I vividly remember a service at which Prophet David McCracken ministered. He brought some timely prophetic insights for our church and went on to preach a sermon that God had given him for our congregation.
The message gripped me, and when David called for a response, I was on my feet in an instant.
Prophetic preaching can be used powerfully by God to minister to congregations and individuals. So, what is prophetic preaching—and how can you benefit from it?
Characteristics of Prophetic Preaching
1. It Utilises the Prophetic Gift
‘Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. “’ (John 7:16)
A prophetic preacher may use the gifts of teaching, exhortation and prophecy interchangeably or together.
A high value of the teacher is to ensure that the instruction is clear and based upon sound Biblical doctrine. The fruit of a teaching gift is that people are learning and being empowered by the teaching they are receiving.
The prophetic gift is employed to make known the thoughts, purpose and intent of God.
Steve McCracken has a gift of prophetic exhortation. Many years ago, when I was weary and discouraged and felt I could not go on, Steve preached at our church on the theme, ‘You can do it!’
As he spoke, I felt the power of the Spirit roll over me like waves. Caught in this inescapable tide, I began to cry and laugh simultaneously as God brought healing to me.
2. Prophetic Preaching contains a ‘Now’ Word
‘And take the … sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God’ (Eph 6:17)
Prophetic preaching has a sense of immediacy.
In the NT, the Greek word ‘rhema’ primarily refers to the spoken word (‘utterance’), whereas ‘logos’ primarily refers to the written word. 
Prophetic teaching emphasises the ‘rhema’—God’s Spirit-breathed ‘Now’ word, whilst remaining true to, and undergirded by, the ‘logos’ of God’s word given in scripture.
Prophetic preaching reveals the Father’s ‘Now’ word—making known something that is His purpose and is on His heart. It answers the question, ‘What is God’s word to us now?’
3. It is based on Prophetic Revelation
‘ This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.’ (1 Cor 2:13)
Prophetic preaching is inspired by the Holy Spirit through the means of prophetic revelation. The word ‘revelation’ in the New Testament Greek, apokalupsis, means ‘an uncovering,’ or ‘disclosure.’ In other words, God is revealing something by His Spirit that is not known by natural means. 
This revelation can take many forms, such as a source scripture or Bible story, an illustration, a specific word of instruction or exhortation, an idea or train of thought, or simply the God-given end goal of the preaching itself.
This is why we place a high priority on prayer and time apart with God in our preparation for ministry.
4. It is Authoritative in Nature
‘When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.’ (Matt 7:28-29)
Prophetic preaching has a distinct ring of authority to it. This authority is not based upon the preacher’s gift, knowledge or expertise, but on the basis of being entrusted with a message from God Himself.
5. It often Contains a call to Action
‘..Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.’ (1 Chron 12:32a)
Prophetic preaching frequently calls for a response from the hearer. This may be to align one’s heart or actions with God’s word, to pay attention to a timely warning or guidance, or to position for God’s present or future plans.
Prophetic preaching provokes the hearer to respond to the word. As such, it consistently results in change and transformation.
6. It may be Accompanied by Prophecy
On some occasions, a prophetic minister may also use the gift of prophecy alongside the preaching.
Bringing prophecy to individuals can raise the level of faith in a meeting, and I have seen powerful breakthrough in people’s lives through a timely personal word.
Prophecy can also manifest through prophetic prayer and proclamations, prophetic worship and a word of prophecy for the church or group as a whole.
This will vary according to the leading of the Holy Spirit, the format of the meeting and the unique gifts of the prophetic minister.
7. Prophetic Preaching Results in Breakthrough
Throughout scripture, the instruction of God given through a prophet brought breakthrough for God’s people. This included strategic guidance in a time of warfare (2 Chron 20:14-17), a word of action to take in crisis (Gen 41:25-46) or a specific declaration of breakthrough. (2 Kings 7:1-2)
Prophetic teaching and preaching is invaluable when a shift is needed to bring breakthrough and change.
8. Prophetic Preaching Empowers the Church
‘ Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers.’ (Acts 15:32)
Prophetic preaching strengthens and encourages the church.
The outcome of prophetic preaching, just as with all prophetic ministry, is that the church and its leadership is built up, strengthened and empowered. (1 Cor 14:3-4)
 References: VINE, M.A. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. 1985. Virginia: MacDonald. STRONG, J. Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. 1996.
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries: In the David McCracken Ministries family