you strongly believe you are receiving a warning or direction from God for the person, group or church you are praying for, either refrain from bringing it and commit it to prayer, or submit it to a leader for guidance.

I encourage those who are maturing in prophecy to ascertain and communicate God’s redemptive purposes (that is, the positive outcome He intends), when the prophecy contains a warning.

Once we are comfortable with sharing the revelation we have received, we then need to decide how best to communicate that message from God.

In the next post, I will discuss the next stage of prophecy—which is deciding how to frame and then deliver your prophetic message.


Would you like to develop your prophetic gift?
Here are 3 things that can help you:

1. Prophetic Teaching:
Enter your email address in the subscribe box at the top right hand side of this page to receive:

  • regular blog posts containing teaching that will help you grow in your gift of prophecy, as well as articles on spiritual gifts, prayer, spiritual renewal and supernatural Christian living

2. Prophetic Training:

Check here for prophetic training resources and information

3. E-books to Help you Develop Your Gifts:


‘Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts’ is a high-value e-book specifically written to help you grow in your prophetic gifts – at whatever stage or season you are on the journey.

Check out our e-books page for more e-books related to prophetic and prayer ministry.


See also:

How to Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 1: Understand the Process of Prophecy

How to Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 2: How To Receive a Revelation From God

© Helen Calder   Enliven Blog

Stained Glass effectWe can easily be intimidated when we hear a seasoned prophet bring a prophetic word. The flow and ease with which they speak, powerfully delivering a message from God seems supernatural.

We don’t know how we could ever be like that! It may be helpful to know that even mature prophets receive prophetic words the same way that we can—and it starts with receiving a simple revelation from God.

In Pt 1 of this series, we discussed 5 links in the process of prophecy:

1. We receive a revelation from the Holy Spirit

2. We assess the revelation and how to best communicate it in a prophetic message

3. We then deliver the prophecy to the person or group God is speaking to

4. The recipient(s) of the prophecy assess the message

5. The recipient(s) of the prophecy may or may not pray or take further action in response to the word.

Prophecy begins with receiving a revelation from the Holy Spirit.

The word ‘revelation’ in the New Testament Greek, apokalupsis, means ‘an uncovering,’ or disclosure. The Holy Spirit is showing us something that we could not know by natural means. He is revealing something supernaturally about the person, group or situation that we are praying about or ministering to.

A revelation can be a word of knowledge about something past or present, an encouraging outcome from a present circumstance, or illuminating God’s plans concerning the future. [A revelation may also contain a warning or a condition—however when you are first learning to prophesy, these are best submitted to leadership for oversight before delivery].

A revelation from God does not come externally; if you have been baptised in the Holy Spirit, He resides within you. As Jesus said,

‘“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit’ (John 7:38-39).

You receive a revelation from the Holy Spirit in your spirit, which is then imparted to your mind or through your physical senses.

Here are some ways in which a revelation can come to you:

  • You are reminded of a Bible verse or story—or one is highlighted to you when you are reading the Bible*
  • You ‘see’ a picture in your mind’s eye
  • An idea or impression comes to mind
  • You feel something emotionally or physically
  • A word comes to mind or you ‘see’ a written word in your imagination

Other ways God can speak through revelation are:

  • Dreams
  • Waking visions (like a movie in your imagination)
  • Something that you see physically is symbolic (for example, you are driving along and a sign impacts you. You realise that God is speaking through it, or you see a person who reminds you of someone else)
  • He may also speak through another person

*Note that scripture is not only one of the primary ways that we receive revelation from the Holy Spirit, it is also the means of weighing up whether God is speaking to us and what He is saying. We will cover this in the next post.

There are many different ways that God can bring revelation to you when you are open to receiving it. Like a fingerprint, God’s way of speaking to and through you will be unique to you. In the Bible, we see that every prophet had his or her own flavour and style.

As you begin the journey of seeking for revelation from God, remember that he is your Heavenly Father; He wants to give good gifts to you and He wants to bless others through you too. Jesus said,

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13)

Receiving revelatory knowledge from the Holy Spirit is a first step in operating in the spiritual gift of prophecy. It can also be an important lead in to operating in other supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit such as discernment, word of knowledge, healing, deliverance and miracles.

Remember that receiving revelatory knowledge is a ministry tool and a helpful means of learning to hear from God for others and us; it should never become a quest in itself. Rather, we should hunger and thirst for God and make the Bible our primary source of instruction and wisdom.

In my next blog post, I will be looking at ‘How Can We Tell a Revelation is From God?’ From there, we will move on to how to interpret a revelation, and then explore some ways to deliver the prophetic message God has given to you.

If you have any more ideas of different ways of receiving revelation from the Holy Spirit, or an experience you would like to share, I would love to hear from you—leave a note in the comments below.

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Would you like to develop your prophetic gift?

Enter your email address in the subscribe box at the right hand side of this page to receive:

  • regular blogs and teaching to help you grow in your gift of prophecy, as well as articles about prayer, spiritual renewal and supernatural Christian living.
  • news about resources to help develop your prophetic gift

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See also:

How to Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 1: Understand the Process of Prophecy

How to Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 3: How Can You Tell Your Revelation Is From God

© Helen Calder    Enliven Publishing

The Process of Prophecy

links in a chain

Prophecy is a gift of the Holy Spirit that is given by Jesus for the purpose of building the Church (1 Cor 12:10). A prophecy is a message from God that is given through a person who is filled with the Holy Spirit and has a prophetic gift.

Prophecy is one means that God uses to communicate His love and His purposes to people. Like any means of communication, it takes all of the parties’ cooperation for the message to be given and received as God intends it.

When we prophesy, we want to faithfully represent not only God’s message, but also His heart. We want to convey both His intended meaning and redemptive love for the person or group we are bringing the prophecy to.

Why Prophecy is Like a Chain

The prophetic process can be likened to the links in a chain. Prophecy begins with a message or prompting from the Holy Spirit residing within us. We recognise and assess this revelation, decide how to frame the message, and deliver it. The person or group receiving the message then interprets its meaning in the light of their own paradigm—and then may or may not receive and act upon it.

A chain with one broken link is useless for its purpose. In the same way, a prophecy may not accomplish  God’s intended purpose in the life of the person, church or group He is speaking to if the communication is not clearly passed on.

In my younger years, one of my schoolteachers sent a message by whispers around our class. By the time the message returned full circle to the teacher, it was not only scrambled, but it also meant something completely different to what the teacher originally intended. The ‘chain’ of the message became broken, not once, but many times before it reached its intended destination.

In spite of this potential weakness, Jesus entrusts us with His message, choosing to use imperfect human vessels, just as He does with other ministries such as preaching and teaching. God by His grace is able to take our imperfect communication and use it to transform lives through His love and power.

Some reasons it is helpful to understand this process are:

  • Breaking the prophetic process into simple parts demystifies prophecy to someone who is starting out
  • It aids prophetic activation and helps us to learn how to prophesy by focusing on one area at a time (e.g., in my next post, I will focus on how to receive a revelation from God)
  • If we discover we are weak in one area of the communication process we can focus on becoming better (e.g., we may be great at receiving revelation, but need to grow in the area of how to deliver the message)
  • It takes the pressure off the responsibility for the outcome when we understand our part in the process—and what is God’s, and what belongs to the recipient of the prophecy
  • It helps us to grow in wisdom and sensitivity, not only to God, but also in understanding the communication needs of the person or group we are sharing with

Here is a brief description of each stage in the prophetic communication process:

link in a chain

 

1. Message Acquired (Revelation)

This is the prophetic message as it has been initially received. The Holy Spirit often speaks in a ‘seed’ form; such as a picture, scripture, word, feeling or dream.

Like a fingerprint, God’s way of speaking to and through you will be unique – just as we have unique personalities, learning styles and preferences. Throughout the Bible, prophets received revelation in many different ways.

link in a chain

 

2. Message Assessed  (Interpreted by person prophesying)

This is what you think the revelation you have received means and will determine whether you speak it and how you frame it.

At this stage, you are not only assessing the worthiness and source of the revelation (remember, this process may take a split second!), you may also be assessing the meaning. You are interpreting the revelation in the light of anything you know about the recipient’s needs. You are also interpreting the revelation in the light of what you know of God’s character, ways and word.

link in a chain

 

3. Message Announced (Delivery)

Delivery may include any way in which you bring the prophecy. Some Biblical examples include speaking, singing, writing or symbolic acts.

When starting out, you can bring the revelation as you receive it, i.e., simply share the picture, or pass on the word or impression. A maturing prophet who has grown in faith will use the revelation received to launch into prophecy, allowing the Spirit of God to direct the flow of words.

During delivery, you are framing your revelation from God (picture, word, impression, scripture or feeling) with words

Delivery also involves how you bring the message. It includes your style, the tone of your voice and your attitude as you give it. If you write a prophecy, this includes your writing style.

link in a chain

 

4. Message Assessed (Interpreted by Recipient)

This is what the recipient believes the message means and what they believe it applies to. They are listening to the message in the light of their past history, their present needs and their desires for the future, as well as their own unique perspective on God’s word and character.

link in a chain

 

5. Message Applied (Application by Recipient)

Once you have delivered the message, it is over to the recipient as to whether or not they will respond to it.

Prophecy is miraculous by nature—but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be taught, nurtured and grown to maturity as a gift. In the same way that gifts of teaching or leadership benefit from instruction, prophecy can too! In coming posts we will look at each part of this process in more depth.


Would you like to develop your prophetic gift?
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1. Prophetic Teaching:
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2. Prophetic Training:

Check here for prophetic training resources and information

3. E-books to Help you Develop Your Gifts:


‘Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts’ is a high-value e-book specifically written to help you grow in your prophetic gifts – at whatever stage or season you are on the journey.

Check out our e-books page for more e-books related to prophetic and prayer ministry.


Related articles:

How To Develop Your Prophetic Gift Pt 1: Where to Begin

What Are Some Signs You Have a Prophetic Gift

and How to Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 2: How To Receive a Revelation from God

© Helen Calder   2009 Enliven Blog