You can prophesy, did you know it? If you desire to bless and encourage others, you can deliver messages from God. Here’s how to get started.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of prophecy
On the day of Pentecost, God poured out the Holy Spirit on the followers of Christ. The Apostle Peter quoted the prophet Joel:
17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.’”
–Acts 2:17-18 NIV
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of prophecy. If you’ve been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you’ve been given the potential to speak for God.
When Paul placed his hands on [the Ephesian disciples], the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
–Acts 19:6 NIV
Paul told the Corinthians, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. … For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged” (1 Cor. 14:1, 31 NIV).
All Spirit-filled believers have the potential to prophesy. But they must eagerly desire the gift to bless others.
What is the gift of prophecy?
Christian prophet Dennis Cramer defines prophecy as “a supernatural message given for the purpose of ‘strengthening, encouraging and comforting’” (You Can All Prophesy, Arrow Publications, 2003). His definition comes from the words of the Apostle Paul:
But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.
–1 Corinthians 14:3 NIV
The gift of prophecy is available to all believers filled with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7). The gift of prophecy is not for foretelling world events, but simply for bringing strength, encouragement, and comfort to those who receive the message. You can prophesy to individuals or groups.
Here are four principles to focus on if you want to prophesy.
1. Esteem the prophetic gift.
First Thessalonians 5:20 says, “Do not despise prophecies.” J.N. Darby translates it, “Do not lightly esteem prophecies.”
The first principle in becoming a prophetic person is to value the prophetic gift. The revelation of the Spirit is precious. Treat it like it’s important and respect the message. (As well as the messenger.)
“I hold prophecy in high esteem.”
2. Believe you can prophesy.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged” (1 Cor. 14:31 NKJV).
You can prophesy. You all can prophesy. You can all practice prophesying so that everybody learns.
Prophesying—speaking a message from the Holy Spirit—is not just for a chosen few who are specially gifted, but for everyone who wants it. That means you. Say with me:
“I can prophesy!”
3. Desire to prophesy.
Believe it or not, a key factor in determining whether you move in prophecy is how badly you want to.
Some believe they’ll deliver a message only if the Holy Spirit overpowers them. It doesn’t work that way. Romans 12:6 says you prophesy “in proportion to your faith.”
You can prophesy. But you must believe it—believe it enough to step out in faith, try, and keep trying. Faith comes to those who prepare for it through desire.
“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy” (1 Cor. 14:1 NKJV). Another version puts it, “you should truly want to have the spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy” (NCV).
If you follow the way of Christ’s love, you’ll want the Holy Spirit to use you to speak inspired words of strength, encouragement, and comfort to others.
“I desire to prophesy.”
4. Be eager to prophesy.
Wanting to prophesy is important, but it isn’t enough. You must be eager to do so every chance you get. This is another area where desire will open the door to opportunity.
“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues” (1 Cor. 14:39 NIV). The word “eager” is zeloo in Greek, which means “to burn with zeal; to desire earnestly, pursue; to envy; to covet.” Strong words, but good advice.
You esteem prophecy. You can prophesy, you want to prophesy, and you have a burning desire to receive and deliver the message from the Spirit. You must be zealous to prophesy at every opportunity.
“I am eager to prophesy.”
Understand that any prophetic message is instigated by the Holy Spirit, not your own desires. Part of learning to prophesy is being sensitive to the Spirit’s nudgings. So be eager without being too aggressive.
Start by ministering to your close friends, then as you grow in your abilities, branch out to other acquaintances who are on the same page spiritually. Be eager but start slow and learn as you go.
Prophetic principles to promote prophecy
This is my daily meditation. if you make it yours, God will use you to bless others with encouraging messages from above.
- I hold prophecy in high esteem.
- I can prophesy.
- I desire to prophesy.
- I am eager to prophesy.
Let me know how this has helped you in your life and ministry. God bless you!