115 | What It Means to Pray Prophetically

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Hi, my name is Dean Smith and today I want to talk about praying prophetically.

I am really sensing in my spirit, that the Holy Spirit is stirring people to pray, both individually and in groups. In fact, late last year, my wife and I joined with some friends and we are gathering to pray every Monday night.

Prayer is important.

So what is prophetic prayer, well before describing what it is, I first want to discuss a story on Faithwire, involving Pastor Timmy Hensel, who, along with his wife and two children, were attending the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade and celebration on Wednesday, Feb 14, 2024.

Timmy Hensel pastors a Foursquare Church in Raytown, Missouri. He and his family were standing along the parade route and they they decided to go to Union Station, where the players and coaches would be speaking.

They were sitting watching when Hensel felt the Holy Spirit urging them to leave.

When he mentioned it to his wife, she was getting the very same vibe, even though their favorite football player was just about to speak.

How many of us in a similar situation would have shrugged off. But they obeyed and after they left, Timmy and his wife started receiving texts asking if they were alright because gunfire had broken out at the very spot where they were sitting in the crowd.

The shootout that started during a confrontation between two groups ended up killing one person and injuring over 20 people, including children.

Hensel told CBN that when he looked at aerial photos of the scene, he saw blood on the ground exactly where his family had been sitting.

According to researchers, the average person has over 6,000 thoughts pop into their head in a typical day and among those, Pastor Hensel and his wife discerned Jesus’ voice and correctly heard that the Holy Spirit was speaking to them.

In an interview with CBN, Pastor Hensel said:

“It’s not just Sunday. It’s every moment, and so he is speaking all the time and [we need] to train ourselves to know the tone of the Shepherd’s voice, to know that He is speaking, He is guiding, and I’m really grateful for that.”

Then Hensel added:

“I would encourage others to practice listening. We do a lot of talking. We do a lot of praying, which is good, but listening is just as important because He has something to say.”

The Holy Spirit is speaking to us all the time, and amidst the clatter of thoughts that bombard our minds in a day, we must learn to discern Jesus’ voice.

It takes practice and training and as Timmy said, the Shepherd’s voice has a different tone. The tone is different with each individual, but this difference will set it apart from the thousands of thoughts that pop into our heads. We must learn to distinguish it.

Jesus told His disciples in John 10:27:

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

This is a statement of fact. All who believe in Christ are hearing the voice of Jesus. However, though we are hearing God’s voice, not everyone is recognizing it for what it is, as God speaking to them.

When the Holy Spirit speaks to us, He sometimes uses words and other times images, but our receivers are sometimes not tuned in to God’s frequency.

But this is the very essence of prophetic prayer.

Prophetic prayer involves receiving revelation from the Holy Spirit, that you would otherwise not know on how to pray or what to pray about a situation or a person.

And there is a verse in Romans that emphasizes how important it is that we know how to pray.

It reads:

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Romans 8:26)

Paul talks about the Holy Spirit interceding through us through inward groanings when we don’t know what to pray and the way he just casually mentions it suggests Paul believed the Romans would know exactly what he was talking about.

However, today, most of us have no idea what Paul was referring to. But the essence of this verse is that when we don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit will pray through us.

Then in the following verse, Paul adds that the Holy Spirit “intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (verse 27).

This passage highlights the importance of not only knowing how to pray but also praying per God’s will. It is so important, that the Holy Spirit is willing to intervene to make sure it happens.

Well, it wasn’t until the Toronto Revival hit in the 1990s, that we understood what Paul was talking about, when the Holy Spirit would come upon people and you would get these heavy physical crunches and heavings inside our bodies.

Some were so intense it would result in people actually groaning, not from pain, but from the intensity.

It started happening to me.

I could actually feel this intense heaving happening inside me and others could see it taking place as my body actually visibly moved. This was the Holy Spirit praying through me, as Paul described in Romans 8.

I remember a strange thing that happened in connection with this. Our family loved to watch the Sound of Music and every time we watched it, I would start to get these heaves. It happened every time.

I had no idea if the Holy Spirit, was praying for Austria where the movie was based, the Von Trapp family, who really existed, or perhaps one of the actors. But every time, that movie came on I started getting the heaves.

Aside from internal groaning prompted by the Holy Spirit, I believe another way that God desires to guide our intercessions is through prophetic prayers.

This doesn’t mean that you have the gift of prophecy or that you are a prophet, it means that God wants you to pray prophetically.

And I believe praying prophetically adds power to your prayers. It’s powered-up prayer.

Some describe it as praying with God instead of praying to God.

In 2 Kings 13:18, the prophet Elisha had a word for King Joash that he would defeat the Syrians. Elisha gave Joash an arrow and told him to strike the ground with it.

Joash struck the ground three times.

Elisha was angered when Josh stopped at three stating Joash should have struck the ground five or six times because he would have destroyed Syria, but because he only struck the ground three times, this meant the nation would continue to plague Israel.

The striking of the ground with an arrow was a prophetic act.

Similarly, our prayers can have a prophetic edge, when we pray how God wants us to pray.

I remember years back, the church my wife and I attended was going through a very difficult time. An important meeting was taking place, and certain things needed to happen.

I was fearful how easily this all could go south and felt a burden so I went to the church early to pray.

But I was praying with a shotgun and interceding on any possible outcome I could think of. Suddenly, a thought popped into my head, and the Holy Spirit seemed to be suggesting that I pray one particular thing. It was very brief.

Since I was using a shotgun approach anyway, throwing that brief prayer into the mix was no big deal.

However, as soon as I prayed it, the fear and urge I had to pray suddenly and instantly left me.

I had prayed God’s will and it was over, no more prayer was needed. In fact, any more prayer on the subject would have been a complete waste of time.

I believe at that moment I was praying prophetically.

And the meeting that followed played out exactly as it needed to.

As I mentioned earlier, we are meeting with a group who are praying weekly. It’s important. I think people need to start gathering to pray.

In December, we were praying for a Christian family who had a premature baby in very serious critical condition, and who had to be sent to a pediatric hospital in another city. While there, the baby developed sepsis, a very serious condition.

They put the baby on life support and told the parents unless there was improvement, they would be taking the baby off life support by Friday. The family was prepared for the worst.

While we were praying earlier that week on Monday, I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me on how to pray. It involved praying two words, ‘come home.’

Now If you asked me if I was absolutely positive this is what God was asking me to pray, I would have said No, but nevertheless, I believed this was how the Holy Spirit was urging me to pray.

I felt I needed to say the words ‘come home’ in my prayer. It didn’t matter how I framed it, but I believed there was something prophetic about those two words and I needed to pray them.

Though I thought it was strange, I figured out different ways that I could work those two words into my prayers without sounding too bizarre.

In one sense it didn’t matter what I said around those two words, I felt I needed to utter the two words, ‘come home’.

It was time for this baby to come home.

A week later, I had a chance to talk to a family member and she told me there had been a miracle during the week the baby was on life support, and the baby was doing much better.

And then she used the exact phrase that I thought I needed to pray. She said, he was supposed to ‘come home’ in December, but that got changed with the sepsis.

After all, I had gone through with those two words when she said them it immediately caught my attention.

Maybe I am reading too much into this, but I felt the Holy Spirit was confirming that I had prayed how God wanted me to pray.

Now I realize many others were praying for that baby, and I was just one of many, but I felt those two words were important and like the act of hitting the arrows on the ground, they had an anointing and needed to be proclaimed.

This is what prophetic prayer is.

In Jeremiah 1:9, God told the Prophet Jeremiah, “I have put my words in your mouth.”

And then two verses later in Jeremiah 1:12, we read:

12 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”

We all hear God’s voice and through this process, the Holy Spirit may try to communicate how we should pray in certain situations. In fact, we should be asking the Holy Spirit how we should pray, and when we get this guidance we need to pray prophetically.

God then watches to ensure His word is fulfilled. This doesn’t mean you are a prophet or even have the gift of prophecy, but if we listen, the Holy Spirit can tell you how to pray and these words can pack a prophetic anointed punch.

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