Several years ago I spoke at a stadium event in Costa Rica. After leaving the platform, I noticed a man sitting in the audience who had obviously had a stroke of some kind. As I walked past where he was sitting, I received a small nudge from the Holy Spirit to go back and tell him that he would be the next president of the country. I immediately dismissed that thought and kept walking.
A moment later, I once again felt that I should turn around and go tell the man that he would be the next president. Right away, I thought: God, there is no way I am going to prophesy that man is going to be president! He looks so sick that he could die at any moment.
Still walking, this time the voice that I know so well said to me, “Cindy Jacobs, you turn around and go tell that man that it is My will for him to be the next president of this country!”
At that point, I feared God more than what people might say if I missed hearing correctly. I whipped around on my heel and went back to the person God was so interested in speaking to.
Looking in the kind eyes of the man whom I later found out was Abel Pacheco, I prophesied, “The Lord says that if you remain humble, you will be the next president of Costa Rica, and God will use you to expose corruption in this land.”
Two years later my husband, Mike, and I went back to speak at a conference in Costa Rica. Before we left, we received a phone call from our friends, and they said, “The president of Costa Rica would like to meet with you.” We queried, “Who is the president?” They replied, “Abel Pacheco, the man you prophesied would be the next president.”
Upon our arrival for our meeting with the president, he put out his hand and smiled and said: “Well, you were right. I am the president. What is the next thing that God says for my nation?”
In the 1980s there was a special emphasis on personal prophecy. But in the 21st century, God is highlighting the work of the prophet, and I believe that many of these prophets will be used to transform nations. Perhaps most people will not actually prophesy over the future president of a nation, but-as we will see in the following situations-God uses people to speak prophetically in ways that transform neighborhoods, cities and nations.
A BLOODLESS REVOLUTION
Bill Hamon, founder of Christian International Ministries Network and one of the fathers of the modern-day prophetic movement, has been used of God many times to prophesy to nations. One of the most dramatic examples of a prophetic word helping to change a nation was given through Bishop Hamon during the time of apartheid in South Africa in 1996.
At that time many were saying that the only way to end apartheid was through a bloody revolution. In the midst of this, Hamon prophesied to the churches that if they would pray there would be no bloody revolution but a bloodless transition. History tells us that the churches did, indeed, pray, and the revolution was miraculously bloodless.
THE KING'S HEART
There are times that God will even use a prophet to reveal His will to a nonbelieving ruler. Take the case of Cyrus. God in His omniscience foresaw and spoke through His servant Jeremiah around 100 years before the birth of Cyrus that he would rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Since Cyrus was a contemporary of the prophet Daniel and reigned over the kingdom where Daniel was an official, it is not too far-fetched to think that it was Daniel himself whom God used to show Cyrus the prophecy given by Jeremiah.
Cyrus was so touched to find his name in a prophecy that he proclaimed in Ezra 1:2: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah” (NKJV).
A PROPHET FOR EVERY KING
I believe that one of the functions of the office of the prophet that we are seeing restored today is prophesying to nations. God gave me a prophecy along this line that I delivered at the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders meeting in 2000: “For the Lord says that I am getting ready to put a prophet with a mayor and a prophet with a president. There is a season coming in which I will connect My prophets with the presidents and kings of this world.”
Since that day we are hearing reports of prophets who are having personal meetings with presidents and giving them the word of the Lord. The story of the president of the West African nation of Benin is an interesting one, because God used a prophetic dream given to a pastor in a strong way to help bring him to the Lord.
Many years ago a brother named Pastor Romain Zannou was awakened in the night by a dream in which God spoke to him to go and witness to the then-Marxist dictator of Benin, Mathieu Kérékou. The pastor did not want to go, as Kérékou had the reputation of being a violent man, and the pastor knew that he did not like Christians. However, the Lord urged the pastor over and over to go. Finally, Pastor Romain went, with much fear and trepidation.
The pastor told Kérékou why he had come and how the Lord had given a dream telling him to go and tell Kérékou that he needed to be born again. This led to a number of dialogues between the two and ended with the pastor getting tossed out and told not to return.
However, by this time, Pastor Romain knew that he had a mandate from the Lord to win the leader to Christ. Every day for 18 months he went and sat and waited for an audience. Finally, after the long wait, the leader invited him in once again and gave his heart to the Lord.
1 Chronicles 12:32 describes the sons of Issachar as men who “had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” There are some prophets who not only prophesy concerning nations, but they also speak from supernatural understanding much like the sons of Issachar.
For instance, during the war in Iraq, all the troops were on the lookout for Saddam Hussein in December 2003. My friend, Chuck Pierce, was in a meeting one night in San Antonio when God spoke to him. Chuck jumped up and said, “God has shown me that if we pray right now, Saddam Hussein will be captured this week.” The whole conference erupted in intercession, and true to the word of the Lord, Saddam was captured by the end of the week.
CALL FOR INTERCESSION
One of the major reasons that prophets speak to nations is to encourage God's people to respond to the word of the Lord. He often will speak to a prophet and give warning to avert judgment and call His people to pray (see 2 Chr. 7:14; Amos 3:7). A few years ago the Lord spoke a very dire prophecy to me concerning Argentina. Because I have ministered many years in that nation, I asked a group of large church pastors and leaders if they would meet with me to judge the word. The Lord told me that the economy of the nation would collapse and that the streets of Buenos Aires would be filled with violence and rioting.
While they did not reject the word, this was hard to swallow, because Buenos Aires has always been such a civilized city. Nevertheless, the economy did collapse. However, a great move of prayer and unity has taken place in the nation since that time, and Christian leaders are beseeching God for the nation. I know that God is going to heal Argentina and once again raise it up as a leader of nations.
THE BIBLICAL FOUNDATION
The concept of God using prophets in political environments is not foreign to Scripture. It is interesting to note that throughout the Old Testament, different government leaders officially appointed prophets.
The prophetic word is transformational when God's people believe it. Second Chronicles 20:20 says, “'Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.'”
Here are some major points of how God uses prophets in the transformation of a nation:
When Jesus ascended, He left gifts to fill all things. It stands to reason that all things (structures such as government, education, politics, art, drama and other societal institutions) will not be filled with all Christ designed for them without these voices in operation. As we are seeing in these days, this particularly is true for nations. Prophets are God's voice used to expose, shift and bring transition to nations.
Cindy Jacobs is co-founder, with her husband, Mike, of Generals International, based in Dallas (www.generals.org). She is the author of numerous books, including The Voice of God.