November
08
Author
David Ash
Demystifying The Prophetic

It's so easy to assume that receiving prophetic words is for the 'super spiritual' or those who have a recognised prophetic gift.

However, looking through the New Testament we find that actually we're all supposed be prepared to bring something to build one another up. This isn't something reserved just for 'leaders' or those who often speak on a Sunday morning, it's something we're all supposed to grow in.

1 Corinthians 14:26-33
"When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up."

In this post I share a little bit of how I receive and share a word, in the hope that this helps others share what they feel God placing on their heart as well. It's likely that you will feel the Holy Spirit speaking to you in a different way, but never the less, there are some principles here which should help you as you step out in this area.

It's important to note from the outset that there are many a varied ways in which the Holy Spirit may speak to us. Some may receive a picture, some a word or phrase, others may feel draw to a passage of scripture, still others may find themselves drawn to poetry or other creative mediums which God may speak through. The Holy Spirit will not necessarily speak to you in exactly the same way He speaks to someone else - that's ok! 

How it starts...

In this article I'm referring to a specific prophetic word, with the aim of helping others share what God places on their hearts. Whilst I find this doesn’t happen the same way every time, when I receive a prophetic word like “Home” it often starts off as a word or a phrase which will suddenly ‘pop into my head’. Sometimes it is a well-known phrase, a portion of scripture, or maybe even a single word. If it is a passage of scripture or verse, I will look it up and read it in context.

Once I've read the passage or found out where the phrase is from, I will ask the Holy Spirit to show me what He wants to say through the passage, or if there is anything more that I should share based upon the phrase which I’ve felt highlighted to me.

In this particular case I initially felt reminded of the phrase ‘even the sparrows’, so I searched that phrase to find out where it came from and found it in Psalm 84 (which I include in full at the end).

Usually when I'm drawn to a Psalm, I will consider singing parts of it out. That's because many of the Psalms were written as songs or would have originally been spiritual songs. I'll start by singing out portions of the Psalm which the Holy Spirit seems to be highlighting. What I mean by that is, as I read it, it will often feel as though parts of the text leap out at me or feel appropriate, correlate with the things that have already been shared. May be the songs we've been using in worship match with what is in the passage, or the Holy Spirit has already been leading is in some of the themes that the passage talks about. If I am singing, I would probably loop parts of the passage that begin to feel the most appropriate as I sing them. Sometimes I'll add in other phrases which come to mind or link in with the themes. 

How do you go about sharing?
Ok, so now that I've felt I've got something which I could share, I have to step out and ask to share it. In this particular instance I went forward to speak to Tim (who was leading the meeting), I let him know that I felt I had something which I thought I should share. I told him I thought it would probably be in the form of a song. 

Be prepared for the person hosting / leading to ask you some questions about what you want to share. They want to work out what God might be saying to us, it may be that other people have already shared some things and they are trying to work out how to include things and in what order...

Tim asked me what I felt the overall theme was. Initially this question stumped me, I wasn't entirely sure! I just had a Psalm I felt was right... However, as I looked again at the portions which I found the Holy Spirit was highlighting to me, it was obvious that they were about belonging. I have highlighted the initial parts that spoke to me in the images at the bottom.

It was clear to both of us that what I had didn’t fit exactly at that moment and Tim asked me to hold onto it but to be ready to share at a later point. Be prepared to be asked to wait or to bring something at a later point! 

As I returned to my seat, I began asking the Holy Spirit, “does this still fit and how?”. I realised that the music had moved on somewhat and that the portions I felt had been highlighted to me didn’t fit into the rhythm of the music.

I then felt the Holy Spirit highlight the word “home” in my mind, in a similar way to the phrase “even the sparrow”. So I asked myself the following questions: How does this passage fit into the idea of home? How do people feel at home? What does the word even mean? I asked the Holy Spirit to continue to show me how to bring what he was speaking to me about. I suddenly realised that what I had was more of a prophetic word or encouragement rather than a song.

Sharing it with the congregation
A bit later on in the meeting Tim caught my attention and asked me to come and share what I had. I told him that it wasn't quite the same as what I had thought initially, and asked if it was still ok to bring it, but in a different way. 

I wanted Tim to know things had moved on a bit and that I wouldn’t be bringing exactly what I shared before. Tim had responsibility to care for people in that meeting, as the meeting host and I wanted to make sure that he was happy with that. 

As I began speaking, I let people know that what I was sharing wasn't exactly what I thought it would be when I first came up earlier in the meeting. 

I began to share on these themes by asking people in the room some questions about the idea of home and shared some thoughts on how this passage spoke into our idea of home.

As I began there was a real sense that the Holy Spirit was speaking quite clearly through this and other parts of scripture.

This is often how a prophetic word or encouragement starts for me, as I step out, I find God giving me more, filling in the blanks or showing me other things that He wants me to say as I step out. I do need to be mindful not to go further than where the Holy Spirit is leading me, as I bring things in this way. I try to pause, to make sure that what I am sharing is still what is on God’s heart and that people are still receiving / receptive to what I am saying – what I mean is if people seem to be agreeing or praying / receiving the word it encourages me to keep going.

What is the process if I’m not in a meeting context?
When I feel the Holy Spirit speaking to me when I'm not in a meeting, or when I'm unlikely to share something straight away, I'll spend some time in the same sort of process. I'll ask the Holy Spirit what He wants to say through the passage, word or phrase. I'll write down the things which I feel the Holy Spirit saying using much the same process but in written format. I'll collate these thoughts and any passages which I feel the Holy Spirit leading me to as I do this. 

Once I've collated these thoughts I'll usually share them with another leader, someone I trust, who can help me to bring what I feel God is saying in the right way and at the right time. If the word is for a particular person, situation or church, I'll ask someone to come with me when I share it. This helps me to be accountable and provides some security for the person I'm sharing it with. First and foremost we want to honour the other person and make sure they are well cared for. 

If you want to get in touch with me why not drop me an email: david.ash@jubilee.org.uk 

You can read the prophetic word that I am referring to here.

Psalm 84 - 1
Psalm 84 - 2