The gift of prophesy is to be desired above all other spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:1-5) and it is something that the Apostle Paul wanted for ALL of the Christians he was writing to (vs. 1). So, pray that you would have the gift of prophecy. That is Paul’s guidance and it is sound.
What is prophecy? In this short blog post I am only going to use 1 Corinthians 14 to describe the gift, but it is enough for now. When chapter 14 is broken down, here is how prophecy can be explained:
- It convicts others of sin
- It holds people accountable for their actions
- It reveals the secret sins of the individual heart
- Speaks to individuals about their sin
- The prophecy should be examined by the hearers to determine if it is from God. God’s true sheep know if they hear His voice. If the prophecy is true, God’s true sheep will be touched by it. The prophet is fallible but the true prophecy from God is infallible. Therefore, a prophet may speak a word that is coming from his humanity and not from God which is why the passage goes on to say that the spirit of the prophets are subject to one another.
- Prompts people to fall on their face and acknowledge God
- Builds up others
- Should be desired by all
- Is the greatest spiritual gift
- Being a gift, it is not natural–meaning it will be recognized as from God alone.
Ultimately, it appears that the reason that prophecy is the greatest gift is because it unifies those who believe in Christ and calls them to live in such a way that demonstrates who Jesus really is. Prophecies will be rejected by those who do not want to submit to God because they want to hold on to sinful ways. Those who desire to live a Christlike life should always seek to be in the presence of a prophet’s words and to always desire to prophecy so that unity and love will be present. In time, God will grant the gift of prophecy to the one He desires. Until then, the individual remains subjected to the prophet who speaks for God.