Before I go on, I need to define something. If you don't believe that people still speak in tongues, that there are miracle healings, that people prophesy words from God, then you won't get the following. If you believe that prophets no longer prophesy about future events, then this might challenge your thinking. I'm not going to try and justify my beliefs here. I'm only going to discuss my experience and you can agree or disagree.
For years, I have been a part of a group that includes a few prophets. Many times when we pray, we get the same message from God. It has been incredibly educational and I'm grateful that God has allowed me to play a role. I have no clue if being part of a group of prophets when I was younger would have been helpful; I just know that I am eternally grateful that I'm part of such a group now.
I think the first night my gifting really manifested was the night that there were 7 to 9 women who needed prayer, and we had them sit in a row and the leader prayed for them. I got a specific verse and vision that applied to each of them as he prayed for them, but two were very profound. There was a woman for whom God gave me a phrase from one of my favorite verses, Isaiah 61:10-11. The phrase was 'wrapped in a robe of righteousness.' As she was struggling with life events in the following weeks and months, I was reminded of that phrase and how she really needed to lean into that robe and trust God as she walked forward. She moved away and I wish I knew how she is doing today. Another woman was given the breastplate of righteousness. I don't know what that meant exactly in her situation. She is a beautiful, godly woman, struggling with health issues even to this day.
After a few of these images and verses I wondered how God would give me something for all of them and I quietly mentioned it in my mind to God and the reply I got was 'when you get to the last woman, you will wash her feet.' That startled me and I told God that I wasn't leading and I couldn't interrupt the leader when he was the one in charge. I kept on praying and God continued to give me something for each woman. When we got to the last woman, the leader said, 'Marcia, you pray for her.' I still wasn't committed to washing her feet, but as I tried to walk around to the front of her to pray for her, I knocked over a Coke on a side table. Water had to be brought out at that point, so I said, 'Well, if you're bringing out water anyway, God told me to wash her feet.' I was obedient and prayed, and the Holy Spirit fell and there was a powerful anointing. Recently, this woman told me that in that experience she felt God tell her that her time of being served was over and she was moving into service. That is an amazing statement that matches the washing of the disciples’ feet, as it really was a transition point for the disciples moving into their apostleship.
Now when I read the words 'the community of prophets' in the Bible, I'm always jealous and wish I could be part of such a community, because I have had a little taste of what that is like, and I would like even more, which brings me back to what might have helped me in my youth. What if I had been exposed to a community of prophets as a youth? What if those with special anointing gathered together and built each other up in the faith? Would I have been brave enough to step into my anointing, instead of hiding from it all these years?
My desire is that, if you are experienced in a spiritual gift, that you look for a young person or two with that spiritual gift and help create opportunities for them to practice it and help them mature in it. Everything in our lives is about maturing, whether it be physically, spiritually, or emotionally. We should help each other where we can.