A question was asked in an on-line forum, "How can we religious promote the spirit of mysticism and prophecy in the Christian people?" It took me couple of days to consider this question and whether I wanted to attempt to answer it. The following is my attempt to adequately define the terms mysticism and prophecy and their place in the Christian Church today.
The terms mysticism and prophecy in Biblical Christian terms have always been controversial as they conjure up visions of non-Christian practices performed by peoples such as the Druids, the priestly class in Britain, Ireland and Gaul, who are portrayed as sorcerers who opposed the coming of Christianity.
Mysticism or mystics are simply those who have a deeper understanding of a spiritual truth that the average citizen does not understand. Daniel spoke of a mystery that King Nebuchadnezzar asked to be interpreted by his wise men in Chapter 2 of Daniel. The Apostle Paul used the word mystery in his letters to the Romans, the Corinthians, the Ephesians, and the Colossians, as well as his letter to Titus.
Mysticism or mystics are not necessarily anti-Christian, as I've heard from some well-meaning Christians. It is just that these truths are not comfortable for most Christians. In our society, we want Christian thought that does not bring us discomfort or pain. Entire volumes have been written about escaping trials or learning to "deal with" tragedy in our lives. The book, "The Prayer of Jabez", by Bruce Wilkerson, is a book about how Christians should pray like him, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." (1 Chronicles 4:10) Bernie Kjos combats this thinking in his rebuttal of Wilkerson's book in his column, "Problems with the Prayer of Jabez".
Suffering is only one of the mysteries that are mentioned in the Old and New Testaments. Another is found in the Book of Job. The question, "Why do bad things happen to good people" has been around as long as there have been people on this earth. And as we see in Job's case, it wasn't because he was bad, or wicked, as his comforters tried to rationalize.
Prophecy is another mystery that is difficult to explain. Biblical Prophecy is often thought to be only the foretelling of the future. But prophecy in terms of Biblical truth is always more than that. It can be simply putting popular events in light of Biblical truth, such as is found in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."
In this passage, Paul was not only speaking futuristically, but also how events he was seeing were relevant in God's economy in his world. You don't have to be a prophet to see that all these issues are coming to pass. A modern day "prophet" could simply be someone who gives you God's perspective on the nightly news. In other words, how current affairs are lining up with what God's prophets of old said way back when.
Probably the best way to promote mysticism and prophecy to today's church is to become as knowledgeable as possible on God's perspective on what's happening around us and then live a life that honors God. The prayer that we all call "The Lord's Prayer" is a good place to start. Allow this prayer to consume your life, that you recognize that 1) God is your Father in Heaven, 2) You desire Him to return and want His will working in your life like it would if you were in Heaven right now, 3) that you are relying on Him for all your basic needs, 4) that you wish to live a life of daily repentance for your sins, which are debts that you owe, and that you will give others the benefit of the doubt when they owe you a debt, and 5) that you need help to keep away from the temptations of this word, which are many, and deliverance from the Evil One.
A couple of Christian writers of note are Soren Kierkegaard, C.S. Lewis, or Watchman Nee. They would all say from experience that to experience things that put us out of our comfort zone is to experience the Christian life. A life without hardship or difficult is not a life that has been tested, and therefore a life that doesn't know what it can actually accomplish through the power of the Holy Spirit working through it.