Part 2: The Preparation and Training of a Prophet – Training
This is a continuation from my previous teaching from Part I.
But now, just as one would be prepared for a ministry such as this, now the real training must begin, and this training may well go on for years also.
And yet, even as I write this, I realize that there is probably so much more that I have left out.
In the previous teaching, I spoke of how one’s life is a series of preparation, and that even in early childhood, and birth, the person faces a myriad of different challenges and sometimes set-backs, that would indicate that a prophetic ministry is in the making.
I addressed how one’s abilities and even weaknesses must be shaped through the hands of the living God. For if one is to be used of God prophetically, then they must depend upon God entirely, and not upon their own natural abilities or talents.
But now after the preparation, one begins to be used of God, and they see how His hand is allowing them to speak for Him. Again though, the gold needs to be refined. Motives need to be examined, and a whole host of other issues can resurface that can hamper how one is received and used effectively or not.
One will find that their time in prayer is of utmost importance, for without it, a prophet faces the challenges of every day being without a reservoir of God’s presence and anointing.
Building up your faith and your ability to hear from Him, depends upon these times, and allowing His Spirit to bubble-up within you and speaking in tongues, is necessary.
Keep track of what the Holy Spirit speaks to you. Find a way to write these things out in a journal and keep a daily record of them, for in time, as you look back, you will see how the Holy Spirit has caused you to progress, and this will instill in you more faith in Him.
As you are writing these messages down from Him, speak them aloud, and allow them to resonate, and build-you up. Perhaps God will show you things in His Spirit in the form of a vision. If so, keep track of this as well. Learn to focus upon what He is saying and showing you in His Spirit.
But just as you are keeping track of all of this, bear in mind not to use religious phrases or words. Honestly and without pretension, write these things down in all sincerity, in such a way that they are personal, and yet true to what the LORD is showing you.
Remember that there are many different ways of praying:
- Praise and Worship.
- Prophetic Proclamation.
Keep a prayer list daily, and see how God is answering your prayers.
I have learned that when I am listening to a certain type of music that this allows me to enter into worship much more effectively, and thus, to be able to hear God’s voice.
Just as David would play the harp, he would enter into God’s gates with a heart of reverence, so we also can and should do this. Find the type of music that would not distract you, but would provide the type of impetus for tapping into God’s Spirit and ultimately, in hearing Him speak to you.
One can use music in this way, but it is important to pick a type of music that would honor God, and not be something that you particularly liked from the past, or even now.
Learning to be able to praise God in spite of the circumstances that are going on around you, will enable you to live victoriously, no matter what is happening. There are always going to be problems in this life of ours. The car won’t start, a child needs to be brought to the emergency room, or money is running short. Take these requests to the LORD, praying in the spirit, and building-yourself up in your most holy place.
There will be many opportunities for you to speak a word from the LORD. You may be at a prayer service, or just sitting in church during the worship time. You sense that God is speaking to you and you want to share these things with the people.
It’s important to know that God will never pressure you to have to speak right then. It’s also important to know when to deliver a word either to a group of people, a nation, or an individual.
In fact it’s usually the case that the enemy will try to get you to rush. When you can get to the point where you don’t have to speak the word and can remain silent, then you have reached a level of maturity in the prophetic.
Remember it’s not your message to give, it is the LORD’s. You are merely the messenger.
You may have been used in your local church for a number of years speaking forth a word from the LORD, either in the form of a prophecy, or a word of knowledge, or wisdom. But now, the door is closing, and your time there is ending. Know that the office of a prophet is not just called to the local assembly, but to the universal body of Christ at large.
There are different phases of one’s training in the prophetic. You will most likely begin just as the prophet Elijah did while he had been brought to the Brook at Cherith. Remember, that he had run into the wilderness after defeating the prophets of Baal. And now he had run in fear from what he thought Jezebel would do to him.
“Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done. He told her how Elijah had killed all of the prophets with his sword. So Jezebel sent a message to Elijah. She said, ‘You can be sure that I will kill you, just as I killed the other prophets. I’ll do it by this time tomorrow. If I don’t, may the gods punish me greatly,’” 1 Kings 19:1-2.
So now, you are in a place of isolation, just as Elijah was. Allow God to feed you by His hand and to strengthen you at this time. This is your time to be alone with Him. You may well sense that your ministry is dying at this time. Let go of the vision that you have had, and give it all to Him. He will resurrect those things after you have passed through this session of your training.
And now God can bring you to the second phase of your training at Zarephath.
Again, just as Elijah was brought to the widow at Zarephath and was fed by her, so now you can face the need of depending upon others. Remember that He can bring others into your life to come alongside you, and to help you as needed. None of us are truly alone. Also, remember that there will be times when you fail in ministry.
It takes a mature person to realize this, but it also creates humility in us.
“And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.
And the word of Jehovah came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Sidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow there to sustain thee.
So he arose and went to Zarephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thy hand.
And she said, As Jehovah thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in the jar, and a little oil in the cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said; but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it forth unto me, and afterward make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, The jar of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that Jehovah sendeth rain upon the earth.
And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
The jar of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of Jehovah, which he spake by Elijah,” 1 Kings 17:7-16.
And now after this time, God can resurrect your ministry. Just as Elijah was brought to Mount Carmel and had defeated the prophets of Baal, so He also will strengthen you to fight your battles for Him.
Now, you must realize that your gifts originate only from Him and not of yourself. You may have given up on recognition finally, and are utterly dependent upon God for your ministry.
Allow God to bring you to this time in your training. There will be set-backs along the way and there will be those things in your life that will perhaps break-down. Don’t give in to frustration, but allow Him to do the perfect work inside you. Be aware that there are certain triggers and templates in your life that have caused you to react to people and circumstances the way that you have.
And finally after these phases of your training, you can go onto prophetic warfare. Remember that there are different levels of Satan’s kingdom:
- Principalities (privates),
- Powers (sergeants),
- Rulers of the darkness of this world, (commissioned officers),
- Spiritual wickedness in high places (government, generals and the hierarchy.)
A lot of times the enemy attempts to do his work in our families. This is where the rubber meets the road, and this is where our hearts and minds are oftentimes, affected.
We can’t really hide these things from those that we live with. They know us quite well, and the reverse is certainly true. Try to pin point if something that is happening is an attack from the enemy, or if it is something that God wants to use to temper your character.
“But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house,” Mark 6:4.
Remember that the battlefield is in the mind. This is where the enemy attempts to strike at us. Speak your warfare out loud to do battle against your foe.
Be aware of what you feed upon in your mind. Be aware of the pictures that develop, and look for things that are edifying. Consider a time when you had a sense of fear or guilt about something.
Now that you recognize that time, voice your battle against the enemy about this, and speak the word of God against him. You will realize that those things will now diminish as you give them over to the LORD.
Realize that there are certain doors that the enemy uses to come into our lives. It may be bitterness or fear, or guilt that he would attempt to use. Try to get a revelation on these doors and how they are used in your own life. Confess these things to God and then you will realize that you can have freedom and victory over them.
There will probably come times when you will pray for people to have them delivered from something demonic. Know that the person cannot be delivered until they first realize their own sin.
These have opened the door to the enemy in some way and have not confessed their sin about these things. Also, we shouldn’t come up to someone and start praying for them unless they have allowed us to do this. We must ask first and not just go barging in on the lives of people.
There is offensive warfare that can be done through a prophet in the form of intercession for someone. But this can happen only when we are in union with God himself. This can also happen through our praise and worship.
We must go to the highest level of the enemy’s warfare in order to cripple him from the activity that he has been involved in. You must cast out the ruler demon or else he will come back at a higher level than before.
One must be very careful to only pray for those we are led to pray for in terms of offensive warfare, or else one can tap into something that can lead to a curse upon us. We must be aware of the friends and company that we keep. There are spiritual ties that one can become affected with and so it is wise to know these things.
When we are praying in spiritual authority to come against the enemy it is important to realize the root of where the problem has arisen from.
Ask the Holy Spirit and He will reveal it to you. But know that it isn’t the person, but the enemy himself that you are coming against. We use the word and the blood to stand against the enemy as we pray in the Spirit against these things.
Using scripture and speaking it repeatedly for circumstances allows the word to resonate within us, and it is powerful in standing up against the wiles of the devil. Repeat certain scriptures again and again, as you are faced against various situations and set-backs.
Remember that there are certain warring angels who are elicited when we speak a rhema word. The word goes out into the ends of the earth, and then in the heavenly places. We then would speak the word of authority to give the bidding that would allow God’s angels to do their work.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV).“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them,” Mark 11:23-24 (NKJV).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” Ephesians 1:3 (NKJV).
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand,” Ephesians 6:13 (NKJV).
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” Ephesians 6:17 (NKJV).
There are so other things that are important to those involved in prophetic training. The training actually never ends, even as one grows in more maturity and wisdom in the LORD.
Those phases that one has gone through will be repeated yet again and again, as the gold is being purified. One cannot become a prophet by going to a School of the Prophets.
One is simply chosen and called by God himself. Others will recognize it, but realize that you are a servant and that it isn’t meant to be a thing of prestige or glory.
It is a continual process of dying to those things of yourself, and then allowing God use you for His glory. It is not in just giving profound and deep words of the Spirit that one is identified as a prophet.
It is not in casting out the wildest of demons that one is known as well. But it is a lifetime of being identified with the One who is the great I AM, and taking on His character for the body of Christ at large.
Part 1: The Preparation and Training of a Prophet
Part 2: The Preparation and Training of a Prophet – Training
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?