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Category Archives for "Prophecy"

Prophesy With The Mind Of Christ
Nov 02

Prophesy With The Mind Of Christ

By Tim Bader | Prophecy

Key 3: The Mind Of Christ

This is part 3 of my new series, Unlocking Your Gift Of Prophecy, where I'll talk about having the mind of Christ.

If you’ve not read part 1 and 2 yet, you can find them here:

Prophesy With The Mind Of Christ

In this series, we’ve been working through the different ways we become aligned with God, beginning in worship:

  • 1
    Our spirit becomes aligned with God’s spirit.
  • 2
    Our heart (and emotions) become aligned with God’s heart.
  • 3
    Our mind becomes aligned with the mind of Christ.

In part 1, we discussed the importance of being led by the spirit.

In part 2, we talked about the emotional impact of being aligned with God’s heart.

Today, I want to share the third key to unlock your gift of prophecy: the mind of Christ.

Having The Mind Of Christ

In part 1 of this series, I said that the bible commands us to “Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, soul and mind”.

This is how we are to worship him, and it is also how we are to operate in the gifts of the spirit, especially in the gift of prophecy.

As we worship God and spend time in his presence, we align our spirits and hearts, with his spirit and heart.

But we need one more thing to be truly effective: to align our minds with his mind.


If our spirits and hearts are aligned with him, but not our mind and our thinking, then we can still end up with a problem:

We may prophesy with good intentions, but if we’re not careful, a poorly delivered or badly timed word, may actually wound the very people we want to help.

In other words, we can end up bringing a curse, instead of a blessing.

We need the mind of Christ.


Why Having The Mind Of Christ Will Help You Prophesy

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul discusses how God’s wisdom is revealed by the Spirit. He explains how we can only understand what God has done for us through the Spirit, not with our human minds.

He concludes by saying that those without the Spirit see the things of God as foolishness, but the one who has the Spirit makes (correct) judgments about all things.

Those filled with the Spirit are able to make these decisions, because they have God’s thoughts and wisdom imparted to them:

“But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16b)

So, the mind of Christ is something given to us by the Holy Spirit, just as it says elsewhere:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

While the mind of Christ has a wider application, there are specific things we can do to utilise the mind of Christ and the power of a sound mind, in the gift of prophecy.


How To Prophesy With The Mind Of Christ

For the spiritual gifts, including the gift of prophecy, I believe God can give us wisdom from the Spirit, to know how to use them well.

One way he has done this, is to give his church frameworks to use in various ministries. This has come to the fore in all kinds of areas, from children’s work through to healing rooms.

Ministries like Freedom in Christ and Sozo provide just such a framework and have proven to be powerful for setting people free.

But it’s not the framework itself that does the work. What gives them their power is that they were inspired by Holy Spirit, are spirit-led, and are infused with his presence.

Frameworks have power only because they are:

  • Inspired by Holy Spirit
  • Spirit-led
  • Infused with God’s presence

They are effective because they enable a safe environment for people to cooperate with Holy Spirit, and grow in their gifts.

I believe that you need a framework to help you learn the gift of prophecy.

And I believe that God has inspired me to share one with you…


How The 4 Steps Will Help You Prophesy With The Mind Of Christ

Make no mistake, we must continue to ensure that our spirits and hearts are aligned with God.

Heart, mind and spirit are like the three legs of a stool: remove any one, and the whole thing ceases to function as it should.

"Heart, mind and spirit are like​​​​​ the three legs of a stool: remove any one, and the whole thing ceases to function as it should."

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That’s why I'm excited to share the 4 Steps Prophecy School with you today.

The School takes everything I’ve learned about growing my gift of prophecy over the past 25+ years, and distils it into a comprehensive online learning experience.

The 4 Steps form a framework for learning to prophesy, which combines spirit, heart and mind together, in practical prayer ministry.

I have written extensively on the subject elsewhere , but for your reference they are:

  • 1
    Talk
  • 2
    Tune In
  • 3
    Translate
  • 4
    Tell

The 4 Steps will help you separate out the component parts of prophecy, not just in theory, but in practice.

You’ll be able to make sense of your prophetic gift, within the reality of prayer ministry.

In other words, they’ll help you know exactly what to do, when you are actually praying for someone:

You’ll be able to hear God’s voice for them, be sure you’ve heard him correctly, and interpret and share prophecy with them, in ways they will understand.


The Mind Of Christ: Sydney’s Story

But I don’t want you to just take my word at face value.

Over the Summer, I had the privilege of running the 4 Steps Prophecy School in my home town of Guildford, Surrey.

The event was a real success, and I asked some questions of the participants, to get their feedback.

One of those participants was my friend Sydney, and here’s what he had to say:

1

What was your primary reason for attending the 4 Steps Prophecy School?

“To learn how to hear what God is saying today and to make prophecy relevant in my life, as I always thought I had some gifting in that area.

The main reason was to explore the gift of prophecy and how it could impact on my life.”

2

Would you recommend the School to a friend?

“I would definitely recommend a friend as it is very interesting and the course flows from one section to the next, in an easy to follow format.

There are so many practical things to follow on with after the course, as well as learning ways to access Gods presence.”

3

Did you have any “ah-ha” moments during the course?

“Yes - Things that I thought I knew but were pointed out in a different, interesting way.”

4

Anything else you’d like to add?

“It seems like everything in our life we have to make time to do something like being prophetic.

Therefore the practical ways to spend time getting into Gods presence were invaluable.

I would recommend that everybody from housewife to Managing director should do this course.

And by the way I am not advocating that one job is better than the other, just different.”

 Sydney obviously got a lot out of it…

…and now it’s your turn!


Unlock Your Gift Of Prophecy In The 4 Steps Prophecy School

The 4 Steps Prophecy School is opening today and is designed to take you from wherever you are today, and move you several steps on, in your prophetic journey.

Inside, you’ll be able to learn the gift of prophecy, based on sound, biblical principles, and you’ll get to practice your gift in a safe environment.

And at the end of the course, you’ll have confidence to take your gift and use it to bless others, in your church and in the outside world.

To celebrate, I'm offering a special introductory price for the opening week.

If you’re ready to learn how to use the gift of prophecy, or if you want to take your existing gift to another level, register here.

Question

How do you plan on growing your gift of prophecy?

Have you joined the 4 Steps Prophecy School?

Let us know in the comments below.


The prophetic lifestyle: align your heart with God's heart
Oct 25

The Prophetic Lifestyle: Key To God’s Heart

By Tim Bader | Prophecy

Welcome back to part 2 of this 3 part series, Keys To Unlock Your Gift Of Prophecy.
If you haven’t read the first part yet, it’s best if you start there.

The Prophetic Lifestyle: Second Of 3 Keys

Last time, we talked about the importance of alignment with God and how worship draws us into that place:

  • 1
    Our spirit becomes aligned with God’s spirit.
  • 2
    Our heart (and emotions) become aligned with God’s heart.
  • 3
    Our mind becomes aligned with the mind of Christ.
The prophetic lifestyle: align your heart with God's heart

When our spirit aligns with God’s spirit, we become spirit led. This allows us to operate more effectively in the prophetic gifts.

Today, I’ll look at how our heart and emotions become aligned with God’s heart …but how that may, surprisingly, lead us into difficulties.

I’ll also share an exciting opportunity with you, so keep reading to the end!


The Prophetic Lifestyle: How I Got Started

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that the gift of prophecy is very close to my heart.

I began to prophesy from fairly early on in my Christian life, and at every stage, I’ve always wanted to hear God’s voice more clearly than before.

These days, I eat, drink and sleep prophecy: I’m always thinking and writing about it. And whenever I lead a church meeting, I ask the question, “What does the spirit of prophecy want to say today?”

What you might not know, is how I got here.

My big “secret” is simply this: I asked!

The story of how I first began to prophesy started in that way. That story is outside the scope of this post (spoiler alert: you can find out more about it in my new online course…), but it’s also how I continued to grow, over the years that followed:

  • 1
    I asked God to give me the gift of prophecy.
  • 2
    I kept asking for more, in order to grow my gift of prophecy.

Of course, it wasn’t all plain sailing and I encountered some issues along the way.


The Prophetic Lifestyle: How I Struggled

Very early on, I discovered that learning the gift of prophecy comes with a cost.

I got close to God and received something of his heart for other people, but I also began to struggle with another aspect to those emotions.
And then I discovered that I wasn’t the only one…

As I write about prophecy and hearing God, I sometimes get comments from my readers.
I also survey my readers regularly, in order to find out how I can serve them best.

From the feedback I receive, 3 thoughts or questions stand out from the crowd (which are all variations on a theme):

  • 1
    How do I know it's God speaking to me and not just my imagination?
  • 2
    How do I know it's not just in my head, or my own thoughts and desires?
  • 3
    How do I hear God when my own thoughts and emotions are so "loud"?

In other words, how we can be sure we’re receiving God’s thoughts and feelings for a person, or situation?


The Prophetic Lifestyle: Key To Knowing God’s Voice

Jesus himself answered this question:
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me” (John 10:14).

Before that, speaking of the good shepherd in third person terms, he also said this:

“…he [the shepherd] goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:4-5 NIV, emphasis mine)

This is all about relationship:

  • The sheep know the shepherd, because they have spent long periods of time with him.
  • They know his voice, because they hear it all the time.
  • They learn discernment, because they are so used to hearing the shepherd’s voice, they immediately know when a stranger calls.

So the key to knowing whether it’s God speaking, or you thinking, or something else, is to spend plenty of quality time with the shepherd.

I have written elsewhere about the impact of our lifestyle on our relationship with God, and how we can find ways to improve it.

But that can be really, really, hard at times.


The Prophetic Lifestyle: Feeling Alone

I feel sympathy for every one of those people who ask the questions above, because I’ve been there too.

It can be hard when God starts speaking to you, because not everyone around you understands what it’s like - even in Christian circles.

And because everyone is unique, it follows that everyone has a unique relationship with God.

There’s an emotional burden associated with this, because sometimes the Lord shows us things that we’re not very comfortable with.
That emotional burden goes beyond the effect of the “daily grind”, and isn’t always something that sits well with us.

Sometimes, it just feels so alone.


The Prophetic Lifestyle: You’re Not Alone

But through my writing, I’ve realised that none of us are, in fact, alone.

Yes, there will always be a certain aspect to your relationship with God, that is different to mine, and different to everyone else.
There may well be times when it feels lonely.

But the important thing to remember is this:

  • We’re all asking the same questions.

When we connect with God, we connect with his heart and emotions, and as we have said, it’s not always easy.

However, because we are connected with God, we are never truly alone: he is our best friend, as well as our Lord and saviour!

And if we also connect with each other, then we are able to share one another’s burdens too.


The Prophetic Lifestyle: Prophecy From Relationship

That’s one of the reasons why God established his church: he never intended for us to be by ourselves.
Our God is a relational God. He designed us to relate to him, and to each other.

The prophets of the bible, including Jesus himself, often spent long periods alone with their Father.
But the Lord always brought them back into relationship with others.

True prophecy always comes out of a position of relationship: with God and with others.

The good news about aligning ourselves with God’s heart, is that we gain a heart of love for other people. We begin to see them through his eyes, and with his compassion.

And when we love other people with God’s love, we cannot go wrong:

"Even if we completely mess up the words of a prophecy, if the message makes someone feel loved, then we have succeeded."

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The Prophetic Lifestyle: The Company Of Prophets

In the books of Samuel and Kings, we see mention of a “company of prophets”.
They seem to be part of a movement of prophetic people, in training.

My heart for Christians today, particularly for those struggling to grow in the gift of prophecy, is to establish a modern day company of prophets.

One of the ways I’m doing that, is through a new online training course: the 4 Steps Prophecy School.​

Inside, prophets in training will be able to learn and talk about prophecy: not just how to operate in the gift itself, but also about the difficulties and emotions that can get churned up, in the process of learning it.


The Prophetic Lifestyle: School Opening Soon

Next time, we’ll look at the last key to unlocking your gift of prophecy: having the mind of Christ.

I’ll also let you know more about the 4 Steps Prophecy School.

I’m very excited about it, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

It’s opening very soon and you can learn more about it here.


Question:

What effect has the gift of prophecy had on your emotions, and how have you coped?

Let us know by leaving a comment, below.


Keys to unlock your gift of prophecy
Oct 19

Keys To Unlock Your Gift Of Prophecy: Start In Worship

By Tim Bader | Prophecy

Today begins a brand new series, “Keys To Unlock Your Gift Of Prophecy”.

Over the next three posts, I'm going to share with you three simple tools or keys for you to use:

They can boost your ability to hear God, and open up new possibilities for this essential spiritual gift.

And today, I’m going to start with the first, and most important, of those keys: worship.


Keys to unlock your gift of prophecy

Unlock Your Gift Of Prophecy: Summary Download

Stop press: since this is a 3 part series, I’ve put together a summary "Blueprint", to help you see where we’re going.

You can get it by entering your email, below.


Unlock Your Gift Of Prophecy: Worship Affects Prophecy

There’s a well known bible verse that I believe reveals something about the gift of prophecy, and it’s this:

“Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” (Matthew 22:37)

This is repeated throughout scripture, with minor variations, and the apostle Luke adds “with all your strength” (Luke 10:27) into the mix.


In the example from Matthew’s gospel, Jesus went on to say that "this is the first, and greatest commandment”.

His words demonstrate that our God holds love close to his heart, so how we worship him becomes of utmost importance.

We are to worship the Lord with our whole being: our hearts, souls and minds. The natural implication is that our spirit is also intimately involved.

For our purposes today, they also indicate that our alignment with God is crucial to unlocking the spiritual gift of prophecy.


Unlock Your Gift Of Prophecy: Align With God

When we prophesy, we need to do that out of God’s heart of love.

But when life’s difficulties overwhelm us, then our judgement can become skewed. We may try to use the gifts of the spirit in our own strength and end up doing damage to people, instead of bringing a blessing.

However, Worship draws us closer to God and alters our mindset, so we see others with his eyes.

Specifically, worship creates alignment with God, so we line up with his desires and intentions:

  • 1
    Our spirit becomes aligned with God’s spirit.
  • 2
    Our heart (and emotions) become aligned with God’s heart.
  • 3
    Our mind becomes aligned with the mind of Christ.

Here, I will focus most on our spirit’s alignment with God’s spirit.

When we are aligned with God in this way, we live according to the spirit (Romans 8:5). And when we do that, operating in the gifts of the spirit and the gift of prophecy comes easily.

When we fall out of alignment with God, the gifts of the spirit are muted, and we are left leaning on fleshly thinking and “good deeds”, empty of eternal value.

The prophets in bible times experienced this effect.



Unlock Your Gift Of Prophecy: Examples From The Prophets

All the prophets of old had an incredibly close relationship with their God. They heard directly from him, they saw the world around them from his Heavenly perspective, and sometimes they were brought right into his throne room.

But sometimes, they were so preoccupied with their own issues, or even with the negative visions the Lord showed them of the state of the nations and peoples around them, that they were deeply affected in their spirits.

It had an impact on their spirits and emotions:

Ezekiel, having seen his visions of God's throne and Jerusalem, was overwhelmed and unable to speak or move for several days. (Ezekiel 3:15)

It was only when “the word of the Lord came to me” at the end of 7 days, that Ezekiel recovered and was able to hear him again.

This indicates something was imparted from God to Ezekiel, through his “word”. It also implies Ezekiel was revived in, and from, a place of meditation and intimacy.

On the other hand, Jonah became upset with God, when the people of Nineveh repented, and the Lord refused to punish them:

“Jonah was not happy that God saved the city. Jonah became angry. He complained to the Lord and said, ‘Lord, I knew this would happen… just kill me. It’s better for me to die than to live.’” (Jonah 4:1-4, NIV)

Jonah had forgotten that God is love, because Jonah had ceased to worship him. Instead, he behaved like a petulant child, despite the Lord’s grace towards him.


Unlock Your Gift Of Prophecy: How Worship Unlocks Your Gift

These stories serve to illustrate why worship is such a key for prophets and the prophetic gifts.

If we spend our time looking at the world around us and receiving revelation about people's true hearts, minds and motives, then we can become depressed.

However, if we keep drawing ourselves back to God, focussing on him in worship, then we are enlightened, encouraged, and lifted up in the process.

Worship is effective at doing the following things:

  • 1
    It lifts our gaze away from the world (and away from our problems), to the beauty of the Lord.
  • 2
    It brings us closer in to God and into his presence, where we receive his peace.
  • 3
    We are reminded of Jesus’ mercy, and of all that he achieved for us.
  • 4
    God receives glory, and this attracts the presence of Holy Spirit.
  • 5
    When Holy Spirit draws near, we learn his thoughts, his feelings and how to hear his voice.


Unlock Your Gift Of Prophecy: Start Now In Worship

Worship is the catalyst for us to be filled with, and anointed by, Holy Spirit.

When we worship the Lord, our spirits become aligned with him and we can operate in his gifts.

This is true for all the spiritual gifts, and particularly for the gift of prophecy, but it also leads us on to a greater truth:

If you want to learn to prophesy, and do it well, you need to spend lots of quality time in God's presence.

Next time, I’ll take us further in, and discuss the second key to unlock your gift of prophecy. This will help us to align our heart and emotions with God’s heart.

I’ll also talk about a new opportunity I’ve got lined up for you, coming very soon.

But you don’t have to wait for the next article: you can start now!

"If you want to learn to prophesy, and do it well, you need to spend lots of quality time in God's presence."

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Start Now With Worship

  • 1
    Stop whatever you’re doing, turn your attention to God and spend some time in worship.
  • 2
    Pray, sing, speak out a bible verse or truth about God, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes.
  • 3
    Then let us know about it, by leaving your answer to this question, below:

What difference did your worship time make to your day?

How NOT To Prophesy
May 31

How NOT To Prophesy – A (Backwards) Guide

By Tim Bader | Prophecy

“It freaked me out”.

Those were the words a friend (I’ll call him John) used to describe a situation he experienced one day in church. As I discovered, his experience served as a really good example of how NOT to prophesy:

How NOT To Prophesy

A man walked up to John and, completely unprompted, started talking about “seeing” two women sitting on either side of him. At the time, my friend was alone in the row of seats.

The stranger then proceeded to tell John that the two women were his grandmothers, that they were “pleased” with him …and so on.

After a short while, the man moved on. John watched him do similar things with other members of the congregation. Sometimes he purported to know what a dead relative thought about their lives.

Thankfully, the church meeting started shortly thereafter, but the incident left John feeling shaky and confused.

 

How Not to Prophesy: Break The Golden Rule

When my friend told me about his experience a few days later, my spiritual “antennae” immediately began to twitch.

But it was several hours later that I realised why: this stranger had managed to break all three parts of the Golden Rule in one go! The words “bull in a china shop” immediately spring to mind…

 

Was it biblical? – No.

Aside from any other content the man shared, the bible says that there is an unbridgeable divide between the living and the dead.

In fact, it specifically denounces attempts to contact or pray for the dead, as a heathen, godless practice.

 

Was it loving? – No.

There was no attempt from the stranger to ask if it would be ok to share a prophecy (if that’s what he thought it was) with my friend.

He just went ahead, assuming that it would be alright. He didn’t even ask if his words were meaningful to the people he spoke to.

More to the point, John did not feel loved. He ended up feeling “creeped out”.

 

Was it appropriate? – No!

Just prior to a church meeting may, or may not be, the best time to share prophetic words with people.

But usually, this would be in response to a prayer request, not simply as a pronouncement over their lives.

In John’s case, he had only just entered the building and sat down, so hadn’t even had a chance to gather his thoughts yet.

 

How Not to Prophesy: 4 Steps Backwards

Coincidentally, I heard my friend’s story just as I was in the middle of preparing the course material for the 4 Steps Prophecy School.

Right now, I’m very excited, because I am running the School at the end of this month. It’s the culmination of years of prayer and I can’t wait to see what the Lord has planned, coming to fruition!

(By the way: I’m planning an online version of the School. If you are interested in taking part, then you can be one of the first to know when it’s ready, by registering your interest here).

However, everything John said made me feel like my head and my heart were screaming inside me: This was so how not to prophesy!

Not only was the Golden Rule broken, but virtually every step in the 4 Steps Prophecy School was bent or twisted too.

 

How Not To Prophesy: A Response

Sometimes for me, the best way to deal with these kinds of feelings is to laugh at them.

So here’s my somewhat tongue-in-cheek response to this kind of situation: How NOT To Prophesy.

Spoiler alert: it’s basically the 4 Steps you’d learn in the School, but backwards…

 

How Not to Prophesy 1: Wake up in a bad mood

Get up late and rush off to church without having your breakfast. Make a special point of annoying everyone you meet on the way.

Yes, you know you’re supposed to have some “God time” before you get there, but who has space in their day for that?

 

How Not to Prophesy 2: Pray from a position of weakness

What is it they say? “God helps those who help themselves”: It’s obvious he wants you to stand on your own two feet.

Don’t bother with worship, that’s for wusses. Just get stuck in to some prayer, so you can get it all over with.

 

How Not to Prophesy 3: Ignore the Holy Spirit

If you receive a prompt from Holy Spirit, just ignore it. You can rely on your own experience, even if you only started yesterday.

Safe to say, it’s probably just your imagination. Move on quickly, you have God’s work to do!

 

How Not to Prophesy 5: Rush the interpretation

If you’re ignoring Holy Spirit, then you’ll find it hard to hear God. But don’t let that worry you.

Just let your bible flip open to a random page, then stab your finger at it and share whatever you find. Mumble a few spiritual-sounding words to back it up and cover your tracks.

Better still, pluck a picture out of the air and hand it over straight away. There’s no time for faffing about: you have other people to pray for.  They’ll figure it out.

 

How Not to Prophesy 6: Tell ‘Em How It Is

Remember: it’s all about you!

God has given you a special message to tell the world, and anyone who gets in the way… well, they had it coming, didn’t they?

Make sure to tell the person you’re praying for that you know all their dirty little secrets.

Oh, and don’t forget to be as judgmental as possible. That should make them respect you.

If they think you got your prophecy wrong, correct their foolish ways.

And if they start to get all emotional …well that’s their problem, isn’t it?

 

How Not to Prophesy: Conclusion

In the end, I didn’t laugh or raise much of a smile, as I wrote this post.

Somehow, experiences like that of my friend, leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Maybe you feel the same way?

The sad thing is, that this isn’t the first time I have heard of such a poor example. I’ve met people who have been really hurt by mis-heard, mis-interpreted, or mis-understood prophecies.

That’s one of the reasons I started this website and the 4 Steps Prophecy School.

The reality is that while the gift of prophecy can be abused all too easily, it is still a gift from God to the church.

My heart is that we can learn to steward this amazing gift with God’s love, and grow in character as we do so.

We, the church, can turn our backs on the mistakes of the past (and those of a few mis-guided individuals) and move into a new era: one where prophecy forms a “naturally supernatural” part of every believers life.

What do you think? (Let me know in the comments area, below.)

Translating God Book Review
Apr 27

Translating God Book Review

By Tim Bader | Prophecy

Translating God by Shawn Bolz is a book that places God’s love front and centre of the prophetic gifts. Find out how in this Translating God book review.

One of my goals this year is to catch up on my reading, by (finally) finishing the pile of books sitting on my bedside cabinet. One of those books is Translating God:Hearing God’s Voice for Yourself and the World Around You by Shawn Bolz.

Translating God book review Shawn Bolz

Translating God book cover images copyright Shawn Bolz/Bolz Ministries

I’ll say up front that I went in with one set of expectations, and came out with something else. But Shawn’s book is a thoughtful reflection on the gift of prophecy and its use (and abuse) in the modern day church.

What shines through is an infectious love for people, that doesn’t hold back from encouraging prophetic growth with character.

Shawn has many years of experience in the gift of prophecy, including words of knowledge. I found his book Translating God to be honest and up front about the joys, trials and pitfalls of growing in the prophetic.

And along the way, I was encouraged and amazed once again by the wonder of God’s love.

 

Translating God Book Review: A Personal History

I’ve had a somewhat mixed upbringing in my Christian life, when it comes to the ways of the Holy Spirit.

I became a Christian in the late 80s, at a time when much of the UK national church – and indeed, the nation itself – was in upheaval. The media continually proclaimed that “thousands of people” were leaving the church, while the reality was that some churches were thriving.

On the one hand, the mainstream denominations were struggling, both in numbers and with their image. On the other, smaller scale independent groups and house churches had come to prominence from the 1970s, onwards.

At the time, I knew nothing of this: I hadn’t been brought up in the faith and knew very little about the church. I came into it via a sudden overnight conversion, courtesy of the great evangelist Billy Graham.

 

Translating God Book Review: My First Church

The first church I joined was also in its own kind of crisis. They had no pastor, after the previous leader stepped down, and it took several years before they found a replacement.

Teaching on the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts tended to be limited to specific times and places (such as Pentecost Sunday), or when certain visiting speakers came.

Somehow, my friends and I managed to learn how to use the gifts of the Spirit. But it was fairly sporadic, with occasional mixed results.

I muddled through and learnt to “Translate God” with the gift of prophecy, but I had no accountability. I had no mentor, save the Lord himself (I praise him for his grace and patience with me!)

 

Translating God Book Review: A National History

There was also a wider issue.

We were fighting against a counter-culture amongst our peers that meant it wasn’t “cool” to be a Christian anymore. As I learnt more about the wider church, I eventually realised that it was a reaction to previous excesses in the spiritual gifts, particularly those of healing and prophecy.

This was caused by something I was never party to, but which brought many growing pains to me and others:

The reality was that some people in the 80s church were badly hurt by mis-application of the spiritual gifts, along with poor teaching about the gifts themselves, and the character required to master them.

The result was that some sections of the wider church were now fearful of the spiritual gifts. They did everything they could to quash those people who operated in them, in the name of “holiness” and restoring “order” to the church.

Reading between the lines, my understanding is that something similar happened in the USA.

It is only in the past few years that the church has begun to wake up to the fact that these gifts are just that: gifts from God.

We should not “throw the baby out with the bathwater”, but embrace what we have been given. We simply need to find better, safer ways to operate.

 

Translating God Book Review: Who is Shawn Bolz?

And that’s where people like Shawn Bolz come in.

By all accounts, Shawn is a very gifted individual. He is an author, TV host and minister.  He pastors Expression58 Christian Ministries, which focuses on the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, California.

Shawn is also an international speaker and has gained a reputation for amazing accuracy in his prophetic gifts and words of knowledge.

 

Translating God Book Review: What I Liked

Translating God is simply and clearly written

Aside from a couple of places, where I didn’t quite follow Shawn’s thinking, I enjoyed his simplicity and directness.

He explains what the gift of prophecy is, and isn’t, in clear language, that encourages and motivates.

My misunderstandings may just be cultural differences:

Shawn is writing primarily for the American church and culture, while I am firmly entrenched in my own. To be fair, some other books are much more US centric than this.

However, there is plenty here to take hold of, regardless of your nationality or denomination. The dangers of poorly timed or badly executed prophecy are the same, wherever you live.

Shawn tackles these topics well, but gives plenty of encouragement to grow in your gift.

 

Translating God shares many good examples, without going overboard

One thing I have to admit I find annoying in some books is the over propensity for “real world” examples.

Yes, we need examples to help us understand a point. But certain books I have read, have so many of them, that I start to lose track. I end up questioning what the original message actually was.

Translating God manages to avoid all that. Shawn shares stories that are directly relevant and give testament to his expertise (and occasional heartaches) on the subject at hand.

 

Translating God Book Review: What I Didn’t Like

Translating God is not quite what I expected

I thought the book would be all about the practicalities of understanding what God says.

While it does contain some information on that topic, much of the content seems to look at prophecy from a wider perspective of the US- and world church- culture.

Shawn often takes a step back and thinks about how we encourage prophecy in the church, and people to grow in the gift.

However, it’s still a great book I would heartily recommend.

 

Translating God Book Review: 3 Things I Learned

As I mentioned, I went in expecting one thing, and came out with something else entirely.

But what I ended up with was refreshing and thought provoking. Several times, Shawn surprised me with a different take on things, which challenged my thinking in several key areas.

Here are three things I learned from Translating God:

 

1. Operating in the gift of prophecy requires a lot of love

Shawn demonstrates his love for people extremely well in this book.

More than that, he successfully impressed upon me my need for God’s love for those same people, if I am to prophesy to them.

He also places a strong emphasis on our relationship with God.

Without a deep relationship with God we can lose sight of his love for people. Prophetic words can then devolve into an unhealthy, sometimes damaging experience, both for the prophet and the receiver.

Shawn shows we don’t need to fear this, but take every opportunity to grow in our love relationship with the Lord.

 

2. Our personal feelings may override what God is actually saying

Whether we have a gift of prophecy or not, we all have our own hopes and fears for the future.

Sometimes, we can end up projecting our thoughts onto others. We end up speaking forth those same hopes and fears over them, instead of sharing what God thinks about that person or situation.

For those of us who practice the gift of prophecy, it is therefore important to:

  • Seek God’s heart and mind for people
  • Be honest with ourselves about our own emotional state
  • Track our own prophetic effectiveness through seeking feedback
  • Have the right accountability in place

 

3. Prophecy is a step past discernment

This one thought in Translating God triggered a lot of “aha!” moments for me. It helped to steer me in the right direction, in more than one conversation since.

The idea goes like this:

  1. Many prophetic people have a gift of discernment, but don’t always know what to do with it.
  2. Those who operate in this gift often see negative things in the world around them. Sometimes, they see these things in other people.
  3. These negative things may be bad attitudes, areas of sin, or even dark spiritual forces operating in people’s lives.

The problem with all this negativity, is that it can make those who see it depressive, critical, or even judgmental.

Shawn argues that we need to step past discernment and into prophecy:

We need to take what God shows us and ask him what he wants us to do with it. That is where discernment leaves off and prophecy begins.

God can give us fresh revelation of his heart and desires for that person or situation, and flood them with his love. Through the application of his love, the Lord brings transformation and true healing.

 

Translating God Book Review Summary

Who It’s For

Anyone wanting to develop their gift of prophecy.

The Good

  • Simple prose and clear message of God’s love
  • Well illustrated with real life examples
  • Honest about the joys and pitfalls of the gift of prophecy

The Bad

  • A little US centric (if you’re not from the US!)
  • If you’re looking for a complete “how to” tutorial on prophecy, you won’t find it here

Overall

  • A great thought provoker to help you grow your gift

Recommended: Yes!

You can get a copy here.

How to get the gift of prophecy
Feb 16

How To Get The Gift Of Prophecy: Can Prophecy Be Taught?

By Tim Bader | Prophecy

How to get the gift of prophecy? How do you receive it? Can prophecy be taught?

I received an email recently which asked these questions and challenged what I am doing on timbaderonline.com

How to get the gift of prophecy

The sender claimed that prophecy is a gift from God, and hence cannot be taught.

In other words, if you want to know how to get the gift of prophecy, you’ll have to go to God himself – and no one else.

They went on to say that prophecy was never taught in the New Testament, and that our focus should therefore be on the cross alone.

You might think that I dismissed this message out of hand. But I could see they were sincere and had given a lot of thought to their theology of how to get the gift of prophecy.

In fact, writing my reply gave me pause for thought, too.

How To Get The Gift Of Prophecy: My Goals For The Year

As many people do, I spent much of the Christmas period thinking about the year just gone, and praying for the year ahead.

In particular, I was reflecting on my new circumstances. I now have a dedicated day each week, to work on my writing.

At the same time, I was reading Michael Hyatt’s new book Your Best Year Ever. This excellent book shows you how to set your goals for the coming year – and achieve them.

Michael encourages you to think big, so I have some very big goals for this year.

But Michael also asks you to examine yourself. You need to see if you have any limiting beliefs about your goals, or your ability to follow through.

Through simple exercises, I discovered all kinds of lies and half truths, hiding in the recesses of my mind.

Nagging Doubts

In the end I had a written set of goals for this year. But there was a part of me that still had nagging doubts.

Every writer gets these thoughts:

  • Will I be able to complete my book?

  • Will anyone read what I write?

  • Who’s interested anyway?

But this time, they were in full force. I was beginning to feel paralysed before I’d even got started.

And into this frame of mind, the challenging email arrived.

How To Get The Gift Of Prophecy: Dealing With Criticism

For some, this could have been the last straw. For me, it became an opportunity.

I decided to review my own thoughts and feelings on the subject of how to get the gift of prophecy.

Immediately, I began thinking through the arguments and counter arguments.

And here’s what I concluded.

How To Get The Gift Of Prophecy: Prophecy Is A Gift

First of all, one thing I think we can all agree on, is that prophecy is a gift from God.

Like any of the spiritual gifts, it is the Lord’s prerogative to give it to us. Or not.

We haven’t done anything to deserve the gift of prophecy, and we cannot “hype ourselves up” to get it.

We either have it, or we don’t. There are no half measures with God.

However, that’s not the end of the story.

How To Get The Gift Of Prophecy: We Can All Hear God

One gift that every Christian has is the ability to hear God’s voice.

Some of us find that easier than others. And we all hear God in different ways.

Some hear God mainly through the scriptures, while others respond best to the whispers of Holy Spirit.

Nevertheless, when you give your life to Jesus, you make a direct connection with God.

This means you already have the pre-requisites for any of the spiritual gifts.

The potential is there.

How To Get The Gift Of Prophecy: We Can Ask Him

We’ve established how to get the gift of prophecy: it’s a gift from God. It’s up to him if he wants to give it to us or not.

Thankfully, God is good and loves to give good gifts to his children.

We can ask him for those gifts and he is a gracious and generous giver.

Solomon asked God for the gift of wisdom and the Lord was pleased with his choice.

So, in the same way, we can ask God for the gift of prophecy.

How To Get The Gift Of Prophecy: Prophecy Will Increase In The End Times

On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up and spoke to the crowd. He proclaimed a message about Jesus.

But he also had to explain what was happening to the believers, who were speaking in the languages of everyone who listened.

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17)

He described this phenomenon as an expression of Joel’s prophecy, that “your sons and daughters will prophesy”.

Note that they were speaking in tongues, but Peter described it as prophecy.

Certainly, it was a prophetic act: one that directed the hearers to the activity of Holy Spirit.

I believe that the activity of Holy Spirit is increasing today and as a result, more and more people will operate in the spiritual gifts – and in the gift of prophecy.

How To Get The Gift Of Prophecy: The Lord Is The Best Teacher

Each of the prophets in the bible had an intimate relationship with their God.

Jesus is the prime example of this. He often spent long periods of time in his father’s presence, particularly prior to making important decisions.

Holy Spirit was his intermediary and now he is ours too. Indeed, as Jesus said, “he will lead you into all truth” (John 16:13).

It’s the same with the gift of prophecy: Holy Spirit is the one who will train you in its use.

How To Get The Gift Of Prophecy: I Can Pray For You

So I can’t give you the gift of prophecy, at least not directly.

However, I can pray for you to receive the gift of prophecy from the Lord.

I can pray for Holy Spirit anointing on you and to impart to you a deeper level of that anointing in the gift of prophecy.

More than that though, I can help you understand how God speaks to you and understand how to use your gift in practical ministry. I can help you grow the gift you have already been given.

How To Get The Gift Of Prophecy: Connect With God

The way I see my role in all this, is to connect people with God. I want to provide a safe environment where you can practice your gift.

Having a gift is not the same as operating that gift in power and maturity. And when you connect with God, you can learn to do that.

I believe that the Lord is asking me to help people like you get closer to him, and learn to:

  • hear his voice, more clearly.

  • interpret what you hear, in greater detail.

  • share what you receive, with confidence.

So I’m thankful for the email I received. While it challenged me to think again, it helped to crystallise my thinking on what it is the Lord has called me to.

I believe that helping others to grow their gift of prophecy is the calling he has placed on my life. I only pray for the grace to live up to it!

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Spiritual Gifts in Prayer Ministry
Jan 12

Using Spiritual Gifts In Prayer Ministry (Do What The Father Does – Part 2)

By Tim Bader | Prophecy

The spiritual gifts and the gift of prophecy demonstrate how everyone can “only do what the Father does” – that means you!

Spiritual Gifts in Prayer Ministry

Last time, we talked about our ability to do as Jesus did: to only do what the Father does.

Today, I want to follow on from that, by giving you a really practical example of how this can work out in everyday life.

As we discussed last time, Jesus used multiple spiritual gifts (also known as gifts of the Holy Spirit) when he met the woman at the well. This led her into a deep encounter with God, which in turn, resulted in a miracle.

Jesus was demonstrating how to live life according to the Spirit, in the moment. My heart’s desire is that this would be our way of life too, in every area.

With the bible story of the Samaritan woman, we can see how Jesus did it. But sometimes it’s difficult to give concrete examples from our own experience, to illustrate the point.

This is because everyone is unique and God speaks through different people in different ways.

However, there’s one area where I think it’s relatively easy to provide examples: in prayer ministry.

 

Spiritual Gifts In Prayer Ministry Team

One of the things I love most in life, is praying for other people.

I count it as an enormous privilege to touch people’s lives in prayer ministry, because I know that it makes such a difference.

This is one aspect of the Christian life that never ceases to amaze me: when we pray, God is moved to answer.

It’s not that prayer, in and of itself, necessarily makes a difference, but prayer is what connects people to God. And he is the one with real power to change everything.

As Pete Greig once tweeted, “I don’t believe in the power of prayer. I believe in the power of God. So I pray. A lot.”

 “I don’t believe in the power of prayer. I believe in the power of God. So I pray. A lot.” – Pete Greig

Spiritual Gifts Set Up Connection

Praying for people sets up a spiritual connection: prophecy even more so.

Why? Because when we prophesy on someone’s behalf, we receive something of God’s heart for that person.

On top of the message itself, we impart something of God’s spirit to them, as well.

In other words, when we use the spiritual gifts, we become a conduit of God’s love for that person. Even as we bring a message of love, we experience something of that love ourselves. So everyone is blessed!

Spiritual Gifts Share The Love

Both those prayed for, and those who pray, become partakers in the divine nature.

To my mind, if people go away feeling loved, then we’ve done our job. That’s true even if a prophecy doesn’t resonate with them, or they didn’t get healed (or whatever it was they were seeking).

So when I had the opportunity to join our church prayer ministry team, I jumped at it.

Over several years of being part of this team, the Lord has taught me so much. Partly about spiritual gifts and the gift of prophecy, but mostly about how to watch what he is doing.

Specifically, he has taught me 4 lessons, which I’ll share with you here.

 

1. Spiritual Gifts Are Vital In Prayer Ministry

If we want to minister to people in prayer, we need to use the right tools.

Those tools are represented in the spiritual gifts, as listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 (and elsewhere):

  • Words of wisdom
  • Words of knowledge
  • Faith
  • Gifts of healings
  • Miracles
  • Prophecy
  • Distinguishing between spirits
  • Tongues
  • Interpretation of tongues

If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, then the chances are you’ve taken one of those tests to find out “what’s my spiritual gift?”. But whatever gift we have is for the service of the Kingdom of God: for others, not just ourselves.

Spiritual gifts are there to empower us to serve. We can seek to apply these gifts in prayer, when ministering to others.

In the absence of the spiritual gifts, prayer would not be as effective as it is. More than that, I believe that without the spiritual gifts, prayer ministry would be completely worthless…

Spiritual Gifts And The Gift Of Faith In Prayer Ministry

To defend the above statement, I would ask the following question:

Who can doubt the requirement for faith in prayer ministry?

James 5:16 tells us this:

“The prayer of a righteous person [one who knows God and is forgiven, through faith] is powerful and effective” (italics, my paraphrase).

Remember, the prayer spoken in faith is what heals (James 5) and “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).

More than anything else, it is our faith that speaks to God and stirs him to answer our prayers. So, at a minimum, we need the gift of faith to be able to minister to others.

But it goes much further than that.

 

2. Three Spiritual Gifts Are Better Than One In Prayer Ministry

The second lesson the Lord has taught me is that one or two gifts of the spirit are not always enough, to do all that he wants to achieve, through us.

In other words, we don’t just need tools, we need a toolbox!

I have a toolbox at home. It’s bursting at the seams with all the tools I have accumulated over the years, for different jobs around the house.

I have tackled everything from rewiring a plug (when we still needed to do that), to fitting a door (not my favourite!). And for each new task, I needed a specialist tool to help me get it done.

Spiritual Toolbox For The Spiritual Gifts

It’s the same with prayer ministry:

I often envisage myself carrying round just such a toolbox, with all the tools (spiritual gifts) I could possibly need for any situation.

When it comes time to pray for someone, or simply obey Holy Spirit’s prompting, I select the right tool for the job.

And what I have found is that I often require more than one tool or spiritual gift.

For example, someone might come and ask for healing, but I may find that something else is going on instead.

Multiple Spiritual Gifts

I’ve been in situations where it started off with me praying for requested healing, but then things like this happened:

  1. I started to pray for their healing and things began to shift (utilising the gift of healing)
  2. The Lord showed me a different part of their body that he wanted to heal instead of, or in addition to, what they originally asked for (gift of discernment)
  3. Then he brought revelation to me about their family or home life (word of knowledge)
  4. Finally, I shared a prophetic word, based on that revelation (prophecy)

If I assumed that God only wanted to answer their initial question, then they would have missed out on the fullness of the blessing that they eventually received. And my faith would not have been boosted in quite the same way, either.

Seek All The Spiritual Gifts

I don’t know about you, but I want all the gifts!

Not so that I can boast, but because I want to be prepared for any and every situation the Lord wants to send me into.

I want to grow in my understanding of the gifts I have, and learn how to use the others I haven’t experienced yet.

I want to be the best I can possibly be, for you and for others: and I want you to be the best you can be, for me and for others.

So the lesson from this is:

Seek all the spiritual gifts.

Don’t ask the Lord, “what’s my gift?”, instead ask him: “What are my gifts?” (plural).

Ask him, “What gifts do you want me to have or use, right now?”

 

3. Set People Free With Spiritual Gifts: Truly Free

People are free only to the extent that they give their lives over to God.

King David sought the Lord in great detail about almost every area of his life. I say almost. He fell in the one area that he didn’t hand over: sex.

This is a potential weakness for all of us. The spiritual life is about continually increasing dependence on God, which involves surrendering more and more of ourselves to him. This is what sanctification means.

People are free only to the extent that they give their lives over to God.

Holding Things Back

However, we all have areas of our lives which, like David, we try to hold back and keep hidden from the Lord.

Which specific areas are affected will vary from person to person. Money, sex and power (to name but a few of them) affect all of us in different ways.

That’s why Christians can be oppressed by the enemy. But it’s not something for us to fear, it’s something for us to grapple with.

We have been given authority over all the works of the devil, so our prayers really can set each other free.

So in one sense, our prayers for others can only be as effective as people allow it. But when we pray and use the spiritual gifts as Holy Spirit directs, he is able to break through into people’s lives, in ways we can’t always foresee.

Sympathy versus Empathy In Prayer Ministry

You see, there’s a difference between sympathy and empathy. And the way we involve ourselves with others affects the way we pray for them.

Sympathy without compassion is useless: it’s just saying “there, there”, bringing no real change.

If you share your difficulties with me and I say “I’m sorry to hear that”, but leave it there, then I’m not helping you at all!

When we combine human sympathy with God’s compassion, we get something much better. We get empathy (in my interpretation of the word).

Sympathy + Compassion = Empathy

To use an analogy, if I see you stuck in a hole, I can do one of two things:

  1. I can have sympathy and get in the hole with you (now we’re both stuck!), or
  2. I can have empathy for you – I stand on the side of the hole and pull you out.

Don’t get me wrong, sympathy is vital: the people we pray for need to know we are listening to them.

However, we need God’s love and compassion for them, because he wants the very best for them, not just something “good”.

 

4. Watch What Holy Spirit Is Doing With Spiritual Gifts

So this is why we need to watch what Holy Spirit does, and keep on watching, while we pray.

We watch and listen to Holy Spirit so we won’t miss which gifts he wants us to use. People can then be set free, effectively.

However, becoming more sensitive to Holy Spirit can start even before we get into prayer itself.

For example, when I’m part of the prayer team on a Sunday morning, we often stand at either the front or back of the church.

As I look out over the congregation, Holy Spirit has been teaching me how to watch him.

Holy Spirit Hovering

Sometimes, I see Holy Spirit “hovering” over people. I can’t really describe precisely what I mean by this, because I’m seeing with my spiritual eyes.

He may simply direct my gaze to a particular person. Other times, it’s like I see the presence of Holy Spirit in their lives. Either way, I see something which indicates his activity over, or in them, in some way or another.

When this happens, I know from experience that he either wants me to go over to pray for them, or he is going to bring them to me.

Therefore, I wait a minute and pray quietly for that person, seeking what he wants to do: sometimes he asks me to go over to them. More often, they get out of their seat and make a beeline for me.

Partnering With Holy Spirit

I’m saying all this to try to illustrate the kinds of things Holy Spirit wants to do through us.

It’s also important to say that this didn’t happen overnight, but over a period of time. It happened as I learned to partner with Holy Spirit as I pray for others, through practice.

I view this as a direct working out of the gift of prophecy he has given me.

Your gifting may be quite different to mine, but Holy Spirit wants to work uniquely through you, too. As I mentioned earlier, he speaks to each of us in very different ways.

Ask the Lord how he wants to use you and how you can learn to become more sensitive to what he is doing and saying.

The answer may surprise you!

 

Spiritual Gifts In Prayer Ministry Summary

IMO, the church needs to wake up and use the tools – the spiritual gifts – that we have been given!

Worship is the biggest key.

Sometimes getting someone we are praying for to worship for themselves, is the best gift we can give them.

But the spiritual gifts and strategies we have available to us need to be applied, as the Lord directs.

In our church, we have other tools available, aside from the spiritual gifts themselves.

This includes programs and tools such as:

  • Alpha course (for those interested, or new to Christianity)
  • Freedom in Christ (course to set people free, running over several weeks)
  • Sozo (inner healing and deliverance ministry, a bit like “Holy Spirit counselling”)
  • Prophecy clinics (2 or more people praying for prophetic words for an individual, by appointment)

Basis Of The Spiritual Gifts

Of course, each of these programs still involves the use of spiritual gifts.

However, the basis of all of these tools, programs and indeed, the spiritual gifts themselves, is to walk according to the Spirit: to only do what we see the father doing.

I hope that today, I have given you some examples of how you can learn to follow his detailed direction, in a practical way.

In prayer, let’s not “just pray” for each other. Let’s minister deeply to one another, from the Holy Spirit.

Beyond that, let’s take the lessons we learn from using spiritual gifts in prayer ministry and apply them to the whole of life.

5 Reasons To Keep A Prophetic Prayer Journal
Sep 05

5 Reasons To Keep A Prophetic Prayer Journal

By Tim Bader | Listening to God , Prophecy

Don’t know where you’re headed? A prophetic prayer journal helps keep your prayer life on track.

Do you have a record of how God has spoken to you? Do you keep a prayer journal or diary?
5 Reasons To Keep A Prophetic Prayer Journal
If not, then today is the best day to start. But I don’t want you to have just a prayer journal:

I want you to keep a prophetic prayer journal

Here are 5 reasons why I think everyone should have one.

Prophetic Prayer Journal Leads To Redundancy!

As I write the first draft of this post, I have just twelve days left of my current job. And I don’t know quite how the next stage of my life is going to work out.

By the time you read this, I will most likely have a couple more days, or may even have started on my next adventure (scratch that: it has already begun!)

According to the Calling Journey by Tony Stoltzfus, the story of Joseph is a model for the life journey every Christian travels. It includes ups and downs, plateaus, mountains and valleys. And I’ve just been through one of those valleys.

The reason I’m in this place right now, is because I chose to take redundancy from my IT job. It was a step of faith, based on everything the Lord has spoken to me about, for the past 5 or more years.

The scary part is that I don’t know the detail. I may need to take a part time job, or the Lord may open up opportunities I haven’t thought of yet.

However, even though I can’t see the details, I have a clear vision of the big picture.

I know where I’ve come from, and I know what the Lord has called me to. This has been confirmed in a multitude of ways, and the Lord has shown me clearly where I am in my life journey.

I believe this most recent valley was my “valley of identity”, which in the Calling Journey leads into a mountain of fulfilment. I’m looking forward to that fulfilment, but there’s still a lot of climbing to do!

And the reason I’m so sure it’s the right thing to do, is because my prayer journal isn’t any old journal: it’s a prophetic prayer journal.

What’s the difference?

What Is A Prophetic Prayer Journal?

An average prayer journal or prayer diary contains a list of things we have prayed for and the answers to those prayers.

It might also contain bible verses we think God has spoken to us about, or comments about things we have struggled with.

A prophetic prayer journal contains all of that and much more. Here are some of the things mine contains:

  1. Every prophetic word, picture and bible verse ever given to me by other people.
  2. General encouragements from day to day life.
  3. Examples of how the Lord has spoken to me, either directly, or through the beauty of his creation.
  4. My feelings and thoughts about my relationship with the Lord, in different seasons of my life. That includes all the struggles and victories, and the chilled out moments.
  5. Dreams I have received from God in my sleep, along with prayerful interpretations.
  6. A handful of amazing encounters where I have received visions direct from God (I want more!)

Some of these are so personal that I have never shared them with anyone, and possibly never will.

The takeaway here, is that I have a history with my Heavenly Father and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But I learned a long time ago that if I don’t write these things down, I will forget them and they’ll be gone forever. (You may find this strange for a blogger, but I used to hate writing things down!)

This isn’t sentimentality, I need this to survive and thrive. I need to look back over my life, to review that personal history, in order to find my way forward.

There’s a biblical precedent for this:

The Lord continually spoke to his people through the prophets. And they would talk to the Israelites about their past, present and future with God.

You have your own history with the Lord. And he has a plan for your life. Let’s look at what a prophetic prayer journal can do for you.

5 Reasons To Keep A Prophetic Prayer Journal

Here are a few reasons for keeping a prophetic prayer journal:

 

1. A prophetic prayer journal reminds you of God’s goodness

God is good all the time, but it’s easy to forget that simple truth, particularly during a crisis.

At those times, reviewing your prophetic prayer journal shines a light on his faithfulness and reveals his true nature.

 

2. It enables a heavenly perspective

When trouble comes, the temptation is to think in earthly ways.

You can start looking for answers to your prayers in all the wrong places.

But God works outside the ways of this world.

Your prayer journal will help you fix your eyes on Jesus and the answers he has stored up for you.

 

3. It validates your direction

When presented with choices, the bible gives us general guidance.

However, many situations were never envisaged by the writers of the bible.

In those cases, your prophetic prayer journal will lend clarity to specific circumstances:

If you know an action is in line with the bible and in line with God’s personal revelation, then you can have extra confidence in the next step in your journey.

 

4. It encourages perseverance

We don’t always get immediate answers to our prayers.

Sometimes, we can pray for months or even years, before seeing a result: and God’s answer may be quite different to what we imagined.

However, when you re-read words the Lord has spoken consistently to you over those months or years, it can refresh your attitude.

Then you’ll be encouraged to continue seeking him for those answers, in the knowledge that he wants it more than you do!

 

5. It’s a key to growth

When you review your prophetic prayer journal, it gives you confidence in your prophetic abilities (and other spiritual gifts too).

Seeing answered prayers and fulfilled prophecies in black and white on the page proves you can hear God and get it right.

This will spur you on to seek more of God and a greater level of anointing.

 

Prophetic Prayer Journal Needs Review

These are all great reasons to have a prophetic prayer journal, but there’s one more ingredient to make it work well: reviews.

If you’re a productivity nut like me (I have another website dedicated to that), then you’ll know what I’m talking about. You know the importance of reviewing your tasks and projects regularly. It’s the only way to know what’s already been done, and what’s up next.

It’s the same for your prophetic prayer journal. It doesn’t take much time: all you need to do is to set a reminder for yourself to look at it once a week (or how often you think you’ll find it helpful).

You don’t have to read the whole thing every time: just the last few entries will do. They’ll be just enough to encourage you and keep you going until the next review.

Personally, I find a weekly check, then a deeper review, round about once a month, to be about right.

Prophetic Prayer Journal: Just Do It!

The final thing is of course to actually get on and write the thing! Your prophetic prayer journal simply won’t exist until you do.

If you’re not comfortable with writing, don’t worry. The entries don’t have to be long: just enough to remind you of what God said, when you look back at it.

And of course, it doesn’t have to be written. You could dictate it onto your smartphone. You might need to make extra space or time for your reviews, but there’s lots of ways you can get round it.

Stuck Getting Started?

Since you’re still with me, I’m guessing you are ready to begin. However, you may be thinking, “but how do I get started?”, or wondering how you should organise your journal.

Well I have good news for you: next time I’m going to change over from the “why”, to the “how”. I’ll explain exactly how to write and organise your prophetic prayer journal.

And I’m going to show you how to do that using one of my favourite productivity tools. (But it’ll work for anyone and with whatever tools you use, including good old pen and paper!)

On top of that, I’m lining up a NEW bonus for you. So look out for an email to your inbox very soon.

If you’re not yet part of the community, enter your email below to find out more. You’ll get another free bonus, just for signing up.

Golden Rule of prophecy
Aug 14

The Golden Rule To Share Prophetic Words

By Tim Bader | Prophecy

When should you share a prophecy and when should you not? The “Golden Rule” of prophecy will help you decide.

Golden Rule of prophecy

 

How do you know when to share a prophetic word? When is it right to hold back a word, perhaps to share later?

I’ll try to answer these questions right here, and along the way I’ll explain exactly what the Golden Rule is.

But first let’s ask the question, why is it important?

To do that, I have a couple of real-life illustrations for you.

Golden Rule: When NOT To Share A Prophecy

I was once at a prayer meeting where one of the leaders called us to pray for a member of the congregation who was very ill.

We were in the middle of interceding for them, when I felt the Lord say that they would not be healed.

As you can imagine, this set up a struggle inside me. Should I share this difficult and emotionally charged word with those present?

Or maybe I just got it wrong? The consequences of giving air to such a word could be devastating.

Thankfully for me, the Lord spoke very clearly: he didn’t want me to say anything at that time.

Golden Rule: When To Share A Prophecy

I don’t fully understand why the Lord sometimes reveals things to me that are not for sharing.

However, I do know that:

  • he is training me to discern his voice more clearly
  • he uses those experiences to direct my prayers
  • any prophetic gift I have is for the benefit of others, so I can love those around me

On a different occasion, the sister of a friend was also very ill.

I was sitting in the congregation one Sunday morning, when I saw my friend go forward for prayer. At this moment, I felt the presence of Holy Spirit, and the Lord told me to tell my friend that she needed to say goodbye.

My immediate (if human), reaction was to say, “Oh Lord, please, no! Don’t make me say that!”. However, the prompting of Holy Spirit was insistent and I knew I had to obey.

A Very Personal Prophecy

I went to join the prayer team and as we prayed for my friend, the Lord showed me what was happening to her sister.

With a broken voice, I shared how her sister’s body was now too weak to continue as she was. Her frail body could not contain God’s glory that was growing within her.

My friend agreed that this was true and I said that the Lord was going to take her sister home.

We hugged and cried together, praying and thanking God for his mercy and his love. She was able to go and say goodbye to her sister, who died a day or two later.

Emotional Impact

Prayer and prophecy with and for others binds us together. It has a spiritual and emotional impact on both the speaker and the hearer – and that’s a good thing.

This was the most difficult prophecy I have ever had to speak out (a tear comes to my eye, even as I write this) and no doubt it was a difficult word to receive.

Despite the difficulty, the next week in church, my friend was giving thanks that God had brought peace and mercy into her situation.

She encouraged everyone to share whatever they hear from God, because we don’t always know or understand how he wants to bless his people.

Golden Rule Helps With Timing

You see, there’s one aspect of prophecy that doesn’t get discussed very much, but it’s crucial to be effective:

Timing.

When you share a prophetic word is just as important as what you share – and how you share it.

And sometimes, the best thing to do is not share it at all.

But how do you know which way is right?

Golden Rule: Go With The Spirit

First of all, the best way is the Spirit’s way. Follow the prompting of Holy Spirit and you can’t go wrong.

In the case of my friend, God gave her just what she needed, when she needed it. But she might never have heard it at all, if I hadn’t been obedient to what Holy Spirit told me to do.

One reason why we need to spend lots of time in God’s presence is to learn to discern his voice from the others that bombard us each day. We need to be sure that it is his voice we are hearing, not our own minds.

This is how Jesus operated. It was why he was able to say that he only did what he saw his father doing (John 5:19).

When I prayed for my friend, I needed to be doubly sure, because of the nature of the prophetic word in question. God’s palpable presence was his grace to both of us.

But what happens when you receive a word but don’t get this sense of his presence, or can’t seem to get much more detail about it?

That’s where the Golden Rule comes in.

The Golden Rule Of Prophecy

The Golden Rule lets you know what to do in pretty much any situation. And the beauty of it, is its simplicity.

The Golden Rule asks 3 questions:

  1. Is it biblical?
  2. Is it loving?
  3. Is it appropriate?

Even if you do have a clear indication from Holy Spirit to share a word, this Rule can help “clinch the deal”.

Let’s say you receive a prophetic word. Or perhaps you get a picture, but you don’t have an interpretation for it.

Here’s how the Golden Rule can work out:

1. Is it biblical?

If a word aligns with scripture, then at the least, you know that it is “good stuff”.

If you are sure a word aligns with the bible, then you will feel a lot more confident about sharing it.

In general, it’s difficult to do any harm by:

  • quoting scripture
  • paraphrasing scripture
  • stating biblical concepts

After all, if it’s in the bible, then we know it originated in God.

However, a scripture quoted with a judgemental attitude or at the wrong moment, may cause all kinds of damage.

A Biblical Picture?

What to do in the case of a picture? On the rare occasion where I have no idea at all of the interpretation, I simply hand it over.

It takes honesty to do this. I usually say something like, “I don’t have an interpretation for you, but here’s a picture for you to pray over”.

If I have the beginnings of an interpretation, then I can consider whether the heart of the message is in line with the bible. Even if a specific bible verse does not come to mind, then it should still match up with biblical principles.

That’s why we need to consider the next two questions, before blurting anything out!

2. Is it loving?

As the bible says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, then I am just a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).

If the picture or bible verse you want to share is about hell, then it may well be biblical. But it may not necessarily be the most loving thing to share!

Jesus spoke out of a heart of love

Of course, Jesus sometimes spoke judgement on people like the Pharisees. But we know that he always spoke out of a heart of love, even for them.

Jesus was perfectly in tune with his father. He always knew exactly what to say, and when to say it.

Similarly, the father knew that Jesus could be trusted to tell people his most difficult teaching.

For example, Jesus was the only person in the bible to speak explicitly about hell. Indeed, he did so in graphic detail:

No other prophet was trusted with such an important and emotive message.

Jesus was trustworthy and we can be too

Jesus could be trusted because he was completely full of – and overflowing with – the Holy Spirit. And he was fully in tune with his father.

We too can earn more of God’s trust as we learn how to respond to Holy Spirit, more and more. The amazing thing is how much he already trusts us, even when we don’t really know what we’re doing! It’s his grace towards us.

Ask Holy Spirit how to love people

So, ask Holy Spirit how he wants to love the person you’re praying for.

A good rule of thumb is to ask the question, “what would Jesus do in my situation?”. If you’re still not sure, then stick to positive, rather than negative words, if at all possible.

Once we have determined that a specific prophetic word is biblical and loving, we still need to ask one more question:

3. Is it appropriate?

A biblical word may be “good stuff” and a loving word may be what a person needs to hear. But right now may not be the best time for them to hear it.

As I mentioned above, timing is one of the most important aspects of prophecy. To underline this, I repeat my earlier words:

When you share a prophetic word is just as important as what you share – and how you share it.

One way of dealing with this question is to think about it like this:

What is the immediate situation and emotional context of the person you are praying for?

  • If they are seeking prayer for a specific need and the word speaks directly to that need, then it may be a perfectly appropriate and timely prophecy.
  • If they have just received bad news, such as a bereavement, then an unrelated encouragement may be biblical or even loving, but perhaps now is not appropriate.

Another example could be where it becomes apparent that deeper ministry is required. They may need to be referred to a healing or counselling team.

On the one hand, a prophetic word may be just the thing to help someone understand their need for further prayer. However, it may be better to share that word later, or write it down for them to receive during a counselling session.

Effect Of The Golden Rule

When you combine these 3 questions together, the effect of the Golden Rule is to make your path straight.

To summarise, the Golden Rule asks:

  1. Is it biblical?
  2. Is it loving?
  3. Is it appropriate?

Whether or not you get a clear sense of what Holy Spirit wants to do, this rule will help put you in a better place. When you ask these questions, you’ll be able to judge for yourself whether a word can, or indeed should, be shared.

That said, when in doubt, either check with someone you trust, or don’t share it at all.

There is usually time and space for more prayer, to ask God for wisdom. But once a word is spoken, it’s “out in the wild” and it cannot be taken back easily.

However, God is good and he has a mountain of grace for us. If we ask for wisdom, he will give it to us (see James 1:5).

Operate in the gift of prophecy
Jul 05

How To Operate In The Gift Of Prophecy

By Tim Bader | Prophecy

Do you know how to operate in the gift of prophecy?

If you want to operate in the gift of prophesy reliably and consistently, you’ll need to dedicate yourself to the pursuit of these 3 disciplines: prayer, presence and persistence.

Operate in the gift of prophecy

Pre-Requisites To Operate In The Gift Of Prophecy

When it comes to the spiritual gifts, people often feel unqualified to use them.

They want to operate in all the gifts and they want to operate in the gift of prophecy, in particular. But they don’t know how to begin.

However, the bible is clear that Jesus’ sacrifice is all the qualification we require. Our cooperation with Holy Spirit then empowers us to get started.

This is true of all the spiritual gifts, including healing and wisdom. It’s also true of prophecy.

To operate in the gift of prophecy and to do it well, I think there are three pre-requisites we need to realise in our everyday lives:

  • Prayer
  • Presence
  • Persistence

Moses Learns To Operate In The Gift Of Prophecy

God wanted Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. So, the Lord told Moses to go and confront Pharaoh. This was a prophetic act and Moses’ immediate concern was that the Lord would go with him.

He knew that without God, he was nothing, and would achieve very little. At least, nothing worthy of memory or eternal value.

While the Lord took issue with Moses when he pushed this attitude too far, I have always felt a great deal of sympathy for Moses’ position.

Unlike Moses, I’ve never been asked to lead a nation, or face down a powerful ruler! But I understand completely the desire for God’s presence when ministering to others in any capacity.

Operate In The Gift Of Prophecy: Nothing But The Truth

This is especially true when I operate in the gift of prophecy:

I want to be sure I share “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”. – It needs to come from the Lord, not my own thoughts or good intentions.

I know that first and foremost, I am commanded to love. So my desire is to ensure that whoever I minister to receives that love, direct from God. To reiterate, I don’t want the message I share to be tainted by my personal biases or my opinions.

The 3 “Ps” of prayer, presence and persistence help to ensure that this is the case. They enable you and I to operate in the gift of prophecy, effectively and with compassion.

Let’s take a closer look.

Operate In The Gift Of Prophecy: Prayer

Everything in our relationship with God starts in prayer.

If you want to learn the basics of listening to God, so you can share what he says with others, then that starts in prayer too.

So, seeking God’s presence begins in prayer and worship. Whether during a morning “quiet time”, a walk in the park, or a moment of ministry, prayer and worship are the levers that bring God’s person into focus.

“Prayer and worship are the levers that bring God’s presence into focus”.

As the bible says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16, NIV). God responds to the prayer of faith, submitted to our loving father, in the expectation that he is good. He wants to be with us.

Spending time in prayer and worship leads us into his presence.

Operate In The Gift Of Prophecy: Presence

You need to spend time in God’s presence to get to know him and learn how he speaks.

All the great prophets of the bible spent long periods of time in God’s presence. From Jeremiah to Jesus, knowing God and experiencing him was their prime motivation.

Experiencing God’s presence works in three different ways for the prophet, two in private and one in public:

1. Knowing God

First the prophet needs to spend time getting to know God for his own sake. She must familiarise herself with God’s person and become intimately acquainted with his Holy Spirit.

This will enable her to hear God’s voice clearly when the moment comes to operate in the gift of prophecy.

2. Learning Discernment

The continued experience of God’s presence further trains the prophet in discernment. She learns to distinguish the Lord’s voice; to differentiate it from the noise of the world, the devil and the self.

This reflects back to my earlier point: the prophet should share only what they hear from the Lord, not from themselves.

Discernment is a powerful aid to get this right.

3. Filtering Thoughts

The prophet knows and experiences the Lord’s presence at the moment of ministry. In other words, while operating in the gift of prophecy.

The same discernment practiced in private, enables the prophet to carry out her office in public. She can then filter out unhelpful thoughts that might otherwise pollute or distort the message.

This lends clarity to the shared word and ensures purity of the message.

The prophet’s desire is always to be about their Father’s business, to do what they see their Father doing.

And to do that consistently in increasing measure requires persistence.

Operate In The Gift Of Prophecy: Persistence

In order to know God’s presence “in the moment”, we have to persist in seeking him. We need to practice prayer and listening to him as an integral part of our lives.

This starts in the creation of habits, and as we persist with those habits, becomes a lifestyle.

When discussing the spiritual gifts, some folk get scared off by big sounding words like “evangelism” and “prophecy”. However, evangelism is just sharing your faith with people. Prophecy is just listening to God while you pray for them.

So, the best way to become an evangelist is to go and talk to lots of people. The best way to become a prophet is to pray for and prophesy to lots of people.

Cooperate with the Lord as you pray for others, and keep on doing it! – Practice makes perfect, as they say.

Power To Operate In The Gift Of Prophecy

When you combine God’s presence with prayer and persistence, you will be empowered to operate fully in the gift of prophecy.

The key thing here is God’s presence:

  1. They are called spiritual gifts because they come from his Holy Spirit.
  2. Holy Spirit is the one who gives them to us.
  3. And Holy Spirit is God’s presence on the earth.

Therefore, if you want to use those gifts and operate in the gift of prophecy, then you need to learn to host his presence.

With these foundations in place, you’ll be in a great position to prophesy with confidence.

For the full skinny on how to prophesy, see the definitive guide: Learn How To Prophesy.

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