Someone asked me recently for some advice on how to develop in their prophetic gifting, and though I’ve never liked referring to gifts as being ‘developed,’ so much as being revealed, I understood what he meant.
What I’ve taught prophets and others over the years is to develop a lifestyle of prayer and fasting, and to ‘exercise’ spiritually through the study of and meditation upon the word of God. Additionally there are habits you can develop which will be conducive to hearing from God more often and more clearly.
1. Avoid talking too much. Sometimes we end up missing God because we’re doing the talking.
2. Master the art of watchful silence. This is more than getting quiet, it’s a matter of making it your habit to be ready to hear from God. This is not to be mistaken for ‘trying’ to hear; it’s more of a habit of simply being available and ready to listen. A good exercise for this is to practice conversation with others in which you carefully weigh their words without focusing on what you’re going to say next. In ordinary conversations, misunderstandings abound simply because we’re working so hard at thinking of what we’re going to say that we aren’t listening well enough to rightly understand what we’re being told. We can easily take this habit into our relationship with God.
3. Worship and prayer without an agenda. It’s good to pray for specific things, but sometimes it is also helpful to pray in the spirit without ‘wanting’ anything more than to connect with God. I have found that some of the most detailed and profound prophetic revelations I’ve received were while praying and worshipping this way.
4. Discretion. A lot of prophets stop hearing from God, or never get to hear very much from him because they simply can’t keep their mouth shut! Remember, the Bible says he reveals his SECRET to his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). Not everything is meant to be broadcast to everyone, and somethings are never to be disclosed to anyone. The more you can be trusted, the more God will show you.
5. Integrity. Keep your life clean!
6. Be useful. As it says, he reveals his secret to his SERVANTS the prophets. Very often, we desire to be used in prophecy but will disregard opportunities to serve God and his purposes in other ways. Sometimes it isn’t something grand or great or obvious. When I lived in Trenton, NJ, I made a habit of interacting with the homeless, the addicts, the prostitutes, and so on. It wasn’t always about preaching to them, but sometimes just being kind, warm, or friendly. There were times I also helped people with personal errands, projects, home repairs, and other things because I knew that God’s presence in my life would not be idle while I interacted with them and did things with and for them.
7. Love. Love, like forgiveness, is a decision. The prophet who operates out of love can be trusted with more than the selfish or negligent prophet. One of my habits in prayer has often been to not pray for myself, but to pray for everyone else…