The Spiritual Gift of Prophecy


The Spiritual Gift of Prophecy   


Prophecy is a spiritual gift and supernatural ability to spontaneously receive previously unknown information from the Holy Spirit to relay to another person for upbuilding, encouraging, and strengthening them in their faith.


The New Testament gift of Prophecy is discussed extensively in 1 Corinthians 14. In this chapter, Paul lays out the appropriate parameters for this gift to be used in the context of a local church. Here we discover the incredible power of a prophetic word and realize that prophecies are messages from the Holy Spirit to strengthen and encourage the church and reveal to unbelievers that God’s presence is active in their midst.

Example from the Scripture:

The gift of Prophecy is mentioned numerous times throughout the New Testament. Mainly this gift is seen to function in two different ways: predictive and descriptive. The gift of Prophecy can be predictive in nature as in Acts 11:27-29, where the Scripture records the story of a prophet named Agabus, who predicted a coming famine. Because of his Prophecy, believers could gather resources to help those that would soon be affected by the famine. The gift of Prophecy can also be descriptive in that it announces the purposes and plans of God that reside for a person. This type of Prophecy can be seen in passages like 1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 4:14; and Acts 13:2. All Prophecy, whether predictive or descriptive, must be tested to see if it is a genuine prophetic word (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).

When this gift is absent:

When the gift of Prophecy is not active in a local church, the church misses the opportunity to be led spontaneously by the Holy Spirit and to encourage believers and unbelievers alike that God is aware of even the most intimate details of people’s lives.

When this gift is present:

As Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 14 when the gift of Prophecy is active, believers will be strengthened, and unbelievers will be convinced that the presence of God is at work in the church.

In the Life of Jesus:

Jesus operated in both predictive and descriptive Prophecy. In John 2:19, he prophesied the tearing down of the temple and his own resurrection, and in Matthew 16:17-19, he described how God would use Peter, which was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.

Do you have the spiritual gift of Prophecy?

  • Has the Holy Spirit spontaneously brought a message to your mind for the purpose of strengthening and encouraging the church?
  • In prayer, have you seen the Holy Spirit reveal specific details about a person’s calling and future to strengthen and encourage them?
  • Has the Holy Spirit spoken to you about an event that will come to pass that later comes true?
    Practical ways to implement and develop the spiritual gift of Prophecy:
  • Share with your pastor if the Holy Spirit speaks to you.
  • Join a prayer team at church.
  • Spend time praying that God would strengthen this gifting.

I hope these definitions and descriptions of each spiritual gift were helpful. If you would like to learn more about spiritual gifts or discover what spiritual gifts you have, take our free spiritual gift test.

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