You have likely heard the term “prophetic midwife” before in Charismatic circles, but may not fully understand what it means. A prophetic midwife is someone who helps “birth” words of prophecy, visions, dreams, and other spiritual experiences in others. Just as a natural midwife helps bring natural babies into the world, a prophetic midwife helps bring spiritual revelations into maturity.
- A prophetic midwife helps others identify, understand, and steward prophetic words, dreams, and visions.
- They provide guidance, wisdom, and accountability to those operating in the prophetic.
- Prophetic midwifery involves listening, asking questions, providing perspective, and speaking life.
- The goal is to see the prophetic word or experience come to full fruition in the recipient’s life.
- Prophetic midwives should be mature believers with experience in the prophetic.
In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into understanding the prophetic midwife calling and ministry. Read on to learn what prophetic midwifery is all about!
The Role of the Prophetic Midwife
As a prophetic midwife, you play an important role in the lives of those around you who are hearing from God. You help them process, understand, and apply the spiritual experiences and revelations they receive. There are several key aspects to prophetic midwifery:
Listening: First and foremost, a prophetic midwife must be a good listener. You create a safe space for people to share dreams, visions, prophetic words, impressions, and supernatural encounters. Listen with patience, care, and confidentiality.
Asking Questions: Skillful questioning is crucial. You ask probing questions to help draw out more details and get to the heart of the meaning. What came before the dream? How did you feel during and after the dream? What symbols stood out? What Scripture comes to mind? Why do you think God may be speaking this to you now? Good questions facilitate revelation.
Providing Perspective: You can provide valuable perspective by sharing related Scriptures, prophetic precedents, and words of wisdom. Your maturity and experience in Spirit-led ministry helps you point out connections and implications the recipient may have missed. You lend broader context to enrich understanding.
Imparting Next Steps: A key role is helping determine proper next steps. How should the recipient steward this revelation? Are there any cautions, warnings, or considerations? What practical actions need to be taken in faith? Providing spiritual guidance and accountability helps the revelation bear fruit.
Speaking Life: As a midwife, you encourage and breathe life into the believer’s capacity to hear God’s voice. You affirm the word as from Him, speak destiny over their life, and celebrate what God is doing in and through them. This builds their faith to receive more.
In summary, prophetic midwifery is all about helping others identify spiritual experiences as being from God, process the meaning and implications rightly, and then respond in wisdom to see God’s purposes fulfilled.
Characteristics of a Prophetic Midwife
Those called as prophetic midwives exhibit certain character qualities and giftings. These include:
Maturity & Experience: A prophetic midwife must demonstrate spiritual maturity. This comes through an intimate walk with God over time, proven character and integrity, established local church involvement, and experience operating in the gifts of the Spirit. Wisdom and discernment are essential.
Strong Intercession: A heart of prayer and intercession is vital to stand in the gap for those you guide. Pray for their protection from the enemy, revelation and clarity from the Holy Spirit, and faith to walk out God’s revelation. Intercession births greater fruitfulness.
Discernment: Keen discernment empowers you to identify false or inaccurate “words” and distinguish God’s voice from that of the flesh, world, or enemy. You must be rooted in Scriptural truth to test words and weigh their wisdom and timing.
Compassionate Care: You demonstrate Christ’s love by creating a safe atmosphere of compassion, grace, and confidentiality. Handle people’s revelations with care, esteeming them highly as God’s children. Build trust over time through proven loyalty.
Spirit Empowerment: Rely fully on the Holy Spirit’s empowerment and leading. This is crucial for the gift of wisdom needed to guide people well. Pray for fresh filling to steward your role responsibly. Stay dependent on God.
Humble Servant: Prophetic midwives carry a stewarding authority under the Great Shepherd. But pride must be absent. Bring a humble, listening, learner spirit instead. Esteem others higher than yourself. Point people to Jesus, not yourself.
Examples in Scripture
We see prophetic midwifery at work among God’s people in several Scriptures:
Mary and Elizabeth (Luke 1): When the angel Gabriel visited Mary about conceiving Jesus, she immediately went to visit Elizabeth, who being older and having her own prophetic visitation about bearing John, could help Mary process her revelation. Elizabeth affirmed it as from God and spoke destiny over Mary’s calling.
Ananias and Saul (Acts 9): After Saul’s dramatic Damascus Road encounter with Jesus, God sent the prophetic midwife Ananias to help Saul understand what had happened. Ananias prayed over Saul to be filled with the Holy Spirit and baptized him, helping launch his new destiny.
Barnabas and Paul (Acts 11): Barnabas embraced the radical saved life of the former persecutor Saul (Paul) and advocated for his inclusion among the Apostles. Barnabas later partnered with Paul on missionary journeys, affirming his giftings and defending him before critics.
Elders releasing Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13): The elders of the Antioch church demonstrated prophetic midwifery by prayerfully commissioning Paul and Barnabas for missionary ministry. They discerned the Spirit’s call and spoke affirmation, empowerment, and blessing over them to fulfill their destiny.
Philip’s daughters (Acts 21): Philip’s four daughters operated in prophetic giftings. God likely used these prophetic women to serve as prophetic midwives, since women in Scripture were often recognized as wise counselors who operated in revelatory gifts.
These examples show prophetic midwifery in action. One person receives key revelation, and then mature, trusted believers provide guidance, affirmation, and release into greater kingdom purpose.
Growing as a Prophetic Midwife
If you feel called by God to serve as a prophetic midwife, here are some tips to grow in your gifting and calling:
- Pursue intimacy with God through consistent time in the Word, prayer, worship, and listening to the Spirit. Depth of relationship produces discernment.
- Study Scripture diligently to provide wise, Biblically-rooted counsel. Rightly dividing the Word of Truth is crucial.
- Read books and resources on the prophetic ministry for learning and perspective. Grow in understanding.
- Get training and mentoring on prophetic ministry through ministry schools, conferences, or under proven leaders. Learn by example.
- Start small by serving as a prophetic midwife for friends who want input about what God is speaking to them. Build skill and experience over time.
- Operate on a ministry team to gain experience and have the protection, guidance, and accountability of leaders and peers.
- Live a life of humility and integrity. Your credibility flows from proven Christ-like character and motives.
- Receive impartation for prophetic midwifery through the laying on of hands by respected prophetic ministers.
God uses the ministry of prophetic midwifery to bring greater clarity, maturity, and fruitfulness of the prophetic in the Church. If He is calling you to this vital role, pursue growth and greater competency for His glory.
Pitfalls to Avoid
While prophetic midwifery is a valid and much needed role, there are some pitfalls to avoid:
- Presumption: Operate humbly under the Spirit’s guidance. Do not presume to have all the answers or tell people what God is supposedly saying.
- Control: Your role is not to control or manipulate but serve and advise. Leave outcomes in God’s hands. Avoid domination.
- Sharing revelations: Keep confidences. Do not spread people’s revelations without explicit permission.
- Criticism: Be constructive in counsel, not critical. Affirmations should outnumber corrections.
- Self-importance: This is about others, not you. Avoid spiritual pride or glorying in your “gift.” Point to Jesus always.
- Invasion of privacy: Ask enough to give wise counsel but don’t pry or push for more info than offered. Respect people’s boundaries.
- Operating independently: Have accountability to leaders to guard your heart and motives. Stay connected to a spiritually healthy local church.
By avoiding these pitfalls, you can be an effective, trusted, healthy instrument of prophetic midwifery for the Church.
Prophetic Midwives in Church History
Throughout Church history, we find examples of prophetic midwives who served an invaluable nurturing role:
Montanus (100s AD) was a controversial prophetic leader in Asia Minor but he had two prophetesses, Priscilla and Maximilla, who helped ground his ecstatic utterances and apply them with wisdom.
Hildegard of Bingen (1090s AD) as an abbess and mystic, provided prophetic counsel and encouragement to everyone from peasant girls to kings, bishops, and popes. She helped them process spiritual insights.
Catherine of Siena (1300s AD) had extensive mystical experiences. As a Third Order Dominican, she became sought after for her prophetic wisdom and guidance by leading clergy of her day. She called for needed reforms.
John of the Cross (1500s AD) was a Spanish mystic guided by visions, dreams, and words of knowledge. He became a prophetic midwife to Teresa of Avila, helping her interpret and apply the spiritual experiences God gave her and affirming her in her ministry calling.
Matthew Henry (1600s AD) was a prominent Bible commentator and pastor. He guided and encouraged many who came to him with dreams, visions, and supernatural experiences they were seeking to understand.
William J. Seymour (1900s AD) as leader of the Azusa Street Revival provided oversight, guidance, and encouragement regarding the outpouring of spiritual gifts, teaching believers to exercise them in wisdom and order for God’s glory.
As we can see, God has used prophetic midwives prominently throughout history as vital stewards of revelation for the sake of His people and the advancement of His kingdom.
Prophetic Midwifery Today
Prophetic midwifery remains a crucial role in the contemporary Church. As the use of prophetic gifts expands in places, there is increased need for wise, discerning believers to help guide those operating in revelatory realms.
Within Charismatic churches and ministries today we find:
- Mentoring/discipleship focused on prophetic development
- Ministry school instructors and leaders
- Senior pastors and elders overseeing the prophetic in their congregation
- Itinerant ministers who help local churches with prophecy
- Prayer leaders who provide guidance during prayer times
- Small group leaders who help members understand prophetic words
- Conference/retreat prophetic ministry teams
- Full-time prophetic ministers and church staff members
Each of these provide aspects of prophetic midwifery to believers today at various levels. Those newer and less mature in prophetic gifts especially benefit from and often need such spiritual nurturing and guidance.
Exercising this role requires humility, wisdom, experience, strong character, and sober judgment as good stewards of the revelatory gifts God gives His people. We must use discernment to distinguish true prophetic experiences from deception, exaggeration, or the voice of self. Prophetic words should be handled carefully, not spread irresponsibly as gossip.
Within healthy Scriptural parameters, prophetic midwifery serves a vital purpose of nurturing maturity, discernment, and obedience in response to spiritual revelation so that God’s purposes are accomplished.
In summary, a prophetic midwife is a trusted, mature believer who helps others identify, understand, and properly respond to divine revelation, including prophetic words, dreams, visions, and supernatural experiences.
They serve as a spiritual mentor and advisor, providing guidance, scriptural wisdom, timely corrections, and loving accountability to aid in the birth, maturation, and fulfillment of what God is speaking to an individual.
Prophetic midwifery should be exercised with great humility, care, and integrity for God’s glory. While an amazing gift, prophecy must be tested and proven, handled responsibly, and embodied with Christ-like love.
The ministry of prophetic midwives strengthens individuals and equips them for greater kingdom purpose. It also benefits the larger Body of Christ by nurturing maturity in the prophetic to see God’s will accomplished and avoid pitfalls of deception and unhealthy extremes.
If you feel God’s call to serve in this vital role, honor Him by pursuing growth in character, wisdom, integrity, and spiritual depth. Aspire to be a vessel He can use to help others understand and respond to His Spirit with faith and obedience for His glory.