1 Corinthians 12:4-11
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”
Every person empowered by the Holy Spirit has received certain gifts from God. All these gifts are equal in importance and vital for the family to function together in unity; empowered for the building the Kingdom of God. Each gift is to be used as a service to benefit and exhort each member of God’s family. Prophecy is one of these gifts.
“For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” — Amos 3:7
As we have walked as both national teams and as the global family, we have found that every gift is necessary to fulfill the steps of this journey. Prophecy has been vitally important in us moving forward and in acknowledging what the Spirit is saying. Prophetic words have often been a catalyst for initiatives that have called regions and nations into times of fasting, prayer and consecration. This gift has also been used to release the wisdom needed for the next steps and to understand more clearly what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
We know that God speaks to all His sons and daughters, and brings confirmation through His written Word. A major part of having a relationship with God is communication, a mutual sharing of hearts and desires. There are conversations happening between God and His family day and night, through which He reveals wisdom, direction, His affections, His longings and His plans. Often within these conversations God will reveal a word that is to be shared with another individual or with a corporate group. These words edify, encourage and confirm. We would refer to these as prophetic words.
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. — 1 Corinthians 14:1, 3
Every believer can prophesy, but not every believer is called to the “Office of a Prophet” or to prophecy as their primary gifting. An individual whose primary gift is prophecy may also be gifted as a teacher, one whom gives wisdom or whom serves, etc. This is true with the other gifts as well. God gives us many gifts but most have a primary gift that stands out more than the rest.
Within the gift of prophecy there are many ways of receiving words. God speaks through impressions, dreams, visions, words of knowledge, just to mention just a few.
Often God will use a word of prophecy to give direction or to confirm direction within the setting of a gathering. This can come during the open sessions, during the discernment meeting with the servant team, from written words given by one attending the gathering, and in many other ways.
In a gathering we value every voice and every ear that has heard something from the Spirit of the Lord. In order to facilitate this we have a discernment table set up where individuals can write down dreams, vision, and words that they are hearing and submit them to a trusted team with the gift of discernment. This team reads each word and then shares the words they feel need to be released to the larger body at that time. Often many words will come in at the same time that serves to confirm what God is already doing during a particular session. We believe that each word submitted becomes a declaration or form of intercession to agree with what the Lord is doing.
We have seen the Spirit of Prophecy fall upon a worship leader and they begin to prophesy in song. We have had prophetic words given by an individual submitting what they were hearing at the discernment table. We have had prophetic voices speak words during a gathering and had prophetic teachings come out during times of teaching.
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. — 2 Peter 1:21
Prophecy is a gift that we love! It serves the family in a beautiful way and when it is intermingled with the others gifts we are given a tapestry of God’s will, His design, His love and are often overwhelmed with the reality of just how much His heart longs for His family.