Pray that by the Lord’s grace the saints would pursue, desire, seek, and learn to prophesy, which is the excelling gift for the building up of the church (1 Cor. 14:1, 12, 31, 39a).
1 Cor. 14:1—Pursue love, and desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
1 Cor. 14:12—So also you, since you are zealous of spirits, seek that you may excel for the building up of the church.
1 Cor. 14:31—For you can all prophesy one by one that all may learn and all may be encouraged.
1 Cor. 14:39a—So then, my brothers, desire earnestly the prophesying.
In 1 Corinthians 14 there are thirteen terms used by the apostle Paul to encourage, charge, and compel us to prophesy. Paul uses five verbs: pursue, desire, seek, excel, and learn. He mentions six results when all prophesy: building up, encouragement, consolation, convicting, examining, and making manifest the secrets of the hearts. Finally, he says that we need to use two organs to prophesy—our mind and our spirit.
In verse 1 Paul says, “Pursue love, and desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” In this verse the verbs pursue and desire are used. In Greek the word for pursue has the meaning of persecute. Our pursuing must be like a persecuting. To desire earnestly means to be eager to obtain…
If we only speak something ordinary and natural, we do not need to pursue. We have been born with the ability to speak, but in order to prophesy we must learn how to have the divine element and mingle it with our speaking in the divine way. This is why we have to pursue prophesying with the divine element, desiring it earnestly and being eager to obtain it…
In order to know how to prophesy, we should study the words pursue, desire, seek, excel, and learn. Do not take this matter lightly. To learn to prophesy is a weighty lesson. We all have to pursue it, desire to obtain it, and seek after it. To prophesy is to excel, so we are pursuing an excelling matter. Therefore, we have to learn. (CWWL, 1988, vol. 4, “The Present Advance of the Lord’s Recovery,” ch. 5, pp. 578-579)
[T]here are secrets to proper prophesying. We can practice at home first. The husband may speak to the wife, and the wife may speak to the husband…This is a very good way of practicing, and it will improve our prophesying. It is like practicing piano; the more we practice, the more skillful we become. The less we practice, the harder it will be for us to advance. Hence, there is the need for constant practice even in the matter of prophesying. In the end our posture, tone, air, and spirit of speaking will all become a genuine prophesying instead of being merely a testifying or an ordinary speaking. If everyone would learn to speak for God and to speak forth God in this way, the Lord will surely be able to fulfill and recover the words in 1 Corinthians 14. (CWWL, 1989, vol. 1, “The Organic Practice of the New Way,” ch. 6, p. 545)
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