Prophetic or Programmed Prayer?
Prayer can be ‘programmed’ or ‘prophetic.’ The Psalms started off as ‘prophetic’ but gradually became a part of daily and festival life of Israel. Most public and corporate prayer is programmed—it is planned to take place at specific time and often with a specific prayer.
The idea of prophetic prayer comes from Acts 2:17-18 where Peter quotes a prophecy from the book of Joel that says that ALL believers would ‘prophesy.’ This does not mean that all believers hold a prophetic office—but rather that all believers who have been baptized in the Spirit can ‘prophesy’ into someone’s life. Prophecy here is not foretelling but forth-telling. It’s a verbal gift to speak something of God into someone’s life.
The Power of Prophetic Prayer
The power of prophetic prayer is that it is ‘spontaneous’ and Spirit led in the moment. So you could have a planned prayer walk (programmed) but meet someone on the walk and be led by the Spirit to stop them and ask, “Can I pray for you?” That ‘prophetic’ moment of prayer was unplanned by you but not by God. So many times when I ask strangers, “Can I pray for you,” the first thing they say is, “WOW I just told God this morning I needed prayer or someone to pray for me.” (Or something similar).
I mean, when I ask people if I can pray for them, probably 80% of the time they indicate that they recently thought about God and prayer. I know it’s anecdotal and I have not kept track but it happens so much that I can say honestly that this is a TREND.
My Missional Proposition…
Every person I meet needs prayer
and most will let me pray for them if I only ask.
Somewhere today you will meet and see people that are in need of prayer and some are even asking God for help and that He would send someone to them! You may be that someone.