Graham Cooke has been at the forefront of prophetic ministry worldwide for more than thirty years. While other prophetic ministries have come and gone, Graham’s Future Training Institute has remained and its influence has spread. Based in Southampton, UK, for many years, Graham’s base of operations is now in Vacaville, California, where he is also part of the leadership team of a church simply called The Mission.
Rightly credited as a trailblazing pioneer in prophetic ministry worldwide, Graham came to the attention of the wider world through his first book, 'Developing Your Prophetic Gifting'. Published back in the early 1990s it was considered utterly groundbreaking and revelatory for its time. At last someone had tackled the operation of the prophetic ministry – an area of church life open to abuse and wackiness, as vital and important as it is – and explained how to utilise it in a grounded, commonsense and biblical way. It is a testament to that work that, approaching twenty years since it was first published, still sells strongly and many refer to it as 'the' textbook on prophetic ministry.
Graham has initiated programmes of training that have included schools on the prophetic, spiritual warfare and intimacy with God. In addition, he has functioned as a consultant to many churches across the world, specifically helping them to navigate the transition from one dimension of calling to a higher level of vision and ministry. His passion has always been to build prototype churches skilled in reaching our post-modern society; churches that are prophetic, progressive, supernatural and a resource to others.
His long term commitment to mission through both raising awareness and funds is notable. Graham has underwritten projects to build and run a number of safe houses where women can escape or be rescued from the sex industry and also supports many church planting, leadership development and evangelism projects.
Those who know him personally will tell you that Graham, more than anyone else they know, manages to be supremely down to earth, whilst at the same time being an immense repository of spiritual wisdom. He has developed a rhythm for life that includes many hours of intimate time alone with God. Anyone who believes they are called to prophetic ministry, he believes, should start here. “The role of a New Testament prophet is not primarily to prophesy,” he says in characteristically thought-provoking style. “It’s to teach people how to hear the voice of God for themselves, because Jesus said, ‘My sheep know My voice.’ We need millions of Christians released to hear the voice of God for themselves. Our role as prophets is to teach people how to discover and live in the will of God for their lives as part of a prophetic community called the Church.”
Cooke feels that, although prophetic ministry has suffered due to misuse and abuse at the hands of those with a skewed perception of their biblical mandate, the tide is turning as more and more prophetic people are moving away from the religious mindset and beginning to understand that God wants to release His favour upon a waiting world. “There is a new sense of accountability coming into prophetic ministry,” says Graham. “We need to look carefully at who and how we are discipling and mentoring.”
With this in mind, Graham has rewritten the classic 'Developing Your Prophetic Gifting' as a resource to prophetic ministers and church leaders. With almost another twenty years of learning and listening to God under his belt since the book was first published, the result is a radical reworking. This is not a single 'updated' or 'revised' edition, but rather six volumes of the same size or bigger than the original that form a comprehensive body of work – the most complete teaching on every aspect of prophetic ministry ever published.
Graham Cooke’s longevity is remarkable. Very few prophetic ministries are reliably consistent over a long period of time. When asked about this, Graham asserts that many people in prophetic ministry don’t stay the distance because they don’t operate from a place of inner peace and rest. Each year Graham spends at least four months of his time in meditation, listening to what God has to say to him. “Some people are incredibly anointed for ministry,” he says, “but in the end they are more about doing than being.” He reflects that nearly all of his mentors over the years, “taught me how to live with God and live from the inside out... if you want longevity in the ministry, you have to spend most of your anointing on God – in intimacy, in worship, in waiting on Him, meditating.”
Article by Tim Pettingale. Edited by Melissa Wiggins.