Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I had an interesting dream a couple of nights ago. I am not presuming the dream was from God. It was likely just my subconcious thoughts and feelings.

In the dream, a person laid hands on me to pray for me. I was aware of the anointing and power of God being imparted. I haven't had hands laid on me in a long time (in a ministry way).

The person in the dream then spoke, "You've been thinking, and thinking, and thinking, but the Lord says, you will once again prophesy and be a blessing to others."

I felt a sense of hope in those words, as much from the promise to bless others as from the promise to prophesy.

Although God is expanding my understanding of ministry, blessing, and serving, I sometimes miss the kind of ministry that we were involved in at church.

I have seen the abuses and misuses of prophecy both from professionals and from novices. We have all probably met those people who believe that every thought in their head is from God. This is especially dangerous in leaders who begin to believe that all of their thoughts and decisions are authorized by God.

We hear many cautions about not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I think a season of dormancy is sometimes helpful to allow inaccuracies to be weeded out and for growth to happen in a healthier way.

Yet, I still would agree with Paul in saying that I wish that everyone would prophesy. I love being around people who hear from God and listening as they share what He has spoken to them recently. It is as common for me to ask my husband what he's heard from God today as it is to ask him what he heard on the news.

As the people of God, we, his sheep, know His voice. It is so awesome to give people an understanding that God is speaking and that they have the ability to hear Him, if they have never known or experienced that before. Whether that is ever applied in a ministry setting, it is always an important part of your relationship with the Father.

In walking with God, I follow His voice. Today, I prophesy in the sense that at times the words I speak or the thoughts I have originate from Him. However, I don't qualify my words as being from Him. It is more just how I live.

I don't know if we will every prophesy "in the assembly" again, but my mind is open to the possibility.


Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...


In the OT understanding of Prophetic Justice, I think your blog has been a prophetic voice already. Speaking to the heart of God about the brokenness within His people is one of the truest form of the prophetic.


Cindy said...

I have to agree with Jamie. You are a blessing and I do think that you've spoken for God- even through your pain. As one who also dreams dreams at times, I'd have to say that God's hand was on your recent dream.

Isn't it likely your prophetic voice is going through the refining fire with the rest of you? I would expect God to use your gift in new ways, now that He has led you into a different season of life. Sleep well, Grace!

Robbymac said...

God spoke to me a number of years ago, that any "prophetic" ministry I might have (in the traditional verbal, laying on of hands, "I think the Lord may be saying..." kind of way) would be one-on-one, usually in a house church or home group setting.

I've never been one to have up-front prophetic ministry (sometimes back in the day, but not all that regular), even when I was a worship/youth pastor in the Vineyard. I'm actually quite content with the "nameless and faceless" nature of quietly prophesying (when God uses me in such a way) in a smaller, relational community setting.

That's my journey, anyway. I look forward to hearing how yours unfolds in the weeks and months to come.

David Cho said...

Coming from a conservative evangelical background, I still shun anything that is remotely charismatic. But I realize that much of that is based on fear, not necessarily truth.

Thank you for sharing, grace. I wholeheartedly agree with Jamie. Your blog has been a source of light.

Brother Maynard said...


Thanks for sharing this... it strikes dangerously close to the heart for me. I've "been there, done that" prophetically as well, being a part of a prophetic team on a few ministry trips, leading prophetic ministry, hosting prophetic conferences, doing the up-front thing, the back room thing, and the thing where you give your stuff to the elders of the church and they sh*t on it and you get frustrated but then go and do it all over again. Hoooboy, have I done that last one.

I've gotten so sick of prophetic ministry it's not funny, I don't want be around it much these days (for quite a while now actually), it just looks like it's full of flakes anymore. Make that frosted flakes, since they like to give off ear candy. I hated being the contrary prophetic voice, and being shown to be right two years later was cold comfort. Saying stuff for two years and being ignored until the travelling apostle came around and said the same thing at which point it quickly became the hot ticket got to be a sickening deja vu.

All of this, and I still believe in the prophetic... largely because I've seen the fruit. But right now I'm more than happy to keep quiet about it and be in a quiet season (I used to call that a desert, now it's just a quiet purging). These days I feel more like living prophetically than speaking prophetically. In this regard, I kinda feel like I prophetically left my church... maybe in 2 years they'll understand that.

Grace, I advise you to take that dream as being from God and run with it... wait, that's an old charismatic phrase. Take it as a promise that those ministry days aren't over, and see what comes your way. I want to say that it won't look in the future like it did in the past, but who's to say? The gift is genuinely of God. The person in the dream (the "faceless" man?) is I think the Holy Spirit telling you literally what he said in the dream.

I'm somewhat of the opinion that the emerging church is a prophetic movement, but not one filled with prophetic words. This is a good thing, because words are, at the end of the day, just words. Living your message is being prophetic, and it opens the door to slip in the odd word here and there anyway ;^)

Gratia vobis et pax,

eric keck said...

my $.o2 is that the emerging church still needs people who can demonstrate the proclamation part...

i think much of the emerging church is so post-charismatic, that they don't understand the prophetic in the powerful ways you mentioned, rather they have heard about all the atrocities from the "veterans"

-honestly bad war stories we all have, but i think the sort of sarcasm they produce are equally harmful.

i feel that when the emerging church learns how to be more proactive in their understanding of spiritual gifts, and more welcoming to their usage, we may see that missing link of eVangelism the "C"church is lacking. it's like we have a garage full of Ferrari's and nobody to drive them.

thanks for getting us thinking grace :D

Benjamin Sternke said...

I'm in the same boat as many who have commented already, in that I see the value and fruit of prophetic ministry, but have also been frustrated at how the "flakes" have dominated it for so long. How so many people will spend $$ and travel long distances to hear the latest "hot word" from the big shot who just wrote yet another book, but won't value the prophetic word that comes out of the fellowship of people they gather with.

I, for one, look forward to the day when we can find some kind of health in the prophetic. I think part of it is a need for someone to articulate a theology of spiritual gifts that makes sense today. I think someone has maybe begun to work on something like this? A post-charismatic theology of spiritual gifts and prophecy, or something like that.

I also wonder if, in the future, true prophetic ministry will rarely be labeled "prophetic ministry" - and people will be content to simply do it, even when it isn't recognized or labeled as "prophetic".

Robbymac said...

Benjamin wrote:

"I also wonder if, in the future, true prophetic ministry will rarely be labeled "prophetic ministry" - and people will be content to simply do it, even when it isn't recognized or labeled as "prophetic"."

AMEN! That's what I was trying to say. Thanks for putting it much more succinctly and eloquently.

Lily said...


I thank you for being willing to have this discussion, you have opened a door for me. I'm sure I will get up the nerve to blog about it one of these days, but here are my thoughts for the moment:

I think it's simply been an example of a pendulum: we swung away from the cessationist view all the way to the other side, becoming wildly charismatic and prophetic. Now must work to free ourselves from the bruising abuses and misuses the charismata have received and swing back to the middle. Maybe it's the emerging church that will bring us to that centering, that balance.

grace said...

Thank you Jamie. With personal prophetic ministry, speaking healing to the brokenness in an individual seemed to be where God used me.

Thanks Cindy. Love that refining! :) I hope there is a new season beyond this cave.

Robby, I really relate to what you said. I hated up-front ministry. Our pastor enjoyed putting us on the spot randomly to do call-outs. I got to where I dreaded even going to church during that time. Personally, I think that prophetic ministry is better in relationship and in a small group setting.

David, just like the things that you have experienced, the charismatic things can be either a blessing or they can be abused. It really is all dependent on the hearts of those involved.

Brother Maynard,
You certainly have me thinking more about this. My husband and I were involved in establishing the prophetic ministry at our former church. We also basically shut it down a couple years prior to leaving that church. We felt for it to continue as it was wouldn't have been right. However, even in shutting it down, it was more out of our love for that ministry than being tired of it. We just didn't want to see it continue in a perverted way. We have a lot of great memories from that time, and a few friends that we can share "war" stories with.

Thank you for your $.02. I am hopeful that people in the emerging church who understand the importance of the prophetic will be the ones to bring a balance and more accurate usage of the prophetic word.

I agree that you expressed what all of us are trying to say very well. Not attaching the label of prophetic to our doing and speaking is a great place to start. As the people of God, we should be about doing the work of the father and saying the things he said; that is being prophetic. It is who we are.

Yes, I think that either extreme of the pendulum would be a mistake. I'm not willing to leave spiritual gifts behind, but I am hopeful of a more healthy functioning.

David Cho said...

Grace, my comment needs clarification. I didn't mean all things charismatic were based on fear, not truth. It meant that me shunning all things charismatic was based on fear.

I am not sure if you misunderstood me, but re-reading my comment, I realized it wasn't very clear.

grace said...

Yes David, I think I understood you. There are many things I learned from charismatic teaching that are a blessing in my life.

It's not necessarily the teaching or the gifts themselves that sometimes hurt people or are scary, but the way in which people use them.

Given the teaching you were under, it's not surprising that you learned to fear charimatic teaching.

I'm glad that you are free now to explore God and truth and find ways of expressing your faith that are authentic and meaningful to you, that you don't have to "perform" according to someone's religious standards.