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How to be a Prophet ("speak to me in strange, unusual, unfamiliar ways")

Every baptized Christian is called to be a prophet. In Catholic sacramental theology, we believe that when the baby, child, adolescent or adult is baptized, they are anointed with oil, and submerged in (or sprinkled with) water. Water symbolizes the new birth, the washing of the soul of the person.

In the Old Testament, of course, people were anointed when they became priests, prophets and kings. When David (who was all three, part of the reason why Jesus is called the son of David), was anointed by Samuel,

he "the spirit of the Lord came (rushed) upon David from that day forward." (1 Sam. 16:13, emphasis mine)

The Church has taught for centuries about the theology of priest, prophet and king through baptism. In The Catechism of the Catholic Church, it says "Jesus Christ is the one whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as priest, prophet, and king. The whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them." (783)

Wow- this is a strong statement. Every Christian is a "little Christ," or "little anointed one," because we are all anointed by the same Holy Spirit. We are made in the image and likeness of Jesus. (Gen. 1:26-27)

So, all Christians are called to be prophetic. Of course, some people are given the gift of prophecy, some the ministry of prophecy. (1 Cor. 12:1-11) This is a higher level of responsibility.

Yet, many Christians are not well-versed or experienced in their prophetic calling/vocation. The Church teaches us (CCC 783) that every Christian "bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them." We will be held responsible for how we acted prophetically- how we served in the mission of Jesus to bring souls into the Kingdom, and to serve others through the prophetic.

How to Be Prophetic

"But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’S people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” (Num. 11:29)

At the most basic level, a prophet is someone who hears God speaking to them. Paul said, "FOLLOW after charity, be zealous for spiritual gifts; but rather that you may prophesy." (1 Cor. 14:1) We have to learn how to hear God speaking to us.

"Speak to me in strange, unusual, unfamiliar ways..." Elijah was used to hearing from God- he had many supernatural encounters with God- Who answered by fire. (1 Kgs. 18:24) Yet, right after his encounter with God in the fire, the Lord brought him to a mountain where His voice was NOT in the fire, wind, or earthquake, but rather in the "still, small voice." (1 Kgs. 19:11-13) Another translation says it was the "whistling of a gentle air." (DRB) God spoke to Elijah here in a strange, unusual, unfamiliar way. He was running for his life, fleeing from the wicked queen Jezebel. Maybe he had to calm himself down, and wait and listen for the still, small voice of the Lord.

Samuel was unfamiliar with the voice of the Lord as a child- even though he had been offered to the Lord by his mother Hannah. Even though he was born to be a prophet, he was unfamiliar with God's voice- Eli, although he was a priest, was also unfamiliar because in that day and age, "there was no frequent vision." (1 Sam. 3) It was unexpected that God would wake someone up in the middle of the night and speak to them audibly. But, He did.

How is God speaking to you? "God speaketh once, and repeateth not the selfsame thing the second time.

By a dream in a vision by night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, and they are sleeping in their beds:

When he openeth the ears of men, and teaching instructeth them in what they are to learn...." (Job 33:14-16, cf. Matt. 2:12, Matt. 27:19, Gen. 15:12, Gen. 46:2, Job 4:12, Dan. 2:1)

God's people need to learn how to hear God speaking to them. "Speak to me in strange, unusual, unfamiliar ways..." Even when we feel familiar with God's voice, He will speak another way that is totally unfamiliar. (Job 33:14)

In this New Year, let us rediscover the voice of God by meditating on Scripture and opening our hearts to the unusual ways God wants to speak to us.

"Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening..." (1 Sam. 3:10)

In Christ Jesus,

Daniel Devine, M. Div

Dynamite for Your Prayer Life

-Come to Know Jesus as Lord and Saviour: Prayer of Salvation

-Daily Praise and Worship with the Prayer to Take Authority (

-Read Daily Scripture (learn more here under lectio divina)

-Receive the sacraments -Seek the Lord and find out what He is calling you to do


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