May 22

3 Ironclad Reasons To Make Room For Prophecy On Sundays

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How can you make room for prophecy on Sundays while maintaining order in your meetings? And how can you stay in tune with Holy Spirit without your prophets running wild?

Make room for prophecy in your church service on Sunday

Photo by John Price on Unsplash

Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time worshipping in different kinds of churches.

I would describe some of them as prophetic churches. The gift of prophecy was practised regularly in their services, not only by the leaders but also by members of the congregation.

I had the privilege of being part of just such a church for 20+ years. I enjoyed the freedom of expression as well as the occasional “messy” meeting where Holy Spirit moved us in an unexpected direction.

During this time, I also encountered groups with a desire to experiment. They encouraged spiritual gifts in their services, including the gift of prophecy.

Still others excluded spiritual gifts entirely from the main meeting. Prophecy became limited to small groups during the week, if it was practised at all.

Why Don’t Churches Make Room For Prophecy?

To be clear, this is not necessarily a criticism of those churches.

I still encounter God in each of them, in one way or another. But I feel the encounter is diminished if the gifts of the spirit are kept under wraps.

For me, the true wonder of Christianity is that I have my own personal relationship with God. And I don’t have to do that through a leader or through other Christians.

So why the disparity? Why are some churches so open to prophecy and spiritual gifts, and others not so much?

Make Room For Prophecy: The Big Issue

I think this is a big issue for pastors and leaders who want to maintain order in worship.

As a leader, deciding to include prophecy in church meetings gives rise to a number of questions:

  • How can I maintain order?
  • How do we keep it encouraging?
  • Will prophetic people take over the service?
  • Will I lose control of our meetings?

The last of the above questions is perhaps the most telling. It's unlikely that you'll hear pastors express it publicly, but it could well be lurking at the back of their minds.

However, these are all legitimate concerns. Poorly handled prophecy can lead to all kinds of mischief and end up damaging the very people it’s intended to bless.

I'll try to answer some of these questions soon by detailing a strategy to implement prophecy in your church meetings.

However, before we get into the details of how to make space for prophecy in your meetings, lets look at why you should do so.

Why You Should Include Prophecy In Your Church Meetings

Imagine that today is a typical Sunday and we’re going to church together...

We arrive at church and say hello to all our friends.

The meeting starts while we’re still talking and slowly we navigate through the crowd.


By the time we are settled in our seats, the worship team are already on the second song.

And we’re just warming up when the worship stops and it’s time for the offering, followed by the preacher.

Sound familiar?

Granted, not everyone is like that. Personally, I love to worship God with other believers, so I always prepare myself in advance and get there on time. (Perhaps more to the point, I hate to be late for anything!)

But I long for the days when everyone arrives on time, not out of duty but out of honour. And because we don’t want to miss a minute of worshipping our creator as a community of believers.

So, how does this relate to the gift of prophecy? And why should you make room for prophecy in your church service?

I’ll give you 3 good reasons:

1. Make Room For Prophecy To Power Up Your Worship

The heart of prophecy is to point people to God and to lead us deeper into him.

When prophetic words are shared publicly, they remind us of who God is and what he has done. They have the capacity to increase faith and break through barriers in worship.

Many times, I have seen sleepy congregations (including me) struggle in worship, only for a timely prophecy to release Holy Spirit among them.

All of a sudden, the whole meeting takes off.

In these moments, worship is anointed and takes on a new dimension. We find ourselves ushered into the courts of Heaven and into the very presence of God.

It’s hard to describe the difference this makes to those who haven’t seen it for themselves. Describing it in writing is particularly difficult because it's so intangible.

However, once they experience it the first time, I guarantee your congregation will want to experience it again!

2. Make Room For Prophecy To Bless People

Another reason to include prophecy in your church meetings is to bless people.

After all, isn’t that the purpose of meeting? To bless God and be blessed by him, in turn?

To be sure, hearing God’s word through the biblical teaching is a big part of that blessing, but it’s only one half of the equation.

Prophecy releases worship, but it also releases other spiritual gifts.

Spiritual gifts are the primary way that Holy Spirit operates to bless one believer through another. They are an expression of the Father’s love for each and every person we minister to.

Where prophecy begins, words of knowledge and Holy Spirit inspired prayers soon follow. More often than not, this results in healing and miracles. Faith rises once more and worship may start all over again!

A wonderful side-effect of all this is that it begins to spill over into small group meetings during the week.

They’ll want to talk about what happened on Sunday. And they’ll want to see how they can bring what they learned into everything they do.

Spiritual gifts are the primary way that Holy Spirit operates to bless one believer through another. They are an expression of the Father’s love for each and every person we minister to.

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3. Make Room For Prophecy To Train Prophets

This leads us on nicely to the subject of training, which should form part of your overall strategy.

When prophetic people are allowed to operate more freely in their gifting, it encourages them to grow in power and in character.

And by encouraging prophets to use their gifts in Sunday meetings, they’ll be able to do so under your watchful eye, before you let them loose on the world.

Another advantage is that you and your congregation will also learn how to receive and test prophecies.

This is an important aspect of the gift of prophecy which you’ll need to back up with good teaching. But the best training is through positive experiences.

Make Room For Prophecy!

When you empower members of your congregation to operate in the gift of prophecy in your Sunday meetings, good things happen.

Prophecy empowers worship and prayer. At the same time, worship and prayer will power prophecy.

When brought together in one place, they form a virtuous cycle which will transform your Sunday meetings. They won’t just be “meetings” anymore, they will be safe places where people encounter both the nature and the power of God.

But how do you go about implementing genuine change?

For some churches, such a change could require a seismic shift in thinking, let alone practice.

Genuine Change Requires Strategy And Training

If you want to include prophecy and other spiritual gifts in your services, then some thought must be given to how they are implemented.

You may want to begin low-key by promoting prophecy more generally in your church, perhaps in small groups first.

For Sunday services you’ll need to set up a prayer and support team, if you don’t already have one. And if you do, you’ll need to engage with them to get their “buy-in” to the process.

Your team will be invaluable. They’ll be able to see the things you might miss when you’re running a meeting. And they’ll enable you to maintain order and create a safe, loving environment in an atmosphere of worship.

To get there, you’ll need both strategy and training. And that’s what we’ll begin to look at next time.

Your Turn

What are your barriers to including prophecy and other spiritual gifts in your church services? How will you overcome them?

Let us know in the comments, below.


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