. . . with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. (Daniel 9:3)

Daniel is a true prophet. Why do I say that? Because Daniel intercedes on behalf of his nation even though he is not personally responsible for their sin.

He is engaging in what we call “identificational repentance.” He is identifying with his people and making intercession on behalf of them. This reveals the heart of a true prophet.

If you want to be a prophet, start with interceding for the people God lays on your heart. It has been said that all prophets are intercessors (or better be), but not all intercessors are prophets.

Sometimes people are too eager to get to the top or be recognized as “a prophet.” It is better to start low and start being obedient to the call God may have placed on your life by praying for people.

The Lord laid a person on my mind some years ago. I prayed for him for several years until I invited him to an event. The Lord touched him in a meaningful and deep way. Then his wife died very suddenly one day right in front of him. It was due to a medical condition. That is the last time he saw her alive.

I continued to pray for him. The Lord gave me a vision of his wife. I had opportunity to comfort and encourage him. It was not an easy journey. Of course, not for him, but not for me either. However, until we willing to mourn with those who mourn, we may not able to rejoice with them either. Recently, my friend remarried and a measure of happiness has returned to life.

I think most of us would prefer to skip the sackcloth and ashes and head straight for the wedding feast. Most of the time there is a journey. Are you willing to walk the journey with people? The Lord is much more interested in what’s in our hearts and what we’re willing to walk people through than recounting all our awesome victories.

How are you identifying with people today? You may not be called upon to intercede for the sins of a nation, but you may be called to walk with the hurting, downtrodden and weary ones that the Lord puts in your path. Be attentive to the ones the Lord puts in front of you. Are you willing to walk the extra mile with them? If you do, you may find out that this is part of your prophetic journey.

By Ralph Veenstra