Many years ago when my husband Malcolm (aka The Hunk) and I were ministering full time with a mission agency, we attended a meeting together at which a prophet was preaching and ministering in personal prophecy.
After sharing some words of encouragement with my husband, the prophet turned to me.
‘God’s got a call on your life that is totally different to that of your husband. He wants you to be really developing that, preparing yourself because He has things for you to do that will see you fulfilled in your own right as a woman of God…’
Although to an observer I was simply a young mother and wife of a minister, God used the prophet that day to express His love towards me and to remind me that He had not forgotten His call on my life.
Love is a Vital Ingredient of Prophecy
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1 Cor 13:2)
To prophesy is to communicate the intention and purpose of the Father.
This can be by way of simple encouragement to someone in your everyday life, or it may occur within the context of church life or ministry.
The Bible tells us that love is the prerequisite to prophecy in any situation.  Without love, the Apostle Paul says, we are nothing, and our words have an empty ring to them. (1 Cor 13:1-2)
Remembering this is vital as we develop our prophetic gifts and seek to grow in our ability to hear from God.
God’s Love is not Based upon what our Eyes see
‘He [the Messiah] will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears’ (Isaiah 11:3)
God looks beyond what is seen outwardly, to the inner heart of a person and speaks to the potential within.
My constant prayer is that I will not be distracted by what I see externally. ‘Holy Spirit, help me to see what You see.’
When the prophet Samuel went to Jesse’s family to anoint the next King of Israel, God spoke to him saying, ‘Do not consider his appearance… People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’ (1 Sam 16:7)
God’s Love is not Based upon our Ideas and Opinions
Whether negative or positive, opinions and preconceived ideas can hinder our ability to hear—and accurately share—God’s word. They also hinder the flow of God’s unconditional love through us.
This is especially true when we are ministering to people that we are personally acquainted with.
I have learned to be open to the Holy Spirit for Him to show me (and He often does)
- judgments that I need to repent of, or
- predetermined ideas that I need to set aside.
God’s Love is not Based upon our Feelings
When it comes to prophetic ministry, love is not based on an emotion that we feel, but upon seeing people from the Father’s point of view.
Here are three primary ways that we can become acquainted with His perspective:
1. Know what the Bible Teaches about God’s Love for People
We learn from God’s Word how much the Father values people—so much that He sent His Son to die for them. (John 3:16)
In the New Testament, the Father’s heart towards people is revealed through Jesus’ ministry to individuals.
For example, when Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, He did not use the knowledge He had of her sinful lifestyle to condemn her, but as the means to invite her to salvation. (John 4)
When we step into this perspective, and prophesy accordingly, we are better able to express God’s love.
2. Catch the Revelation of God’s Love Towards us
If we have not experienced God’s love for ourselves personally, we will be unable to express His love towards others.
Being aware of His grace towards me in my own humanity and weakness enables me to communicate His love and grace to others.
3. Value Intimacy with God Above all Else
We do not need to feel an emotion such as compassion to express God’s love to another. However, as we grow in intimacy with Him, He shares His heart with us.
Further, as we prepare for prophetic ministry in prayer, we can specifically seek God for His heart as well as His plans.
It is in His Presence that our hearts are changed to become like His.
We Express God’s Love in the Process of Prophecy
‘Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.’ (1 Cor 14:1)
Love should guide the whole process of prophecy.  This process includes:
- Weighing up the revelation we have received
- Ensuring that the message we share is encouraging and empowering (1 Cor 14:3)
- The way in which we deliver the word, and the timing of it
- Allowing the person room to weigh the prophecy up, and so on.
Love also requires us to seek accountability in the use of our spiritual gifts. 
God’s Love Requires us to put Others First
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)
The bottom line of God’s love is its sacrificial nature. Love places the interests and life of others above that of our own. (Phil 2:1-8)
For those of us with a tendency to blurt out whatever comes to mind, love may invite us to pause; to process the word further, or to share at a more suitable time.
And finally, for those of us who are shy and fearful—love compels us to step out of our comfort zones and speak.
 Although my key focus is personal prophecy in this article, the same principles apply to other forms of prophecy such as prophecy to churches, groups or nations. For example, see How Do You Weigh Up What The Prophets Are Saying Pt 1
 For posts on the process of prophecy, view the following:
 Accountability is vital to providing a safe environment, not only for us to grow in our gifts, but also for people to receive a message from God. See Prophetic Ministry In Church Life: Why Have Guidelines?
For more insights on Personal Prophecy, refer to Is Personal Prophecy Biblical?