The Bible tells us that in the last days, God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:17). These last days have been in effect since the Day of Pentecost, and this promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit includes men, women, young and old; none are exempt.
A vital part of this “last days outpouring” includes a release of the prophetic. Every single Christian has the ability to prophesy residing in his or her spirit, since the Holy Spirit is the One who empowers us to prophesy. Though every believer can prophesy, there are certain individuals who have been set apart to fulfill the role of a prophet in the body of Christ.
In The Making of a Prophet, seasoned prophetic voice and Charisma news editor Jennifer LeClaire delivers an essential guidebook—more than a decade in the making—helping you either 1) identify your calling as a prophet or 2) show you how to hear God’s voice from the ministry of the prophet.
Just as there are those selected to be teachers, pastors, evangelists and apostles, there are also people God has specifically and uniquely fashioned to fulfill the office of a prophet. This book is as much for those called as prophets as it is for the greater body of Christ to understand, value and appropriately draw from the Scripture-established prophetic office.
The Making of a Prophet is a journey unlike any that I have taken in recent years. You will learn how to:
- Recognize signs and indications that you have been called as a prophet
- Cultivate intimacy with the Father—the key to hearing and accurately speaking His prophetic word
- Wage victorious spiritual warfare, recognizing that the enemy is intentional about his war against the prophets
- Identify and overcome fleshly hindrances to effective prophetic ministry, including pride, sexual immorality, the fear of man and spiritual deception
- Minister prophetically in love, as according to 1 Corinthians 13, there is no greater expression of supernatural ministry than that which is demonstrated through love
To preserve the purity of prophetic ministry, it is vital that leaders in the body of Christ decide that such an office is worth sustaining and protecting. It is not about notoriety. It is not about acclaim. It is not about recognition, flashy manifestations, who falls down when you pray for them or how profound your prophetic word sounds.
Instead, the prophetic office is about maintaining an attuned ear to heaven. It’s about loving God’s presence more than the acclaim of men—be it a church of 200 members or a Facebook following of 200,000 fans. It is about modeling the Lord Jesus in both purity and power. It is about setting up appropriate boundaries around our lives, not because we are legalists but because we prize His presence and cherish His voice above all else. Holiness protects; it doesn't restrain. Too many are quick to print out their “prophet” or “prophetess” business cards before counting the cost. LeClaire’s book makes it very clear that in order to sustain the prophet’s lifestyle, it is essential to count the prophet’s cost.
You will be able to relate to LeClaire’s amazing journey. Although chapter 1 is essential for anyone reading this book, you will benefit from it significantly. LeClaire was not instantly convinced that God had called her to be an influential prophetic voice that would encourage and edify the masses. No, she was called during one of the darkest seasons of her life. She did not discover her gifting because she read a book like this; rather, she is able to write this book because she identified her prophetic gifting through pure discovery, which was followed by extensive study in the Scriptures, mentorship and the principles highlighting these pages.
There are at least four groups of people who need to know about the office of the prophet for their own benefit and to fulfill their purpose in the kingdom:
1. The confident and called. These are the ones who think, I am pretty sure that God has called me to be a prophetic voice. Now what? For those who are confident and assured in their prophetic callings or for those who would consider themselves “seasoned prophets,” I believe the chapters on humility, intimacy with God, holiness, purging prophetic pride and avoiding temptation are absolutely essential (basically the entire second half of the book).
2. The curious. These individuals think, I don’t know if I have been called to be a prophet, but I do know that I hear God speaking with surprising clarity.
3. The sincerely seeking. These individuals think, Do I have prophetic tendencies or characteristics? I don’t feel like the other prophets out there—is it a “one size fits all” office?
The seeker is different than the one who is curious; curiosity is aroused because there are strong hints of a prophetic gifting in a person’s life. However, seekers are not aware of any of these clues, but they are certainly interested in discovering whether or not prophetic tendencies exist within them.
You will learn that prophetic ministry is more than people delivering words of encouragement during an event (although this definitely is an expression of the prophetic). The office of a prophet is also more than some nationally known, globally renowned man or woman whose predictions are heeded and whose declarations come to pass with startling accuracy.
One of the most intriguing points of discussion that LeClaire engages is the fact that no two prophets are alike. This entire chapter will broaden your perspective when it comes to how prophets operate differently. Just because you do not hear God speaking like one person, that does not mean you are disqualified from being a prophet. In the same way, the type of message you receive may be different than another prophet, although the overarching goal is the same: edification in love.
4. All members in the body of Christ. This is rooted in the thought, How is the prophet valuable and beneficial to my life if I haven’t been called as a prophet?
Kris Vallotton, senior associate leader of Bethel Church, describes the prophet as one who equips the body of Christ with eyes to see and ears to hear. See and hear what, though? LeClaire’s new book tells you it's “the heart, mind and will of God.” I imagine that you want to know what’s on God’s heart, what’s going on in His mind and, of course, what His will is.
One of the most commonplace complaints in the body of Christ today (possibly next to the “What is God’s will for my life?” dilemma) is “I don’t hear God speaking.” Could it be that one of the reasons, by and large, we sense an absence of God’s clear voice is because we have either denied the prophetic office or have perverted it? Often we deny it because of the perversions, abuses and misuses.
Prophets do not replace your responsibility to hear God for yourself; at the same time, they are a gift to the church, helping us to discern and discover God’s voice. He is always speaking; the key is learning how to get in tune with Him. This is one of the key benefits that the prophet brings to the body of Christ as a whole.
The bottom line is this: If you are a leader in the body of Christ and are unsure about the role of the prophet in the local church, I encourage you to read this book.
If you are a Christian who has received outlandish “prophetic words” in the past that have hurt you and you are reluctant to have anything to do with prophets and prophecy, I promise you that LeClaire’s authentic, candid and scripturally sound approach will refresh your soul.
If you are wondering what the next step is along your prophetic journey, this book will provide you with some incredible clarity, direction and advice from a fellow traveler who shares from her well of experience.
Scripture tells us that the fivefold ministry, which includes the office of the prophet, are gifts to the body of Christ "for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ (Eph 4:12, NASB). Through bite-sized and easy-to-read chapters, LeClaire delivers The Making of a Prophet—a book that will help you locate wherever you are in your journey to embracing the office of a prophet and go to the next level in maximizing this gift for the benefit of God’s people.
Larry Sparks is host of Life Supernatural, a weekly radio program that features best-selling authors, emerging filmmakers and key ministry leaders. In addition to serving as the director of curriculum resources for Destiny Image Publishers, Larry is president and founder of Equip Culture Ministries — an organization that equips believers to experience a life of sustained victory through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. Visit him at lawrencesparks.com or on Twitter at @LarryVSparks.