The Practice of Prophesying, by Witness Lee


Living in the Presence of God
and in the Fellowship with the Lord

The pattern of Elizabeth’s prophesying is seen in Luke 1:39-45. The contents of these seven verses imply that Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, lived in the presence of God and in the fellowship with the Lord, in a constant, continual communication with the Lord. Without living in the presence of God and in the fellowship with the Lord, no one could utter such a praise, such a blessing, with a prophecy of foretelling. Elizabeth was a person who was ready to speak for the Lord. When Mary came and greeted her, Elizabeth’s baby leaped within her womb, and she began to prophesy. If she had not been ready to speak for the Lord, she would have turned instead to natural talk.

Because Elizabeth lived in fellowship with the Lord, it is doubtful that she was able to speak in a loose or gossiping way. However, in the church life today there is much gossip, especially on the telephone. Some may say that they are too busy and tired to pray, yet they are able to spend a long time on the telephone gossiping. Some may claim that they do not have twenty minutes to visit people to feed them with Christ, but they seem to have adequate time for gossiping. The reason that many saints cannot prophesy in the meetings is that they have spent too much time gossiping. Even quarreling with our spouse for a short time may keep us from speaking in the meetings for many days.

Romans 6:19 says, "For as you presented your members as slaves to uncleanness and lawlessness unto lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness unto sanctification." Many of us need to make a decision to present our tongue and lips to the Lord, with a vow to speak Him and to refrain from speaking any gossip. Such a vow will deliver us from gossip. Whenever a word of gossip comes to our mouth, we will remember that our mouth has been presented to the Lord for speaking Him. If our gossiping is stopped in such a way, not only we but also the whole church will be revived. If the gossip could be stopped in all the churches, all the churches would be revived.

Possessing the Spiritual Knowledge and
Concern for the Move of the Lord

Elizabeth’s prophesying also shows clearly that she possessed much spiritual knowledge. All her words and expressions were very spiritual. She also possessed a genuine concern for the Lord’s move. She was so concerned for the Lord’s move on the earth at her time that she did not care for her own well-being. When the babe leaped in her womb (Luke 1:44), she had no concern about her health or her pregnancy. Rather, she was fully concerned for the Lord’s interest.

If we are going to prophesy in the church meetings, we must gain much spiritual knowledge and pick up many spiritual terms, and we must have an adequate concern for the Lord’s move today. When we come to the Lord’s Day morning meeting, we may have nothing to say because our concern may not be for the Lord’s interest but for our own security and well-being. When we come to the meeting, nothing of this earth should still linger within us. We must come with a care for the Lord’s move, His interests, and His kingdom. If we do this, we will surely have something to say.

Being Stirred Up in Her Spirit
with Mary’s Greeting

When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary and the baby leaped within her, she was stirred up in her spirit (vv. 41, 44). It is evident from her utterance and expressions that she was in her spirit, not in her mind. If she had not been in her spirit, she would have spoken something from her mind or exercised her emotions. Instead, she said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!" Such an expression of blessing shows that Elizabeth was fully in her spirit, not caring for the things of the mind.

(The Practice of Prophesying, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)