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Another Reason to Come to Church
Personally, I love prophecy. That’s one reason I so enjoy coming to church. The gift of prophecy and other spiritual gifts, too, are more apt to operate there. When believers come together to worship God, an atmosphere can be created where the Holy Ghost manifests Himself more powerfully.

Take what happened in Acts 13, for example. It tells about a group of prophets and teachers in the city of Antioch who got together to fellowship with God.
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed... (vv. 2–4).
Clearly this group experienced a greater move of the Spirit than we as individual believers normally do. They didn’t just receive a silent inward witness about God’s will. They didn’t just get a leading in their hearts. Because of the corporate anointing, the gifts of the Spirit operated and the Holy Spirit actually spoke out loud through one of the prophets. “Separate Barnabas and Saul to the work I’ve called them to do.”

Notice this wasn’t news to Saul and Barnabas. They had already received the call of God. This was simply a confirmation of what He had already revealed to their hearts. It edified and encouraged them. And, because it came through a prophet, it provided them with a word of wisdom to help get them moving.

Prophets and teachers, however, aren’t the only ones who are apt to operate in the gifts when the church assembles to worship. Other believers are too. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:26, “When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying” (KJV).

Sadly, this isn’t something we see happening very much right now. In our day and time, Christians mostly come to church to get something. But the believers in Paul’s day had a different attitude. They came to church because they had something to give.

Every one of them had a psalm or a prophecy or a tongue and interpretation. Why? Because they’d been exercising those gifts at home in their personal times of fellowship with God.

Tongues Is the Springboard

You and I can do the same thing today. We don’t have to wait until we’re in a church service to prophesy. We can do it in our own personal times of prayer and worship.
If you doubt it, read the book of Psalms. It was written primarily by individuals—people such as David and other Old Testament saints—who spoke or sang songs by divine inspiration during their private times of worship. Some of the psalms are songs of praise. Others are Holy Spirit inspired prayers for help and comfort in times of distress or trial.

In Old Testament days, the nation of Israel used the book of Psalms as their national prayer and praise book. We still read it today and benefit greatly from it. But as New Testament believers, we aren’t limited to those particular psalms. We can receive new psalms directly from the Holy Spirit that apply specifically to us and the situations we’re facing right now, today!

Personally, I’ve found this to be a great help during difficult seasons of my life. Especially when I’m facing a crisis or I’m under stress, I’ve sometimes spoken to myself in psalms all night long as they came to me by the Spirit, one after the other.

If that’s not something you’ve done before, it might sound mysterious to you. It might seem hard to do. But the truth is that it’s not. The key is to start out by praying in other tongues.

If you’ve been baptized in the Holy Spirit, praying in tongues is always something you can easily do. It’s not just a special gift given to a select few. It’s not something you can do only when the Spirit moves on you in an extraordinary way. It’s something you can do by faith any time you choose.

One of the many benefits of praying and worshiping God in tongues is that it can be a springboard into prophecy. This is what Paul had in mind when he encouraged the entire church at Corinth to do it. It’s the reason he said, “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Cor. 14:15 KJV).

Paul wasn’t just saying there that he would pray in tongues and then pray with his intellect, out of his head. Although that’s a fine thing to do, I’m persuaded that what Paul was referring to there was praying in tongues and then speaking out the interpretation by inspiration of the Spirit.

A Prayer God Will Answer

 “Well, that’s fine for Paul,” you might say, “but I can’t do that!”

Yes, you can. All you have to do is follow the instructions in 1 Corinthians 14:13: “Let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret” (KJV). God wouldn’t tell you to pray for something that He wasn’t willing to give you. So if you ask Him to help you interpret your tongues, He will most certainly do it.

I’ve proven this to be true time and again in my own life and experience: tongues is where prophecy begins. As I communicate with the Lord in tongues, my spirit fellowships directly with Him; then, as I press into that place of fellowship, I move from praying with my spirit to praying with my understanding. I begin to pray prophetically, not just out of my own thinking or what I know in my brain but by the illumination of the Spirit.

Sometimes I pray and prophesy this way an hour or more, and it almost seems like there are two of me. It’s like I’m standing beside myself listening to myself pray, because what I’m saying is coming not from my head but directly from my spirit.
There’s a little higher anointing on this kind of praying because, although I’m still praying in the spirit, I know what I’m saying. There’s also a more authoritative anointing on it that lifts me up above where I was before.

I don’t mind telling you, I love to pray this way! But I also believe that what I’ve experienced thus far is just a taste of what’s available. God has much more for us all...and I’m hungry for it.

No doubt, you are too. Like me, you’d probably love to be like that Chinese brother who received new songs and psalms of victory direct from the Holy Spirit every single day. Imagine how wonderful it would be to speak daily all day long in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Songs that are so powerful, so full of the anointing of God that they keep you healthy, joyful, and strong, no matter what’s going on around you.

My praying friend, this is God’s will for us! This is the level of fellowship He has made available to us through the blood of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Let’s stir up our desire for it. Let’s press into God’s best and “covet” to prophesy.

Copyright © Lynne Hammond Ministries
All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Lynne Hammond
Web site: Lynne Hammond Ministries
 
Lynne and her husband, Mac, pastor Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The desire of Lynne’s heart is to impart principles of corporate and Spirit-led prayer to the Church throughout the world. Under her leadership, the prayer ministry at Living Word has become an internationally recognized model for developing effective pray-ers in the local church. Each week at Living Word, 80 prayer groups led by 85 prayer leaders assemble for the purpose of following the direction of the Holy Spirit in prayer. Last year, more than 10,000 people participated in Chapel Prayer, which meets every morning at Living Word. Approximately 13,000 Internet subscribers through the Global Prayer Alert Network, receive daily prayer summaries from these meetings.
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