This week, at the Mind Body Festival in Melbourne you may see The Salvation Army’s David Barker. David is a prophet whose interest in prophecy began back in 2006. When praying for others David often sees visions and pictures, as he tells Jen Vuk.
How did you come to be involved with The Mind Body Spirit? And how many years have you been involved now?
We’ve have been at the Mind Body Spirit Festival since 2010. Early on, I didn’t think I had any particular prophetic ‘gifting’, but as I have grown with this I now realise that being a follower of Jesus means being open to all aspects of the way that he would minister.
This pushes me into areas that I personally find challenging—being open to healing ministry, for example. Jesus did it, and he expects us to do it too. To start this journey, all it takes is a decision to partner with God’s will, and then all sorts of doors open to you.
Can you describe what you and your team offer at the event?
The purpose of prophecy is to bring people closer to God. God wants to talk to people and the prophet is one means by which he can do that. We get to share a personalised message—about their past, present or future—inspired by the Holy Spirit, with the person sitting in front of us. In many cases, as this is shared, and the person receives it, we get to witness God lovingly reaching out to the person.
We respond to the individual need in front of us. It often involves grateful tears, a great sense of relief or a lifting of some kind of burden from the person. It’s amazing.
What exactly does ‘prophetic prayer’ mean?
The role of prophecy is to offer comfort, encouragement and to edify the people who visit our booth. God loves each person we meet and wants to talk to them. The prophet begins to talk to God on their behalf (pray). The Holy Spirit then gives the prophet a specific topic of conversation, which is often something that has been worrying the person. An enlightened, prayer-studded conversation then takes place. As a prophet I am totally reliant on the Holy Spirit as my guide.
How would someone benefit from such outreach?
Time and time again I see people dropping their barriers when they realise there is no way humanly possible that we can know the snippet of information we have in relation to that person. They recognise that something amazing has happened, and they are then more open to the next part that is shared.
We have seen people benefiting in such areas as identity (how God sees them), healing, reconciling with someone or with God, and financial.
In a matter of a five- to 15-minute prophetic prayer session with a person, I have witnessed ministry of comfort, relief from physical pain, hearing aids no longer needed, many people strengthened, people affirmed in who they are or can be, or some form of encouragement about a way to go about something important in their life.
Is it at all dangerous?
It takes faith, and faith involves risk. You are relying on recognising the Holy Spirit speaking to your spirit, you interpreting that correctly through your voice, to deliver the message to the person sitting in front of you. They then ‘receive’ that message, and interpret it through their life experiences.
Like a game of Chinese whispers the communication channel has a few steps along the way, and so it is worth checking back that they actually ‘heard’ what you actually ‘meant’. But the Holy Spirit is my friend in this and knows what the person needs to hear.
I am fallible, and make mistakes, and I am constantly humbling myself and confessing and getting clean of my sins in order to hear better from God. But I don’t give up if I make a mistake. I learn from it and try to press on and do better next time.
You usually see visions and pictures. How would you explain this to someone unfamiliar with prophetic prayer?
Some other prophets might get an empathetic feeling such as a pain in their leg, and ask the person in front of them if they also have a pain in their leg. But I wait on the Holy Spirit, and usually from within 10 seconds to a minute, I get something in my spirit for the person. I might get a picture, or a scene playing out like a movie, or some kind of a graphic dynamic image, or a word or a phrase.
I share the word with the person, and often ask what it means to them. I then explain what I think it means and I interpret the image according to biblical scriptures that also are prompted and come to my mind. We seek to minister in the power and authority defined as appropriate for believers as described in the Bible.