‘Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you’ (Isaiah 60:1)
Today I am sharing some keys to help you discover the unique way God has created you to minister prophetically.
You don’t need to be intimidated by the strengths of others. You don’t need to struggle with inadequacy. It’s your time to shine!
Embrace Your Uniqueness
Jacob had a richly ornamented robe made for his favourite son Joseph (Gen 37). That coat set Joseph apart and caused him to stand out from the crowd. Everywhere Joseph went, he wore the mantle that represented his father’s favour.
In God’s Kingdom, each of us is the Father’s favoured son or daughter (Gal 3:26-29). The unique mix of spiritual gifts He has given to us individually is like Joseph’s richly ornamented robe.
‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.’ (Rom 12:6)
Some benefits from discovering your unique prophetic gifts are:
- You gain confidence and know the security of living and ministering in your Father’s affirmation
- Identifying your unique gift(s) enables you to hone and sharpen that gift, to reach your full potential
- You can find others on a similar journey to you—it’s like discovering your ‘tribe’ as you learn from and encourage each other
- Your ministry can be released effectively as you focus on your God-given strengths
Have a Biblical View of Spiritual Gifts
Our starting place is not our differences, but what we have in common with each other.
‘There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.’ (1 Cor 12:4-6, NIV)
The Bible gives us principles that govern our ministry—for example, weighing up and accountability—that apply to every prophetic ministry, regardless of how it is expressed (1 Cor 14). We have also been given a fivefold ministry leadership to lead, empower and equip us (Eph 4:11-16)
Within the body, we each have our own distinct part to play and we are interdependent upon one another (1 Cor 12:18-20).
Paul’s lists of spiritual gifts are a great starting point when it comes to prophetic ministry. But when we only look at Paul’s summaries of spiritual gifts, we miss the bigger perspective.
As we zoom out and take a broader view of prophetic ministry in Scripture, a whole spectrum of different types of prophetic gifts and ministries emerges.
11 Types of Prophetic Ministries: Which do you Relate to?
Here are some different types of prophetic ministry in the Bible. Apart from the first two, I’ve not placed them in a particular order. This is a starting point, not a list of categories to limit ourselves to, for every prophet in Scripture was unique.
These first two are broad categories, within which the other types of prophetic ministries operate:
1. The Realm of Mysteries
The Holy Spirit often communicates in mysteries, such as dreams, visions, prophetic parables and symbolic pictures. For some this is a primary way they receive and minister prophetic insights. A mystery requires interpretation and its meaning is not always immediately discernible.
God is inviting us to go on a journey with Him—we discover Him as ‘the revealer of mysteries’ (Dan 2:28)
The prophet Ezekiel received and conveyed prophecy in the realm of mystery. Some visions, such as the valley of dry bones (Ezek 37) were symbolic. Other mysteries were Heavenly realities—visions of the cherubim and throne of God—that could not be comprehended by the natural mind. (Ezek 1, 10,11)
2. The Realm of Knowledge
Some prophetic ministry operates in the sphere of knowledge. Knowledge can relate to actual events in the past, present or future—knowledge of the future being ‘foretelling’. In his list of gifts of the Spirit, Paul refers to a ‘word of knowledge’ (1 Cor 12:8).
Samuel was a prophet who operated in the realm of knowledge. In 1 Samuel 9, he tells Saul the donkeys he lost three days earlier are found (knowledge of past). He tells Saul he will shortly meet a party who will inform Saul his father is now worried about him (present and future knowledge). He then goes on to instruct Saul concerning his kingship. (1 Sam 10)
Before I go on to share about other types, let’s note that a mystery is not a less significant way that God communicates (than knowledge). It is just different. The Holy Spirit uses both mysteries and knowledge to communicate prophetically.
3. Prophetic Writing
Many prophets in the Bible were writing prophets. We know this, because some prophets were used of God to write Scripture.
Of these, some, such as Habakkuk, were poets. But not all prophets recorded their words in writing. The Prophet(ess) Huldah gave verbal prophetic counsel in 2 Kings 22:14-20.
4. Prophetic Arts and Creative
The Holy Spirit used the Prophet Ezekiel in prophetic acts that were creative and dramatic in nature. In Ezekiel 4 and 5, he uses prophetic sculpture and art, along with drama, to portray the coming judgment on Jerusalem.
5. Prophetic Worship and Music
Some of the Psalms are prophecies that were originally set to music. King David was a prophetic Psalmist and musician. We read, ‘David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals.’ (1 Chron 25:1, NIV)
The prophet(ess) Deborah wrote a song (recorded in Judges 5)
In Exodus 15:20 we read, ‘Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.’ (Exodus 15:20, NKJV)
6. Prophetic Speaking (Utterance)
The Prophet Jeremiah was called to be a prophetic voice: ‘…Behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them’ (Jer 5:14, NKJV). The prophetic utterances of Haggai and Zechariah were timely exhortations that encouraged the Jewish leaders to rebuild the temple (Ezra 5:1-2).
7. Prophetic Prayer and Intercession
Some prophets majored in prayer. Daniel is one whose life was characterized by prayer, fasting and intercession. (Dan 6:10, Chapter 9). In the New Testament we meet Anna, a prophetic intercessor who meets the answer to her prayer in the young child Jesus (Luke 2:36-38)
8. Prophetic Dreams and Interpretation
Daniel was gifted by God to understand and interpret dreams and visions. ‘…Daniel…was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems’ (Dan 5:12, NIV, see also Dan 1:17). Daniel not only interpreted the dreams of others; he personally received dreams and visions from God concerning the future. Daniel chapter 7 is one example of a dream given to Daniel.
9. Signs and Wonders Prophets
Elijah and Elisha were prophets who were used by God in signs and wonders, as was Moses. Healing and miracles occurred through their ministry—and the laws of nature were overcome.
10. Prophetic Visionaries / Seers
Jeremiah’s early prophetic insights (chapter 1) consisted of simple pictures—an almond tree branch, a boiling pot. His ongoing prophetic ministry was very pictorial in nature. The book of Revelation is a book of prophetic vision given to the Apostle John. The ministry of Ezekiel is also characterized by vision.
11. Prophetic Teaching and Preaching
Moses was both a prophet and a teacher. (Deut 18:15, 34:10) He wrote, ‘Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew…’ (Deut 32:1-2a, NKJV) Silas in the New Testament was a prophet who, along with Judas strengthened and encouraged the church ‘with many words.’ (Acts 15:32) He later preached alongside Paul on his missionary trips (Acts 15:40, 17:14)
The above observations are a starting point only, to help us explore and identify the unique gifts we have been given. Which do you relate to? You will probably relate to more than one.
Understand there are Seasons Where Different Gifts are Being Highlighted
There are times when one type of prophetic ministry becomes prominent in the body of Christ. For a season, it seems as though the spotlight is on that particular expression of ministry.
Right now, the realm of prophetic knowledge (word of knowledge) is gaining a lot of attention. I remember a time in the 1990’s when prophetic intercession was being highlighted.
God allows these seasons of emphasis for a reason:
- He is growing us in these areas, so that we can be inspired and reach for more of what is available in the prophetic ministry of the Holy Spirit.
But there is also an element of testing. We can be tempted to elevate one expression of the gift beyond what the Scripture does.
Let’s learn from each other, without elevating one type of prophetic ministry above another.
See Your Gift and Ministry from Heaven’s Viewpoint
Your gift may be hidden from public view, but that does not mean it is insignificant. Some ministries, by their very nature, are hidden.
- Prophetic intercession can be a private ministry
- God may call you to minister to one or a few, and your gift may be unseen by people
Just as invisible light, such as infrared, x-ray and ultraviolet can have extraordinary power when focused, a hidden but focused ministry is powerful.
Remember, Heaven’s viewpoint is vastly different to our perception on earth.
Enliven Prophetic School: Take Your Prophetic Gift to the Next Level
The Enliven Prophetic School is now open!
This self-paced, video lecture school is for anyone who would like to learn and grow in the gift and ministry of prophecy and includes classes for discerners as well.
Now including a lecture on the 11 types of prophetic ministry, along with a 10 page downloadable PDF checklist and worksheet, to help students identify which types of prophetic ministry they best relate to.
Modules currently include:
- Foundations of prophetic ministry
- How to hear God’s voice, begin and grow in prophecy
- The Seer gift: how to grow in pictures and visions
- Discernment and prophetic warnings: how to respond and share a prophetic warning
- Prophetic Guidance Master Class
You can currently join the school for as little as $6.95 USD (monthly subscription) or make a single payment to join with no end date.
Visit the Enliven Prophetic School here.
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© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
In the David McCracken Ministries family