“How Do You Determine Your Spiritual Gift?”

How do people determine their spiritual gift? Is it through prayer? Or does the Lord reveal it to them in some way?

There are several ways. Praying for guidance about your spiritual gift(s) is the first step, certainly. Also important is educating yourself to find out what the gifts are and what they look like in operation. And ask the people around you what they think your gifts are, if the people around you know anything about spiritual gifts! (They are found in 1 Corinthians 12:7, 11; Romans 12:4-8; Ephesians 4:7; and 1 Peter 4:10.)

I have discovered that when you’re operating in an area of supernatural gifting, it’s like getting on the moving sidewalks at airports—you can get where you’re going twice as fast as the people walking next to you who aren’t on the people mover, and there’s energy and power and a spring in your step. It’s FUN! When you’re using your spiritual gifts, you are aware of operating in God’s power and strength instead of your own. . . and the Spirit-led response is humility instead of pride.

After studying spiritual gifts, my husband Ray and I compiled a spiritual gifts inventory that some have found helpful. I hope you do too. (These are limited to the ministry gifts and do not include the foundational gifts of apostleship or prophet, nor the sign gifts of tongues, interpretation of tongues, healings or miracles.)

Spiritual Gifts Evaluation

TeachingThe supernatural ability to explain clearly and apply effectively the truth of the Word of God.

• Do you love the Body of Christ and desire that others know more about Scripture and how to apply it?
• Do you love studying the Word of God?
• Do you have a passion for sharing the insights and principles you have learned from the Word?
• Do you find it a challenge to make complicated truths simple and understandable?

Pastor/TeacherOne who is supernaturally equipped to shepherd and feed the flock of God with the result of their growth and maturity.

• Do you deeply love the people of God?
• Do you feel a yearning to model the principles of Scripture and mentor others so that they can follow Christ also?
• Do you feel God’s calling to shepherd His people, tenderly nurturing and nourishing them?

EvangelismThe supernatural capacity to present the gospel message with exceptional clarity and an overwhelming burden for those who don’t know Christ.

• Do you find yourself in situations where the topics of Christ and salvation come up?
• Do you gravitate toward relationships with non-Christians?
• When others hear you explain the gospel, do they respond by trusting Christ?
• Do you have a passion for the lost?

Word of KnowledgeThe supernatural ability to receive information and truth directly from God without natural means. To know without knowing how you know.

• Do you find yourself “knowing” something you did not learn, and unable to explain how you know it?
• If you feel that God has given you a message to give to another Christian, is it confirmed by that person’s response as truly coming from God?

Word of WisdomThe supernatural ability to have insight concerning God’s perspective and relay this insight succinctly to others. “Deep insight with handles.”

• Do you experience flashes of insight on spiritual things, unusual in their clarity?
• Are you able to express this wisdom in ways that minister to people?
• Do you recognize wisdom in others when you hear it?
• Do people consider you unusually wise, and trust your judgment?
• Do you find yourself being quoted, and you recognize the quote as “a God thing”?

FaithThe supernatural ability to believe God for the impossible.

• When diverging roads appear before you, are you able to see God’s path based on His word, in a way that others miss?
• Do you depend on God’s resources and guidance to an unusual degree?
• Are you able to firmly claim God’s presence in the midst of chaos?
• When God answers your prayers, is your response one of calm satisfaction rather than wonderment?

Exhortation (Encouragement)The supernatural ability to come alongside and help others by comforting, encouraging, challenging, and rebuking.

• Are you especially sensitive to people?
• When you encourage someone, do they respond with grateful appreciation?
• Is the timing of your encouragings usually “perfect”?
• When you challenge or rebuke another believer, is it well received?

Showing MercyThe supernatural ability to minister compassionately and cheerfully to those who are difficult to minister to.

• Do you have the ability to sense when a person is in need, even before they tell you?
• Are you drawn to people with emotional or physical pain, and to those society considers “unlovely”?
• Do you have an intuitive sense of when to be quiet and when to speak, or what to say and what not to say?
• Do people seek you out when they’re hurting? Do they enjoy having you around?

GivingThe supernatural ability to give of one’s material goods to the work of the Lord consistently, generously, sacrificially, with wisdom and cheerfulness.

• Are you enthusiastic when presented with an opportunity to give money to meet a need?
• Are you constantly looking for ways to give?
• Do you enjoy giving privately or anonymously?
• Do you REALLY think of money as God’s, not yours?

Leadership/AdministrationThe supernatural ability to organize and lead projects while handling people tactfully and providing the vision to keep them at the task.

• Do you enjoy taking a disorganized situation and straightening it out?
• Are you able to motivate others to complete the project? Do people respond when you step in to give leadership?
• Do you enjoy planning and completing projects?
• Do you enjoy sorting out details, or do they frustrate you?

ServiceThe supernatural ability to serve faithfully and joyfully behind the scenes, in practical ways, in long-term commitments to service.

• Do you willingly volunteer to help with details?
• Do you prefer to work behind the scenes?
• Do you gain a sense of satisfaction when others succeed as a result of your behind-the-scenes work?
• Is faithfulness over the long term important to you?

HelpsThe supernatural ability to minister joyfully to God’s people in short-term service with flexibility and sensitivity to what needs to be done.

• Are you sensitive to specific and immediate needs?
• Are you flexible?
• Would you rather meet a one-time need than commit yourself to long-term service?

Discernment of SpiritsA supernatural ability to distinguish between the spirit of truth and spirit of error, between holiness and evil. Can instantly sniff out when someone’s a phony or lying.

• Do you have an internal alarm that goes off when you encounter something phony or evil?
• Even when you’re the only one who senses something wrong, is your “intuition” eventually validated?
• Do you (and others) consider yourself a good judge of character?

Hope this helps!

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries

“Is There a Spiritual Gift of Intercession?”

I’m confused about intercession. Is there a gift of intercession as well as it being a discipline? Some people certainly pray more often than others and some love doing it, yet there are those who don’t love it but get woken in the middle of the night to pray for hours anyway.

I also look at people sometimes and really want to pray for them, right then and there. I don’t because I’m a bit too scared to walk up to someone and say “I so want to pray for you” and I’m not really sure what I’d be praying about. I find this both amusing and confusing. Do you have any light to shed?


As far as I know, there is no “gift” of intercession, although people with the spiritual gift of faith (1 Corinthians 12:9) usually have a (super)natural affinity for praying for others. Whether we love doing it or not has nothing to do with whether God is using us as channels of His power.

One of my dear friends is a pastor. One weekend afternoon he was feeling rather “prickly and grumpy,” to quote him, when he got a call from one of his congregants asking him to come to the hospital and pray for their daughter. She was supposed to have surgery but an infection had invaded her body and they couldn’t do it until the infection was cleared up and her fever went down. Bob knew in his spirit that if he prayed for her, she would be healed, but he reeaaaalllllllly didn’t want to go. He went anyway, just as prickly and grumpy as you please, laid his hands on the girl, and asked God to get rid of the infection so they could go ahead with the surgery. He left to go back home, and as he walked in the door, the phone was ringing; her temp was normal. That fast. He says it was quite humbling that God wanted to use him, as fleshly and uncooperative as he was feeling, but the issue wasn’t the attitude of the channel, but the divine power that flowed through it.

When you get an impression in your spirit that you should/want to pray for someone, please give yourself permission to trust the Lord’s leading on that. (And I would ask, are you being impressed to pray for them just internally, or does He want you to bless them by praying out loud? Consider that having someone pray for you out loud is an intense blessing for most people, and if you don’t follow through, you may be depriving them of a blessing God wants to give them through you!)

What you’re dealing with is discomfort over operating in the supernatural, and the more times you overcome your reticence, the easier it will become to follow through on His leading. You can go up to someone and say, “Excuse me, I know this may sound crazy, but I think the Lord wants me to pray for you right now. May I have your permission?” A number of years ago I decided I wanted to be the kind of person who would stop in the middle of a sidewalk and pray for someone right then and there if it was the right thing to do, but it was unfamiliar territory to me. So I told myself, “I need to get over the discomfort of the unfamiliar, and then it will be familiar, and it will feel natural, and that’s where I want to live! Where praying out loud at the drop of a hat feels natural and comfortable. So I will push past the discomfort to get to the place I want to be.” It worked.

I heard a great story at one of the Exodus conferences. (Exodus International used to be the umbrella organization over many ministries that deal with the homosexuality issue; I serve with one.) Andy Comiskey, a former homosexual struggler (to whom God has brought great healing) and his wife were in New York on an anniversary trip. They took a walk to Greenwich Village and ended up in a park across the street from Stonewall, the bar where the gay rights movement was launched in 1969. It was a gay park, and they sensed a lot of demonic oppression in that place. Andy said, “Enough! We need to take authority right now!” and invited Jesus to be Lord of that park. He prayed, “Your kingdom come, Lord!” and so the two of them kept their eyes peeled for what God was going to do. They saw a lady who looked oppressed to them, so they walked up to her and Andy said, “Excuse me, but my wife and I are Christians, and we believe God wants us to pray for you. Would that be OK? If it isn’t, we’ll just pray for you as we leave.” The lady’s eyes filled with tears and she said, “This morning I prayed and said, ‘God, if You’re real, show me.’”

If you get the urge to pray for someone and don’t know what to pray for, I would 1) trust that if you obey His prompting, God will impress you with what to pray for if He wants you to pray something specific, and 2) ask the Father to bless that person with His love and the awareness of His presence and His pleasure in them as a person He made in His image and sent Jesus to die for. Ask Him for His peace and a lingering sense of blessing on the person throughout the day. No matter what the person’s issue is, you can bless them in Jesus’ name and it is a REAL THING you are giving them! I would also suggest that you dive deep into God’s word to grow your familiarity with, and make a list of, His promises and truths that you can feel confident praying because He has already revealed it as His will. (One of my favorites is from Ephesians 3:18, that the person will have power “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” for them.)

Hope this helps!

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries

© 2005 Probe Ministries