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FSM 317       DO        Tips on Prophecy Meetings--Part 1

Question and answers on how to hold prayer and prophecy meetings.
Compiled by WS Staff.

Copyright © 1997 by The Family -- June 1997.

       "And it shall come to pass in the Last Days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy" (Acts 2:17-18).

Young or old, servant or handmaiden, we've been thrilled to see this verse fulfilled. As the Lord has challenged us to take on the garment of prophecy, many have begun to seek Him for direct guidance and help through prophecy, verses, visions, and revelations. Practicing this gift has been new for many of us, and it's been exciting and amazing to receive His answers!
       In these two FSMs, we're passing on some helpful practical tips for prophecy meetings, what can help us tune in to the Lord's voice and His Spirit more easily, what might be a distraction or hindrance, etc. We've also included a few personal experiences related by people in a WS Home, as well as by your CROs and others; these personal accounts are in italics. Some months ago, you received three GNs of questions and answers about prophecy ("Prophecy Questions You May Have Always Wanted to Ask," Parts 1-3, GNs 655, 667, and 668). These FSMs of practical tips for prophecy meetings should be applied in conjunction with the counsel given in those GNs.
       Please bear in mind that much of what is shared here applies primarily to prayer and prophecy meetings where a number of people are present, when it may be necessary to structure the meeting somewhat so that everything is done in "decency and order." However, in presenting these tips and ideas, we are by no means trying to put the Lord in a box and imply that you have to do it a certain way in order to hear from Him in prophecy. What works well in one situation may not be best in another. So please prayerfully study and discuss these questions and answers as to how to apply them in your Home. We pray they will be a help to you as you gather at the Lord's feet, and ask Him for all He has to give you.
       When reading these tips you might feel a little overwhelmed, thinking, "Well, that may be fine in WS, but in my Home it just doesn't work to do it that way." Or you may think, "Why make such a big deal and have it so structured? I thought prophecy was just stopping and hearing from the Lord?" -- You're right, it is! And in many situations, as you get more used to having prayer and prophecy sessions -- or maybe you already are -- you'll find it to be quite simple and just a matter of stopping, "tuning in," and being a faithful channel to relay what the Lord gives.
       Also, you might already be in the habit of taking time to hear from the Lord personally, just by yourself, or with your mate or companion, very simply and informally, which is great! Like Dad said in "Temple Time," "Any time, anywhere, you can come swiftly out of the wings and enter the temple in spirit and in truth!" (ML#191:21).
       Prophecy really isn't that complicated. It can be very simple and done pretty much on the spot as the need arises; it doesn't always have to be a "big deal." But you may not feel that way after you've read these FSMs of instruction, tips, cautions, safeguards, how to's, etc. It might look very complicated indeed. We're sorry if it appears that way. As mentioned above, in publishing these FSMs we are not establishing a strict set of rules or guidelines that you must follow every time you hear from the Lord in prophecy, but rather simply presenting some tips that we have found helpful when having prophecy meetings ourselves. These are things that we in WS have been able to learn over the years, one point at a time, and because ours was a gradual learning process, it didn't seem so complex. Unfortunately, in these FSMs it's like putting the whole 12-course lesson into one sitting, and that's why it might seem a little daunting.
       You may not feel you need this counsel very much right now -- at least not so much, and not in such great detail! It might seem to you to be a little out of reach. But if prophecy is going to be one of our major ministries in the future, as the Lord has promised it will be, then you can expect that your Home will grow in this ministry, and eventually you will be using the garment of prophecy more and more -- not only for your own edification and guidance, but also to feed and minister to the lost. Points that might seem unnecessary, or like overkill now, will probably come in handy later. So if some points don't apply to your particular situation now, fine. Don't worry about it -- just save them for when they will!
       While we pray you will find the practical details shared in these two mags helpful, please remember that the most important requirements for hearing from the Lord are simply as follows: receiving the Word and putting it into practice, both the New Wine and the older vintages; asking the Lord to erase your own thoughts; being desperate with the Lord for His will; being yielded; believing that what you receive is from Him; and having the faith to give it! So if all you can remember are those main points, you'll do fine!
       As the Lord said in "Getting God's Answers!": "Ye must take time in quietness, listening unto Me. Ye must take time in feeding, feeding of My Words. Ye must take time in asking, asking for My help. Ye must take time in seeking, seeking My direction. And ye must take time in listening unto My voice.
       "Do not fight it, do not resist it, just yield. Just yield to Me. Yield by stopping, yield by looking, yield by listening, yield by putting up your antennas and carefully tuning in to My Spirit in faith, in quietness and in confidence, knowing that as ye tune in to Me, ye shall receive that which I have for you. And that which I have for you will work and will strengthen you and empower you, and it will push you and move you and guide you. And by this, ye shall surely know that it is the power and might of God that leads you and that brings forth victory" (ML #3014:45,47; GN 651).

------------ Question 1--

How do you manage a prophecy session in decency and in order, especially when many people are in the meeting and thus there are many who have prophecies, verses, or visions to share?
       * Begin with good prayer together, asking the Lord for His Spirit to lead and for a prayerful atmosphere to prevail, so that everyone will be able to tune in to His whispers. Specifically pray for the Lord to help each one to be prayerful, prefer his brother, and know when to speak, so that everyone will have a chance to participate and give what the Lord is giving them without being interrupted, so that no Words from the Lord will be lost. This time of prayer and preparation at the beginning can set the stage for the Lord to pour out His Words in a receptive setting.
       * With most Homes now much smaller, there will probably be few large meetings where many people are together asking the Lord to speak. However some situations like this may still arise. Naturally, when there are many people praying together, it takes a little more structure in the meeting for things to run smoothly. Regardless of the size of your group, however, it helps if everyone strives for a spirit of calm and reverence before the Lord, quietly and peacefully asking and waiting for Him to speak, and then speaking in turn. As Dad said, "The bottle has to [DELETED] hold still and be real quiet to get filled up" ("Prayer," ML #36:9:20).
       * While the Lord can speak just as easily through a vision as He can through a prophecy, often it is easier to remember or make a note of a vision, in order to be able to give those later. It can be helpful if those with prophecies are allowed to speak first, and those with visions to share or impressions or verses which they want to expound on go afterwards. Although this is not a hard and fast rule (more will be shared on this point later), this format can contribute to a spirit of order, calm and quiet which allows everyone to hear and deliver the messages the Lord is giving more easily.
       * Often there are short pauses between prophecies, while everyone waits and praises and/or prays quietly. Although this pause can sometimes feel awkward, don't worry about it. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong. You can just use this time and space for tuning in and listening to the Lord. After getting used to pausing like this in prophecy sessions, it won't feel uncomfortable to quietly wait for what the Lord would like to give. But please don't go to the extreme. -- Especially if you're a large group praying, you should try to keep things moving along and don't drag it out too much with long pauses between prophecies, so that people don't get too tired or sleepy.
       * Particularly in a large meeting, many people receive a message or have a verse to give, and sometimes they inadvertently begin to speak at the same time. Or sometimes because no one wants to miss their chance, people may give their prophecy as soon as the last person giving his prophecy pauses, even if the one speaking isn't actually finished. With many messages coming, and everyone wanting to give what they've received, sometimes things can go a little too fast and get confusing. The moderator (the shepherd or person leading the meeting) can help by encouraging a peaceful spirit and a calm atmosphere, which helps people go by turn and not get overly excited to the point that it distracts from the tone of the overall meeting and what the Lord is saying.
       * When finished, the person who gave the prophecy can say "amen" or start praising the Lord, or somehow indicate that his prophecy is finished. Sometimes it's necessary for the person giving the prophecy to pause and pray in the middle of his prophecy, attempting to tune in and clearly receive the rest of a message, and then continue giving it. Other times the prophecy might come with pauses between sentences. So it's important that others wait until each one is finished before giving what they've received, or important Words from the Lord could be lost. So having some sort of pre-arranged signal, like saying "amen" or "thank You Jesus" at the end of your prophecy is a help, so that everyone knows when you're finished and can avoid a prophecy being unintentionally interrupted or cut off.
       * However, some people praise the Lord or pray in tongues during their prophecy to prime the pump. So while saying "amen" or "thank You Jesus" is usually an effective way for them to show they've finished, it's not foolproof in all situations and you may have to agree on something else. If others in the meeting only look for a slight lull in the prophecy as an indication to know when to take their turn, this could also cause problems, as some prophecies come in a halting manner, with pauses, a little at a time. This is why it is helpful is to always allow a little breathing space between each speaker. It can be frustrating if a prophecy is cut short by someone jumping in to give theirs too soon.
       * Sometimes people receive impressions from the Lord, or they feel led to give an explanation of how a verse relates to the topic at hand. We've found that similar to describing visions, it's best to have this type of normal conversation later in the meeting, after the prophecies. It is often helpful to have a time for giving prophecies, when everyone is praying and tuning in to the Spirit, and then a separate time after everyone has opened their eyes, for sharing visions, verses, or impressions they received from the Lord. Elaborating on your own thoughts or impressions or interpretations of a certain verse or quote can be quite distracting for others who are trying to listen to the Lord, to see if they are receiving a prophecy. So it's best to save any commentary until the Lord has finished speaking in prophecy, to prevent breaking the spirit of the meeting or causing people to have to "hold" what they're receiving for too long.
       If someone feels they're getting a prophecy during this time of sharing commentary, they can just say so, and everyone can simply close their eyes and get quiet again, providing an opportunity for the person to give the prophecy.
       * Some people like to have a pen and paper handy in case they want to jot down verses they receive, or key words, or pictures of a vision that they received so that they don't forget them and can then share them after the prophecies are given.

Small Meetings vs. Large Meetings

       * When a larger Home is hearing from the Lord after a united meeting, then of course there can be quite a few people in the prophecy session. Hearing from the Lord all together as a Home (whether large or small) is often helpful not only to get the Lord's instruction, but for the edification and unity of those present, especially when it's an issue involving the whole Home or something which the whole Home is uniting behind and seeking the Lord's direction or confirmation on. However, if you want to ask the Lord for direction or encouragement on a specific topic, or guidance or confirmation of the Lord's will on a decision that needs to be made, it is often easier and more time-efficient to do this in a small group, rather than involving the whole Home.
       * When something needs to be prayed about, the teamwork of a larger Home may call together a small committee from amongst those who have the gift of prophecy, of as few as three or four people, or even just two!
       Or when the whole Home is involved in the prayer meeting, Home members could divide into two or three groups, each group dealing with either the same subject, or different specific aspects of the subject. This can save time and be less tiring for everyone because the prophecy sessions will be shorter since they each have less people. On the other hand, praying all together as one group is sometimes best and more unifying, depending on the situation and subject matter.
       If you divide into small groups, please be sure to share with one another later key portions or generally what the Lord gave in each group. Praying in smaller groups can also serve as a confirmation, as you can see what each group got from the Lord and how it all fits together. Or, if you have two or three subjects to pray about, you could break up into two or three groups and have each group pray for one of the topics.
       Of course, if you're a small Home, then you probably won't usually need to divide into small groups since you'll only have a few people available anyway.
       * People are sometimes less intimidated and more comfortable about giving prophecies in smaller groups. Those who are not so experienced can feel that their contribution is more needed, so this encourages them to draw from the Lord and seek Him more desperately for His Words.
       * In smaller groups, it can be a little easier to receive a prophecy because there is not as much going on. When many prophecies are being given, such as in a large meeting, it can sometimes be difficult to know when to give a prophecy, so people may hold back and not give anything at all.
       * You may get to know each other's style and delivery, and in a smaller setting it can become easier to sense or recognize when someone is getting a prophecy, or when they have finished. With just a few people, things don't need to be as regimented, but can still flow smoothly.

-------------- Question 2 --

How do you know when to give your prophecy? When you're getting something from the Lord, should you say it as soon as you receive it? Or if necessary, is it possible to hold a prophecy and give it later? Is there any way to determine the order of who should speak when?

       *  In short, we should not be too bound by methods or procedures, but simply pray and ask the Lord to speak and to lead, and then speak when He shows us to.
       Some people feel the urge to give what they get from the Lord as soon as it comes; they don't want to forget the beginning of their prophecy or lose their chance. However, if someone else is speaking, you must wait your turn, and be sure that the other person is finished before you begin. The Scripture says, "The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets" (1Cor.14:32), indicating that it is possible to wait, and that the Lord will help you to hold your prophecy until you have the opportunity to give it.
       (Personal testimony:) Sometimes I get pictures, phrases or bits of verses during the prayer, while others are prophesying, or in the pauses between prophecies -- all before I actually begin to give my prophecy. I wonder sometimes if I'll forget it, but then when I give my prophecy, it all comes out in the message the Lord gives. If there are verses or pictures I got which were not included in the prophecy, I usually share those later, after the prophecies are finished. (End of personal testimony.)
       * If you sense that someone else is about ready to begin to prophesy -- perhaps you recognize it by his tongues, praises, or some other indicator -- then you can prefer your brother and wait until he's finished.
       * If two of you start to give a prophecy at the same time, don't worry that you're out of tune or missing the mark somehow. That happens often and it's not a big problem. In such cases, one of the two people who started to speak at the same time can go ahead with his prophecy, and the other person can go next.
       (Personal testimonies:) When I get a prophecy, I always ask the Lord when to take my turn. I don't blurt it out the instant I get it, but I ask the Lord if He wants me to give it right then, or if I should wait a few minutes. Of course, if the meeting is ending and I haven't given my prophecy yet, then I go ahead and give it.

* * *

       Sometimes it's just a matter of waiting for a window of opportunity. It may be all quiet and you know it's time. Everyone else is quiet, so you know it's your turn. (End of personal testimonies.)
       * In larger meetings, the moderator may sometimes feel led to suggest that those newer at exercising the gift of prophecy be given a little more opportunity. At times, he may want to draw out the less experienced or the younger ones, by saying something before the prayer like: "Now we're going to ask the Lord to give us some words of encouragement or counsel for our king, who said he will be coming by for a visit on Sunday. We'd like to encourage those of you who haven't had a chance to give something to have an opportunity to share what the Lord gives you. So perhaps could those of you who are used to giving prophecies please wait for the others to go first if they get something?" Doing this may seem a bit structured, but it encourages those who are trying to strengthen their gift of prophecy to step out by faith to give what the Lord gives them. (See also question #9, pg.13.)
       * In a directional prophecy meeting where you're asking for a very specific answer from the Lord or some explicit words of guidance or direction, there may be more pauses or silences than in other prophecy meetings that seem to be "easier," according to our natural way of looking at things. When those who prophesy feel a lot is depending on what they get from the Lord or if it is a crucial decision they're praying about, then they might possibly feel a little nervous, which makes it more difficult for them to step out by faith and give what they receive. In such cases, people sometimes prefer to spend more time speaking in tongues or seeking the Lord quietly before giving their prophecy. When prophecy sessions move more slowly, it takes a bit more patience, but everyone can use the pauses to keep on praying that the Lord will speak clearly. Also, while it's good to be prayerful and make sure that you're desperate and open to the Lord's voice, don't let the serious nature of the topic at hand dampen your faith to give what the Lord gives you!
       *  There may be times when there is a long pause and people are not giving what they're receiving from the Lord because they need encouragement to step out by faith. At these times, if he or she feels led, the moderator can prime the pump by saying something like, "Is anyone getting anything? Lord, please give us the faith to share what You give us."
       * You may get something that seems directly contrary to what someone else gave, and that makes it harder to give it, but you should still go ahead. Even if you feel like the odd man out, and think maybe your prophecy doesn't jive with other things that were shared, don't hold it in, but just ask the Lord to guide you as to when to give it.
       If you feel more comfortable doing so, you can always wait till after the meeting and go record (dictate, type or write out by hand) in private what you felt the Lord was giving you. Then you could give it to the moderator or shepherd and explain that you felt you were getting something that seemed different from what everyone else got, and it was more comfortable for you to receive it privately to avoid others wondering what's up or feeling confused in any way.
       But one way or another it's very important to give what the Lord gives you, even if it seems contrary to what others are getting, because the Lord may be trying to get through a special message with another side to the situation. Often you may think what you're receiving is contradictory, especially if you've only received the first phrases or sentences. But if you're yielded and praying desperately, what usually happens is that after you give whatever you received from the Lord, if you study the prophecies and look at the overall message and how it applies to your situation, you will see that what you received was not contradictory after all, but was another aspect or side of the message the Lord wanted to give. Usually, all the prophecies together give the full, well-rounded message from the Lord. So just because something seems at first to be contradictory, doesn't mean that it is, so you shouldn't jump to conclusions that something is wrong or false, simply because it initially seems "contradictory."
       * If after the prophecies have been studied, they seem contradictory, you can go back to the Lord and ask for further clarification or more information. You can even specifically ask Him why there is a seeming contradiction between one prophecy and another. Whenever you have a question about prophecies you've received, if they seem contradictory or if they don't seem to give the full counsel you need and you're still left wondering what to do, just ask the Lord to speak again. He's more than willing to give added information and explanation when you need it!
       * If you get a directional prophecy at a certain point, and then some days or months elapse after that prophecy session, or conditions change somewhat, it might be very good to confirm that prophecy. The Lord has told us several times to confirm and reconfirm, because as conditions change, certainly the Lord's directions can change.
       Also, sometimes as people's choices change, that can change things also. Sometimes the Lord can't tell us a specific answer to something because He's waiting on people's choices in the matter. When they've made their choices then He can tell us better what to do. So sometimes there is the need for checking and rechecking, when you're asking the Lord for direction in prophecy.
       * If you receive the same or very similar message as someone else, you should still give it, even if you think it's a duplication. It can act as a confirmation or give an emphasis the Lord intends. Always give what the Lord gives you. As Dad said in "Faith": "If you've got an open channel and tune in, the Lord will fill you -- your mind, your heart, your ears, your eyes! [DELETED] You have to be willing to take what He gives, and give it!" ("Faith," ML #73:16,19).

-------------- Question 3 --

What is it like when you're getting something from the Lord? What do you feel and how do you know you're actually getting something from Him? How much do you hear before you start to give it?

       * Many people don't feel anything special or unusual at all when prophesying. Other people experience a whole range of different emotions when getting a prophecy. Emotions or feelings can vary from person to person, and from session to session. Some feel very moved at times, and at other times feel nothing. Some may feel like crying with some prophecies, and at other times like laughing, and still other times like their stomach is in knots. Some people have sweaty palms every time they prophesy, feeling nervous, etc. Others may habitually get a picture before the words, but at other times have no picture until they give the words. So it is a spiritual experience that varies from person to person and session to session.
       Whether you feel something or not as you give your prophecy does not make the message contained therein more or less valid. The feelings you have when you receive a prophecy have nothing to do with the validity of that prophecy. Just because one person feels something or is very emotional while giving a message from the Lord and another is not, does not make one prophecy "heavier" or more important than the other!
       (Personal testimony:) I had feelings for years with my prophecies, but all of a sudden these feelings stopped. I think the Lord used the feelings in the beginning to help me recognize that He was giving me something, and then when I was more experienced at discerning His voice, the feelings stopped. (End of personal testimony.)
       *  It helps to realize that the feelings are not important, and you should learn to give what you get, regardless of whether you feel something or not. Emotions are changeable and influenced by many random factors, so using them as a signal or indicator can limit your faith in what the Lord is giving you. For example, maybe you feel uncomfortable during a certain prayer and prophecy session, and because of it you don't think you're hearing clearly from the Lord, when really the problem is something completely unrelated -- like maybe you're tired or hungry! So don't let your feelings (or lack of feelings) affect you when hearing from the Lord.
       * Just remember there is no set formula to go by. Once you've prayed for answers or for encouragement or you've asked the Lord to speak about whatever He would like to give you, He will answer because He has promised to. He said, "Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it" (Psa.81:10). Another good passage to claim is Mat.7:7-11: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that ask Him?"
       *  Some people say that the Lord will often pop a verse into their mind which is like a signal or a green light that the Lord is giving them something and that they need to follow that thread by faith.
       (Personal testimony:) As far as how much to get before I give it, I don't ask for too much because I won't remember it. If the Lord gives me a line or two, or a phrase, I wait and pray about it, and then when there's an opportunity, I go ahead and give it. Then the Lord gives more if He has more for me to share. (End of personal testimony.)
       * Following is a quote that illustrates the importance of giving what you receive from the Lord by faith, even if you only receive a few words or a sentence. Dad wrote, "When I got the "Gap Vision" that day [EDITED: "referring to "Stand in the Gap," ML #70"], I was praying, 'Lord, what is the solution? What should I do?' And all of a sudden there it was! Just like the mother presents her breast to the child, all of a sudden I saw the picture. But that's all I saw, until I began to suck! The Lord said, 'Start describing it by faith and you'll get more.' I had to exercise my faith that that picture I was getting was of God, and I had to exercise my faith by opening my mouth and starting to suck. In other words, I began to absorb what the Lord was giving -- to drink it in and absorb it. I was showing I was believing what I was seeing -- so I started pulling!" ("Faith," ML #73:4).
       * It can happen that some of the same points the Lord is giving you will also show up in what the others are giving. This can serve as a encouraging confirmation that what you are receiving is a prophecy, and helps in learning to discern the Lord's voice.
       (Personal testimonies:) When I began to exercise the gift of prophecy, in almost every session someone would give something similar to what I felt I was receiving from the Lord, which was a great help to me in knowing that I was indeed getting a prophecy. One time I gave a prophecy and later someone said that before I gave my prophecy, they saw a picture, and immediately the description of {\ul \i their} vision came in {\ul \i my} prophecy, although they had not described it themselves out loud.

* * *

       A couple of times my prophecies began with a very unusual verse, and afterwards people shared that they had received the same unusual verse, but without knowing how it related until it came out in my prophecy. These were all very encouraging confirmations.

* * *

       In one session, somebody was giving a prophecy, and I was getting the same words at exactly the same time. Things like that give you the faith that it's a prophecy from the Lord and not your own thoughts. (End of personal testimonies.)
       * While you can trust that the Lord will do all He can to answer your prayer and come through when you have cleared your mind and asked Him to speak, there may be times that the Enemy will try to jam your channel. There are several ways to determine if what you're getting is of the Lord, or is the Enemy's distraction. First of all, your Family training in the Word is a tremendous blessing. From your knowledge of the written Word -- the Letters and the Bible -- you know if the message you are receiving agrees with the recorded voice of the Lord. Therefore this would be the first criterion -- if what you are receiving is in tune with the Word. If you are receiving thoughts or feelings that are contradictory to the fundamental principles of the Word, these could be distractions or even attacks of the Enemy to get you off track.
       *  A second criterion would be if what you are receiving will minister faith and edification to the hearers. The Lord's Words always edify His children, and even if there is a chastisement or chiding, it is done in a loving way. (For more counsel on messages of correction received in prophecy, see ML #3041:16,17.)
       (Personal testimony:) As far as knowing if a prophecy is from the Lord, I know the Lord is always broadcasting and the message is always there. It's just a matter of tapping in. It's a decision of faith. I try to clear my heart and mind of my own thoughts, by asking the Lord to take out anything that's not of Him or that is of me. Once I know I've truly done that, I can have the faith that I have a clean slate and wait for the Lord to speak. I believe that if I've prayed, asked Him to clear my heart and mind, and then asked Him for something, what I get is of the Lord. After a while, I learned where the "breast" was, as Dad describes in the Letter "Faith" (ML #73). I've been doing it for a little while now, so I've learned to recognize when the Lord is giving me a prophecy, and I give the message by faith. (End of personal testimony.)
       * During the prophecy session, once you've yielded your heart and will to the Lord and asked Him to clear your mind, you should just give what you get in faith, trusting that it is the Lord, rather than trying to analyze every sentence as it comes out as to whether it's the Lord or not. However, if you start to get something that is obviously contrary to the Word, then you would know that it's not of the Lord. In that case, you should rebuke the Enemy's static and not give something until you know it's the Lord.
       * Dad explains more about hearing from the Lord in the Letter "Faith," mentioned above: "You just have to have faith. When you ask the Lord for an answer, expect an answer, and take the first thing that comes. If you really believe and ask the Lord, and you want to hear or see, you won't be disappointed! And that thing you see or hear with the eyes or ears of your spirit, that's the Lord -- and it will be such a comfort to you. Expect God to answer! Just open up your heart and let the sunshine in! [DELETED] If you're really desperate and crying with your whole heart and are asking Him, He'll answer!" (ML #73:1).
       * If you are new at receiving prophecies, or if you need strengthening or bolstering in exercising your gift, it can sometimes help to talk about how you got your prophecy after the meeting, either one on one with the moderator, or together in a group. If you feel wobbly about hearing from the Lord in prophecy, or would like counsel about something you gave, it can help to talk with others about how their prophecies, verses, or visions come, and to see the different ways the Lord uses to get through to us.
       (Personal testimonies:) In one prayer and prophecy meeting, I got a picture of Florence Nightingale. She walked up to me and just waited her turn to speak. I even argued with the Lord that maybe a girl could give the prophecy instead of me, but nobody else was getting it so I had to go ahead. I had Martin Luther do the same thing with me on another occasion.

* * *

       Through the years, I have had the habit of writing down verses or little things I would get from the Lord in my quiet time. When reading over them later, I have been surprised to see how the Lord had been instructing me about my situation at the time, though I didn't see how significant these little things were then. I saw that I had been getting prophecies all this time, but I didn't realize it. (End of personal testimonies.)

-------------- Question 4 --

If you're leading or moderating a prophecy meeting, how do you know when to end it? How can you determine whether the Lord has given all He wants to, and when you can wind things up?

       * If everyone is quiet for a minute or two after the last prophecy was given, the moderator can give everyone a last chance to give something, or ask the Lord if He has anything to add. If nothing else comes, the moderator can indicate that that's the end of the portion of the meeting for prophecies and then people can share visions, impressions, verses, etc.
       * If the prophecies die down and it seems the question for which you're seeking the Lord's direction is not fully answered, you can take a moment to discuss where things stand. If it seems there are points that still need to be clarified, you can pray again and ask the Lord for the specifics, further details, or clarifications you need, or if you've run out of the time allotted for that prayer session, you can agree to schedule a follow-up meeting to ask the Lord further questions.
       * In a meeting in which you're asking for specific guidance or the Lord's leading on a decision to be made where everything has gone in one direction, if the moderator feels so led, he could even ask at the end if anyone has received anything on the other side. For example, when praying about sending a pioneer team to a new city, the moderator may say something like: "The Lord seems to be saying that we should send a team to this city, but is anyone getting anything that seems to be to the contrary? Any other sides to the question? Please don't hesitate to give what the Lord gives you!" Asking if someone has something on the other side of the issue can sometimes help someone to give something they might not have the faith to give otherwise.
       * Prophecy meetings can have different purposes: For some you may want to have a planned time frame, while for others you may want to leave yourself open as to however long it would last. For example, after a Home meeting, you may wish to ask the Lord if He has anything to add to what was discussed, any encouragement or confirmation of your plans. By this time it could be late and people could be tired, so you may want to suggest that the prophecy part of your meeting does not have to be long. Although you don't want to cut the Lord short, people could just be encouraged to go ahead and give what they receive readily, trying to avoid long pauses between prophecies.
       * Also, if you have to cut your meeting off at a specific time and everyone has not had a chance to give their prophecies or share their visions or verses yet, then they can put them on tape individually after the meeting, so those points can be included with the other messages the Lord gave.
       * However, if you're getting together for the express purpose of seeking the Lord's direction about something specific or an important decision, it would probably be best, if possible, to not put a hard-and-fast time limit on your prayer session. In this case you would want to give the Lord ample opportunity to speak and answer all aspects of your question, even if it takes a little longer or takes additional prayer and prophecy.
       * In trying to get a specific answer from the Lord, it also helps to realize that if the answer is indefinite, it may be because the Lord is taking into account other factors which may not be known to you. Therefore, if all your questions are not answered after a couple of requests, it may be best to wait and pray again at a later date.
       (Personal testimony:) Recently I asked for prayer about making a trip to visit my parents. The stage was set, I felt, because other relatives would be visiting at the same time. However, the results of the prayer and prophecy meeting were a little indefinite. The Lord was saying that it was good to go, but that I shouldn't worry about exactly {\ul \i when}. This puzzled me, as I had heard there was going to be a family reunion at a specific time. Later I found out that the other relatives would not be visiting at the time I thought. The Lord knew this, therefore the results of the prophecy session fit perfectly with what was really happening. The Lord knew more about the situation than I did, and though I first thought His answers were vague, I later found that they fit the situation perfectly. (End of personal testimony.)

-------------- Question 5 --

Any tips about describing visions? Should people give the interpretations of visions they receive?

       * It's good to remember that you are the only one who has seen your vision, so you should paint the word picture thoroughly and well, so that others can see it as you did. Be sure to include any details needed to give a complete picture, as you see it. Try, however, to be concise in your description and to not go on and on with unnecessary repetition.
       * Painting the picture may also involve explaining an impression or feeling that you got with the vision. It's good to explain what the vision means to you, as otherwise it may not be understood by others. However, please be prayerful in your description, so that you do not add to or embellish the vision. Ask the Lord to help you describe what you saw, what you felt, if anything, and possibly what you thought it meant.
       *  Sometimes when you get an impression, it's the Lord laying a prophecy on your heart. Pray about this, and if you get the first part of a prophecy, give it. This way what you give won't only be your impression, but it will be even more specific, being what the Lord had to say about it.
       *  It's fine to explain the meaning of the vision as you understood it, and even give impressions that you felt concerning it, but it's best to stop short of a sermon or preachment or from reaching a conclusion on the matter based solely on your vision. For example, someone might say, "I saw a beautiful woman who was lonely and begging for help. ... The impression I got was that this woman represented the country that we are praying about going to. ..." This is fine. However, to go further and interpret the vision, or make an application of it on the spot would not be wise, as this is better to do afterwards. For example, you would want to avoid saying something like, "Based on my vision, I think we should not wait until we have more landing funds, but go right away as the woman in my vision was so desperate, etc. [DELETED]"
       It's usually best to prayerfully interpret and apply the visions, along with all the rest of the verses and prophecies, after everyone is finished giving what they received from the Lord, so that you can make your decision based on the full counsel of the Lord received during the prophecy session.
       In some instances you'll need to discuss and reach a decision immediately after the prayer session, based on what the Lord said. But if the matter is not timely and there is time before making a decision until you can type up and review the Lord's message later, that's better. When reading over the transcript of the prophecies, visions and verses, you catch a lot more than when just hearing them.

-------------- Question 6 --

Are there any additional tips on when to share verses and visions?

       * As mentioned earlier (see question #1, page 2), generally it seems best to share visions or impressions at the end of the prophecy meeting, in order to avoid distracting those who are receiving prophecy. (In the GNs, the visions, if they are related, are often placed immediately after their corresponding prophecy, to make it easier for you to get the full meaning of the visions. However in the actual prophecy meetings, these visions are often not shared when the prophecy is given, but later, at the end of the meeting) On the other hand, there are those who receive visions with their prophecies, and who share them in such a way that the flow is not disrupted. Perhaps they see a picture, describe it, and then receive a related prophecy. In that case, it's beneficial to share the vision as it's being received.
       *  A verse can sometimes be the beginning of a prophecy. It may be that the Lord is trying to get you to exercise your gift of prophecy more, and once you've given the one verse you've received, if you keep listening, the Lord will give you more.
       * If you feel led to share a verse during the part of the meeting while others are giving prophecies, you can just quote the verse, without saying, "I have a verse the Lord gave me." Just give the verse without any introduction or commentary, to avoid unnecessary talking. Then wait to see if the Lord gives you more. If not, then you can indicate that you have no more to share by saying "amen" or by praising the Lord, or by some other signal.
       * Some people don't get "original" prophecies, but the Lord speaks to them using His written Word, which can be very feeding. So you should share whatever you get from the Lord, whether it be a verse, vision, prophecy, or MO quote, either during or at the end of the meeting.
       * So to sum it up, there are times when it is good to share verses and visions early on in the meeting (as they could be the key to unlock the counsel the Lord wants to give you), but generally many find it most helpful to the overall flow of the meeting if the verses and visions, with their accompanying explanations, are at the end of the meeting, after all the direct prophecies have been given. Do what fits best in your situation and what you feel is most conducive to people hearing from the Lord and giving what they get. You might want to discuss this point together as a Home and see what you prefer.

-------------- Question 7 --

Some people's prophecies are usually long, and will sometimes go on for 15 minutes. Should the moderator say anything about that? Are there any guidelines on long prophecies?

       * In this new day, the Lord is encouraging us all to hear from Him in prophecy, and to exercise this gift more than we have in the past. So generally speaking, we would not want to discourage anyone from giving their prophecy as they are receiving it from the Lord, whether short or long.
       * Someone who often gives long prophecies could perhaps let the others go first at times. This helps others to not be discouraged from giving a prophecy that is shorter. (See questions #2, pg.5 and #9, pg13.)
       * As you exercise your gift of prophecy more and more, you may find that some of your Home members begin to give longer prophecies. Therefore, it's probable that your prayer sessions will become longer. This is fine, except for the problem that if there are a number of people at a meeting, and a few long prophecies are given, everyone else may not have time to give what they're receiving from the Lord because there isn't time. If this is happening regularly, it may be helpful to break up into smaller groups. This will give everyone a chance to prophesy or get something from the Lord, and it will avoid the longer prophecies taking up so much of the time available as they might do if you were to pray all together. (See question #1, pg.2.)
       (Personal testimony:) When I receive prophecies from the Lord, it sometimes seems that He could go on and on for hours! Like Dad says, He is only limited by our capacity to receive. It's as though I've turned on a switch, and the Lord keeps pouring out. However, I know that it's not good to go on too long in some meetings, both for the sake of time, and for the sake of others who would like their turn to prophesy. So I just ask the Lord to show me when to stop, what is the end of the prophecy that I am supposed to give at that time. -- And then I get a clear impression from Him when to end. (End of personal testimony.)
       *  The moderator should not stop anyone's prophecy simply because of the length, but allow each person to give what he is getting from the Lord. The length of a prophecy has nothing to do with whether it's of the Lord or not. It is the responsibility of the person who gives the prophecy to determine when he's given enough, and when his message from the Lord is finished.

-------------- Question 8 --

Can it happen that one person gets several prophecies in a single prophecy session?

       * Yes, it's possible that one person will give several prophecies in the same session, especially when there are only a few people in the session.
       * Someone may need to give another prophecy because he or she lost their concentration and/or ended their prophecy too soon. Or, maybe they were interrupted by someone else's prophecy and were not able to finish the first time around.

-------------- Question 9 --

Any guidelines about the same person starting off the prophecy session each time?

       * If those experienced in giving prophecies go first every time, it can intimidate or discourage those who are newer at exercising the gift. They may feel that the little they had to give was already given by more experienced ones. So if someone always goes first, he or she may want to wait and allow others a chance to go first at times.
       However, a prophecy can be just as anointed and important if it's shorter or sounds less polished, so people shouldn't compare their gift with someone else's.
       * Sometimes people are nervous about giving the first prophecy, especially if they're asking the Lord's counsel on a weighty matter or important decision, because they feel it will set the tone of the prayer session. However, this is not the right way to look at it. Prophecies are the Word of the Lord! If everyone is praying desperately and completely yielded to the Lord's will, then each person who gives a prophecy or verse or vision will be receiving part of the message from the Lord. Since He is the One Who gives the message, He certainly knows what He wants to say. Therefore it's not like His message will be changed or affected or heavily "influenced" by which channels happen to go first, second, third, etc. It's not like the first person to speak can actually affect or change the overall message the Lord intends to give in your prayer meetings, as long as everyone in the prayer session is faithful to give everything the Lord gives them, even if it seems to be somewhat different from the earlier message(s).
       The only way the first prophecy or prophecies could actually influence the prayer session or set the tone would be if the ones receiving later messages lack the faith to give their prophecies if they feel they are slightly different or even contrary to the earlier ones. If people look to the message of the first prophecy and then refuse to give whatever they're getting if it's different, then unfortunately, the first prophecy could influence the meeting or set the tone. -- Or rather, your reaction to the first prophecy could influence or set the tone for the meeting, because of your lack of faith.
       Therefore, because people sometimes lack the faith to give something that seems to contradict the first prophecy (even though they shouldn't lack the faith to give whatever the Lord gives them), if you go first, as always, you should do everything you can to make sure that you're open to the Lord's will and are a yielded channel for His Words.
       But if everyone is yielded and praying desperately, and they are faithful to give what they receive regardless of whether it seems different than the earlier prophecies, then you can be sure the Lord will have His way in the overall message given, regardless of who goes first or last! Each prophecy is a unique message from the Lord, Dad, or our spirit helpers. What one channel receives should not affect what another channel receives. So to put too much weight on the first prophecy given and the message contained therein is not right.
       It is understandable that you would look to the previous messages for confirmation of what you're receiving. That is a natural reaction. And it is also understandable that you'd be in the fear of the Lord and not want to give something false or wrong, because it is a very heavy responsibility to actually speak the Lord's Words, and it does need to be taken very, very seriously. However, on the other hand, you can also err by not speaking His Words, which would result in the counsel from your prayer session being incomplete or off balance.
       As mentioned earlier, sometimes what may initially seem to be contradictory, upon further prayerful consideration is found to be a different angle or part of the overall message, and not a contradiction at all. It's important to remember this, because sometimes when you're receiving something different, a message that is contrary to earlier prophecies, it makes you afraid of being wrong or making a mistake; and unless you have strong faith, that fear can cause you to doubt, hold back and not give what you're receiving. So in that sense, the first prophecies could affect the outcome of your prayer meeting. -- But this would not be because the order of the prophecies has any actual power to change the message the Lord wants to give, but only if people react with a lack of faith and then don't give what the Lord is giving them. So please be very prayerful, desperate and yielded, and then give what the Lord gives you, regardless of whether you're first, second, third or last to speak, and regardless of what the previous prophecies have said!

------------ Question 10 --

What about when people prophesy and the leader says, "Amen, praise the Lord!" at the end of the prophecy? -- Does that help? Does that encourage people or does it distract? Should a moderator "amen" a person's prophecy while they are giving it, or afterwards?

       * If you as the moderator feel things need to be stirred up somehow, one way to do so is by inserting some "amen's" or short prayers in between the prophecies, asking the Lord to speak and to give everyone faith to give what they're receiving.
       * Some people will do some "amen-ing" or thank the Lord very quietly even during other people's prophecies, which can be encouraging for some. However, generally those who are prophesying need to try to stay focused on the Lord as much as possible, and the sound of people "amen-ing" or thanking the Lord out loud might be more of a distraction and hindrance than an encouragement. So while some may be encouraged by it, others may be distracted, so if you're not sure, it's better to avoid anything that could hinder someone receiving the Words the Lord has to give us. Nevertheless, you have to be Spirit-led on this point. Particularly in a small Home, you can get to know what helps or distracts different ones in your Home while prophesying. Or you can discuss it as a Home and different ones can share their preferences.
       *  If there is someone new or less fluent at giving prophecy, who is a little hesitant in giving the message he's receiving, and he's almost ready to give up, it can be helpful if the moderator gives some sort of reassurance, such as an occasional amen when needed. Given at the right time, it can lift the pressure and encourage someone to keep going. (See Dad's sample in "God's Gifts," ML #1741.)
       * On the other hand, one problem with the shepherd amen-ing some prophecies is that if he doesn't amen when others are prophesying, those folks might start to worry that what they're getting is not from the Lord, and therefore be hesitant to continue giving their prophecy. If you as the shepherd foresee this being a problem, you can address it with the Home and explain that it's not that you don't think a certain prophecy is from the Lord if you don't say "amen" while the person is prophesying, but it's just that some people find it distracting to have someone say anything at all while they are giving their prophecy.
       * In some cases giving "amens" is not viewed as simple encouragement, but some people may take it as an on-the-spot judgment or confirmation of the prophecy. If that's the case, the moderator can remind people that just because someone may say "amen" after a prophecy, it doesn't mean that they're judging the prophecy, but rather just encouraging the prophet. But if it's a distraction or people tend to take it the wrong way, then it's fine to just refrain altogether from "amen-ing" during the prophecy session. (Please see GN 677 for more on judging and interpreting prophecy.)

------------ Question 11 --

Are there any tips on how to clear your mind of your own thoughts or opinions?

       * Singing, praising, speaking in tongues -- all these can help clear your mind and create an atmosphere conducive to hearing from the Lord. Reading a Psalm, a Daily Might page, some Praise Kisses, or sharing a few verses or MOP quotes on faith, prophecy, etc., can also help you leave your own thoughts behind, build your faith, and help prepare you for tuning in to His whispers.
       (Personal testimony:) There are a lot of outside factors that can affect the way I come into a prophecy meeting. Maybe I just came in from town or maybe I'm having a hard day. Then I am asked to be in a prayer and prophecy meeting and it's hard to lay those things aside and hear from the Lord. Or perhaps I have strong personal opinions about the topic for which we are praying and feel a need to draw close to the Lord and ask Him to cleanse my mind of my own opinions. When my mind is full of the business of the day, it can take a little bit of time and effort and sincere earnest prayer to unplug from what went on before. (End of personal testimony.)
       In your opening prayer, it's important to not only pray against distractions and for the recording equipment, etc., but a good prayer against preconceived ideas is also important, to help you disconnect from any of your own emotions or feelings. There may be previous opinions, traditional mind-sets, or social pressures that you would like to remove so you will be able to say, "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer" (Psa.45:1b). You can do this by praying and asking the Lord to help you be yielded, to clear your heart and mind, and to erase anything that's not of Him. Once you've done this, you can know by faith that you are presenting a blank sheet of paper to the Lord for Him to write on.
       * If you are yielded and desperate to hear His Word, and call out sincerely and ask Him to not let any of your own thoughts get in the way, the Lord will do it. Faith, yieldedness and humility are the keys.
       * When the issue is emotionally charged, even more desperate and heartfelt prayer is needed to clear your mind and heart, particularly if you were stirred up in favor of one point of view in the discussion! One idea is to wait till the next day for your prayer and prophecy meeting. Or if you do need to pray about it then and there, take a ten-minute break. During this time you can ask the Lord to calm your spirit and help you have an open channel.
       * If you happen to know what the subject matter will be before you get together for prayer and prophecy, rather than discussing it with others, you may want to wait and see what the Lord says first, and then discuss it afterwards. Like Dad says in "Stop ... Look ... and Listen!" "One of the main principles involved in making a decision is: Don't start talking -- pray!" (ML #74:1).
       * However, sometimes some discussion is necessary before seeking the Lord for the matter, in order to determine what the problem is that needs solving, or what specific question you need to ask the Lord for an answer to. However, too much debate can sometimes lead to people making their minds up before you ask the Lord for His leading and direction, in which case you have to be sure you ask the Lord to remove your preconceived ideas or foregone conclusions, before asking Him to speak.
       * When discussing the matter before prayer to decide exactly what issue you need to hear from Him on, or when formulating the question to ask the Lord, it's important to keep an open mind and heart. Like Dad has said, "The first requirement for finding God's will is having no will of your own" (MOP 114:12). One of the most important prerequisites to being a clear channel of the Lord's Words is to be yielded to whatever He may have to say. He may confirm the burden that He has put in your heart or what He has shown you previously through the other ways to know God's will. On the other hand, He may show you something completely different than what you previously thought or felt. But either way, you have to be open and yielded in order to get what He has to say.
       * The moderator's job, regardless of whether a teamworker or a Home member, is to help things go smoothly, and do what can be done to facilitate people being able to hear clearly from the Lord. The moderator therefore must be very Spirit-led in presenting the question that you want to pray about, to avoid making it appear that one answer would be preferable over another. The same should be done by individuals who have a question that they would like others to ask the Lord about. They may want to mention their own burdens or how they personally feel led, but they should still include pros and cons, and try to present a balanced picture including all sides of the question, as much as possible.
       * When you have a prophecy session regarding a specific individual, if it's a sensitive issue, in some cases it may be easier for those hearing from the Lord to have the faith to give what they receive if the person whom it directly affects is not present during the prophecy session. Hearing from the Lord about someone who is there in the room with you can sometimes be a bit distracting, because if you start worrying about how they might react to what the Lord gives, then you might hold back and not give all that the Lord wants, especially if what the Lord gives is different than what the person wanted or was hoping for.
       Of course, sometimes the person affected may need to be in the prayer session. In that case, you need to be desperate with the Lord for a clear channel and ask the Lord for the faith to just give what you get.
       If you're praying for the Lord's encouragement for someone, that person might prefer to be there in order to partake of the Lord's Words on the spot.
       * If the prophecy meeting is about a topic which you have personal feelings about, such as a big change that could affect you personally, or if you are emotionally affected by the topic, you should ask the Lord to clear your mind of your own thoughts and feelings and help you be yielded to whatever direction He may want to give, even if it may run contrary to your own desires. -- After all, He knows best, and He's not going to tell you anything that's bad for you. "Everything God shows you always works out!" (MOP 142:13).
       * Remember that you don't need all the facts and figures to go into a prayer meeting, because the purpose of prophecy is to get the Lord's Words and hear what He has to say. While on some occasions, the Lord may have already been leading you through the other ways to know God's will, ultimately what you know or don't know about the situation, or how you feel, doesn't affect your being able to get an answer from the Lord, as He's not limited by your prior knowledge or the lack of it!
       However, depending on the topic, it can sometimes help to have some background on the subject matter being prayed about. Being filled in about the circumstances can help those receiving the prophecies to stir themselves up more, giving them a burden for the situation, and helping them to have faith to give what they receive. Knowing some of the circumstances or details of the situations you're praying about also helps you to know what specific questions to ask the Lord. Often, the more specific the questions, the more specific the answers.
       (Testimony from a CRO office:) We were praying about bringing someone into our office, and first we got together as a teamwork to hear from the Lord about it. What we got seemed to indicate that this person should come. But we felt we needed a confirmation to make sure that this was indeed the Lord's will and plan, so we asked our office staff to help us pray about it. In discussing how we should go about it, however, we wondered if we should tell our staff {\ul \i who} this person was, or what {\ul \i we} got from the Lord about it, or if we should just tell them that we prayed and got an answer, and we wanted to see if {\ul \i they} would get the same thing or something different.
       The conclusion we came to was that in some cases it may be better to know who the person is, whereas in other cases it may be better not to know. Anyway, we decided {\ul \i not} to tell our office staff who the person was, but we asked them to pray about whether we should bring him or her in or not. Some staff members were a bit reluctant to pray about this at first because it was something new and different, as they had so little information to go on. But just to show that it's really all the Lord, when we heard the prophecies that they received, it was {\ul \i amazing}! What they got was almost {\ul \i exactly} the same as what we had gotten, and some of the verses and visions were exactly the same! The prophecies they had gotten, as well as the ones we had gotten, explained why the Lord wanted to bring that person, which were reasons we hadn't known about before. As the staff didn't even know who they were praying about, they couldn't just think that it was their own opinion, or that they had "influenced" the prophecy, but we all knew it was definitely the Lord! (End of testimony from a CRO office.)
       * Mama commented about the idea of prophecies being "influenced" by personal opinions, who is in the prayer session, outside circumstances, etc. She said:
       "To think that prophecies are influenced by this or by that or by something else suggests that prophecies are a lot more of human making than they are the very Words of God! I don't see that most of our folks here or at our other WS units are that influenced by outside factors. Of course, it's because they're all very close to the Lord and in the fear of Him or of making any mistakes, and they are kept pretty humble and pretty yielded by the Lord due to their own desires to be so, and the help of good shepherding. Plus, because we have to give out the Word to the worldwide Family, the Lord gives special gifts to us here to get things clearly and fully. But the point is, if people are desperate to be right and they cry out to the Lord, it doesn't seem like they should have so much of a problem with all these other things, and have to be so worried about being "influenced." (End of comment from Mama.)

------------ Question 12 --

What do you find distracting in a prophecy session, and what are some ways to avoid distractions?

       * Do all you can to insure that there are comfortable seating arrangements, the room is a good temperature, and there is plenty of good ventilation. As much as possible, try to have your meeting in a quiet place. (Of course some distractions such as children's activities, noisy traffic, music being played outside your home, or barking dogs can't be avoided due to circumstances. In such cases, you just have to try your best to concentrate in spite of noises. Mama has commented that our sometimes having to hear from the Lord in noisy conditions will help to prepare us for the days to come when we may have to hear from the Lord in inconvenient, or even warlike conditions.)
       *  It is recommended that you put a sign outside the room to indicate that there is a prayer and prophecy meeting going on, so that folks will be aware of this, know to speak softly outside the door, and not to interrupt the meeting.
       * As the meeting begins, the moderator can ask everyone if they are comfortable, and if the seating and temperature, etc., is OK, and then changes can be made if needed.
       * Most people find it distracting to hold hands in a prophecy meeting, especially if it's a long meeting. Your body doesn't have to be in any set position to pray and hear from the Lord, so whatever is most comfortable and will allow everyone to concentrate on getting the Lord's Words is best.
       *  If you have room, it can sometimes help to have a little space between people so you don't get distracted when, for instance, someone next to you shifts in his chair.
       *  In a large group, make sure everyone can hear everyone else. People should be encouraged to speak up and not cover their mouths with their hands when prophesying, so that everyone can hear and not have to battle against their minds wandering during a prophecy they can't hear. (Clear delivery is also important for good recordings.)
       * If you have a number of questions to ask the Lord about in a longer prayer and prophecy meeting, it's good to take a break every so often between questions. People can get a drink, go to the toilet, or just move around a little bit and stretch their legs.

------------ Question 13 --

What about people giving prophecies which are very forceful, dramatic, or emotional? Should people be encouraged to hold back emotions when giving a prophecy? Also, how much should the moderator step in when the tone of the prophecy seems to be causing a negative reaction in those present?

       * Delivery can sometimes be intimidating and distracting to those listening, and a forceful delivery can tend to add undue weight to a prophecy. If the results of the delivery seem to be negative, it could be helpful to suggest to the person later, privately, that in future prophecies it would be good to tone down the emotions or the drama of the presentation. The toning down of the presentation should not affect, limit or hinder the content of the message itself.
       * This is not to say that there is no room for some emotion when prophesying. There were times when Dad would weep while getting a message from the Lord. But those who have some of the most beautiful gifts of prophecy do not necessarily prophesy loudly or with a lot of drama, though there may be times when they may weep with their prophecies or the Lord Himself may present the prophecy in a more dramatic tone.
       (From a new arrival at WS:) When I came here, I was surprised to see how calmly everyone prophesied. I was used to people who had a gift of prophecy giving their messages in a very bold and dramatic way. Here I noticed right away how no one seemed to really stand out. When people are so dramatic about their prophecies every time, it makes you think that they really have an unusually heavy gift, more than others. It may make you feel that if you get your prophecies in a more quiet way, you may not have as much of a gift. So to see everyone here being quite calm about it seems to show that it is possible to control your spirit, and that it can actually be a help to do so. (End of comment from new arrival.)
       If the situation which you're praying about is fairly intense or serious, causing people to be a little fearful, it might be good to start off with a prayer against fear and worry, asking the Lord to replace it with faith and trust in Him and His solutions. In order to receive what the Lord has to say, you need to come before Him in faith that He will speak and that He has the answers to every situation. "For he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Heb.11:6b).
       (Personal testimony:) I was once in a Home that was deeply in debt, and we had a prayer and prophecy meeting, desperately asking the Lord to help us and to take care of our financial problems. (He later did, thank the Lord!) The meeting was emotionally charged, as we were praying prayers of repentance and asking the Lord if we were doing anything wrong. One sweet Home member began to speak in tongues in a fearful way that was awesome and scary. The moderator gently said something like, "God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of peace." It wasn't a rebuke, but it helped allay everyone's fears and bring more calm and trust into our meeting. (End of personal testimony.)
       *  Sometimes a prophecy may not be blatantly off track, but you as the shepherd or moderator leading the meeting might wonder about what was said, or maybe it had a bit of a heavy tone or delivery. In such a case, it's best not to attempt to judge or interpret the prophecy either at the moment it's given or at the close of the prayer session, so as to avoid causing a major disruption of the meeting or causing people to worry. If you as the moderator or shepherds wonder about a prophecy, it's best to listen to it again later, or read it over again after it's transcribed, and pray about it. You should ask the Lord for further explanation about the prophecy, and for a confirmation about whether anything needs to be said either to the individual or the Home to clarify the prophecy or the delivery of it.
       But it's best to avoid making a snap judgment of a prophecy, as any correction of a prophecy or even any hint that it's wrong or false or off can be very devastating to the person giving the message. It's difficult enough to give a prophecy publicly, but if you have to worry that what you give might be judged on the spot and you might be publicly criticized, then it makes it much more difficult! Of course, if the prophecy is very clearly doctrinally off, or is causing fear or condemnation, etc., that's a different story, and it may need to be stopped or corrected in the meeting. (Please see GN667 about judging prophecy.)

------------ Question 14 --

What do you do when you're prophesying and you know you've said a wrong word? Do you correct it right away or go back later and tell the typist? Are there more tips regarding transcribing the prophecies?
       * Sometimes there will be a slip of the tongue and the person will not notice it, as described in the following: "(Maria: Sometimes people's tongues get twisted and they'll say the wrong thing. For example, there was one word supposed to be 'relishing' and it was said 'relinquishing.') (Dad:)Yes, it's because sometimes they're even unfamiliar with the language or with the word or its meaning. But it's usually a very minor little detail, it's a slip of the lip or the tongue rather than any flip of the spirit or even the mind. And usually they're quite obvious and can be easily corrected in the final transcript" ("Prophecies," ML #1744:58).
       *  If you realize you got a word or phrase wrong, don't feel embarrassed to correct it right on the spot. Just say, "No, not ...," and then say it over the right way. (Indicating which word was incorrect will help the person transcribing the prophecies to know which word to delete. Otherwise if you say it incorrectly and then just say it correctly, the typist might think both words should be included.)
       * If you notice that you said the wrong word but you did not correct it when giving your prophecy, or if you feel part of your prophecy may have been hard to understand (maybe dogs were barking or you heard the telephone ring in the background, which distracted you), you can ask to go over your prophecy after it's typed. However, doing this does not mean that it's okay to edit, change, or "improve" what the Lord said by adding new words, thoughts or phrases. Just correct wrong or missed words, those that were a slip of the tongue, or misunderstood or accidentally skipped by the typist.
       If you feel that further clarification is needed on a prophecy, a bracketed comment may be added for clarity of meaning. It should be noted that such a comment was added after the prophecy was given.
       * Mama once recounted something that happened in her Home that illustrates quite well how even one word missed is important to correct. Mama said: "Someone in our Home was giving a prophecy for someone elsewhere, and in it the Lord said that I would be to this person not only a queen and a shepherdess, but a sister and a teacher. When the one prophesying had finished giving the prophecy, she said there was supposed to be another word included in that particular sentence that she had failed to give at the time. She said that the sentence should have included the word 'mother,' so it would be 'a mother, a sister, and a teacher.' Apparently while giving the prophecy she had gotten distracted at that moment and failed to give that particular word, but at the end of the prophecy the Lord had reminded her about it, so she gave it. She was very careful to try to get everything exactly right, although it seemed to her at the time that had that one word been missed, it probably wouldn't have been that big of a deal or that important.
       "Later, however, when we received word back from the person to whom we had sent the prophecy, she commented how the point the Lord had made of me being a mother to her had been very special to her and very important, since she had been without hers since she was quite young. This example certainly shows how important it is that if someone giving a prophecy misses words that they go back and correct the transcript, because they may be important." (End of comment from Mama.)
       * Some people have indistinct or soft voices; they may mumble or run words together, and it is hard for the typist transcribing the prophecies to understand each word precisely. Recording glitches, batteries running low, or dirty recording heads can also make it hard to understand the tape. If there are problems like this, the person who gave the prophecy could check the transcript if he would like to, to fix any words which the typist may have misunderstood.

(To be continued.)

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