Misconceptions about “prophecy”
Generally, the misconceptions about prophecy stem from misunderstanding the difference between prophecy in the Old Testament and the New Testament. New Testament prophecy is summed up with these simple words…
“The one who prophesies speaks to men for edification, and exhortation, and consolation.”
(1 Corinthians 14:3)
From this passage we understand that the main purpose of prophecy is a positive one. Edification means “to build up,” exhortation means “to stir up,” and consolation means “to lift up.”
God’s love language
One could say that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are the love languages of God. When we prophesy over someone, that person should feel loved on by God.
The primary purpose of prophecy is not to direct or correct people, but rather to encourage them. New Testament prophecy encourages and builds up people; it doesn’t condemn or speak negatively to them.
The goal of the gift of prophecy is to bring out the best in people! If we see negative things in someone’s life that we are ministering to, we are to ask the Holy Spirit to give us the answer to the problem that we discern. Then we prophesy the answer—not the problem.
For example, if we are ministering to someone and discern that they are struggling with a specific sin, a prophetic word should call them to higher ground: “God is calling you to a new level of purity and holiness.” In this way, we have prophesied the solution without speaking about the problem. This releases grace to break the bondage of the specific sin in their lives!
Someone needs you
There are many people who are ready to give up. They feel hopeless. They feel unworthy. Demonic attacks bombard them. Confusing circumstance surround them. But a prophetic word spoken in season gives life to their souls.
Any follower of Jesus who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit can minister a prophetic word.
“For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted.” (1 Corinthians 14:31)
God can speak through you something that helps a person learn something vital, while stirring them up. This is the life-saving love language of prophecy.