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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 3

Rules of Construction


The 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 started at week 1, which dealt with the foundations which need to be in place for effective prophetic ministry. Week 2 covered the choice of basic materials with which to work. Week 3 (this section) will cover rules of construction. Week 4 will cover the finishing stages. All are important if we want a house that stands firm, won't collapse due to inferior materials, has been built efficiently and is attractive!

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!


In our last teaching we covered some of the attitudes of heart which help "stir up" the prophetic gift within us. We saw that God places a high value on our heart attitudes and we looked at some of the ways we can cooperate with the Lord in changing our heart.

We then covered some desirable heart attitudes. First we looked at obedience and saw how important a strong desire to obey the Lord is to the prophet. Even Jesus had to learn such obedience!

We then saw the need to earnestly desire the spiritual gifts such that this is a passionate flame within you.

We saw the need to exercise faith and grow in faith. We covered some practical means by which you can do this.

We covered the importance of humility and the very particular danger faced by the prophet in this area if that attitude is not maintained. Pride is one of the fastest ways for a prophet to "go wrong" (which is far more fundamental than just "being wrong" in a particular prophecy) and is a particularly strong temptation for the prophet. We looked at some of the reasons for that and some of the things that we can do (or have done to us!) to help us gain humility.

We covered how a strong desire to see Jesus glorified is another important way to "stir up" the prophetic gift.

We saw the importance of being willing to take risks to grow in the prophetic.

Finally, we saw how, by relating properly to the rest of the body of Christ and having them relate to you, a major "stirring up" of the gift can occur.

Godly Practices

In construction, years of experience have taught the successful workers how best to carry out their tasks. Similarly, when considering how to stir up the gift of prophecy, there are certain ways of doing things which can help us. I have called these "Godly Practices".

  1. Spending Time with God

    Following on from the importance of relationship with the Lord, it is obviously vital for the prophet to actively set aside time to seek the Lord, enjoy His presence and listen to His voice.

    Ps 130:6
    My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. (NIV)

    Throughout scripture, one important role for the prophet is to act as a watchman, warning the people of danger to come.

    Jer 6:17
    I appointed watchmen over you and said, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But you said, 'We will not listen.' (NIV)

    Obviously, to be a watchman requires one to spend time watching!

    Jesus obeyed this pattern of setting aside time to communicate with His Father. He often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5:16).

    The practice of actively spending time drawing close to the Lord changes our whole lifestyle and is an important key to prophetic effectiveness:

    Isa 40:31
    But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they Shall walk, and not faint. (KJV)

    The Hebrew word for "wait upon" is qavah (kaw-vaw'); which means to bind together (perhaps by twisting). The image is of the child of God binding his heart together with the Lord so that communication takes place in a deep, nonverbal manner. It sensitizes the prophet to the Spirit of God and enables much deeper revelation to flow.

  2. Bible Study

    The prophet is no exception to 2 Tim 3:16-17: (NIV)

    1. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
    2. so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    Volumes have been written about the benefits of reading, praying over and meditating upon the Bible. I'm not going to repeat that material here! However, Bible study is of particular benefit to stirring up prophetic gifting for the following reasons:

    1. The Bible was written at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, therefore by reading it one is tuned to the Holy Spirit and what He wants to say / do.
    2. God will often bring a "rhema" (a specific and applicable word) which is based on scripture or may even be a direct quote of scripture. Both this and direct commands have a place in spiritual warfare. After all, Jesus used both when resisting Satan (Matt 4:3-12)
    3. All prophecy is subject to scriptural testing, thus knowing scripture provides a safeguard for the prophet as well as allowing him or her to function in the prophetic role of testing other prophecies (1 Cor 14:29)
    4. Reading the Bible allows the prophet to see some of the ways in which the Lord uses prophets to bring His message. The use of drama, for example, might not be particularly in one's mind when somebody else speaks of prophesying. Yet drama was a very powerful means of showing or speaking forth God's word and was used by many prophets (e.g. Isaiah 20:1-4)
    5. The Holy Spirit often gives visions based on scriptural concepts. By knowing the Bible one can more easily interpret the meaning of these visions. While all things are subject to the Spirit, there is no law against prophets using their minds (as inspired by the Lord) (Mark 12:30)
    6. God often speaks directly into the prophet's own life and situation through scriptures.

  3. Impartation

    Spiritual power such as a gift of prophecy can be imparted i.e. started up or fanned into a brighter flame by other Christians. Examples of how this is done include:

    1. laying on hands (2 Tim 1:6),
    2. breathing on people (John 20:22, John 14:12),
    3. prophesying a gift into somebody (1 Tim 4:14 - note the combination of laying on of hands)
    4. a person touching the prophet's clothing (see Luke 8:46, "power" or "virtue" is a translation of the Greek word "dunamis" which describes the power of the Holy Spirit, Who supplies giftings such as prophecy)
    5. playing music (2 Kings 3:15-19)
    6. simple physical proximity with someone who ministers in a powerful prophetic anointing (1 Samuel 19:23-24)
    7. water baptism (Matt 3:16)
    8. praying for someone (2 Kings 6:15-17)

    While it is the Holy Spirit who actually gives spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:11), He seems quite happy to use human agents at times in this process, just as the Lord does with so many others e.g. evangelism!

  4. Works of the Kingdom

    James 2:26
    As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead (NIV).

    We also know from Romans 12:6 that prophesying can occur in proportion to faith. It is therefore fairly evident that when one is doing the works of the Father that increased deeds signify increased faith which facilitates increased prophesying! Jesus is specifically mentioned as being anointed to do the works of the Kingdom (Luke 4:18-19), and His prophets are no exception.

    There is of course a balance in this with the principle we discussed earlier of concentrating not so much on doing good deeds as on having relationship with the Lord (see Teaching 1 in this series). Nonetheless, it is a scriptural pattern that the deeds do flow out of the relationship (James 3:13). How often one finds that extra depth of spiritual discernment that kicks in just at the time when you need it when witnessing about Jesus (Acts 14:9)!

  5. Fasting

    Much has been written by others far better qualified than I about the benefits of fasting. Time and again the Bible records how in seasons of fasting and prayer the Holy Spirit speaks (e.g. Acts 13:2).

    Every effective prophetic ministry which I have encountered has been found in people who have fasted and prayed. Which comes first I am not sure, nonetheless it does seem that often by fasting, one opens spiritual discernment more readily. It certainly has a more powerful effect on the spiritual realms (Daniel 10, Matt 4:1-2 etc.).

  6. Praying in the Spirit

    By praying in the Spirit I mean praying in tongues, although there can be much more to praying in the Spirit than just using one's prayer language.

    By praying in the Spirit one can:

    1. Find prophecy flowing as a "natural" accompaniment (Acts 19:6)
    2. Edify i.e. build up yourself (1 Corinthians 14:4, Jude 1:20)
    3. Get involved in spiritual warfare (Eph 6:18)
    4. Grant control of one's tongue to the Holy Spirit (James 3:2-5), thus facilitating prophecy

    The apostle Paul was able to thank God for being able to speak in tongues even more than the Corinthians (1 Cor 14:18) so he evidently thought it a worthwhile exercise!

  7. Pursue Holiness

    While it is only the Lord who can clean up our act, there is also a degree of responsibility on our part:

    Heb 12:14
    Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no-one will see the Lord. (NIV)

    What does "holiness" mean?


    1. hagiasmos, translated "holiness" in the KJV of (Rom. 6:19,22; 1 Thes. 4:7; 1 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 12:14), is always rendered "sanctification" in the RV. It signifies
    1. separation to God, (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Thes. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2);
    2. the resultant state, the conduct befitting those so separated, (1 Thes. 4:3,4, 7), and the four other places mentioned above.
    "Sanctification" is thus the state predetermined by God for believers, into which in grace He calls them, and in which they begin their Christian course and so pursue it. Hence they are called "saints" (hagioi). See SANCTIFICATION. (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words) (Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

    Pursuing holiness therefore means setting apart oneself from other "worldly" pursuits in order to be closer to God. It results in our conduct changing. To go on from Heb 12:14, we can say that participating in the Lord's refining process allows us to see Him more clearly and hence prophesy more effectively.

    Every significant prophetic ministry I have known has had this imprint of setting aside other desires and activities in order to be closer to the Lord and live a life pleasing to Him.

    One danger of this process is slipping into striving (where you are endeavoring to improve yourself by your own effort). Another associated danger is self righteousness. A sure sign of self righteousness is when you catch yourself looking down on other people instead of seeking to serve them. The Holy Spirit can help you avoid these, a bit of good, solid failure on your part usually does the trick!


There are certain regular practices which can help us stir up the gift of prophecy.

Spending time communicating with the Lord is one such practice. Binding our heart to the Lord's heart sensitizes us to Him and to what He is saying.

The Bible is the Holy Spirit's book. By spending time studying it we can be guarded from prophetic errors and can improve our ability to discern the true from the false in prophecy. We also get our eyes opened to some of the ways the Lord often speaks through prophets.

By coming into contact with other Godly people, we can receive a "kick start" or "power boost" in the prophetic. This process is known as "impartation".

By becoming practically involved in doing the works of the Kingdom we increase our faith which in turn facilitates the flow of the prophetic. We also place ourselves into situations where the Holy Spirit is more likely to speak.

Fasting and praying involves us more deeply in the spiritual realm and increases the prophetic.

Praying in the Spirit (specifically in tongues) is the Christian equivalent of weight training. It can work wonders!

Finally, consciously choosing to obey the Lord and set oneself aside to be close to Him brings a lifestyle change that speaks prophetically to others as well as increasing the accuracy of the prophetic. With less dirt in the way the water flows more clearly! (John 7:38,39)

Looking Forward

In the next and last section of teaching we will examine some of the ways in which the prophetic gift can go on to maturity. These are the "finishing" stages of construction and help graduate the prophetic ministry into a seasoned and effective tool in the Kingdom of God.

Questions for Consideration

Q1. When do you find the most effective times to be spent with God? Is it a regular time? If so, when? If it is an irregular thing, how do you find that effective? Are both regular and irregular times useful? If so, why? How do you prevent these times from becoming a lifeless, religious duty?

Q2. What scriptures have been especially influential in shaping how you see and understand the prophetic? Has God spoken prophetically in your experience through scripture? Have there been times when you have seen how some-one with scriptural knowledge was able to gently correct or redirect or clarify a "prophetic word"?

Q3. Have you received an impartation from other Christians? How do you know (hint: think of fruits)? How was the "dunamis" transmitted? Why do you think Paul warned Timothy not to be too hasty when laying on hands (1 Tim 5:22)?

Q4. What are the "works of the Kingdom"? List some. Have you seen a link between some (or all) of these works and flowing in the prophetic? Describe such occurrences.

Q5. Why do you think fasting has a positive effect on prophetic gifting? Are there occasions or reasons why sometimes fasting is ineffective?

Q6. What are some of the other ways of "praying in the Spirit" other than praying in tongues? What are some of the practical benefits of praying in tongues?

Q7. What has God been doing in your life recently to increase your "holiness" i.e. state of being set apart for the Lord? Have you asked Him to refine you in some way recently? What happened? Do you agree that a sense of "holiness" is prevalent in prophetic ministries? What happens when it is not - thinking particularly of Matthew 7:1-2?

Q8. How can you avoid discouragement when considering this long list of helpful disciplines which nobody seems to be able to do consistently? Does the word "grace" sound rather encouraging around about now?

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

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