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-- © GodSpeak International 1999 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org > --

Author: Mike Gerner <mgerner@aol.com>
Editors: Teresa Seputis, Al Vesper

Prophetic-School MiniTraining Series


Course 7 -- Part 1



Welcome to our short series on how to "stir up the gift". These simple teachings have been written for the prophetic-school Internet mailing list (1). This series is in response to a posting to the list which asked:

"I have heard some people teach on the concept of "stirring up the gift". Now I understand that this comes from 2 Timothy 1:6. But I really would like to stay away from some vague, "Christianese" answer and get down to some practical ways to do this."

This series is designed to provide some answers to that question in jargon- free language and to provide practical help for people walking at various different levels of prophetic gifting who want to "stir up the gift" within them, i.e. increase the effectiveness of the Holy Spirit inspired gift of prophecy in their lives.

This series is split into four sections. While the division into sections is in some ways arbitrary, the sections are intended to follow a progression similar to the stages involved in building a house. Thus we start at Section 1 (this section) which deals with the foundations which need to be in place for effective prophetic ministry. Section (2) covers the choice of basic materials with which to work. Section (3) covers rules of construction. Section (4) covers the finishing stages. All are important if we want a house that stands firm, won't collapse due to inferior materials, and has been built efficiently and is attractive!

I'd like to share two words of warning before we go any further.

First, God isn't just interested in making us "better prophets". He wants to transform us to be more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18) and to set us free in heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30) to worship Him. The things that we consider in this series are only a part of that process.

Secondly, remember that developing prophecy is not a logical progression of tasks to be performed. It is based on relationship. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are involved as well as fallible humans! This is not a "ten steps" prescription to a sure-fire powerful prophetic ministry. So as you read this series, ask the Lord to highlight the relevant bits deep into your personality. Don't worry about the rest - its time will come!


Let's look again at that text, with added emphasis on the key phrase for this study:
2 Tim 1:6
Therefore I remind you to STIR UP the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (NKJ)
Some versions of the Bible translate "stir up" slightly differently. The New International Version translates the original text more literally:
2 Tim 1:6
For this reason I remind you to FAN INTO FLAME the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (NIV)
Much of the New Testament was written in the Greek language of the time. Sometimes it can be helpful to research the original Greek words used in a particular verse. This can help us to get a grasp of the meaning of the verse beyond the understanding we might have by looking at the English words in our normal, modern context.


1. anazopureo denotes "to kindle afresh," or "keep in full flame" (ana, "up," or "again," zoos, "alive," pur, "fire"), and is used metaphorically in <2 Tim. 1:6>, where "the gift of God" is regarded as a fire capable of dying out through neglect. The verb was in common use in the vernacular of the time. (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Rather than see the fire dying out, we want to see how best to cause the gift of prophecy to blaze up more strongly.

Notice that the responsibility for this is placed on the person who has already received the gift. It is true that gifts of the Holy Spirit are distributed sovereignly by the Holy Spirit:

1 Cor 12:11
All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. (NIV)
However 2 Timothy 1:6 and other scriptures such as Matthew 25:14-30 indicate that the way we handle that gift determines (a) how effective it is and (b) how God judges and rewards us. (2)

The picture is of a process whereby we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in increasing the intensity and consistency of the prophetic gifting (2 Peter 1:10). We will now go on to discuss some of the ways we can do precisely that.

Back to Basics

When my wife and I first saw our current house it didn't look very impressive. It was just a big pile of mud with some holes dug and concrete foundations laid. There were no walls let alone a roof. Yet how important it was that those foundations were laid properly! The security of the house we live in now depends upon it.

So it is with the prophetic ministry. Unless certain foundations are in place, the ministry is at best erratic and at worst can come crashing down. I know, I've seen it happen.

Here are some of the foundations we need to consider in order for the gift to be "stirred up".

  1. Relationship with Jesus

    Everything springs from our relationship with Jesus because we can't do anything without Him.

    John 15:5
    I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (NIV)

    Now, when we put our faith in Jesus, we automatically get a relationship with Him.

    John 1:12
    Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God... (NIV)

    That is the legal basis for our status as the children of God.

    But our relationship with Jesus goes beyond that, wonderful although it is.

    When my wife and I got married we signed a legal document which defined our relationship. But how we develop our relationship in practice depends on us. If our marriage stopped at a legal relationship, then we would fall far short of achieving the potential blessings of our partnership.

    If we use marriage as a picture of our relationship with Jesus, then we can quickly see how you can build on that relationship just as a loving wife builds a marriage relationship with her husband.

    First, you are responding to His love. He is the one who has reached out and sacrificed all for you. He is the one who continually loves you and reaches out to you. He is deeply and passionately in love with you and wants you to be with Him for EVER and EVER.

    Next, your heart must be in it. Your passions and desires are directed towards Him and none other.

    You spend time finding out about Him. How He feels about things, what His desires are. Pleasing Him becomes the most important thing in the world to you. All else is given up in comparison to the overwhelming joy of knowing Him (Philippians 3:8).

    You spend time sharing yourself with Him. The delightful thing is, the more you share of yourself the more love you can receive because with Him there is no condemnation or rejection.

    However, this relationship is NOT just to be a means to gaining a stronger gifting. Loving someone as a means to an end is, by definition, not really love. So right at the heart of increasing the prophetic we have this paradox - building a relationship which defines the prophetic (and all else) as secondary to knowing Him.

    Just hanging out together builds relationship. Tackling life's challenges together strengthens the cords of dependence and trust. Spend time getting to know Him, for that is the wellspring of life (John 10:10).

    Luke 10:38-42
    1. As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.
    2. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.
    3. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
    4. "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things,
    5. but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (NIV)

  2. Love

    Love is a foundational element of moving in prophecy. It's certainly possible to minister without it, but the results are frequently disastrous.

    1 Cor 13:2
    If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (NIV)

    What is love and how do I "get" it?

    The best definition of love is found in the Bible:

    1 Cor 13:4-7
    1. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
    2. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
    3. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
    4. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (NIV)

    God is love (1 John 4:16), so He is the source of the love we experience and minister in.

    Rom 5:5
    ... God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (NIV)

    God supernaturally pours more love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. We cooperate in that process by deciding that we want Him to do it, by asking Him to do it and by obeying the promptings of love when they come.

    My own experience is that the greatest release of visions and prophecy came into my life when Jesus met me in vision and simply told me that He loved me, in a manner which melted my heart.

    1 Jn 4:19
    We love because he first loved us. (NIV)

    A friend of mine who has ministered as a prophet for many years says that the greatest release of prophetic gifting came into his life when he met his wife and started to experience love in his own heart. That's when the Lord started to show him the thoughts of people's hearts (Mark 2:8).

    By the way, there is an error sometimes stated by some that "I'd rather follow love than the Gifts of the Spirit". The Bible makes it clear that it is not a matter of love OR the gifts of the Spirit, but of love AND the Gifts of the Spirit:

    1 Cor 14:1
    Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. (NIV)

    When you love someone then that is a powerful motivator for asking God to grant a word or revelation which will speak into that person's situation. Also, God can trust you with that kind of revelation because He knows that you are going to use it to bless the other person because you love them. When you love someone, especially with divinely inspired love, you don't want to manipulate or control them or even destroy them - which are some of the major pitfalls prophetic ministry can fall into.

    Having a deep revelation of God's love for us and for other people is a fundamental part of effectively ministering in the prophetic.

  3. Having a gifting from God

    Going back to a point we saw earlier, it is the LORD who gives the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:11). Unless you have that gift from the Lord as the basis, then there really isn't much point trying to "stir it up". No amount of human effort will do it.

    How does one get a full blown gift of prophecy (by which I mean the ability to prophesy consistently and accurately, not just give an occasional word) from the Lord? There are various alternative ways or combinations of ways. Here are some.

    1. Believe that it is available for anybody (1 Corinthians 14:31) and just ask! (Luke 11:9-13) Keep asking (Luke 18:1).
    2. Receive a calling from God to exercise the ministry (Jeremiah 1:5)
    3. Have a family history of such ministry (Deuteronomy 5:9-10, Amos 7:14)
    4. Be in places where the Holy Spirit is moving and/or among people who are prophesying (1 Samuel 10:10-11)
    5. Be in a position of authority/responsibility (Daniel 4:1-2,3:25,2:27)
    6. Have someone in ministry lay hands on you (particularly for the gift) (2 Timothy 1:6)
    7. Serve someone who is a prophet (Matthew 10:41, 2 Kings 3:11)
    8. Have someone prophetic pray increased discernment for you (2 Kings 6:15-17)
    9. Be available to listen to the Lord (Acts 13:2)
    10. Be faithful in other, less public, giftings (Matthew 25:23)
    11. Be a son or daughter, old or young, who is following the Lord in the last days (Acts 2:17)

    A word of warning in all the above: attempting to gain a gifting from God for the wrong motives can be dangerous (Acts 8:18-22). Which is why we are covering Foundations and motives in our first two teachings.

    Finally, an important point. Once you have received a gift from the Lord, He will never take it away from you (Romans 11:29). Through disuse and neglect it can die down like an untended fire, but it will never go. It will just be waiting to be fanned into flame again.

  4. Serving

    1 Pet 4:10
    Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. (NIV)

    Matt 20:26-28
    1. ...whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
    2. and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--
    3. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
    4. just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (NIV)

    Acts 2:18
    Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. (NIV)

    Effective prophecy springs from a servant heart. Jesus insisted on this as an essential qualification for rank in God's kingdom. If you want to be a prophet, be prepared to serve!

    Having a servant heart means, among other things:

    1. Wanting to obey the Master as the highest of priorities
    2. Delighting in seeing others blessed more than yourself
    3. Giving freely without concern for amassing wealth
    4. Actively avoiding public recognition
    5. Counting others as more important than oneself
    6. Thinking about the needs of others and how they can be met
    7. Cleaning up the messes made by others


In this teaching we have concentrated on some foundational matters to be considered when stirring up the prophetic.

We have seen that all prophecy flows from relationship with Jesus. Making that relationship a priority is the key to everything in Christianity, not just prophecy.

We have seen the core value in prophecy is love, both for Jesus and for others. Unless that core value is there the ministry will at best be ineffective and at worst destructive.

We have seen that you need a gift from God before it can be fanned into flame and explored some of the ways that gift comes from the Lord. Those who saw that short list as pretty all inclusive, well done! That is precisely the point. According to His will God can distribute these gifts to whomever He chooses.

Finally, we looked at the need to have a servant heart and what that means in practice.

Looking Forward

In the next section we will look at some of the building materials, i.e. attitudes of heart which are needed for us to effectively stir up the gift. Among other things we will look at obedience, the desire for gifts and faith. I look forward to joining you then!

Questions for Consideration

Q1. Why has this section spent so much time on issues one might not initially think of being directly relevant to the prophetic? Do you think this was necessary? Why so (or why not)?

Q2. When dealing with this subject, how can we avoid the danger of approaching it as a "recipe for success" rather than as a relationship? Is that important?

Q3. Have you seen "bad" (i.e. unedifying) prophetic ministry? (Please don't mention names and remember that these perceptions are necessarily limited). If so, could you trace the problem to one or more of the foundational issues discussed here? Which one(s)? What has that taught you about effective prophetic ministry?

Q4. If you had to list the "heart attitudes" necessary to the prophetic (or even just beneficial to the prophetic) which ones would you list? While allowing for the grace of God in our lives, how can we work on these areas to cultivate them in our own hearts?


  1. Prophetic School

    Prophetic School is an electronic community or kinship of people who believe the Lord has given them some degree of prophetic gifting. It provides a safe (non-threatening) place to learn to walk out and grow in that prophetic anointing. The list provides a place to build each other up and to encourage each other in our prophetic gifting. It also provides a place to ask questions and to share experiences and even to share words of knowledge, prophecies, dreams, visions, etc. with the group. The list is also a place where you can ask others for help interpreting some dreams or visions, etc.

    You may read the charter on the WWW page:


  2. This point is covered in week 4 of the Prophetic Training 101 class run at intervals on the Prophetic School list.

    The WWW referece is:


-- © GodSpeak International 1999 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org > --

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