Prophecy is for everyone. It is difficult to convey this concept enough in our world of superstars—both in the church and outside it.
But Scripture is clear—every believer is prophetic, and every believer can prophesy (see Num. 11:29 and Acts 2:16-18).
So whether you have prophesied for years or are just getting started, here are 10 practical guidelines that will help you grow in prophecy and keep your gift solidly grounded.
10 Practical Ways to Help You Prophesy
- Earnestly desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially that you may prophesy (see 1 Cor. 14:1). God wants to speak to you and through you!
- Trust the peace of God. Beware of speaking when your spirit is uneasy or in turmoil, or when you feel forced to speak. Look for the peace of God in every word you utter (see Ps. 85:8, Phil. 4:7–9).
- Obey the urging of the Spirit. Remember, the prophetic spirit is under your control. It will not impel you to speak against your better judgment. You can turn it off or turn it on by an act of your will.
- Don’t rely on physical sensations. When you begin to move in prophecy, the Lord may give you physical sensations such as knots in the stomach, a fluttering heartbeat, intense heat, a feeling of euphoria, impressions, visions and so on. The Holy Spirit does this to prepare you to receive or deliver His word. However, it is also true that as time goes on, the Lord often withholds these promptings so you can grow in the ability to hear Him apart from physical sensations.
- Speak clearly and naturally. You don’t have to speak in King James English to get your point across. Nor do you always have to say, “Thus saith the Lord.” If your word is truly from God, the Spirit will confirm it in the hearts of the listeners (see John 10:4-5, 16). Also, be sure to speak loudly and clearly enough to be heard by everyone.
- Recognize that timing is everything. A prophecy that comes at the wrong time during a meeting sounds like a noisy gong or clanging symbol. It will only draw attention to you, not to Jesus.
- Leave the delivery of corrective and directional words to experienced and mature brothers and sisters. The simple gift of prophecy is for exhortation, edification and comfort. If you do receive a directional word, write it down and prayerfully submit it to someone in leadership for evaluation.
- Let God speak to you in the way He chooses. You don’t have to be struck by a lightning bolt to prophesy. A message can come in a variety of ways: literal words, senses or inklings, vision of words like teletype print in your mind, dreams and so on. More often than not, a seasoned individual receives the sense of what God wants to say. Your duty is to then express that sense clearly and appropriately (see Ps. 12:6).
- Follow the Holy Spirit’s leading on what to do with a word after you’ve received it. Not all words are for the purpose of proclamation; many are for intercession. Some words should be “put on file,” waiting for confirmation. Other words should be written down and submitted to more mature Christians with a prophetic ministry for evaluation. Some prophecies should only be spoken to an individual, others to a group. Some prophetic words should be delivered as songs.
- Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from stepping out. What if you mess up? No start is perfect. Maturity only comes from taking risks and occasionally failing. Proverbs 24:16a says, “For a just man falls seven times and rises up again.” Learn from your mistakes, ask the Lord to forgive and cleanse you and get back up and humbly receive His grace (see 1 Pet. 5:5).
As light and darkness continue to increase in our world, you can be an agent of light bringing hope, encouragement and comfort to everyone around you.
Together, we will become a prophetic army for the kingdom of God!
James W. Goll is the president of God Encounters Ministries and has traveled around the world sharing the love of Jesus, imparting the power of intercession, prophetic ministry and life in the Spirit. He has recorded numerous classes with corresponding study guides and is the author of more than 40 books, including The Seer, The Lost Art of Intercession, The Coming Israel Awakening and The Lifestyle of a Prophet.
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