Role of the Prophet
A prophet is a spokesperson for God. The prophet admonishes, warns, directs, encourages, intercedes, teaches and counsels. He brings the word of God to the people of God and calls the people to respond. The prophetic ministry begins in the presence of the Lord. This aspect of the ministry is well described in Jeremiah's challenge to the false prophets. Which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? If they had stood in his council they would have proclaimed his words to his people and they would have turned from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. Jeremiah 23:18,22. When the prophet knows the heart and mind of the Lord, he speaks the word of the Lord to his people. He stands before the people as one who has stood before God. Because his words come from the heart of God they are powerful and effective. A prophet can undertake a huge variety of roles. This is an expression of the creativity of God. A prophet may act in every role occasionally, but mostly he will move in one or two of these roles. Prayer will be important for every ministry. No two prophets should be the same, but each should be a reflection of God's creativity and calling. The call of a prophet usually but not always includes his job description (John and Paula Sanford - The Elijah Task p.42). Some of the roles that a prophet can function in are outlined in the following sections.
An important part of the prophet's task is prayer. Because he knows the mind of the Lord, he is in a position to pray effectively. He has a clear picture of what God is doing, so he knows where prayer is needed most. The prophet watches over the word of the Lord and prays it into being. He must not rest until God has fulfilled his word (Isaiah 62:6). An important part of the prophets task is unceasing prayer for the Christian Community. The prophets, because they knew what the mind of the Lord was, were in a position to pray more effectually than other men. They had a clearer picture of what God was doing and so they knew when prayer was needed most. They were also able to pray true 'prophetic prayers' in which the Holy Spirit directed and guided their very manner and words (Isa 62:6) (Bruce Yocum - Prophecy and Prayer). Prayer belongs in a very high and important sense to the prophetic ministry. Praying prophets have frequently been at a premium in the history of Gods people. God's watchmen must always and everywhere be men of prayer. Praying preachers are the true prophets of the Lord, and are they who stand as mouth pieces of God to a generation of wicked and worldly-minded men and women. They are the boldest and truest, and swiftest ministers of God (E.M Bounds - The Weapon of Prayer). Prayer was essential to the prophetic ministry. It came naturally to the prophets and was the life-blood of their ministry. Prayer was their principal means of communication with God and lay at the heart of their personal relationship with God (Clifford Hill - Prophecy, Past and Present, p. 117). The prophet is also a mediator. Moses stood between the people and God. Time after time, Moses stood in the gap on behalf of the nation before an angry God. Consequently, intercession played a vital part in Moses life. As a prophet Moses felt in his heart the burden of the message he brought to the people. He was deeply moved when Israel did not respond to the command of God (Milton Smith - The Prophetic Office). People have always looked to prophetic people when they needed prayer - they still do today. Out of their request for prayer will often come the very signs that confirm the word of God we speak. Be bold! Be vigilant! Be fervent! Anything might happen! (http://www.africaprophecy.co.za/2prophets.htm). A prophet and his message is born before the Lord. Prophets are men of prayer. A man who has learnt to sit in quietness before the Lord cannot but be contaminated by his pain regarding the situation of the oppressed (Lars...
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