Prophecy is an abundance that comes to man from without, from a higher source.
This supernatural power is not necessarily a quality of his own being (although it may be), but he is essentially dependent on something external and objective, which is the source of the power.
On the other hand, the possessor of supernatural powers who is not a prophet, is himself the source of this power, which is subjective and given to his free will.
From this point of view, and from every other point of view, this capacity or talent may be likened to any other human talent—like painting or composing.
The capacity to rise above the limitation of nature is given to people with a special gift for it.
This gift, however, can be found in almost every type of person, irrespective of any other quality or trait.
In other words, prophecy is an expression of supernatural influence coming from some source above and greater than the world, while other kinds of supernatural phenomena are expressions of human capacities for this sort of power, used within a personal framework of source and action.
In the literature of the Kabbalah and Chasidism, it is assumed that every human being has some capacity for making contact with a world above the concrete world, and that the way to the supernatural is available to everyone at a particular level.
At the same time, there are exceptional individuals and exceptional revelatory situations in which this contact is much more intimate and meaningful.
The supernatural capacity itself is a part of the whole concept of madregot (steps or grades).
The term madregot comprises the various forms of supernatural revelation, vision, clairvoyance, telepathy, miracle, healing, release from the physical, and the like.
The relation to all these madregot (though they may also be the basis for "miracles") is like that of the Talmud: an attitude of respect and deference, together with a certain suspicion and disdain.
Thus, although madregot were considered valuable means, they were never felt to be the end in themselves.
A person could be a miracle-worker and still not be great as a person; the madregah and the person are not always on the same plane.
Much has been written about situations in which a person receives madregot without an accompanying elevation of personality or being, so that the madregot may later destroy the soul of the person who receives them.
And clearly, these distinctions have to be made.
The madregot are as marvelous as any other spiritual gifts, capable of bringing much benefit and grace.
But if they are not used correctly, they can become the very opposite.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From "Religion and Mystical Powers" in The Strife of the Spirit by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz