The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. Isaiah 50:4
Is there anything more fun than hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit?
Maybe in worship, you’ve caught the breath of His voice. Maybe as you opened His Word, your spirit leaped. Maybe He has used a friend to say something encouraging when you were weary.
All of these are examples of one of the most powerful gifts discussed in the New Testament – a gift available to every believer. I Corinthian 14:1 says “Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophecy.”
Why would you want to prophecy?
The word prophecy means to speak, say, declare or make known. In Hebrew, the word “nabi” means to flow, bubble or pour forth words, to gush. When we begin to speak or declare the whispers of God, we will naturally accomplish the biblical purpose of prophecy. I Corinthians 14:3 says “He who prophesies speaks edification (guidance) exhortation (encouragement) and comfort (cheer).”
Here are ten tips to help you grow strong in your prophetic gift.
- It’s normal – Let me clarify a bit of a misconception. Somehow we’ve taught people that hearing God’s voice and sharing your impressions or thoughts with another is abnormal – or at the very least – for only special people. The truth is that hearing the voice of God and sharing what we hear is at the foundation of the Christian experience. Every believer can hear and share.
- Tune in – Learning to hear the voice of God is a bit like learning to dial an old fashioned radio. We used to turn the dial until the radio signal became strong. As you were searching for your favorite music, there was a lot of static. But as you drew near to the “channel” things became clear. God’s voice is much like this. As you begin to pray, meditate and listen closely about a particular person or situation, often your channel will become clear. Practice focusing your mind and heart by using a particular question. For example, “What do you want to say to my friend, today?”
- Fight fear – When you begin to prophecy, you will encounter fear. It is a “fearful” thing to dare to speak to another an impression, thought or image that is God-inspired. In the moment, your own heart might pound, your breath become short and your hands sweat. I’ve only found one cure for this attack – keep going. You can move past the fear as you humbly submit yourself and the word to the person you are ministering to.
- Be teachable – One of the easiest ways to learn how to handle, give and receive prophetic words is to walk alongside someone more experienced than you. They can give you practical instruction, careful guidance and positive encouragement. Don’t be afraid to be corrected. I Corinthians 13:9 says “For we know in part and we prophesy in part…” No one learned to use any gift or talent without practice. If you don’t have someone in your circle who can help, remember that you can be mentored by books, teachings and trainings.
- Get a word for yourself – There is no one who can give you a more encouraging prophetic word than Christ himself. Others may speak into your life, confirm some whispers of the Holy Spirit or even call out gifts and talents. But the strongest, most life changing word comes from heaven itself right into your spirit.
- Be tender – When you are speaking prophetically to another person, their heart is wide open. Keep in mind that the person before you is vulnerable. Speak carefully, tenderly, with grace. Let God use your cooperation to draw out of people His awesome gifts and abilities. Your word should highlight His greatness, kindness, goodness and unfailing love.
- Weigh your words – Words always have tremendous power to bless or to curse, but when you are intentionally speaking an encouragement to another, they are fully loaded for maximum impact. Just because you hear, doesn’t mean you have permission to speak. Sometimes you will have to hold your tongue and submit a matter to prayer.
- Offer your word– Prophetic words should be offered or submitted to another person in a humble manner. They are never to be pushed upon someone. If a word is delivered in a demanding or controlling tone, it will set in motion a sense of manipulation and will not accomplish a biblical purpose. You offer and the other person chooses whether or not to receive.
- Work on your timing – You can be in a situation where you have the “right” word but it’s the “wrong” time. Before delivering a word, consider if you have the relationship and or authority to speak into this person? Is this the right environment? Is this the right time? It is okay to hold a word, to pray about it and to watch for the opportune timing of God.
- Love more – Want to hear God more clearly and give more precise, encouraging words? Love more. That’s right! The greater your love and compassion for God, people and yourself, the more easily you will flow in the gift of prophecy. Love is close to the heart of the Father and according to II Corinthians 13, guaranteed to never fail.
3 Questions to ask God/Activate Your Prophetic Gift
- Do you love me?
- What do you want to say to me right now?
- What are the gifts/talents you have given me you want me to focus on now?