We laid the groundwork in Part I of this series that every believer can prophesy. Once you understand that and are willing to activate that gift, the question is: How can I prophesy? Here are four ways you can practice the prophetic.
1. We practice prophecy in an atmosphere of love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-2 (ESV)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If you want to prophesy so you can bring bad news, judgement, destruction, and correction, then you are prophesying out of a wrong motive. God is love, and He loved the world so much that He gave His son Jesus so that we could be saved, not so that we could be destroyed.
You may be familiar with the story of Jonah. God gave him a message to share with the people of Ninevah. Jonah resisted going to Ninevah because he was racist against the people who lived there. After being swallowed by a fish, he relented to do what God asked and brought the message. It was a hard message of warning that if they didn’t change their hearts, God would destroy them. When Jonah showed up to deliver the message, he wanted to see the people of Ninevah destroyed. But when they responded with a change of heart instead, he was furious. He had the wrong motive and wanted to see the destruction of the people.
God may use you to bring a hard or corrective word, but are you doing it in love because you want the person to divert tragedy? Or do you want them to go down? Our prophecy must be rooted and grounded in love, or we are nothing, as 1 Corinthians 13 says.
How do you prophesy from the place of love? You have to forgive. Forgive those who have hurt you and abandoned you. Forgive your family members, spouse, and church leaders. Pure prophecy comes from pure hearts. A filthy heart full of unforgiveness and bitterness can’t prophesy purely.
2. We practice prophecy under spiritual authority.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Spiritual authority provides a safe umbrella under which you can practice the gift of prophecy. Get involved in your local church! Be under the authority of its leaders. Be open to the correction, rebuke and encouragement of your leaders as you practice the prophetic. That is hard to hear if you’ve been hurt, manipulated, or abused by the church or its leaders. But hear this: Jesus died for the church. It is close to His heart.
If you’re in a church that doesn’t believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are alive and active today, it may not be the right church for you. And it’s probably not a place where you can practice the gift of prophecy and still remain submitted to authority. If you desire to grow in the prophetic, you’ll want to find a church body that believes that the gifts are alive and active today. If you cannot find a good local church, attend V1 Church online.
3. We practice prophecy beyond our comfort zones.
Faith is spelled R-I-S-K. If you’re going to prophesy, you’re going to have to exceed your comfort zones. People may judge you, they may make rude comments, they may say hurtful things. That’s a risk you take. But weigh that risk against the blessing that you could bring to someone’s life by bringing a word of encouragement or edification from heaven. It is worth the risk!
There is a set of people who prophesy who say, “Thus saith the Lord,” when they bring a word. That is definitely one way to do it, but it doesn’t leave a lot of room for growth for the person prophesying. If a person tests the word, and the word is wrong, does that mean God was wrong? Absolutely not. It means the prophet was wrong. That is why, when I prophesy, whether it’s to encourage, build up, or tell the future, I usually say, “Hey I’m getting ready to take a risk. Can I do that?” Or I say, “Hey I might be wrong here but…” I believe it honors the Holy Spirit when we leave room for the fact that what we say could perhaps not be accurate.
When you receive a prophecy from someone, test it! Write it down, date it, and compare it to scripture. Then let time tell. Time is a test for prophecy and time is the friend of the prophet. Time will confirm and legitimize prophecy.
4. We practice prophecy by practicing.
1 Timothy 4:14-15
Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them! So that your progress will be evident to all.
The way not to neglect a gift is by using it. You practice!
Prophesy when you wake up.
Prophesy throughout your day.
Practice words of knowledge.
Team up with another person.
Expect words of knowledge for healing.
Prophesy as a group.
Prophetically intercede in prayer.
1 Samuel 10:5-6
The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.
Prayer: I want communication from Heaven in my life. I ask you that you would open the unseen realm to me. Lord, please remove all fear from my heart – fear of the unseen and fear of spiritual encounters. Lord, I want to receive all of your spiritual blessings that you have provided for me. I make myself available to your many forms of communication. In Jesus name, Amen.
My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for the prophetic. If you are interested in practicing the prophetic, consider joining the Breakthrough Community and join the prophecy subgroup!
To dig in even deeper, I encourage you to download my free 35-day Prophetic Activation devotional.
Request prayer here.