I heard Joseph Prince say something like, "A prophet is someone who lays hands on the sick, prays for them in the name of Jesus, and those people are healed."
I think a prophet is more than that. They may hear, dream, see and have visions from the Lord. The just know things without explanation. They might have feelings or inclinations about situations and know the outcome before others do.
In Numbers 12: 6, it says, "When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams."
While the gift of prophecy is alive and well in the church today, many Christians still refuse to believe. There's a little thing called Cessation Theology which teaches that the gifts of the spirit ceased to exist after the early church. And people shun prophets and prophecies as if though it is sin.
This is sad, because the Lord gave gifts to the body of Christ, his church, so they could serve him.
"And He (Christ) gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4: 11 & 12
I have been training in prophetic ministry for a few years now. I mostly have visions from the Lord, like dreaming when I'm awake, and those visions are symbolic, must be interpreted as a dream. I don't always have the correct interpretation, but I'm getting better at it through study and prayer.
A few months ago, my older sister, who lives in another state, was diagnosed with an inoperable (non-cancerous) mass on her brain. It is affecting her motor skills so deeply that her symptoms were mistaken for that of multiple sclerosis. She is a nurse and feels depressed over this illness, how it interferes with her daily life and work.
When I was initially told about it, I became frustrated and thought to myself, "If I was down there (in Texas) I'd lay hands on her, command her sickness to flee in the name of Jesus, and then she'd be well."
I've never done that before, healed the sick. But I have taken authority over demons and made them flee in the name of Jesus. Authority is authority, so why not? Why are we so weak in our faith? Why are Christ's death on the cross, his power in overcoming death, and the Holy Spirit he gives us which empowers us not sufficient enough? It is our lack of faith and understanding that prevents us from being all he's called us to be.
I pray for my sister from a distance. I will see her this fall. I've plead with her to go to a church and have hands laid on and have people pray for her. I don't think she has.
In the book of James we read,
"Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops." James 5: 14-17
To me, healing prayer seems simple, something that we just need to put into practice. The Word says that the "prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." Where does the righteousness come from? Our own deeds? Can we be good enough, holy enough to obtain these special power from our Lord? No. It is by our faith in Him, and understanding of His work on the cross that we are able to do the things that He does.
We just need to step out in faith and do what He did.
Because what did He say? "I tell you the truth. The person that believes in me will do the same things I have done. Yes! He will do even greater things than I have done. Why? Because I am going to the Father. And if you ask for anything in my name, I will do it for you. Then the Father's glory will be shown through the Son. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it." –Jesus (John 14: 12-14)
Just a few weeks ago as I received prophetic ministry, it was spoken over me that I have a "Healing gift." I've known this for several years. It's time to act.