11 Types of Prophetic Ministries: Which do you Relate to?

‘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.

Related Posts on Enliven Blog

8 Traits of Prophetic Preaching

What is Prophetic Art?

6 Benefits of Prophetic Worship

Why does the Holy Spirit Speak in Mysteries?

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries
In the David McCracken Ministries family

How to Have an Unshakeable Prophetic Ministry

In order to have an unshakeable prophetic ministry—one that is going to last the test of time and trials—we need to have strong, secure foundations. [1]

The Apostle Paul describes the church as being ‘built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.’ (Eph 2:20 NIV)

In ancient times, a cornerstone was the first foundation stone laid in a building. It was critical to the success of the construction. 

Every other stone, every building block, was lined up against the cornerstone.

This way, the whole building would be perfectly aligned throughout the building process, right through to completion. [2]

Our most important foundation in prophetic ministry is Jesus Christ Himself.

Jesus is our cornerstone; He is our source and primary reference point when it comes to our life, faith and ministry. And that includes our journey of growing in hearing God’s voice.

How to Have an Unshakeable Prophetic Ministry

So what does it look like, to have Jesus as the cornerstone of our prophetic ministry? Here are 4 important things you can pay attention to, as you grow in your journey of hearing from God and sharing with others what He is saying:

1. Make Jesus Your Primary Message

Jesus is the Christ. This truth is the beginning of our salvation (Acts 16:31) and is our cornerstone revelation. (Matt 16:16-18)

The author of Hebrews wrote: ‘In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.’ (Heb 1:1) 

As God’s message, Jesus perfectly represents the Father. He said, ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.’ (John 14:9)

In prophetic ministry, our focus is always upon Jesus. What we are hearing will be in accordance with the truth of Who He is. Like Jesus, we will accurately represent the Father. Every prophetic insight we receive will both reveal Jesus, and point people to Jesus.

2. Check that Your Insights are Redemptive

As Jesus’ set out on His ministry, He made an announcement from the Prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19a)

This is the message of the Gospel:

  • It is good news to the poor
  • It proclaims and results in freedom
  • It invites reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-19)

This is the central message of the Gospel: ‘that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.’ ( 2 Cor 5:19)

In prophetic ministry, what you are hearing from God—revelation from the Holy Spirit—will always resonate with the message of the Gospel. It will be redemptive, reflecting God’s heart and purpose to redeem and restore.

3. Let Jesus be Your Greatest Role Model

Elijah is not our principle role model, neither is Elisha, nor any of the great Old Testament prophets. Of course we will learn from them. We also honor God’s gifts of mentors, leaders, spiritual parents and five-fold ministers today, who inspire and equip us and reveal more of Jesus to us.

However, our greatest desire in prophetic ministry should be to be like Jesus. There are many ways in which we can grow in Christ-likeness.

  • We can grow in power and spiritual authority
  • We can grow in reflecting the Father
  • We can grow in generosity, wisdom and love

As we grow to be like Jesus, our communication style and language will be plain and easily understood by the culture we are ministering to. Mark says of Jesus, ‘And the common people heard Him gladly.’ (Mark 12:37 NKJV) or elsewhere translated, ‘the large crowd listened to Him with delight’ (NIV)

As you grow in hearing from God,  you can test weigh up your insights by asking, ‘Is this something Jesus would say—and is it the way He would say it? Am I being motivated by the love of the Father, and His generosity, as Jesus demonstrated? [3]

4. Let Intimacy with Jesus be Your Source

The cornerstone (along with the capstone) was the most important stone in ancient buildings. It was the stone by which every other building block was laid and aligned. However, these days a ‘cornerstone’ is often symbolic only; it may be a marble stone, placed externally for everyone to see, with an inscription and dedication on it. Its purpose is for display rather than function.

Sometimes our relationship with God can get like that. Other people can see that we are working hard for God; we may be operating in spiritual gifts, but in that deep, hidden place of our life, the cornerstone of our love relationship with Jesus is missing. (Rev 2:1-5)

Are you feeling dry? Today, Jesus invites you to come to Him. He is calling you to renew your relationship with Him and to be filled with His Spirit.

In that place of intimate communion with Him, you will hear His voice. Your ministry will be life-giving once more.


[1] Additional foundations we teach (our core values of prophetic ministry) include Biblical integrity, operating in prophetic ministry out of a New Testament paradigm, godly character, teachability, accountability and honouring leadership, and gifts operating in the Biblical context of church life (1 Cor 12-14)

[2] Peter describes Jesus as being ‘the Living Stone’ and quotes the Prophet Isaiah: ‘So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”’ (1 Pet 2:4,6 NIV, Isaiah 28:16) See also Psalm 118:22.
For more on Cornerstone, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornerstone ‘The cornerstone (or foundation stone) concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.’ Or for Bible dictionary references, http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=788&cat_name=Manners+%26+Customs&subcat_name=Cornerstone

[3] For more about weighing up insights, see the article, ‘How to Check Your Prophetic Insight is From God’

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries
A part of the David McCracken Ministries family

8 Signs You May Have a Gift of Prophecy

How do you know if you have a gift of prophecy? It is common for people who are in the early stages of developing a prophetic gift to experience uncertainty and questions. If you can relate to this, these signs will encourage you to keep moving forward and develop your gift of prophecy:

8 Signs You May Have a Prophetic Gift

1. You Desire a Close Relationship with God

Prophetic insights are sourced in an intimate relationship with God—His Presence is where you hear His voice and receive revelation from Him.

So one sign you have a prophetic gift is that you are not satisfied with a shallow relationship—you want to be close to Him.

That is because God has called you to be one who hears the whispers of what is on His heart—to learn what His intention is and pass it on to others. (John 13:23-25)

2. You Want to Learn About Prophecy

‘Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.’ (1 Cor 14:1).

A hunger or longing for a gift can be from the Holy Spirit, as He is drawing you towards God’s purpose for your life.

This is the hidden stage of a gift—where very few people, except those who are close enough to know the desires of your heart, are aware that you have the ability. But God knows—He has placed that desire within you because He is drawing you towards your destiny. ‘Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart’ (Psalm 37:4)

3. You Tend to Pray Prophetically

A gift of prophecy often shows up in prayer before it manifests in other ways.

  • You find yourself praying something spontaneously that you hadn’t thought of—and you realise the Holy Spirit has led you
  • You are praying for another person or situation—and you get feedback that what you prayed for was exactly what was needed
  • You discover God has given you knowledge in prayer that you could not know by natural means

Prophetic prayer is powerful—because you are praying according to God’s purposes. As 1 John 5:14-15 says, ‘This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.’

4. You Have Had Confirmation that you Accurately Hear from God

A sign that you have a gift of prophecy is that you build up a track record of hearing from God accurately. For example:

  • People you have prayed for, or shared prophetic encouragement with, have given you feedback that your prophetic insight was spot on
  • You have found yourself thinking about a Scripture or message—and then your Pastor or another person shared the same one
  • You have journaled something you believe God is saying—and it has come to pass

Very often these kinds of confirmations are private—this is the Holy Spirit giving you are nudge to explore your prophetic gift further.

5. People Have Been Helped by Prophetic Insights You have Shared

Accuracy alone is not a sign you have a gift—in the Bible, a spiritual gift must be exercised in love and bear good fruit that honours God (1 Cor 13, 14).

The Apostle Paul said, ‘the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort… the one who prophesies edifies the church.’ (1 Cor 14:3, 4b)

So important questions to ask are:

  • ‘Have people been helped, encouraged, strengthened and comforted by the prophetic insights I have shared?
  • ‘Has the church been built up?’

The sign of a prophetic gift is that people are helped and drawn closer to God by what you have heard from God and shared.

6. You Find Yourself in Circumstances Where a Word from God is Needed

One sign of a prophetic gift is that God engineers circumstances to gently push you into needing to hear from Him. You find yourself in a place where you need to respond and act on what you hear. For example:

  • Someone you are praying with needs a word of encouragement from God, or
  • You have some personal circumstances where prophetic guidance is necessary

7. You Have Prophetic Values

Here are some core values that those who have a gift of prophecy tend to have in common:

  • A love for God’s Presence
  • A high value on hearing God’s voice and the prophetic gift and ministry
  • A passion about God’s prophetic promises
  • A love for holiness and justice and the righteous standard of God’s Word

You may wonder why other people don’t see things the same way as you do—but the reason is, God has placed prophetic values in your DNA. It’s how He has designed you.

8. You Have Been Through a Trial in Relation to Your Gift of Prophecy

A pattern we see in Scripture is that someone who has a ministry calling goes through a trial, or a failure, or what we might call a ‘wilderness experience’ in relation to their gifts. So if you have had difficulties, or you have felt shut down in the area of prophecy, be encouraged. This may well be a sign you are gifted and called in prophecy.

God has an end in mind. Don’t let the enemy hook you to a past experience through hurt or disappointment. Remember Proverbs 4:23 says, ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.’

Do whatever it takes, forgive others and yourself; keep your heart free to move on, pick up your prophetic gift once more, because God is coming through for you.

Can you identify some signs that you have a prophetic gift? Leave a message in the comments section to let us know which ones you relate to. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.

What to read next:

How to develop your prophetic gift: where to begin
Taking the pressure off when you are growing in prophecy

Grow Your Prophetic and Prayer Gifts

Prophetic and Prayer GiftsIf you are feeling stuck, or have undergone hardship in relation to your prophetic or prayer gift, this book will encourage you and provide you with keys to move forward in developing your gift.

In Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts, you will discover the six phases of development of prophetic and prayer gifts from desire and birth through to maturity.

Learn how to:

  • Identify the season you are currently in for each of your gifts, including a season of wilderness and trial.
  • Find out how to break through to the next level
  • Maximise opportunities in the current stage of growth in your spiritual gift
  • Navigate the challenges and joys unique to the growth of prophetic and prayer gifts
  • Each chapter includes questions for personal reflection and group discussion.

This book includes practical tools and the information you need to develop a plan for the next stage of growth in your spiritual gift.

(124 pages. Available for download in either PDF or ePub formats)

Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts is written to help you grow in your prophetic gifts and break through stuck places – at whatever stage or season you are on the journey. Visit our eStore for this eBook and more resources to empower you in your gifts and ministry.

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries
A part of the David McCracken Ministries family

How to add Words of Knowledge to Prophecy (and Sharpen Your Gift)

Today I have a suggestion for those of you who are keen to grow past the beginning stage of prophecy. This tip about adding words of knowledge to prophecy will be especially helpful if you:
Add words of knowledge to prophecy

  • Have mainly given prophetic insights and words of encouragement or exhortation up until now, and would like to have a greater clarity in hearing from the Holy Spirit
  • Would like to add words of knowledge to your prophetic ministry
  • Are a leader who is looking for ways to activate others in prophetic ministry in a safe environment

How to Add Words of Knowledge to Prophecy

1. Be open to receive knowledge from the Holy Spirit concerning someone’s past or present situation.

A ‘word of knowledge’, is information given to you by the Holy Spirit about a person or situation that could not be known by natural means.

There are many ways the Holy Spirit may share an insight with you, such as through an impression, thought, feeling, physical sensation, vision or picture.

By beginning with knowledge that relates to the past or present, you can have immediate feedback as to whether you are hearing the Holy Spirit clearly (or not). This helps sharpen your prophetic gift.

2. Always seek to add encouragement, comfort, or exhortation to the knowledge, to complete the word. This is an important key.

‘But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.’ (1 Cor 14:3, NIV)

For example, you may have an insight that someone is concerned about an issue right now with family/work/health/finances. What is Father’s encouragement for them? What is He up to? If the insight relates to something from the past, how does Father see that, what is He doing in relation to that—if it is about a difficult situation, how is He redeeming that?

Step into the heart of the Father and speak from the perspective of His love for the person.

3. When delivering the prophetic insight, you can ask questions to check you are hearing from the Spirit, such as, ‘Does ___ mean anything to you?’

Be honest, if you are practicing or praying for someone you know or have journeyed a little with, about what information you know ‘in the natural.’

4. A safe environment for the prophetic gift to operate is one in which there is prophetic accountability and also, appropriate guidelines and protocols in place. [1] There are important points about how to create a safe environment for personal prophecy here.

More Important Considerations and Guidelines

  • Be wise about what you share, and how you share it. If the knowledge is sensitive, privacy may be needed. If a word of knowledge relates to an area that may be painful to the person, take a gentle approach.
  • Do not share the insight unless you can share God’s encouragement alongside it.
  • If you recognise that you carry a judgment (a negative or critical opinion) in relation to the knowledge you perceive, step back and pray. Let the Holy Spirit minister freedom to you, before you minister prophetically to the other person.
  • Having an insight of knowledge (just as with discernment) does not always mean that you must immediately share what you perceive. Take the way of wisdom and love—if you are not sure, take it to a leader/pastor first rather than the person. An important part of growing in prophetic ministry is to learn the discipline of holding back when you have an insight from God, but the timing is not right.


[1] See the articles The Power of Prophetic Accountability and Prophetic Ministry in Church Life: Why Have Guidelines?

Growing in the Prophetic Seminar (Downloadable) – 25% off for the next 2 weeks only

Would you like training in how to use and develop your prophetic gift?
Are you called to prophetic ministry or office?

Whether you are just beginning in prophecy, or maturing in your gift and ministry, this teaching series will inspire and equip you to go to the next level.

David_HelenOur ‘Growing in the Prophetic’ seminar is now available for download and features:

  • 13 Sessions on MP3 with Helen Calder and David McCracken
  • Full student notes in PDF format
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For more information and a list of teaching topics, click here to view the downloadable Growing in the Prophetic course.

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© 2015 Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

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3 Ways Leaders (Who May Not Have A Prophetic Gift) Hear God’s Voice

Do you lack confidence in your prophetic ability when you compare yourself to those who are stronger in the prophetic gift or ministry? Today I want to encourage you. If you are not in ministry leadership, remember that you are a leader in your own life as well as in roles such as your family, work and relationships.

Word from God MiracleOne surprising outcome of my prophetic training sessions has been that leaders and pastors who do not consider they have a prophetic gift come away greatly encouraged. This is because they:

  • Are affirmed in their ability to hear from God personally and as a leader
  • Realise that the role of prophecy is primarily to confirm and support what God is already speaking to them as leaders (or what He will speak to them about in the future)
  • Are empowered to oversee and pastor prophetic team members
  • Gain insights to help them weigh up prophetic words, gifts and ministries

‘Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.’ (Acts 20:28a)

On the other hand, those attendees who do have a strong prophetic gift understand that their pastors and leaders have a God-given mandate, both to lead them and to weigh up their prophetic insights. They are encouraged to honour their leaders’ ability to hear the voice of God in the context of their leadership role.

So—how do leaders and pastors who do not have a strong prophetic gift, hear from God? Here are 3 ways that leaders hear from God in the course of their ministry:

1. Personal Relationship

‘For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.’ (Rom 8:14)

In our personal relationship with God, we are being led by the Holy Spirit as He speaks to us about the Father’s intentions and what is on His heart.

Leaders have the capacity to hear from God regarding their personal lives as well as for the group, organisation or ministry they are leading.

Some of the ways that the Holy Spirit communicates to us as individuals include:

  • Insights through Scripture—verses, stories, principles—that prove to be a ‘now’ word of encouragement, exhortation or instruction
  • Thoughts and ideas that come to mind and are sourced in the Holy Spirit
  • Words spoken by others (for example, sermons listened to, thoughts that come up in conversation)
  • Conversation with God (prayer)
  • Other prophetic means such as impressions, feelings, pictures and visions

This is one of the key distinctions between Old and New Testament prophetic ministry. Insights and prophecies given from those who have a prophetic gift or office are now confirmation of what a leader is already hearing through relationship with God.

In addition to this, there are at least two further ways that leaders hear from God—and this is in the context of their particular spiritual gift as leaders and administrators:

2. The Gift of Leadership

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Rom 12:6-8)

The Holy Spirit speaks and leads through the anointed gift of leadership. Some of the ways this manifests include:

  • An intuitive (Spirit-given) sense of the right direction to lead the group
  • The Spirit-anointed ability to see the big picture and how everything fits together
  • Leadership decisions and directives that are sourced in the Spirit’s anointing for leadership

An example of a leader’s capacity and authority to speak God’s purposes in the Spirit’s anointing is found in Acts 15. The Apostle James (Gal 1:9) is not one of the original twelve disciples, nor is he recognised as a prophet. And yet James’ judgment and clear directive is sourced in the Holy Spirit’s anointing for governing leadership on his life. Consequently, every other leader honoured his pronouncement.

This ability to lead under the directorship of the Holy Spirit’s anointing is what Samuel spoke about to Saul:

‘Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you.’(1 Sam 10:6-7, NKJV)

3. Spirit-Empowered Wisdom

‘But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit… But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.’ (1 Cor 12:7,8,11)

Some of the ways that the Holy Spirit speaks and leads through the gift of wisdom include:

  • Practical (but Spirit-sourced) wisdom to know the best timing and way to implement something
  • An Spirit-inspired solution to a problem
  • Anointed logic and reasoning that results in something being done well and in a way that glorifies God
  • Spontaneous wisdom that is clearly from the Holy Spirit

In addition to wisdom, the Holy Spirit can also use other gifts such as discernment, to communicate and bring direction or adjustment.

The Miracle of Hearing God Speak

There is no hierarchy of the ways that God speaks. In God’s Kingdom, a practical, but God-breathed, word of wisdom is just as significant as an open vision.

Every word from God and all the ways that He directs are significant and have power for transformation, advancement and breakthrough. What matters is that the Holy Spirit is the source. Every time He communicates, regardless of how He chooses to manifest, it is a miracle.

‘There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. ‘ (1 Cor 12:4-6)

Related Posts:

5 Questions to Help Leaders Weigh Up Prophecy

Differences Between Old and New Testament Prophetic Ministry

Has this article on how leaders (who may not have a prophetic gift) hear from God spoken to you, or do you have a testimony to share? Leave a message in the comments section, on Facebook or on Instagram. If the blog comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.

© 2016 Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church