Desire that you may prophesy

Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. (1 Corinthians 14:1)
The prophet is a faithful disciple who speaks to edify, exhort, and console the people. (1. Corinthians 14:3) Whoever speaks in this way is a true prophet - a true servant of God. No one can really edify others without having self been edified, or exhort without having himself been exhorted, or comfort and strengthen without having been comforted and strengthened himself. So that:
We be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:4)
This is an area where there is great poverty in the churches. There is hardly anyone who really knows how to edify, exhort, strengthen and comfort. Therefore, believers run left and right, from one religious community to the next, hoping to find help somewhere for their needs.
A prophet brings genuine comfort to those who mourn over themselves. When he visits a sick person, for example, he does him well, does not tire him, and does not increase his suffering through his behaviour. On the contrary, his edifying words are a blessing for the tested soul and his visit so edifying and useful that the patient likes to see the visitor again!
We have the exhortation to desire the gift of prophecy because it is so useful. Let us think of the behavioural changes that result from visits made with the desire to bring edification, exhortations, comfort and strength. Such behaviour is the opposite of those chat-visits in which one interferes in the affairs of others out of curiosity and gossip.
There is no doubt that true prophets are rare in the churches. Therefore, the exhortation “desire that you may prophesy” should be taken to heart. However, this gift is not obtained without wanting to be of service to others. The Holy Spirit, who knows the hearts, then distributes his gift as he pleases. Those who dream of impressing others with their natural abilities receive nothing. They only want to satisfy their pleasures. (James 4: 3) Such servants live before men, they imagine they have received a special “anointing of the Spirit” and claim like the false prophets:
‘The Lord declares,’ when the Lord has not sent them, yet they hope for the fulfilment of their word… when you said, `the Lord declares,' it is not I who have spoken… who see false visions and utter lying divinations. (cf. Ezekiel 13:6-10)
These preachers proclaim many varied and strange teachings and bring food that neither strengthens the hearers' heart nor are of benefit to them. (Hebrews 13:9) In other words, they say but do not, they speak of joy, peace, and happiness, but live (often constantly) in midst of quarrels and conflicts among the ministers and the sheep in “their” assemblies. (James 4:1-3)
We have a wonderful vocation: to strive for the gift of prophecy! All can become prophets. However, who believes and wants that? Is it not said:
Surely, the Lord God does nothing unless he reveals his secret counsel to his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
That God, the Almighty, reveals his secret to his servants, the prophets, goes beyond human understanding! However, it is serious! People who have access to secrets must be trustworthy. Even in this world, serious credentials and impeccable conduct are required for trusted jobs. Much more in the spiritual realm. There, the Holy Spirit selects the candidates by exploring the hearts. He measures their hunger and thirst to be modest, simple and useful servants. If he finds such people, he gives them this gift of grace and admits them in his “school of prophets”.
In this school of life, the faithful are trained in the midst of all kinds of afflictions, tribulations and trials, to become useful to the needy. They learn to be attentive to what the Holy Spirit says, to walk in the Spirit and develop that fruit of the Spirit, such as charity, joy, peace, patience, helpfulness, goodness and the like.
According to their behavior in trials, God uses them for his work among men. Their mouth then becomes like the mouth of God and their word as the word of God. That word witch penetrates and shares soul and spirit, and judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 – 1 Corinthians 14:24-25)
What a blessing when one can receive and hear the prophesying of such collaborators of God. What a grace when the Spirit reveals the listener what is right and necessary. What beautiful churches, what lovely gatherings, where one and the other prophesy one by one so that all may learn and all may be exhorted. (1 Corinthians 14:31)
May many holy and faithful brethren and sisters take to heart this exhortation of the apostle, desire that you may prophesy. To be disciples who count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:8)
Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them! ((Numbers 11:29)