Prophesying should seem no more strange than speaking in tongues since both originate as the Spirit gives utterance. Both reside in the scriptural location of the birth place of the Apostolic Church. They shall prophesy and they began to speak in other tongues. If we exercise ourselves in one, why not the other? The prophetic dimension is 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. (Rev 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.
We should understand all prayer originates with God because no one can come to Jesus except the Father draw him (John 6:44). Knowing that God is in control but He often 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. The spirit of prophecy is intended to work in the believer. 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 into reality (Daniel 2:28, 9:2,3)!
Isaiah tells us God will tell his intentions before they happen (Isaiah 42:9).
This 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. When it is combined with the Spirit of prophecy, the ability to speak God’s desires, our asking opens the avenue for God to act.
I have a very personal story which illustrates prophetic prayer. At a General Conference a few years ago, we had lunch with a wonderful friend. After we had finished eating, he 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 ok.”
This puzzled me and I must confess that although I have great confidence in this man, I told my husband, “He missed it this time. I just had a good check up and 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 the 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 ok, 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.