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To prophesy is to Edify, Exhort and Comfort

Some Basic Thoughts About Prophecy

Before we continue delving into some of the many aspects of prophecy, let’s remember that the Word tells us that we know in part and we don’t have the whole picture and therefore we need the whole body (1 Corinthians 13:12). When learning to prophesy, it is very important to remember this truth, as it will build confidence and remove pride. It keeps us from being afraid that we don’t know enough or feeling like we have to have the whole answer.

We must always walk in humility as we strive to listen and speak His heart. When we do this, we do not say more than we hear, nor do we try to explain beyond our revelation what we have heard or seen. We simply do what we hear the Holy Spirit say or see him do. We will discuss in detail some of the different ways one can receive from the Lord in the days ahead.

Remember, we are only responsible for giving… for sharing what He speaks to us… what He shows us and nothing else. Once we release what we hear, the receiver is then responsible to seek God’s heart about it. One thing to keep in mind, it is not up to us to determine whether they receive or reject what we share. We must simply give what we have heard.

Three Purposes of Prophecy

Follow love, but fervently desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you can prophesy. For he who speaks in tongues does not speak to men but to God; because no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. But the one who prophesies he speaks to men for edification, exhortation and consolation (1 Corinthians 14: 1-3 ESV)

Prophecy or “hearing from God,” as we discussed earlier, is something we should all seek for many reasons. However, today we are going to discuss three important and beneficial reasons that are very necessary in the world we live in today.

In a world of desperate, despondent, loveless and needy people, the three purposes mentioned in the above scripture are in great demand. As we explained in the first article, prophecy doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated and can be as simple as a phone call or sharing a scripture.

We could paraphrase the previous verse to say: “Desire to listen to God with fervor and speak to edify, exhort and comfort or give comfort to all men.” By doing this, we further simplify prophecy just as we did by using the words “listen to God” by removing so many barriers and fears. We demystify the prophetic and how we reveal the mysteries of God for a person’s life. After all, who does not want or need to be edified, urged and consoled or comforted. How can we go wrong when we do it with a heart of humility and love? we can not


To edify is to illuminate, inform or edify. When we are in a less than admirable or positive place, a well-timed word of encouragement becomes a lifeline, a joy generator, an impartation of wisdom, or a light of revelation and understanding in a dark or undecided place.

If, for example, you feel you must share an uplifting Scripture with someone and you’re not sure, you can be sure that sharing God’s Word is never wrong. So feel free to share the Word in an uplifting way. It can be for the present moment or for a future day. Trust Him and be obedient. Building is always good.

To urge

To exhort is to urge, press, encourage, plead, or strongly urge someone to do or believe something and carries with it a basis of comfort and reassurance. According to Webster’s 1928 Dictionary, it can also mean to warn or admonish or incite or encourage or provoke another to good deeds. The main meaning of the word is to excite, give strength, encouragement or courage… to embolden, encourage or advise. (cf. Webster’s Dictionary of 1828).

Quiet a bite, but an amazing truth full of freedom and grace..

For example: maybe you have a friend… a co-worker and yes, even a stranger who needs advice, comfort or encouragement and the Holy Spirit reminds you of something you learned in your own life… The Holy Spirit reminds you remember you and you are obedient to share it with your friend…your co-worker…and so on. What happens? Life is released and your emotions are stimulated, your thoughts towards good works and correct attitudes.

You may feel led to tell a story from your life when you received a warning from the Lord and how you responded with great benefit. And they in turn receive understanding of their own situation. There are so many examples and variations of how the Lord can use you to prophesy or release exhortation into another person’s life. Don’t be afraid or make things too complicated. Take a step forward and you will grow line after line all the time going from glory to glory.

To console or comfort

To console is to comfort or brighten a distressed or depressed mind, alleviate a grievance, and refresh the mind or spirit. It is sharing what you hear from the Lord to bring comfort to the listener that the ills of life are temporary. Its primary sense is to give rest or tranquility or in a sense to strengthen (cf. Webster’s Dictionary of 1828).

This reminds me of Psalm 23 and how we can be the ones who make others lie beside His still waters. We are called to comfort those who mourn in Zion…to give them the oil of gladness instead of mourning (Isaiah 61:3). For this reason and many others we should want to prophesy and release what we hear the Lord speak to our hearts through a Scripture…our own life experiences…thoughts and revelations…Scripture…inclinations to put ourselves in contact with someone we know… when we pray for someone… and the list can go on and on. The time has come to prophesy or speak what we hear God say and what we see him do. The time has come to edify, exhort, and comfort.

Be sure to join me over the next few weeks as I blog about some of my thoughts regarding prophecy and the prophetic gifts.

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