Prayer and prophecy are inextricably linked in terms of their communication process; both involve listening before talking. – Developing Your Prophetic Gifting, by Graham Cooke
Although this passage talks about the gift of tongues, we see that it can be used as a guideline for prophetic visions:
1 Cor. 14:6-12 – if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you… Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying?… If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker… For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say.
Anytime we speak in a language someone else can’t understand, there is a need for an interpretation; so it is with prophetic visions. – Shawn Bolz
This week I shared a vision with someone who understands visions and I had no need to interpret it because they beat me to it. However, when I shared a vision with someone who did not understand visions, it only confused them. I saw a vision of a tent and the person responded, ‘I don’t like camping’. The symbols we see in visions rarely hold meaning to the person we are ministering to. Most of the time God is simply speaking our own personal language to convey His message. When I see a tent, I get exciting because I love to go camping, but tents and camping may have a bad rap with someone else. If you are asking God for a prophetic vision for another person, God will speak from items as they pertain to your own personal experiences. You then need to ask God a series of questions about what He is showing you, so that you can cut to the quick of what He is saying. Questions like, ‘God, why are you showing me a tent?’ God may respond with an unction about what is important about the tent, or even highlight a certain part of the tent to draw your attention to it, or He may show you a new vision that relates to it. Any place we feel like we are hung up or confused is an opportunity to hold a dialogue with God about what He’s showing you.
I asked God why he was showing me a tent then I told the person I was ministering to, ‘You’ve been in a place of isolation and God wants to bring you out.’ God then showed me the tent from another perspective and I told the person, ‘You like to look at situations from all angles, which is good, but God wants to remind you that at some point there has to be a move to action instead of camping out on an issue.’
This person would’ve never grasped God’s message if all I had said was, ‘I see a tent’. They would’ve left confused, wondering if God wanted them to go camping. On the other hand, someone at church received a prophetic vision for me of a barn. All she said was, ‘I see a barn, and I don’t know what it means.’ I told her that I immediately knew the meaning, as God had been repeatedly showing me a verse in the Bible about a barn, through different speakers. God was saying that He was going to fulfill that verse in my life, and spoke it over me 4+ times in a couple days to make sure I got the picture.
Experiencing the prophetic:
If you’ve never received a prophecy you may be confused about what it is. I wish I could upload a recording of one of the prophecies spoken over me, but the best I can do with a free WordPress account is share the text from one. Parts of this word from December 2014 have come to pass and I can see others starting to surface in my life now. Some prophecies are fulfilled quickly and some take many years. Joseph waited some 20 years to rule Egypt, while Mary’s pregnancy was instantaneous. Some of the phrases spoken over me in this prophecy have been spoken over me, verbatim, by multiple other prophets who’ve never met each other. Other times certain themes, like leading worship, are touched on and reveal different aspects of it. In Bible you may notice Him repeat a phrase 2 or 3 times before moving on, then touch on the topic again later. Anytime there is a verbatim repeated phrase or a repeat theme, you know God wants to get your attention and to confirm what He is saying.
Prophet 1 said to me:
I hear the Lord say some people think you are small in stature, but you are huge in the kingdom. You are a small person but you carry a loud voice. I hear the Lord say He is causing you to be a warrior in the kingdom. I see where there is a worship anointing on you. I see you as one that is radical when you praise God and when you call the people to give Him praise. I see where God is going to use you, even in the realm of the prophetic. The Lord is going to raise you up and stir some things up in your spirit.
Prophet 2 said:
God says even on the direction, and the path that you take in life, He will show you where you need to go to. He says, even concerning every place you go to, He’s going to direct you and He’s going to have everything already laid out for you. There are going to be a lot of places that you’re going to get to travel to; so He says, even as you go to these places, some may be in the state, outside of the state, even outside of the country. He says, even as you go to these places, know that there is no need to worry, because everything is going to be taken care of. You’re going to be safe while you are there, He is going to watch out for you; He wants you to know that its going to be Him leading you to these places. He says, there’s even a humanitarian anointing that He has placed on you, a concern to even give of yourself to other people. He says He’s going to open doors for you to give of yourself even more; to care for those who are poor, and to care for those who are weak, and to care for those who are in need. He says He is going to open doors, and there are going to be a lot of doors that are going to open for you.
She stopped and asked if I had been out of the country before. I said yes.
She continued: ‘He’s says you’re going back. He says He’s going to open even more doors for you to travel to new places. It’s going to be like you’re going to travel to some places with a group, but it’s even going to be new people that you’re going to meet as you go. Some places you are going to go with a group of people, but then its like God is going to send you back; where the group might not go back, but He’s going to have some doors open for you to go back.’
She stopped and asked if I was a teacher. I said no.
She said: He’s going to use you to teach. I even see children around you and its like you are teaching the children sitting around you. He said He’s going to use you, even in those areas, He’s going to open the door. Some of these places its not going to be you visiting, its going to be like you’re going to be there a long time. He says you are going to be there a looong time, so just know that its Him and He’s going to have every connection for you. He’s even going to take care of family here, so He says don’t even worry about what’s going on here, because He’s going to take care of everything; and He’s going to make sure everything works out for you.
Even concerning the finances, God says the finances are taken care of. Finances are not going to be a problem. Some places you go to, its going to be like they are all expense paid and some places you are going to go to it’s even going to be like a job; like an assignment that you’ll go to and you’ll get reimbursed while you’re there. It’s like you’re going to be there for a while, but it’s like there is going to be reimbursement for some of these places you go to, but it won’t be a burden on you financially.
This prophecy definitely encouraged me to continue pursuing worship whereas I hadn’t led worship in many years. It comforted me about the main issues I had about traveling: finances, family, protection. It strengthened me to see that God had noticed my increased humanitarian desires. It excited me to know that God wanted me to travel and would provide a way, since earlier that year I had decided that my money would be better spent helping others than seeking my own pleasure. It’s also exciting to note that my job, through a God ordained game of dirty Santa, gifted me a set of luggage this Christmas. They also travel internationally multiple times a year, giving me a group of people to go with. O, and I’m also loving every opportunity I get to teach kids, every other Sunday, as they sit in a circle around me.
1 Cor. 14:3 – But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.