The Prophetic Ministry
One of the most beautiful ways the Holy Spirit manifests is through the prophetic gift. It is one of the nine gifts of the Spirit and is a ministry gift given by God to the church. To prophesy or to be prophetic simply means to speak, sing, write or act under divine inspiration. Of all the gifts of the Spirit, perhaps it is the most inspirational. When God desires to communicate with a particular individual or group of people in this manner, His heart towards them is expressed. A glimpse of His heart is revealed. It is personal because God is a personal God.
The purpose of the prophetic ministry is to edify, exhort and comfort the body of Christ. This prepares God’s people to serve and to build up the body of Christ until we all come into maturity and measure up to Jesus, our standard. This gift is for all members of the body. Since faith is what pleases God, an individual must operate in the gift by faith. Those who receive this gift of prophecy must also receive it by faith. We are to desire and cultivate the gift of prophecy. No two individuals are like; a special grace is given to the individuals operating in this gift. It should be emphasized that this ministry gift is not for correction but for encouragement. It is always a sign to the believer.
There are different prophetic ministries to the body. Prophetic worship is a powerful ministry. The people can be lifted up into the presence of God and set free to express the love for Him. It opens the door for other gifts of the Spirit to flow. It is a tool of spiritual warfare because it is the highest form of prayer. (Example: David, as a psalmist)
Prophetic intercession is another manifestation of this ministry. An individual that carries this anointing is given a strength to stay before the Lord in prayer. God reveals what He desires to be accomplished and the “burden” to pray is given to that individual(s). Whatever the sphere of influence, prophetic intercession can change lives, even history. (Example: Anna in the temple praying day & night; Daniel praying three times daily) Another facet of prophetic intercession is insight. He can change the direction of an individual or church with this ministry.
To prophesy or speak forth the words of the Lord under divine inspiration will affect the growth of the church. It is vital to the growth of the church. For the body to grow in the knowledge of the Lord, the word must be heard or prophesied. This usually has fallen in the realm of the pastor/teacher. God gives us shepherds after His own heart to lead the body. God places upon their hearts timely messages intended for personal growth and knowledge of Him. It is to equip the body for ministry so that one day we will minister to those whom God gives us. It is to teach us to be a blessing. This ministry is prophetic in its own right because it is by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and revelatory.
Last but not least, all prophetic ministry must be judged. It must be in agreement with the bible. Anything else in unacceptable. God’s word says that out of the mouth of two or three witnesses His word will be established.
Some things to think about: the underlying theme in the bible concerning the prophetic is love. In I Cor. 12:31 , Paul writes, ‘earnestly desire and cultivate the gift of prophesy and yet I show you a more excellent way.’ An individual can be endowed with all the gifts given by the Holy Spirit but if these gifts are not exercised in love, they do no good. Proverbs says that life and death are in the power of the tongue. The real gift that will bring the body into the maturity where we walk in love towards God and man is the gift of love. Love is the fruit of the Spirit. Love must be the underlying theme of the prophetic ministry, indeed, any ministry to the body.
I Cor. 12, 13, 14; Eph. 4:11; Eph. 4:8; Romans 12:4; Prov. 18:21