I've been really challenged lately to awaken myself to the gift that I believe has been planted within me. Every spiritual gift test I've taken says that my top gifting is Prophecy. I've always agreed with it- but never really known what to do about it.
I've been really challenged to take a hold of it, seek out God's explanation for it, and pursue eductation and healthy experiences with it.
My encouragement actually began when we chose our new Pastor, last fall, Brady Boyd. He came to the church, and stated that he wanted to bring back a healthy excercise of the prophetic gift to our church (it had not been openly allowed to operate for a while really). I got really excited about that. I thought "This is my chance to learn and grow in what has laid dormant in me for the last 10-15 years!"
So about 2 months ago now, our church hosted a 'Prophetic Presbetry.' I had never heard that term, nor seen it done before- and I was very interested. I attended each of the four meetings where a team of 3 ministers from outside our church, had fasted and prayed in preparation, and then came to speak the words they felt that God had given them for selected staff members.
One of the ministers in particular, was doing using mostly pictures to describe what God had shown him for the staff member. That resonated sooo loudly with me because that's how God often speaks to me- only up until that point, I hadn't known that it was actually part of my prophetic gift. I had lunch with some friends shortly after, and was talking about how I had always thought that prophecy was this 'hokey pokey, ooh, aah, "Thus sayeth the Lord," slightly uncomfortable experience... And then I saw at our church how healthy- and NOT weird it was being done!
One of my friends that was eating lunch with me that day, told me of how she had done a prophetic ministry training school a while back- and how they said there are two types of prophetic words- one is through a picture that the Lord gives (that's me!), and the other is like a faucet turning on and then off- where the person shares the words and they don't even know what will be said until it comes out... (definitely not me). That was another confirmation for me that what I've been 'seeing' and speaking for the last 10 years or so, is actually prophecy and not something else...
So- I've felt God's prompting in the last few weeks to learn and grow in this area specifically. So- I've joined a prayer group with some ladies, and hope to learn and grow from their maturity. The leader is gifted in the prophetic- and I'm hoping to really glean wisdom from her. I'm also looking for good resources to read/listen to that would better educate me. I feel pretty wary though just searching for 'prophecy' books on the internet. I want to make sure I'm reading an author who is of sound doctrine and has a strong Biblical foundation. I don't want a lesson in spiritual hoo ha... you know?
If you know of any authors/speakers that I could read/listen to, I'd welcome any suggestions you have. I also have the financial restraint though- that prevents me from just buying stuff willy nilly... so anything free will get to the top of my list pretty quickly. :) I found a really neat prophetic ministry training session at Bethel church in Redding CA that looks amazing- but that just isn't going to happen...
Anyway- seek the Lord and ask Him to grow you in your gifts- and ask Him to make you hungry- and He surely will!