Politics in and of itself is not inherently a negative thing. Politics is how we arrange our common life together. I believe we need people of the Spirit working in and leading in government and politics.
A prophet is a spokesperson for God. The prophet rebukes, warns, directs, encourages, intercedes, teaches and counsels. He brings the word of God to the people of God and calls the people to respond.
When the prophet knows the heart and mind of the Lord, he speaks the word of the Lord to his people. He stands before the people as one who has stood before God. Because his words come from the heart of God they are powerful and effective. A prophet can undertake a huge variety of roles. This is an expression of the creativity of God.
An important part of the prophet’s task is prayer. Because he knows the mind of the Lord, he is in a position to pray effectively. He has a clear picture of what God is doing, so he knows where prayer is needed most. The prophet watches over the word of the Lord and prays it into being. He must not rest until God has fulfilled his word (Isaiah 62:6).
Some prophets are watchmen or men of vision who stand on the walls of the city of God to see what God is doing. They look into the distance to see what is coming. They often see a long way ahead. Several scriptures describe the role of the watchman.
The prophet, along with my God, is the watchman over Ephraim, yet snares await him on all his paths, and hostility in the house of his God (Hosea 9:8).
Challenging the nation
The primary responsibility of the prophet is to speak to the people of God. He brings both direction and correction to the Church. But a prophet may also be called to speak to his nation. Many of the prophets of the Old Testament found themselves confronting kings and taking an important role in national affairs. Some also addressed their words to foreign nations. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel each prophesied to the surrounding nations (Is 13-12, Jeremiah 46-51, Ezekiel 25-32).
Explaining what needs to be done
Many prophets are warning of future disastrous events, but very few are explaining what God is doing and how he will work through these events to bring change. Seeing from within the dark cloud of events seem to prevent them from seeing what Jesus is seeing. Modern day prophets help by giving direction to politicians and the church/people.
Healing the sick
Some prophets are used in healing the sick. Elijah was a prophet who moved effectively in the gift of healing. Elisha followed in his mentor’s footsteps. We have seen healing across Africa. Prophet TB Joshua, Prophet Makandiwa, Pastor Alph Lukau to name a few who are doing well for the work of the Lord.
Appointing and anointing leaders
In Old Testament times, God often used a prophet to appoint and anoint a king. Samuel anointed Saul and then David as King. A prophet anointed Solomon as his successor. In a godly nation, prophets may have a role in the appointment of political leaders. Prophets also have a role in anointing other prophets for ministry.
Interpreting the signs of the times
Jesus criticised the Jews because they could understand the weather, but they could not interpret the signs of the times. Prophets must be able to understand the signs of the times and interpret them to the world.
Exposing corrupt leaders
The reality is that a prophet is not needed to expose most problems within the leadership. The people who are close to the leader, usually know what is going on. The problem is that they are too loyal to challenge the leader that they look up to. The prophet is usually the only one tough enough to call the leader on their faults.
Foretelling the future
Prediction of the future is part of the prophetic ministry. Almost every prophet in the Old Testament appeared first as a foreteller. Through his fellowship with the eternal God, the prophet has access to the future. He is the seer who has insight into God’s purposes for history. However, whatever he sees for the future is always related to the present. He warns of future judgements so that people will change their behaviour now. He speaks of future blessing to give hope for the present.
The words of the prophets will build up and strengthen the people. This will be especially important in times of trial and tribulation. The scriptures give a number of examples of prophets who encouraged the leaders of their nation to act boldly. When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. (2 Chronicles 15:1,).
The prophetic ministry can often play an important part in worship. A prophecy that speaks of the glory and wonder of God will inspire his people to worship. Biblically in the temple, there were people whose role was to prophesy as part of the worship. They were professional worshippers and prophets, responsible for leading the worship in the house of God.