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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Foot Washing: Precious from the Worthless

‘I will pour out on you a spirit of grace and supplication…

We will look upon the One we have pierced and will mourn as one grieves for an only child…

On that day, I’ll open a fountain to cleanse you from sin and impurity;

on that day, I’ll banish the idols from the land…

On that day, I’ll remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land…

On that day, every prophet will be ashamed of his prophetic vision.

He will say, “I am not a prophet, I am a farmer.”

When asked about the wounds on his body, he will answer:

“These wounds I was given at the house of my friends”’ (Zechariah 12:10-13:6).

Paul Cain had booze and boys, Bob Jones his girls, Misty Edwards her lovers. The current IHOPKC scandal gives prophetic ministry a bad name and highlights the special fathering required by the prophetically inclined.


Mike Bickle did more to father the ‘prophets’ than anyone I know. When he was good, he soared; addled by prophetic misuses, he stumbled into vice. He couldn’t discipline the messy mouthpieces and songbirds who needed him. 

Boundaries and structure liberate the prophetic. Both help ground those whose spiritual sensitivity risks careening into delusion. Gaps in one’s growth and development can become grandiose efforts to secure love wrongfully. Then fake spirituality becomes a cover, a manipulation, a source of shame greater than mere sins of the flesh.


We must heed Zechariah in this ugly time: ‘Let every prophet be ashamed of His vision.’ He continues: ‘Do not put on a prophet’s garment of hair to deceive’ (Zech. 13:4). Expose the sin and spiritual cover-up!    


We all share this shame. Every one of us. We are each a part of one Body and the scandal of a fellow member uncovers all of us. Shame.


Good shame. That means we don’t need any seer telling us about his dream or her vision, the ‘real’ truth of the matter based on some subjective leading. We need to quiet our hearts and grieve the misuse of a precious gift and its defilement: fewer prophecies, not more, in this season of stripping and burning.


May the heat incinerate any tendency to mistake a presidential candidate with Jesus, Savior of America. ‘In God We Vote’, a slogan employed by a strange group entitled Catholics for Trump, says it all. Please. Discern your political choices. Weigh the complexities.


Lay down partisan interests masking as prophecy. Forego Old Testament justifications for MAGA. Vote and influence as you will; that is a blessed democratic right. Just don’t fuel it with any ‘thus say the Lord’ nonsense. You lose my vote if you do and cheapen the treasure of reason in making wise political decisions.     


Read the room. We who love the prophetic can allow the searchlight of scandal to humble us and check our vulnerabilities. How known am I? How aware and at peace with my own humanity? How protected in my skin with its longings and blemishes? In my marriage and family, the most accurate of mirrors?   


IHOPKC suffered from a revolving group of leaders inadequately trained to pastor, let alone restrain, prophetic ‘types.’ Freedom to grow in one’s gifting requires form. Wise shepherds can provide a community that nourishes things of the Spirit while encouraging members to integrate with others to develop trust and virtue and the capacity to be refined, even disciplined, when gifts outweigh the human gaps.


I see this in my friend Cheryl Allen and the way she has built a prayer room in Pasadena, CA, PIHOP. She majors on beauty, the enjoyment of creation, and the healing of persons—body, soul, and spirit—all while tending to a diverse community of worshippers and healers. She nurtures flesh (the Imago Dei) and Spirit. It’s healthy, and prophetic too. The two need not be mutually exclusive.    


I love how my son Nick, a pastor, does this. He helms a large Anglican parish where he makes room for a band of ‘fire-chasers’ whom he encourages to help build the church, one Spirited advance at a time. He neither grandstands nor minimizes the prophetically inclined—he deploys them to empower the humble.


Both Cheryl and Nick are using pastoral leadership to nurture the prophetic. They grandstand no ‘prophet’ but Jesus; both love messy persons who prophesy often, sometimes for the good of Jesus’ house.   

Join Andrew on Desert Streaming each week as he dives deeper into his blog. Watch here or listen on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.


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