True prophecy in the church gives witness to what Jesus is doing by the Holy Spirit among his people in a particular place and time. A characteristic of prophecy is the immediacy it tends to have.
The Apostle John gave prophetic words about what Jesus was saying and doing right then by his Spirit in each of the seven churches in Asia Minor that he was writing to (see Rev. 2-3). He speaks to the church in Ephesus about their need to return to their first love. He prepares the church in Smyrna for a season of opposition and difficulty. He warns the church in Pergamum that some of their members have embraced false doctrine and need to repent of it right away. John, by prophetic revelation, encourages each of the churches to pursue Jesus with a whole heart, pointing out specific things the Spirit was doing in each place. All of Scripture finds its focal point in Jesus. This same thing is also true for any prophetic revelation the Holy Spirit brings to us today.
Recently in a meeting of our church there came prophetic words about the glory of Jesus shining forth like light in our city. Also there was a prophecy about our church being pruned and prepared like a young tree for greater fruitfulness. These words were not necessarily thunderous or spine tingling. They came in a very natural way in the coarse of our time together. However, they came at a time when we as a church are taking significant steps in anticipation of growth and helping people be caught up in Christ’s mission in this city. It is so wonderful that in an ordinary gathering of ordinary believers the Holy Spirit prompts prophetic words of encouragement to help us move forward with confidence in the mission Jesus has called us to.