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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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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