Prophets are among the greatest gifts the Lord has given the body of Christ, partly because of their God-given ability to build with words. Words spoken in the correct setting can bring forth life and healing to the human heart. Proverbs 25:11 says, “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances” (NASB). It only takes one word fitly spoken to a hurting soul to introduce or reintroduce Jesus Christ into that life.
People are controlled with words. Dignity is restored with words. Love is communicated through words. And our worlds are framed and created by words. Many believe that prophets are called to uproot and tear down. Though that’s a vital part of the prophet’s ministry, the ability to build up and create is also a vital function of the prophetic office. One God-empowered word can bring light, structure and fulfillment into a life that is dark, void and without hope, purpose or form.
Genesis 1:3 marks God’s first recorded words as “Let there be light.” God wasn’t simply foretelling light; His words were literally creating light. A prophet’s first devotion should be to release light and, by doing so, expose darkness. It is time to bring restoration, not devastation.
It takes little effort to uproot and tear down, but it takes love, patience and wisdom to plant and build. Many immature prophets—especially those with strong deliverance backgrounds—are quick to identify the devil’s work in a person without any concern for the human soul. They can accurately identify problems yet fail to give solutions.
A mature prophet, on the other hand, offers what I call prophetic prescriptions. He or she doesn’t give blanket prophecies, but instead truly listens to the Holy Spirit regarding the condition of each human soul. True prophetic ministry imparts grace and truth that sets people free, showing them the way out of their sin or to higher levels of spiritual maturity.