Because of the scope of the topic this post is limited, I only desires to argue the basic definition of prophecy from the Judeo-Christian tradition. Growing up not only an Evangelical but also a Pentecostal, prophecy is normal place in my theological conversations. I have found that many people do not understand prophecy and even worse many feel that it is something reserved for a select few. In the next few paragraphs I will give a basic definition of prophecy and also give you some tips on becoming a prophet yourself.
When thinking of prophecy many look to the Old Testament books that are considered to be written by prophets. The Old testament books include; Isaiah, Jeremiah, Laminations, Ezekiel, and Daniel. These five books are known as the Major Prophets this is because of the size of the text not anything special. The Minor Prophets include Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The New Testament has one prophetic book, that being Revelations. What makes these books prophetic? First let us examine what Biblical prophecy is.
Prophecy is a foretelling of something yet to possibly take place. Many prophecies are inspirational or an interpretation of an event. These certain individuals made proclamations that were interpreted by people as messages from God to man. These texts were then formed into a large part of the Old Testament. Only Revelations is considered a prophetic book in the New Testament. The obvious question then is how did people realize these prophets were speaking in the name of God? We can look at the life of King Saul Israel’s first king. The Spirit of God came upon Saul, Saul prophesized: we do not know what he said, yet it was presumably inspirational words, predictions, and admonitions. So the act of prophesying was not limited to a certain group of people, or just the prophets known in the Old Testament. The New Testament also gives some details concerning prophecy. First off, according to Paul prophecy should be the most sought after of all spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14). Essentially the Christian prophet receives a message from God which should be shared with the church. I have found with my own experiences as a prophet that this is not limited to the church. Prophecy is an act in which you become inspired and then you speak the words that have bubbled up inside you. You begin to understand that it is through faith that what you know what you are saying is from God. Of course there is the human interface which is corrupt, that is why it is important to also test the prophets. Basically to test the prophets, simply do not believe something just because they said it was prophetic; this is Biblical, so is common sense. Not everything a prophet speaks is from God.
The big question that some of you may have is can I be a prophet? The overwhelming answer is yes! Not only is being a prophet something all Christians have the ability to become; the apostle Paul says that it is the spiritual gift that should be most sought after. I am going to skip a lot of technical details and get straight to the point when it comes to prophecy. The first thing you need is faith. Faith in this situation is having the crazy idea that; yes I am a prophet. That’s right you are a prophet and you can prophesy. Okay, now that you are cool with the fact that you are a prophet, you have to stir yourself up and speak some prophetic words.
Stir myself up? Basically what I mean is to get emotional. Often times we speak prophecy without realizing it. We can become angry with our current life situation and speak the desires of our heart into the Universe and what may come back is what you asked for. This has happened to me. In church a prophetic word can start filling up inside you during a time of prayer or worship. You might be thinking that this is not from God; yes it is. Now you must proclaim it, or at least tell someone. What I do is work myself up through prayer, maybe listen to some inspirational music and get into a trancelike state. Then cut loose and proclaim with the power of my words. Remember that heaven and earth was created through sound; so you being God’s creation have the gift of words to create just as God. You must however believe the words you speak; you must know that they are divine.
What if I am wrong? What if I give a prophetic word and it never comes to be? Simple answer; this will happen all the time. While you may be influenced by the Spirit of God, the words are still coming from you. The words then are coming through an interface that is marred by limitations. I can prophesy that I will win the lottery; it doesn’t mean it will happen. Will it increase your odds? I believe that it will. The thing is, do not be afraid to be the prophet that you are called to be. Prophesy, have fun it, it is a gift God has given you. This ability does not only helps yourself, it helps others as well. Be the prophet.