God intends for the New Testament church to be blessed with the gift of prophecy. When the body of Christ properly positions prophets and prophecy, we are empowered to accomplish more while expending less energy.
If you study how prophecy is addressed throughout the New Testament, you’ll find that every word relating to prophetic gifts and their operation in the church requires the believer to take initiative and responsibility in how this gift functions. The apostle Paul—who certainly had the most to say about prophecy’s role in the church—admonishes believers to desire, covet, stir up, seek and excel in prophecy for the edification of the body of Christ.
Christianity is mostly proactive. If we want to see the power of God released in our generation, we must learn to take the initiative and to excel. To excel is to be pre-eminent. Scripture says the prophet Daniel was 10 times better than the magicians of Babylon (Dan. 1:20). There must be a level of excellence in prophetic ministry.
Many times Christians trust the sovereignty of God in a non-biblical manner. They believe that if the Lord wants to give them a prophetic word, He’ll simply deliver a word as if it fell from the sky. Though God obviously is able to give anyone a prophetic word, this “accidental” prophecy perspective isn’t the full pattern of Scripture. Pre-eminent prophets are those who have learned to co-labor with Him.
We must “covet to prophesy” (1 Cor. 14:39, KJV). Covet is a passionate, active word from the Greek word zēlōtē, which means one burning with zeal—a zealot. To covet means to be eagerly desirous of or zealous to acquire something. It also means to defend or contend for it.