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Getting it Right: Prophetic Protocol

Prophetic ministry is like fire in the fireplace, it is infinitely valuable; but outside the fireplace, it can do more damage than good. The fear of misuse causes many to nullify the value of prophetic ministry.

Let’s start with a shout-out to everyone who is trying hard to get it right and trying to find where they fit in. Especially in a climate of ‘revival culture’ where there’s the possibility of feeling you’re missing out, or you don’t measure up if your experience isn’t matching the anointing you’re reading about.

I’m in there with many of you who want more of God in your everyday life. We are in this together and all still maturing in Christ. Our heart intensely wants to get it right every time.

But!! I’m also here to remind you that “It is Finished” means you truly do not need to strive so hard that discouragement sets in. God gave you radical joy. Christ is fully with you and never left you. His unconditional love means you can’t get it wrong.

“The Lord is faithful to meet us where we are. He can use a crooked stick to draw a straight line.” John Crowder

What I’m talking about is the many artists who worry about getting their prophetic messages right. They worry if it is God who is speaking, or their own imagination, or “just their feelings”. Do not worry! The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 14:17) and two of these three things are feelings. God speaks to feelings first, the heart before the mind, and every encounter with God is an invitation to increase your Spirit-empowered senses.

As prophetic artists, we train our natural senses to engage with the spirit realm. We are not artists who paint during worship, we are worship artists. Our senses and feelings are surrendered to God.

Prophetic ministry is like fire in the fireplace, it is infinitely valuable; but outside the fireplace, it can do more damage than good. The fear of misuse causes many to nullify the value of prophetic ministry.

When you are developing your prophetic gift, a good place to dissipate doubts and fear of misuse is to understand prophetic protocols. Yup, there are protocols for moving in the supernatural realm that apply to visual prophecy as well as spoken words. There is an etiquette for operating responsibly.

“Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy … Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Cor 14:39,40

Understanding the established Biblical guidelines for prophetic ministry will help you overcome the right-V-wrong struggle.

Here are a few keys:

  1. Don’t let fear stop you from trying. Missing or not knowing the meaning, or having an alternative interpretation does not make you a false prophet. A false prophet operates from a wrongful heart motive.
  2. Don’t use prophecy to preach your doctrine or for a personal platform of influence.
  3. Painting a modern-day Christian icon does not make your work prophetic any more than speaking King James English makes a spoken word prophetic. Icons can be prophetic, but it is not automatic.
  4. When you are painting in a worship service, do not be disruptive or manifest abruptly. Always submit to the leadership of your worship director and pastor.
  5. Present your prophetic impressions in the same tone and manner as the Holy Spirit would. The Holy Spirit is the kindest most gentle person on the planet.
  6. Stay open to interpretations. Sticking to what ‘the Lord told me …’ will reduce the input of others. Stay open to others’ thoughts and insights. Allow others to have input into the authenticity of your work.
  7. Stay connected. A prophet in isolation will inevitably stray off-track. Stay connected and accountable to your creative community. Share your work and prophetic impressions and ask for feedback. The support you receive from other prophetic artists is vitally important. Invite mature leadership into your life and learn to trust them.
“The spirit of the prophet is subject to prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” 1 Cor 14:32,33

Remember, our role is to encourage, strengthen and comfort. Your prophetic art is never negative, correcting, or judgemental. It is positive, uplifting, and it is for blessing others by revealing the heart of God.


Main image: Passion. Art by 88 Days, 2023. Digital Image, available online 


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