North Heights Prophetic Roundtable
We continue to say with Samuel,
"Speak, for your servant is listening."
1 Samuel 3:10
In addition to the word of God, Graham Cooke's books on Prophecy have spoken into North Height's understanding of what it is to receive prophecy, discern the prophetic, and to live responsibly within this gifting.
Graham Cooke lists "9 Purposes of Prophecy" which we find helpful.
1. To Restore people's dignity and self-respect
2. To edify, encourage, and comfort the church
3. To bring correction or warning
4. To provide direction and enhance vision
5. To open up the teaching of the Word and confirm preaching
6. To release the church into new doctrine or practices
7. To provide insight into counseling situations
8. To provide evangelists breakthroughs and
9. To provide an agenda for prayer.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you," declares the Lord.
This is how the North Heights Prophetic Round Table weighs a word.
Any prophecy that remains of concern after being thoroughly prayed over and measured by God's standard may be set aside temporarily or permanently, and occasionally will be sent back to the person concerned for further discernment and development.
1. A meeting of the PRT is opened with prayer until a oneness of receptivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit is reached.
2. Recent prophecies (having been read and prayed over in advance by the PRT) are discussed.
3. An agenda for the meeting (based on prophecies past and present) is agreed upon.
4. The PRT asks the following questions:
a. Does the word align with Scripture and is it in keeping with the Biblical pattern?
· If the word is contradicted by Scripture, the word is understood as not from the Lord. (2 Corinthians. 4:2)
b. Does the prophesy build up the body? (2 Corinthians 10:8).
· It is girded in praise, a work of love and a work of grace (Ephesians 4:29)
c. Is the prophecy Spirit-filled? (1 John 4:1-3)
· Testing the spirits, those weighing the word must discern if it is of man, an evil spirit, or of the Lord. Even Godly individuals can fall prey to trying to influence the outcome of ministry or to hearing their own opinions as "from the Lord". It is why no one stands alone in bringing a prophecy forward.
d. Does God confirm this word?
· We understand that all prophecy is partial - and so we ask questions about place, timing, preparation, obedience and prayer. (1 Corinthians 13:9)
· We look for untainted confirmation from other prophets. That is, we hold the word received very close during the discerning process so as not to "plant" ideas which bare false fruit. Instead, we wait from a confirming word from an unrelated source that is equally obedient to the Lord. (Deuteronomy 18:22)
· The quality of the prophet's life is also important - as we know the Lord speaks into those whose lives are increasingly conformed to his heart and aligned with his will. (Matthew 7:16)
· A Word can be only partially true or not truly prophetic. (Luke 21:8-9)
· Not truly prophetic: It is understood that the word may be true, but not prophetic. The word may be out of God's timing, go beyond God's intent or fall short of the fullness of his intent. No special formulas exist for discerning this - and yet there is always a unanimity of Spirit as this is discerned; these words are set aside and not revisited.
· Partially true (yet prophetic): A prophetic world may be mingled with an individual's own mind (in which case it is sent back to the individual for further distilling by the Spirit - in such a way both the prophecy and the one receiving it are cultivated in faith).
e. The "type" of word is discussed and understood.
· Is it a renewing word of confirmation and encouragement - and for whom?
· An individual, group, congregation, community, country?
· Is it a now word of discernment or direction - and for whom?
· Is it a future word of now-preparation - and for whom?
· To date, the PRT has rejected all prophecies that purport to know time. (Acts 1:7)
· Is it a new word setting a course for ministry formerly not imagined?
(1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
5. Permission to release the word.
a. Prophets and those who sit with them never presume to have permission to release a word. (Isaiah 1:18)
· A word directed at an individual ought to be given in confidence.
· A word for the North Heights community ought to have the implications prayed over by leadership before release.
· A word for the city or nation ought to come into agreement with other words or directions from other communities of believers.
b. In every instance, there will be a confirmation of the Spirit that is not subject to haste. (1 John 4:1)
c. At North Heights, it is our practice to send all prophetic words to the Prophetic Roundtable (PRT) for discernment (firstname.lastname@example.org ).
· The PRT follows the process above: praying, discerning, weighing.
· Sometimes this process takes several months.
· The word, in right time (sometimes within 24-hours, sometimes within months after an extended process of discernment) is released to NHLC leadership with recommendations for action. Sometimes other words are referenced in confirmation of the submitted word.
d. North Heights leadership prays through and discusses the PRT recommendations and the word itself. (John 16:13)
· The leadership discusses how and with whom to share this word and a plan is set in order for the release of the word.
· Sometimes this plan will be evident to the congregation with the reading or publishing of a word, other times it will be more subtle as it shapes preaching themes, class offerings, and various forms of preparation or obedience.
6. After Releasing a word:
a. The PRT must pray through the prophecy, pray for the people's right reception of the prophecy, seek out other intercessors on behalf of God's work among us, and at times pray for God to still or delay his hand of judgment.
b. The PRT is to keep watch to see if what is foretold by a word comes to pass (understanding that this could be seconds or decades).
c. North Heights Leadership is responsible to tend the release of a word, its impact, and intended outcome.
· Further clarification, teaching, admonition, or instruction may be necessary for the word to be heard as the Lord intended.
d. The word is released in love with the goal of helping those who receive it to exchange any personal fears or insecurities for a joyful spirit of submission and faith that is vulnerable to the Lord alone. In this way, we all become mature in Christ and obedient to His call. (Ephesians 4:10-16)