God wants to speak to us and through us (1 Corinthians 14:1). He is always speaking, and He speaks to us in many ways, i.e., by the Word of God (Logos – the Bible), Rhema Word of Christ (a quickened word from the Word to your spirit), and the inward witness of the Holy Spirit. He speaks through creation and nature and through prophecy, which also includes dreams and night visions.
Prophecy is God’s expressed thoughts (accessing the heart, mind, will, and voice of God) spoken in a known tongue to build up people. Prophecy is hearing God’s voice and telling someone what He wants to say to them (1 Corinthians 14:3). God wants to communicate with us. Jesus is the living Word. Transformation of lives occurs when we hear God’s voice and tell somebody the good plans God has for them, and they encounter Him. God speaks to healing, deliverance, hope, love, etc.
A prophetic Blessing is a spoken declaration by a spiritual authority (parents, pastors, teachers, etc.) over an individual’s life. The Blessing belongs to God, and He first released the power of the prophetic Blessing over Adam and Eve, which can be passed down to each family and generation, bringing life transformation (Genesis 1:28; 12:3)
We need relationship and revelation to access the things of God. A relationship with God begins with receiving Jesus into our hearts as Savior. It continues to grow as we spend time with Him by reading and studying His Word, by prayer and worship as we surrender to His Lordship, learn to trust Him, and walk in the Spirit.
Revelation means a surprising, previously unknown, secret fact, or the divine or supernatural disclosure to humans of something relating to human existence or the world, an unveiling. God desires to reveal His secrets to us (Deuteronomy 29:29; Amos 3:7; Proverbs 25:2; Daniel 2:28; Luke 8:17). It is the Holy Spirit who brings revelation (1 Corinthians 2:10; 2 Peter 1:21).
Prophecy consists of three parts: revelation, interpretation & application. It includes hearing, speaking, and seeing what God is saying. It may be received and expressed by spoken words, writing, senses or inklings, dreams, visions, angel visitations, songs, a Rhema Word, demonstrative action (doing something in the natural that releases something in the spiritual), etc.
Prophecy must be within God’s and Christ’s character and nature and must not conflict with the Word of God. We must know the source and discern the voice of God correctly. We must be careful about how we listen. (1 Samuel 16:6-7). We cannot assume that the prophetic person is always in the “prophetic mode” at all times, and every time they speak (1 Samuel 7:1-15). There are three voices that we could hear:
- God – “…test the spirits to see whether they are from God…” 1 John 4:1
- Self – “… I did not speak to them, but they prophesied.” Jeremiah 23:16, 21
- Satan – “…this is the spirit of antichrist…” 1 John 4:3
Usually, the first impression or spontaneous thought you hear is the Holy Spirit when your eyes are focused on Jesus and tuned to the flow of the Holy Spirit. There are times that God has spoken to us through seeing, hearing, sensing, feeling, or perceiving, but we didn’t know it (Job 33:14-18). Spending time in His presence and Word sharpens our ability to hear His voice and to know His ways, character, and nature.
There are times when we think we hear the Lord, and we or someone prophesies from what they know, from out of their soul, heart, or opinion, but it is not the Lord speaking (Jeremiah 14:14; 23:16-32). We must discern between immature prophets and false prophets. Satan will use false prophets to lead people astray from the truth (Matthew 7:15; 24:24; Romans 16:18; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1-6). They prophesy lies and outside the will of God. That is why we must meditate on the Word, so we are not in error or deceived.
We must discern prophetic witchcraft, psychics, and con artists who use supernatural divination to deceive spiritually hungry believers. We are not to listen to or seek words from a soothsayer, diviner, medium, etc. These prophecies come from a demonic or human spirit and not from God. Satan always tries to counterfeit what God does.
Giving a Prophetic Word
We must discern between our voice and His voice, between our imagination and what God shows us through what we hear, see, smell, taste, and touch. Developing our five spiritual senses helps receive revelation from God and discerning good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). Let God speak to you in the way that He chooses. Practice intentionally listening to His voice and become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s voice through meditating on the Word and in prayer (John 10:27; Psalm 85:8). The more you focus on receiving from the Lord, the more proficient you will become.
When you receive a Word from the Lord to give out or release, ask the Holy Spirit what to do with it. Not all Words are for proclamation or for that time. The Lord may want you to intercede (pray) or speak it at a later time. Follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. Timing is everything (Proverbs 15:23). There is a matter of God’s timing to it, a Kairos moment (the right time). Other words should be written down and submitted to another mature Christian or church leaders. Integrity matters. Trust the peace of God (Psalm 85:8; Philippians 4:7-9). You can manage your word. The Holy Spirit doesn’t just take over. Obey the urging of the Holy Spirit (James 1:22).
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end, it will speak, and it will not lie, though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come. It will not tarry. Habakkuk 2:3 (NKJV)
Don’t rely on the physical sensations you may experience, i.e., fluttering heartbeat, knots in the stomach, etc. The Holy Spirit may use these to prepare you to receive or deliver His Word but may withhold these promptings as you grow in hearing Him.
Speak loud enough, clearly, naturally, and be kind. Remember, the tone of voice matters. The Holy Spirit will confirm it in the hearts of the listeners (John 10:4-5). Consider if you gave it to yourself, would you like it? Does it edify, exhort, or comfort?
Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from prophesying. We prophesy by faith and in love (You are not a false prophet if you miss it or think you have received nothing). A false prophet has the wrong motives and heart, and it doesn’t come from the nature of God. Learn from your mistakes, ask the Lord for forgiveness, humble yourself and get back up (Proverbs 24:16; 1 Peter 5:5).
Receiving a Prophetic Word
Prepare to receive the prophetic word by clearing your mind and open your heart to receiving from the Lord. If something spoken to you is not from God, don’t receive or agree with it (Proverbs 26:2). There are some steps to take to determine whether the word is from God or not.
First, does it line up with what God is telling you and with His Word, character, and nature? Do you experience His peace? If you aren’t sure, take it to Him in prayer and other prophets or prophetic people to help judge it (1 Corinthians 14:29-32). All believers have the Holy Spirit dwelling within so we can discern whether or not God is speaking. If there appears to be a contradiction, seek the Holy Spirit concerning it and its timing (Matthew 1:18-25).
If you have received conflicting prophetic words, consider these questions to help sort them out. What kind of fruit will this prophecy bear? Does it align with the Word of God, His character, and nature? Are they prophesying within their metron or sphere of influence? What is their accuracy rate?
When you receive a word of prophecy from the Lord, record it if you can, then write it out. Pray and press into it, and declare it over your life (1 Chronicles 17:23-26). Be diligent in seeking the Lord concerning it. Use some keywords mentioned in the prophecy and look them up in the Bible, concordances, etc. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to connect the spoken word to the written word in the Bible.
Read or listen to it again for more revelation, thank Him for what He is doing, and expect it to come to pass in God’s time and season. Bill Johnson, the Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California, states that when you recognize Presence, you can receive words you don’t understand (John 6:63, 68-69).
Use some keywords mentioned in the prophecy and look them up in the Bible, concordances, etc. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to connect the spoken word to the written word in the Bible.
When we receive a prophecy about our future, we will need to ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom to give us the steps and strategy in walking it out. Very often, our response will determine the outcome. Do what He tells you.
The LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV)
This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare. 1 Timothy 1:18 (NKJV)
The proper interpretation is a must. Actual words have been judged as false because of wrong interpretation (see Acts 10:9-17; 16:10; 1 Peter 1:1; Daniel 8:15; Genesis 40:12). Sometimes our human emotions and wounds in our soul can taint our revelation and interpretation.
We can ask the Lord to bring inner healing to our soul wounds and deliverance from bondage so that we don’t minister or receive God’s words out of our soul wounds and biases. Ask Him to reveal any lies you believe, repent and renounce them, then replace them with God’s truth as the Holy Spirit reveals them.
The correct application is paramount. Interpretation determines the application. (Compare Acts 21:10 and Acts 20:23). We appropriate the promise by faith (Hebrews 4:2), having the right soil in our hearts (Luke 8:4), and diligence in seeking the Lord (Daniel 9).
We must develop a close relationship with the Holy Spirit, who will help us in all three prophecy parts. We must be moving towards the prophetic words we have received. We may need to wage spiritual warfare over it. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide, direct, and lead you.
Church leaders can use prophetic activations to see people released into a greater prophetic dimension. Activations are spiritual exercises using words, objects, actions, Scripture verses, etc. to trigger the gifts, rekindle and reignite the flame, help start the flow of ministry and help people grow in whatever level of prophecy they are called to. To activate something means to start it off or set it in motion. Prophetic activations help stir up the gift and get the river flowing by increasing faith (2 Timothy 1:6). Faith must accompany desire (John 7:37-38).
Activations done in a safe and loving environment are designed to break down fear, timidity, doubt, etc. They will not teach how to prophesy but to hear from God to:
- Release what you hear
- Listen to the Spirit
- Step out in faith
- Launch out into the prophetic
The Apostle Paul tells us in our Scripture verse today to pursue love, desire the spiritual (supernatural), and prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1). We should want to minister to others because of love (1 Corinthians 13:8). The Holy Spirit brings us the supernatural to touch another’s life. Don’t forget that the prophetic realm is miraculous and releases miracles and breakthroughs. When you prophesy, it is more than getting a word from the Lord, information, direction, guidance, revelation, etc. When we prophesy, we speak God’s words of love, life, hope, deliverance, and healing to others. Living a prophetic lifestyle embraces these elements (Mark 16:16-18)!
Hearing the Holy Spirit and obeying Him is foundational to living a supernatural Christian and prophetic life. It is about cultivating intimacy with Jesus by spending time in His presence so we can rightly discern what He is doing at that moment, then we express and declare His heart as He leads us. A practical prophetic lifestyle brings glory to God and draws people to Jesus.
When our life points to the Lordship of Jesus, it is a testimony of Him and is prophetic (Revelation 19:10), i.e., prophetic worship, teaching, preaching, intercession, etc. Prophetic evangelism is God speaking through you to unbelievers to attract them to Jesus. You partner with God as you see what He is doing and saying.
All believers can prophesy and be a voice for God in the earth. Ask Him to give you an ear to hear what He is saying. To grow in your prophetic gift, prophesy over more people. Ask the Holy Spirit to provide you with a word for someone and to impart the right gifts at the right time for the right person. Then follow His leading.
Stir up your gift through praying, Blessing, encouraging, speaking in tongues, and declarations. Seek out a prophetic community and gatherings (Hebrews 10:25; 1 Timothy 4:14-15). Your prophetic flow will increase the more you prophesy and are around others who do. Spiritual neglect, unbelief, fear, and pride can hinder the flow. We need to be accountable by having spiritual oversight through an appropriate leader or mentor and actively involved in a church community to develop and grow our gifts and maturity.
Living for God is an adventure with miracles and breakthroughs! It is never boring. There is always something new (Isaiah 42:9), i.e., new doors, visions, platforms, ideas, connections, relationships, favor, power, grace, etc. God calls us to do something that we never thought we could do.
Heavenly Father, we ask that You would Bless us with an acceleration of prophetic grace to prophesy and unlock our hearts to hear Your voice with greater precision. Fill us with the Holy Spirit and boldness to speak Your words to others and to obey Him. Help us grow in our fellowship with You to hear and know Your heart and ways. Please lead us to divine connections with mentors, teachers, pastors, and other prophetic people so that we can grow in prophetic ministry and lifestyle. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
LeClaire, Jennifer. (2020). Prophetic Protocols & Ethics . Fort Lauderdale, Florida:Awakening Media, Inc.