Prophesying shouldn’t seem any stranger to us than speaking in tongues. The reason for this is because both originate as the Spirit gives utterance and both reside in the scriptural location of the birth place of the Apostolic Church in Acts. The question is, if we exercise ourselves in one, why not the other? Because the prophetic dimension is also a part of the Spirit-filled believers birthright.
Prophecy can mean to foretell or to forth tell. There are scriptural prophecies, the gift of prophecy, the office of the prophet, and there is a spirit of prophecy. Paul confessed that we sometimes know not how to pray as we ought but the Spirit makes intercession for us. (See Romans 8:26.) This can happen with groanings, which cannot be uttered, or praying in tongues, but it can also be something that happens in our mind as we converse with God. Any sincere believer can have and probably has had, something suddenly come to mind. In scriptural terminology could this not be considered to be “the word of the Lord came to me”?
The mind of Christ will work in us if we let it, and the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10). This is the source for the resource of prophesying believers.
When we combine the enablement of the Spirit of Prophecy with the medium of prayer we are blessed to tap into a powerful force.
Understanding that all prayer originates with God because no one can come to the Father except the Spirit draws him is one facet, but we must also realize that in knowing that God is so in control that He actually waits to act until we pray. He wants to share with us what He desires to do so we can then ask in prayer for His intervention into our earthly affairs. Prophesying prayer is hearing God and praying His desires and will.
Daniel tells us that the God of heaven reveals secrets and makes known what shall be. When Daniel understood God’s intentions, he prayed them (Daniel 2:28)!
Isaiah assures us God will tell His intentions before they happen (Isaiah 42:9).
The dimension of prayer is readily available to Spirit-filled believers, but if we are not aware of it, we will only by accident engage in it. The power of prayer has yet to be explored fully. It is the most potent power available to man.
I have a very personal story which illustrates prophetic prayer. At our General Conference in 2003, we had lunch with our friend Brother Freddy Clark. After we had finished eating, Brother Freddy prayed over each of us. As he was praying for me he prayed for my health, my well-being and specifically for my heart. When he had finished praying he looked at me and said, “You have a little problem with your heart, but you will be okay.”
This puzzled me and I must confess that although I have great confidence in Brother Clark, I told my husband, “He missed it this time. I just had a good check up saying that there was nothing wrong with my heart.” Three months later, I had surgery for a knee replacement which went very well. However, about fifteen hours after my surgery, my heart stopped. I had a pulmonary embolism and kidney failure. The diagnosis: a problem with my heart that had never shown up in any medical exam. A prayer, a prophecy, and I am okay today keeping a full schedule of work, travel and ministering.
Prophetic prayer is simply hearing God tell us what to pray and praying it. The possibilities are limitless.
If you are interested in further study, Pastor Jeff Ramsey of Minden, LA has written a book called Prophetic Prayer.