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 favorite 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 favor.

In God’s Kingdom, each of us is the Father’s favored 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!

It includes full video teaching on the 11 types of prophetic ministries, along with a worksheet to help you discover your own unique prophetic ministry.

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

28 thoughts on “11 Types of Prophetic Ministries: Which do you Relate to?

  1. Karen Tuper

    Hi. Helen. I first have to say, it o s a joy to meet you. I live on America. My calling is a Evangelist. My giftings are word of knowlege, some decernment. Open nigjt visions amd i am a dreamer. My struggle is i have not opetated in some of my gifts for years. For the ladt six and a half years. I been called under a. Prophet. I have know for manys years. I let her hinder me from preaching the gospel for years. Nevause og my struggles. She did not want me to miniters to others. I understand that. But we all have different struggles. Rigjt. So to say all that
    My gifts have laid domant for so long. So it is nice to come across a different. Person. Mature in tje word. I so have concentrated on stidying the word and lost confidence in myself. So how do i start using my gifts again?

  2. Tanika

    This was such a beautiful read. Thank you Prophetess Helen! I, as many others can relate to this article. I love to write. I never saw it as a gift until recently. My mom pointed out the fact that I sleep with binders, notebooks, bibles, books….. For my birthday this year I even asked friends for pens hahaha. I just cannot stop writing. I thank God each day for the gift of writing, a sound mind, the freedom to read, write, and articulate as a woman. God is faithful.

    Please pray for me Helen I also identify with the last post. God has full control over my life and I feel as if I now know nothing. My hearts desires are changing, transition and rebirth is in the air, I am not close to the people I used to be. Every movement seems awkward. My heart desires to pray and seek the heart of Jesus like never before. I will continue to pray for you, your family, the team, and the church. Thank you so much for your ministry and the school. The school is incredible!

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Tanika, wow re the writing, I have screeds of journals and studies handwritten from the 1990’s, before I ever wrote publicly, I wrote a great deal privately. It does sound like you are ‘incubating’ a special gift there! I pray you have wonderful God encounters in this transition season. This verse just came to mind: (Hosea 2:15 NKJV)
      I will give her her vineyards from there,
      And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
      She shall sing there,
      As in the days of her youth,
      As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

    2. Allen

      Hi there Helen, am so much excited to have come across this article today.
      am so blessed by every article you’ve written and this as left on me an impact; it’s because i never thought my experiences, desires, dreams and inspirations were ever true and this has laid a stronger and greater hunger for God and Yeliding to ministration of the holyspirit..
      i have a lot to share including my personal experiences &that burning desire within me.
      Ever since i was a little boy i have divine encounter/realities, dreams & open visions which gave me an attitude and always on my own etc, i thank God i have an understanding mom who understood me, yet those strong ways God spoke didn’t come back as before but the desire to minister prophetically has always been driving me, yes am in a prophetic church, awesome and i have different guest ministers even my bishop ministered to me abt God using me.
      i have some of the gift you highlighted here; 1,2,3,6,9,10,11. thank you so much for sharing this.
      Allen Frm Nigeria

      1. Helen Calder Post author

        Thank you for your feedback Allen, I’m excited with you to see what your hunger, the call of God and your pursuit of Him opens up for you.

  3. Joel

    Hello Helen, I just want to say I enjoy your teachings it’s been very helpful but I have maybe 3 of those prophetic ministries, i will give u 3 examples, first example is I was in church & this woman came right behind me to sit down I felt a sharp pain in my stomach so I asked her if she was feeling any pain in her stomach & she freaked out & asked me how did I know, the second example is when my mom went to a funeral she came home with her throat feeling like something was stuck & Idk why I kept picturing a black shoe lace but I never told her but she asked for prayer & this guy we know he said my mom stepped on a black shoe lace which confirmed what I kept picturing because where I’m from there’s alot of witchcraft going on & people use objects to hurt other’s & the third example is visions and dreams which I started having at age 15 which are more prophetic and warnings like about Jesus coming back or God speaking to me about a certain person & i would deliver that message & they would cry some would get offended & try attack me I’m not really fully matured in that area of delivering a message like that yet but I’m now 26 & it’s getting stronger but thought id comment on what I may relate to regarding prophetic ministries thank u Helen for impacting my life in the area of the prophetic.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Joel, it sounds as though you are having some significant prophetic experiences – and you also have the wisdom to know that it takes time to grow in how best to respond to them and share with people. That’s a great foundation to grow from!
      I’m glad the list was helpful for you.









    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Katlego, the dreams are powerful and I believe God is encouraging you through them to persevere, He has a future and destiny for you!
      In 1 Cor 14, the Apostle Paul talks about there being times when silence is appropriate in church, so in the uncontrollable sound you mention, God has freedom for you. I pray you find the way forward – usually this is through leaders and pastors around you

  5. Arnita

    Hello Helen,
    I am so glad to be a part of this awesome Enliven Ministry. What if you are in a church that speaks about being a ministry that is charismatic but there is no training or teaching of spiritual gifts. There is not any encouragement to walk in them either? I kept waiting to be validated by my leadership and I thought maybe they would see the gifts upon me but that never happened. I also spoke with my Pastor’s wife and shared some of my writings and explain to her what I believe God is calling me to do. I felt that it was down played and not truly acknowledged. God has given me a gift of writing, word of knowledge and the gift to be able to see. I was afraid to embrace these gifts and I would dismiss them as coincidental events but this year 2017 I decided to embrace them even though there was no one, where I attend church to encourage or teach me. I have encouraged and helped people with what God has allowed me to see in their lives to encourage and build them up. I want to go deeper in the things God is calling me into.

  6. Sydney

    Hi Helen
    Thank you so much for these teachings, indeed I gain something every time you post. May God continue to bless you and your family also the church.

    Johannesburg South Africa

  7. Nontokozo

    Greetings Helen.
    Thank you so much for the mentorship. I am learning alot and alot id being imparted in me. I have been annointed to minister the word in church but all along i have been leading intercession. I have noticed the gift of dreaming i had but when God gives me visions and i tell people we need to pray, you know there are peopl who will always say i cannot be told to pray by her. I still hold on to what God would have said.
    Thank you for the sound knowledge. May God bless you. Am in Zimbabwe, Victoria falls

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hello Nontokozo, leading intercession is a powerful ministry ~ and one I was involved in myself for years too. I pray many are released and empowered to pray through your ministry, and more. The fullness of your call will continue to unfold in His timing.

  8. Ato Kwamena

    Helen on point as usual. God bless you. My question however is that, can one function in all?
    Not knowing about others, God has permitted me to operate in most of them though I have not been consistent with it.
    You teach, dream, have visions, speak mysteries, knowledge, among others so I believe you can relate
    Thank You

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hello Ato, YesI do believe it’s possible to be gifted right across the spectrum of prophetic ministry types – and for you the value is in praying and observing what is happening currently in your ministry in each area, and praying about how to best steward your gifts, or there’s anything in particular God has for you to focus on, or be further equipped in, at this time.

  9. Stacia

    Thanks so much for this. It has brought clarity you what has taken a long time for me to understand and sit with some level of comfort with the prophetic gift. I relate to a few of these and much prefer being hidden, prayer and intercession, mysteries and the one on one. I struggled for years with why God wanted me in worship leading. However, this has encouraged me not to limit God in his wisdom to speak as he see fit in me. Thank you.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      That sounds like the Father bringing comfort and wisdom and revelation to you Stacia. You are uniquely gifted, and you are a treasure.

  10. Ronald

    Hi, am Ronald from Zimbabwe.
    Thanks for this wonderful teaching.
    I have been having dreams about particular persons and events that have been confirmed on several occassions by the respective people. I have also dreamt seeing Jesus coming down from heaven looking me into the face, smiling at me and going back. This was 2013 January. I am not a pastor but when I am given the platform to preach and lay hands on people, they fall down and others manifest evil spirits. I however would like the Holy Spirit to help me move into prophetic utterance but I don’t know how I can do this.

  11. Lynley

    Excellent Helen, this answers some questions I have been pondering about the different faces of the prophets. I am exploring how each practically looks and how to build teams that minister together from their given specialty.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Lynley that sounds amazing I look forward to hearing how that works and what you put into place. I love the uniqueness of the way Father has wired each of us

  12. Patricia

    Thank you very much for your quality content on the prophetic spiritual gift, Helen. I have come back to your blog articles/YouTube videos several times now, and have read through your introductory e-book on prophecy (the first time I read about the difference between OT and NT prophets).

    I came to the realization that I have the spiritual gift of prophecy after having gone through a time where I was really interested in reading about Myers-Briggs personality testing, or as I see it, how God wired our brains differently, and how we see and interact with the world (still tainted by sin, though). The themes in my life have often revolved around my focusing in on truths that I would pick up on around me (my personality is described as introverted, intuitive, and favouring feeling over logic). In light of God’s Word, I would refine my observations, and felt like my seeking out these truths are what guided my life decisions up until now (seemingly non-linear decision-making that hopefully will all make sense long-term in God’s plan for my life). Maybe this has been the Holy Spirit guiding my life all along, and not my own wisdom/madness. By seeking truths, I feel like I am seeking/growing in greater love and knowledge of Christ in every new circumstance life brings.

    I feel drawn to prophetic writing, but have only finished a small personal project recently. Hopefully God brings more if this is where He has called me.

    Right now I am 26, and living in Canada. All the best in New Zealand. It’s encouraging to read about genuine Christians from all over the world online.

  13. Lita

    Thank you, Helen, for your inspiring blog!
    This article is very helpful for me to identify which of these prophetic ministries I can relate to.
    The gift of Word of Knowledge has been coming out during prayer ministry and also during intercessory prayers.
    My question is, whenever I am having a very intense prayer during personal intercessory for a specific person, for a specific healing, one of my hands was like squeezing hard as if crashing the tumor. It was so strong, I felt I was in a spiritual battle. Should I tell this person what I have experienced? I am still in the early stages of this manifestation gift and I am still learning.
    God bless you abundantly.

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