I was raised to see Prophets as larger than life messengers of God's word. The Bible told stories of God speaking to and through people. It didn't matter if they WANTED to be used or not. He chose them and that was it.
Somehow in the Bible, nobody called people crazy when they claimed to hear God (ok... it did happen, but it wasn't the primary focus of the writing). They usually evidenced themselves through miracles. From the minor (look my fur has dew and yours doesn't!) to the major (God is going to kill your children and turn your river into blood!).
Once they proved themselves, writings elevated prophets to holier than man status. That may have made sense when the challenge was mass celebration of ignorance. In that case forming a cult is the only way to keep the idea alive in the face of conceptual xenophobia.
While nothing used to say “I'm a mouthpiece for the divine” more than a miracle, technological miracles are so common now that old school miracles of healing, TK, knowing the future and more are often ignored or considered coincidences... sometimes to the very persons who experienced them.
I healed a man who doctors told would be wheelchair bound for life with energy work. He now hates me because I don't want to give him a portion of a company he did nothing to earn. His regard to me offers absolutely no consideration to the fact that without the work I did he would STILL be in a wheelchair.
Thus, the bad news is that performing miracles won't get you much respect in modern life. Ironically that's probably good news too... because it means that people won't generally start wars, kill people or do other unhealthy behaviors just because someone comes along with the ability to perform cool tricks.
But what does that mean to modern prophecy?
It means that we can have many prophets at once without having to kill each other!
Historically a prophet's job was to receive the wisdom of the ancestors, spirit and other cultures and then offer it to his current culture in a way they could understand it. Our current culture faces absurd amounts of available information. Unfortunately a large fraction of that available information is being ignored or is being used ineffectively. Rather than needing a cult to survive physical threats to the health of the potential teacher of basic understandings, modern prophecy involves far more complexity.... we have to figure out how to USE the information we have (and fill in what we don't).
Each student of wisdom must also become a teacher willing to work with other student/teachers to measure each other's messages and apply the most effective message to each situation.
The more of us who help bring knowledge and wisdom into our culture's context the easier it will be for all practitioners to recognize the understandings we strive so hard to achieve as simple and obvious.
A prophet is doing their job correctly when people around them consider what they are teaching incredible at first hearing... and completely apparent at the second one.
Example? I had one the other day. Why is Mjolnir (Thor's Hammer) always upside down? Why does everybody speak of lightning coming from Thors Hammer? I watched a Thunderhead Cloud with Lightning striking between the center of the cloud and the head..
Guess what it looked like? ALMOST EXACTLY like a Mjolnir Pendant! The first moment I saw it I had an AHA moment. The second moment I wanted to facepalm because it is so obvious! And yet as of this writing Wikipedia's article on Mjolnir has NOTHING about clouds in it. Despite the fact that it is completely obvious and you'll consider it so, I DARE you to try to find a popular writing about Mjolnir being a thunderhead cloud. As far as I can tell it doesn't exist... yet.
Wait... what happened to the whole hearing God thing? Isn't that important to this? Shouldn't only people who can hear God be called prophets?
My primary tradition is Ifa (A Yoruban Living Shamanic Tradition). In that tradition ALL human beings are capable of hearing from spirit. In that context a prophet is simply a person who decides to actively be part of the communal relationship with spirit, but EVERY SINGLE ACTION IS INFLUENCED BY SPIRIT!
That's right. Every single action ever taken had an influence from spirit. Sure... sometimes the amount of resistance to spirit was epic, but there was still a small fraction of spirit peeking through.
In Ifa, all practitioners are supposed to form relationships with certain spirits in order to recognize them and become a more pure channel for them. In short... to learn to resist spirit less. In the end the whole priesthood involves studying, translating and working with spirit to apply and, if necessary, update the prophecies other priests received through the ages.
We have an incredible of information available to us and the number of sources is nearly as incredibly large too. They include countless Scientists, Historians, Engineers, Researchers, Priests, Prophets, Psychics, Visionaries, Dreamers and more.
In a world with very little knowledge available to them, an ancient Prophet bringing a small amount of new knowledge from spirit was a treasure indeed. Now-days a single prophet could write non-stop bringing new knowledge directly from spirit and only be a small fraction of the new information added to the human experience.
It is no longer sufficient to be an empty vessel for spirit to speak metaphors through. A prophet needs to be well versed in the topic spirit will be teaching them. A very true message of “Invisible wisdom leaps from the clear crystal as blue fire which flies down the golden cord so you can hear it.” needs to be able to be written (as if it were somehow new information) as “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_radio”. In order to be able to understand and translate complex understandings from spirit you have to have detailed knowledge of the topic spirit will be teaching you.
However, back to a more metaphysical context. Spirit has things to teach beyond how to build a better mousetrap. Spirit offers guidance on living a joyful, fulfilled and contented life. How to treat each other better. How to avoid the mistakes of our ancestors. How to heal our personal wounds and so much more.
Many of these lessons were already offered to previous prophets through their ancestors and connection to spirit. It is our turn. In our age of rapid technological change leading to rapid social and family change every spiritual worker/trafficker/priest/magician must be involved in re-interpreting their tradition into the current cultural context. Each one of us needs to study those who came before, test what we have learned and then listen to spirit to adjust those lessons to work for us. It is not enough to simply do what we were taught. Those lessons may not apply anymore. When the old messages fail we need to ask spirit why and what we could do instead.
In short... The prophets never went anywhere. It's simply that their skill set stopped being unique to a generation. With the vast amount of knowledge available to us we have unspoken and unpraised prophets operating in Universities, Businesses, Hospitals and more all around us... and it's normal.
I hope that rather than being disappointed you can see hope in this. It is possible for EVERYONE including you to receive direct instruction from God/Dess. We live in a culture where spirit is offering so much to our collective education and wisdom that we forget to recognize the experience as the miracle that it is.
It is possible to become a more clear channel. Many old teachings (religions and spirituality) teach how to become a clear conduit. Receiving those teachings does often lead to manifestations of Siddhi (psychic/magick/miracle powers) but that's simply because you are learning about the structure of the universe in such a way that you can work with spirit to manipulate it when necessary. If you add a deep understanding about another topic then the channeling can start to be USEFUL to more than a couple people at a time.
Sure science won't accept your channeling, however you CAN channel information and then apply the scientific process to testing the theory you received and engineer solutions from it. If you channel a tidbit about history you can research to confirm or disprove it. If you channel information about companies you can do your research and then use the information to guide a stock buying strategy.
I can't imagine a single life journey which wouldn't be blessed by becoming a more clear conduit from spirit. If you choose to form a clear connection and listen to spirit expect coincidences to line up for your benefit, the answer you need to just pop into your head and peace... expect peace.
Nothing makes the huge vast world seem less scary than a confident personal experience that the loving creative force of everything is hand-holding you through a blessed life experience.