There are people, according to Ephesians 4:11, who are called specifically to operate as prophets. They are anointed by God to speak His message.
In Jeremiah 1:5, God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (NIV). There is a calling on the life of a prophet to speak on behalf of the Lord as He directs. God is telling His people to pay attention! “Do not scoff at prophecies” (1 Thessalonians 5:20)!
Prophets See the Future
Also known as seers, prophets serve as the eyes of the Body of Christ. They perceive deep spiritual revelation and see far out in the distance, with a view best likened to that of an eagle. As beholders of visions, prophets have the ability to see the future through a tunnel of time, meaning that what seems impossible or unlikely to those around them is easy for prophets to envision.
Prophets Speak Messages From God
But beyond simply seeing ahead to the future plans and purposes of God, prophets also serve as the mouth of the Lord. The Hebrew word for prophet, Nabi, is also translated as spokesman. Prophets today say whatever God tells them to say, just as the prophets in the Old Testament obeyed Him when He told them, “You must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you” (Jeremiah 1:7).
Prophets Edify, Comfort and Exhort
The role of a prophet is to see what is revealed by God then speak it, declaring God’s plans on the earth. Revelation delivered via prophets will come in the form of a word of knowledge, a word of wisdom or the discerning of spirits. In addition, prophecy, as defined in 1 Corinthians 14:3, edifies, comforts and exhorts—it is speaking inspired by God.
Make no mistake—prophetic words are not all edification and comfort. Old Testament prophets—just as modern-day prophets—declared judgment. The heart behind such warnings did not come from a heart of condemnation, but the love of the Father giving opportunity to those in jeopardy to repent, turn around and change their ways.
Prophets Prepare the Way
The voice of the prophet Isaiah was creating a highway for the coming of the Lord. The fulfillment came after a long wait, and it is an illustration of how we are to view prophecy in our personal lives. When you receive from the ministry of a prophet, whether it be a personal word for you or a declaration over the Church or your nation—don’t ever give up on a prophetic word—and don’t let the passage of time weaken your faith.
The Lord will do nothing until He reveals things to His prophets. He will reveal to His servants the words that need to be declared, and that will begin to produce a highway to the fulfillment of those words.
Words that come through prophetic utterance are not to be taken lightly. They are a call to action—so pay attention to the words of a prophet!
How To Respond to a Prophecy