“Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” 1 Corinthians 14:1
Prophecy is the most beneficial of all spiritual gifts God gives to His saints. Why? Because the “testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10 NKJV) When we prophesy, we engage directly with the creator of the universe and the savior of our souls. There’s nothing more powerful than to fellowship with Jesus on an intimate enough level to actually hear His voice in one way or another.
God longs to speak to us and there’s nothing so powerful and encouraging to our spirit than to know that God is real and that He actually knows us and cares about us.
In Acts 2, Peter says that we have entered the “end times” and that the prophecy in Joel 2 is now ours to have. Joel 2 tells us that “all flesh” will prophesy. This is a fulfillment of what Moses tells Joshua in Numbers 11:29. He desired that all Israel would prophesy.
Read 1 Corinthians 14 & Joel 2:28-29
Prophecy can take many forms. It happens mostly through “impressions.” Impressions are those quiet little thoughts we have that are almost indistinguishable from our own thoughts. They take time and practice to discern whether they are God or our own thoughts.
Read 1 Kings 19:11-12
Prophecy can also come in the form of more sure communication. It can come through dreams, visions and someone else clearly telling us what God has said. When another person tells us what God has said, it is our duty to discern whether it is truly from God or not and not to blindly believe a world because a “prophet has spoken.” (1 Corinthians 14:28-33)
We must be careful, though, because the prophetic ministry is very subjective and can be very intimidating and manipulating. We must take care that we handle it with great humility and courage. Manipulation through prophecy is wrong and can be very detrimental and hurtful. It is better to use language like “I feel like the Lord said” than to say “thus saith the Lord” or “the Lord told me.” And, as a rule, we must stay away from prophetic words about manipulative and emotionally charged subjects like marriage, finances, etc.