When I can’t hear God for myself?

My 13 year old son has recently joined Air Force Cadets and, on Anzac Day, as I watched him march with his unit, I began crying. Not sobbing but crying enough that my response shocked me. Why was I crying? When anything unexpected occurs, I try to ask God “What did that trigger in me?” or “Why did I respond like that?” or “What’s underneath that emotion?”

Nothing came. My mind was spinning with a thousand thoughts – was it because our son wanted to join the Defence Force and he may be fighting in a war one day? Was it because…. Numerous what if’s came to mind. But God seemed to be deathly silent in answering me.

I sat with it a bit longer and it suddenly struck me – I think I was asking the wrong question. A more appropriate question was “Was it appropriate the emotion I expressed?” Immediately I heard God’s voice – “Yes. You are extremely grateful for those who served and fought to save this country and your future.”

Wow – I suddenly realised that often when people say to me “I can hear God for others but I find it hard hearing God for myself”, then perhaps they need to change their question.

I encourage you, next time you find it hard hearing God for yourself, to change the question you are asking God.

I believe that there are also several other things we can do so that we open up the communication lines between God and ourselves for ourselves.

Listed below are a few ideas to implement when you feel a blockage in hearing God for yourself.

  1. What am I asking God? Can I reframe my question? Am I asking God the wrong question? Am I wanting to hear a specific answer ie treating God like Santa Claus, thus not hearing God because I’m not hearing what I’m wanting.
  2. Change things up a bit. Do something different. Perhaps put on different worship music. Try spending time with God in nature or a different place than normal. I love going to the beach on a stormy day and ‘feeling’ God in the storm.
  3. Have I been obedient in doing what God has asked of me? This is a question I ask of myself. If I haven’t been obedient in following through on what God has already asked me to do, how can I expect Him to then tell me the next step?
  4. Is there any sin in my life that I am aware of? Sin has an amazing way of blocking the relationship between God and myself.
  5. Facilitate an encounter with God. In your imagination, go to a place where you feel close to God, a place where you hear God’s voice easily. Imagine yourself there. What is it like? What does it feel like, look like, smell like, taste like, sound like? Imagine that Jesus walks to where you are in that place. Look for Jesus in your imagination and imagine that He has a present in His hands for you. Watch Him place it down next to you or place it in your hands. You have a choice what you do next. Do you want to open it? Go ahead and open it. What has Jesus just given you? (Usually something like this can open up those lines of communication between God and ourselves again.) Another encounter to try is to imagine yourself under a waterfall. Look around and feel, hear, smell, see what it is like under that waterfall. Imagine next that that waterfall is God pouring out good stuff over you. What is He pouring over you? Revel in what is being poured over you. Enjoy. Splash around in it. When you finish imaging this, try spending some time just enjoying God for who He is.
  6. Am I prepared to really lean in to God over a longer period of time – fast, meditate, pray over a period of time, enjoy being with God, spend time listening.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Have paper and crayons/pencils ready. Ask everyone to find a partner and ask God to show them what sort of present He wants to give their partner. Encourage them to draw what the outside of the present looks like. Then ask God what the actual present is and draw that. Ask them to give the paper to their partner and share what it was.

2. Group Activation: Play a harder version of Prophetic UNO. You will need some UNO cards (you don’t need the whole pack – just select a few of each colour) and the instructions below copied so that people can easily see them. Take it in turns going around the circle turning over the next card. Follow the instructions as to what to do with that colour card. This works best when the group is about 6-8 people in size. If your group is larger, perhaps form two groups, with enough UNO cards and instructions for each group.

UNO Prophecy Instructions – remember to be encouraging, strengthening and comforting

RED – you give a prophetic word to the person on your left about their financial situation

GREEN – you give a prophetic word to the person on your right about their relationship with someone close to them

BLUE  – you give a prophetic word to the person opposite about something that concerns them

YELLOWyou choose who to give a prophetic word to in the group about their career/employment/job

DRAW 2give any 2 people in the group a prophetic word about their identity

DRAW 4choose 4 people to give you a prophetic word

WILD CARD  – choose whether you give a prophetic word to someone about their destiny or choose someone to give you one about your destiny

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God asking Him about something you have felt He has been quiet on. Brainstorm with God several different questions about it. Perhaps facilitate an encounter with God eg present encounter or under a waterfall etc and see if you can hear God easier.

4. Intermediate Activation: Spend time with God asking Him for a prophetic word/picture for me (Jane – the author of this blog). Feel free to email it to me at [email protected]

5. Advanced Activation: In Australia, we are in the lead up to voting for the leadership of the country and for the Prime Minister for the next three years. Spend time with God hearing from Him about this and what He desires. (If you are in another country, please feel free to join with us in Australia and listen to God for what He desires for our nation.) Devise with God a prophetic act to do that ushers in spiritually and physically what’s on God’s heart.

5 Keys to Growing in the Supernatural

“I want to pray for people and see supernatural miracles”, is an often heard cry. “So I’m going to go to Africa (or the other side of the world) to see all these miracles occur.

Sure, that’s a great intention but is that really the only way of growing in the supernatural?

We went to Mozambique, Africa for 3 months and saw some supernatural miracles. But I had seen more supernatural miracles when I had prayed for people back in Australia before we went. I had prayed for two people with broken bones and the bones were dramatically healed instantaneously. I came back different from Africa though because I had been on a journey of discovering my identity and authority in Jesus Christ.

The essential, I believe, in praying for people and seeing supernatural miracles can be summed up in these 5 Keys:

  • Identity
  • Authority
  • Defining moment
  • Intimacy with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus
  • Being obedient and praying for people at every opportunity.

Key 1: Identity

Know your identity – who you are in Christ. Know what the Bible says about you and who you really are. You need to fully know and believe what God and the Bible says and believes about you at all times. A great way to help in this is to have some inner prayer ministry that helps heal inner wounds, especially from our childhood. You have to agree with me that no parent is perfect. No matter how great your parents are, there will be some wounding of some sort. I really believe that it helps to have some prayer ministry on a regular basis (for example annually or every second year) just to make sure that no faulty thinking starts to stick and cause any issues. There are many different types of inner prayer ministry available. A great place to start is to ask around and see which type people recommend. Sozo is a great place to start also.

Key 2: Authority

John 14:12 records Jesus saying “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these”.  Once you have the revelation in your life of your true identity, you can then walk in the authority that Christ has given you. When you read the Bible and see what Jesus did and realise that Jesus said that we would do even greater things, you start to walk in that authority. The authority of seeing healings, miracles, living a pure lifestyle. This is the life we were created for and am meant to be walking in every single day.

Key 3: Defining moment

That moment when you know, without a doubt, that God can heal and will still heal today.

For me, this was in 2010 when my two children were dramatically healed from anaphylaxis. Before this, I had had my mum die of cancer and a very close friend die of a brain haemorrhage. For me, I had allowed these two tragedies to impact my thinking with the belief that God wouldn’t really heal the ‘hard’ things. After my kids were dramatically healed, I could no longer deny that God didn’t heal today with the big and the small and that God actually wanted to heal every disease.

Key 4: Intimacy

We become empty if we don’t keep close and intimate with all of the Trinity – Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus. This intimacy and hearing and knowing and sensing and seeing God and what He is up to and is doing is so important. We don’t want to be running ahead or falling behind where God is and what He is up to. We need to be intimate with God and clearly hearing His thoughts and methods on what He wants us to do and how He wants us to participate in each part of life, especially in the supernatural.

Key 5: Obedience with taking every opportunity

A major part of growing in the supernatural is trying, practicing and doing. If we are never ever going to step out and take risks in the supernatural, then we can’t expect to grow. If you see someone sick or injured, immediately ask God “What do you want me to do?” or “How do you want me to pray for healing for them?” Then do it!! Do not expect to pray and see people raised from the dead if you have never prayed for a dead person before to come back to life. Take every opportunity. That was why we took our 7 and 10 year old kids with us when we were invited to the City Morgue to pray for a dead person. We took the opportunity to pray. No we didn’t see that person come back to life here on earth. We have recently taken another opportunity to pray for two more dead people. Still no resurrection here on earth but that has only resolved in us a determination to pray for the next dead person and see them come back to life on earth.

I would love to hear your thoughts on how you are growing in the supernatural. Please feel free to comment below.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Gather a number of items of clothing that denote royal identity. Allow time and space for everyone to dress up in the clothing and use the royal items whilst decreeing and declaring statements of identity over them. Have statements on paper that the kids can read out as well eg “I am God’s royal princess”, “I have authority to pray for the sick and to see them healed.” “I am God’s royal son and have access to everything that Jesus had access to.” “God loves me and has given me power to prayer for people and see my prayers answered.”

2. Group Activation: Ask people to partner up and to share with their partner a critical are of their life that they need a miracle in. Ask everyone to spend a few minutes waiting on God for how He wants them to pray. Then change the prayer to a decree and declaration and prophesy into their partner’s life about the miracle.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend some time reading about Jesus in the Gospels and the miracles that He did. Ask God to show you someone who needs a miracle in their life. Ask God to show you what to pray for them and how to go about seeing them receive their miracle.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to impress upon your heart a medical condition that He would like you to have authority over first eg praying for people with cancer and seeing them healed, seeing broken bones healed, eyesight restored etc. Go after that condition. Spend time with God praying over that condition and seeking Him about it. Write out a prophetic word that you can regularly decree and declare re that physical condition.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask a friend with similar interests and desires to grow in the supernatural to deliberately go with you to a place where desperately needy people hang out. Ask God to show you what and when to say things and start conversations with people. Ask these folk if they have a physical need that you can pray for them for a supernatural answer. Then pray with them and be a blessing to them.

Prophetic Activations – fun, simple, and important.

My biggest growth in the prophetic has come from me practicing prophesying. The most fun, though, has come from doing prophetic activations in a group. It is a great way to build community and, since I value community, I thrive on this.

A prophetic activation is an exercise where you practice and try to develop in the skill of hearing God’s voice for someone else.

I believe that prophetic activations are important in helping us to grow in the prophetic – both for adults and kids. That is why I always include 5 prophetic activations at the end of each of my blogs – one each under kids/families, groups, beginner, intermediate and advanced. Please feel free to do as few or as many as you wish. (The groupings are just a guideline.) For families, I encourage you to set aside one dinner time each week where you can practice prophesying over each other or doing the prophetic activations attached to my blogs.

I also believe that prophetic activations usually work better when they are:

  • fun
  • simple
  • quick

They provide energy and inspiration for group dynamics. Most times they can be done in pairs, sometimes in larger groups. It is also important, I believe, to ask for short feedback or a quick testimony at the end of the game.

Finding a partner:

I try and be creative at getting group members into pairs or small groups when doing an activation. When you are creative with this and people have fun, without it taking too much time or taking the focus away from doing the activations, then it helps relax people and gets them feeling easier about trying new activations. After each question, I get people to find a new partner using a different method, so have a few methods of matching people up ready.

  • I might use ‘find someone born in the same month’ or ‘find someone with the same colour socks on as yourself’ etc.
  • I sometimes use coloured lollies that stain the tongue and I give the lollies out and then people need to find a person with the same colour on their tongue as themselves.
  • I have used the chocolate clinkers and people bite into their clinker and find someone who has the same colour clinker interior as yourself.
  • I usually have a pack of cards / UNO cards handy and give out cards to people so find ‘a person with the same UNO card as you, or same number card with a pack of cards’ etc.
  • A favourite of mine is using a set of animal cards I made up using pictures of animals taken off the internet. I then laminated these cards so I can use them again. I give out the cards and get people to make the noise of the animal that is on the front of their card. They then have to find a partner who is making the same noise as themselves.

Some activations for pairs:

One the group is divided up into pairs, then give everyone a question to ask God about their partner. Give them a limited time to get an answer. After 30 seconds or a minute at the most, get people to share their answer with their partner.

  • God, if my partner was a tree, what tree would they be and why?
  • God, if my partner was a vehicle, what vehicle would they be and why?
  • God, if my partner was some confectionary, what would they be and why?
  • God, what do you see my partner clothed in and why?
  • God, if my partner was something in a supermarket, what would they be and why?
  • God, if a book was written about my partner, what would the title of the book be?
  • God, if my partner starred in a movie, what would the movie be about?
  • God, if my partner was an animal, what animal would they be and why?
  • God, if my partner was a person in a hospital, who would they be ie their role, and why?
  • God, if my partner was something at a playground, what would they be and why or, alternatively, where would they be on the playground and why?

Key points to remember:

As with any prophetic activations, there are a couple of key points to emphasise.

  • Make sure you only speak what is encouraging, edifying or comforting.
  • God speaks back to us instantly, like a friend on the phone. We don’t ask our friend a question and then have to wait 2 minutes to get a reply. We get an answer immediately.
  • A key here is the ‘first thought’ principle. The first thought that flies through your head when you ask God a question, capture that thought. If it is encouraging, edifying or comforting, then go with that thought.
  • God loves questions, so ask God some more questions about the thought that came to you to find out more. Eg why did you show me that God?

Pass the parcel:

Several years in a row for our prophetic group breakup, I organised a game of ‘Pass the Parcel’. I modelled it on the children’s party game. It was a huge hit and we continue to do it annually as it was so successful in both enjoyment and stretching everyone. Since there were about 40 people, I wrapped up 5 different parcels to be passed at the same time. (I wanted maximum effect and practice from the time!)

In every layer of the parcel, I placed an item I had bought from either the supermarket or the $2/discount shop or scavenged from around home. Items included things such as:

  • pen
  • highlighter
  • torch
  • Princess birthday candle
  • toy army men with parachutes attached
  • bath toy – rubber ducky
  • soap
  • packet of mixed lollies
  • chocolate advent calendar
  • a very sharp knife
  • balloon
  • bottle of bubbles to blow
  • a map of the world
  • a can of spam
  • a teabag
  • etc

No item was repeated and there were 9 layers each parcel. Creativity is encouraged so walk around your supermarket and see what catches your eye. I am always astounded at the variety of items I wrap in the parcels and how God uses them to speak to people.

As the music played, the parcels were passed around the circle. When the music stopped, the people holding the parcels had to unwrap the next layer of paper and find the object. They then had to ask God 2 questions – “Who do I give this present to?” and “Why?” They had only 20 – 30 seconds to get their answers. They would then go up to the person God had highlighted and give them the present and say the reason why as a prophetic word. We didn’t go with popular culture and ‘make it fair’ so that everyone got a go of giving and receiving. It was just whoever had the parcel when the music stopped gave the present and prophetic word to the person who they felt God highlighted. Some people received several presents and prophetic words and some received none. The point of the game was to realise that you can see a seemingly insignificant object and use it as a basis for a prophetic word.

Prophetic UNO:

Play “Prophetic UNO”. It works best in groups of 6-8 people. Get a pack of UNO cards. One at a time, turn over the top card. Follow the instructions eg if a red card, then you give a prophetic word to the person on your left. This is most effective when you play it quickly ie people need to start giving a prophetic word within 20-30 seconds of turning over the card. If you have more than 6-8 people, divide into groups with a pack of UNO cards for each group.

UNO Prophecy Instructions

                     RED            – you give a prophetic word to the person on your left

                     GREEN       – you give a prophetic word to the person on your right

                     BLUE          – you give a prophetic word to the person opposite

                     YELLOW    – you choose who to give a prophetic word to in the group

                     DRAW 2    – choose 2 people to give you a prophetic word

                     DRAW 4    – choose 4 people to give you a prophetic word

                     WILCARD – Choose whether you give a prophetic word to someone or choose someone to give you one.

Duck, duck, goose:

Play prophetic ‘Duck, duck, goose’. If it is a group of children, sit on the floor in a circle. If adults, arrange chairs in a circle and ask everyone to sit on a chair. Ask everyone to close their eyes. Walk around behind the group and ‘tap’ one person on the head (or shoulder if more culturally appropriate). This person will know they are the receiver. You will also know but no-one else should be aware since everyone would have had their eyes closed. Ask a leader to be a scribe. Ask everyone else to ask God what He would like to say to this (unknown) person with the scribe taking notes. After 5-6 people have shared, ask the receiver to raise their hand, thus they were the person whom the prophetic words were said about. Pass the written notes to that person for encouragement. Then repeat the process taping someone else on the head/shoulder.

Musical Chairs:

Play musical chairs. Place enough chairs (or if space limited, place coloured pieces of paper) in the middle of the room for everyone playing minus 2 people. Play music and ask everyone to move clockwise around the chairs. When the music stops, everyone runs to sit on a chair. The 2 people without chairs are out. Whilst the music plays for the next round and you remove two more chairs, have those 2 people who just got out, prophesy over each other. The next two people out then prophesy over each other until the remaining two people are the only ones left in the game. They then give each other a prophetic word.

Prophetic Tag:

Choose a person to be ‘the tagger’. They stand in the middle of the room and everyone goes to the other end. These people have to try to get to the other side of the room without being tagged by the person in the centre (the tagger). If someone is tagged, that person has to give ‘the tagger’ (the person who tagged them) a prophetic word. They then become ‘the tagger’ and the previous ‘tagger’ joins the rest of the group trying to cross the room without being tagged. If you have a large group, consider having several people in the middle being ‘taggers’.

Prophetic Ping Pong:

Get into groups of 3. Elect one person to receive the prophetic word. The other 2 people in the group will play ‘prophetic ping pong (or table tennis)’ – one person starts giving a prophetic word, the second person then carries on giving the prophetic word in the same vein of thought, then it returns to person number one to expand even deeper on that thread, then back to number two to expand deeper still. Try not to introduce anything that doesn’t follow that thread. Instead, ask God how you can go deeper with just the one thread of thought. After you finish that one concept/thought etc, switch positions for someone new to receive a prophetic word.

Lucky Dip Bag:

Have a bag that you can’t see through and place a number of items in the bag. Get people to take turns to put their hand in the bag, choose an item and pull it out. They then have 30-60 seconds to ask God who in the group they need to give the item to and why. They then give the item to that person and share how that item relates to them as a prophetic word.

Blindfolded Lucky Dip:

Beforehand, place a number of various supermarket objects in a bag. Pair up everyone and blindfold one person in each pair. This person places their hand in the bag and selects an item. Based on what that item feels like and reminds them of, get each blindfolded person to give a prophetic word over the person standing in front of them. At the end, ask each person who received a prophetic word to give feedback to their blindfolded person based on how accurate and ‘weighty’ the prophetic word felt and whether or not it raised any emotions within.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Find up some magazines with pictures in them that you can cut out. Glue and blank paper will also be needed. Ask each person to think of someone and then find a picture or some words from the magazines that God highlights to them that will communicate God’s heart to that person. Let people cut out the pictures and words and arrange on the piece of paper. Then give the piece of paper to that person.

2. Group Activation: Get people into pairs. As you play a piece of instrumental music, ask God to highlight to everyone something from the music as a starting point for a prophecy over their partner. Ask people to share with their partner.

3. Beginner Activation: Grab a cup of tea or coffee. As you do, ask God to highlight something about your drink to you. Then ask God to show you how this relates to a prophetic word to release over a family member. Share it (the prophetic word) with your family member.

4. Intermediate Activation: Look up the latest movie releases and ask God to highlight one of the movie titles to you. Ask God who this relates to prophetically and why. Contact that person and share with them.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight a major disaster in your state or country. Ask God to show you His perspective on this and what He would love your part to be in helping or prophesying good over the situation.

Helping my Kids hear from God part 4

Four years ago, our 11 year old daughter was invited to have afternoon tea with the then Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott. One of our first reactions as a family, after agreeing that we would do everything possible for her to attend, was to agree to draw (for the children) and write (for hubby and I) a prophetic word each for him and we would hand it to him when we saw him.  It was just natural to think that way, almost ‘second nature’.

(Our children find it easier to express what they are hearing / seeing from God for a person by drawing a picture for them and writing a sentence or two of explanation.)

Several weeks later, I was amazed at the number of Christians who had commented to me that they would never have thought to write or draw a prophetic word / picture for him. This shocked me. Why wouldn’t you take the opportunity in person to do that. We didn’t include any Christian language. We were encouraging and strengthening in what we wrote and drew. We purely asked God, “how do you see him and what would you like to say to him?” and then we listened for God’s reply.

Reflecting on this later, I realised that several years earlier, we would never have thought to do it either. The journey we have been on over these last eight years has prepared us for this. We have specifically tried to take every opportunity that we can to write, draw, and speak prophetic words over people. We have incorporated it into our daily lives so that it is part of us. We have grown considerably in our gifting because we have practiced. I encourage you to practice and take every opportunity you can.

We have stuck to the basics of it being encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting. We have tried not to use Christian language but begin by saying, “I sense that…” and not using “God says…”. We have never spoken or drawn negative things. If we ever did get anything negative, we would change it to the opposite and speak the positive, thereby giving life to what we said and to the other person.

This blog post is fourth in a series of four blog posts that are about teaching our kids to hear from God and prophesy. You can read the other blog posts here: Beginning to hear from God for yourself. Starting to hear from God for Others. Helping our Kids grow in hearing from God.

 

Basically, there are four steps to take initially to grow yourself and your children in the prophetic.

 

First: Practice, practice, practice.

The more you practice something, the better you get at doing that activity.

I love prophetic activations for this reason. Prophetic activations are basically some exercises that you can do to help you practice hearing God’s voice and sensing what is on His heart for a particular situation or person.

At the end of each of my blogs on this website, “Unlocking the Gold”, I always compose five prophetic activations. They include one aimed specifically at families or groups of children, another one for groups, beginners, someone a bit further down the track and another for people who consider themselves quite advanced and have been operating in the prophetic for a while. You are most welcome to do the whole five each week.

The individual activations will take about five to ten minutes to do. Some may take a bit longer eg twenty minutes. I have found with my children that they hear God immediately and they are finished within a couple of minutes whilst I am usually still trying to work out what God is saying.

I encourage you this week to look for ways to practice. Look for the hidden ‘gold’ inside a certain person and try to bring it to the surface by asking God to show you how He views them and what they need encouragement in. Then speak it kindly and gently to them in an encouraging and uplifting way.

Also, realise what you are modelling to your children. Have fun. Go for it. Make it a part of your lifestyle. Enjoy!!

 

Second: Develop intimacy with Father God.

I have found that a hugely significant way to grow in the prophetic is to get closer to God. To become more intimate with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus. The more intimate we become with all three, the more we recognise the subtleties of what they say and do and who they are.

This is also true with your kids and God. Create opportunities to pour into their lives for them to be intimate with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus. It all starts with listening to God and knowing His voice and being able to recognise it immediately. Make it fun. As you spend time with them during their bedtime ritual, practice listening to God. Ask them – “what do you think God is saying to you about ….(what happened today)..?” or “What would God like you to know as you as you are going to sleep?”

God is creative and He loves us being creative with Him. Experiment with how you and your children relate with God. Change the place eg go for a walk on the beach during a storm, take a hike, sit in a coffee shop, rest in a quiet place. Change the how eg put on quiet music and meditate on God’s goodness, put on fast, loud music and dance with God, read the Bible, fast, be silent, go out into nature and touch that which the creator has created, try creating a piece of art, etc

Our church has recently had a period of fasting for 3 weeks. It was interesting to hear some of the different ways that the teenagers fasted. Some fasted food or sugar, others social media or television etc. One girl fasted make-up as she felt God wanted to take her on a journey of looking at her self image and who she really was. Fasting creates an edge and acuity to hearing God clearly.

We become what we behold. Thus, we need to be careful at what we are looking at. What are we listening to and watching on the television or our social media? What voices are your children exposed to? What books are your children reading? Are you allowing violence, adultery, swearing into your lounge room by what you see and hear on television? Who do we surround ourselves with that are impacting on our soul and spirit? What are we feeding our spirit, soul and body? If we are exposed to the glory of God, we will be transformed. 2 Corinthians 3:18 – “And we, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

 

Third: Look at your true identity.

I encourage you and your family to go on a journey of discovery with God and yourself. Look at who God says you are. Discover your true identity. Find out how you are known in Heaven.

Explore the good, the bad and the ugly about yourself. God is a safe person and place. Be truly vulnerable with God and ask Him to reveal to you those areas you need to grow in eg any fears, shame, guilt etc. Spend time with God immersing yourself in being completely vulnerable with him and discovering what He thinks of you.

Bless your children’s spirit with knowing who God sees them as and who He created them to be. Regularly pray a blessing over your children in regard to how God sees them and who they really are.

As you uncover your true identity and live that out in its purest form, the more likely you are to hear God and operate in an intimate manner with God. Thus, your prophetic skills of hearing and seeing from God will grow and you will want to release what God is sharing with you to others.

 

Fourth: Take responsibility for your own growth.

You are responsible for your own growth. Do not expect anyone else to take this responsibility from you. Read books about the prophetic, listen to podcasts, find prophetic people and ask them to mentor you.

Chat about the prophetic when you are in the car with your kids and practice. Play a game eg “Let’s ask God to show us each which animal best represents dad and what it is about that animal and its characteristics.” Or “See that building over there. Let’s ask God what He wants to say to the owners.” Or “Let’s all ask God how much money we should give to ….?”

Keep a journal as a family outlining the promptings you feel from God and what you have done as a result and the outcome (if it was apparent). Regularly reflect and read through the journal. Even keep a jar on your dining room table and coloured paper and pens nearby. Write down times you have given prophetic words to people or drawn pictures for people and it has been appreciated. Place these slips of paper in the jar and read them out on New Year’s Eve etc.

Have family devotions about prophetic people from the Bible and how God communicated with them. Regularly talk about your dreams from overnight and what they mean.

Take every opportunity you can. Practice drawing prophetic pictures for the café owner or the post man or the teacher. At birthday parties, write a card for every person asking God what He wants you and your children to write or draw on it. Do this with every birthday card you send.

Ask friends if you can ‘practice’ on them.

Have fun on this journey as a family and be able to spur each other on in your prophetic growth. When you are intentional about growing in the prophetic, you will see a huge improvement in your ability to give prophetic words and the depth of those words.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Walk into your garage or a storage room and ask God to highlight an object to each person. Ask God why He highlighted that object and who He wants you to tell about it and how it relates to them.

2. Group Activation: Ask everyone to get an object out of their bag or pocket or off themselves and place in a bag in the middle of the room. If it is a large group, you may want to split into several smaller groups to save time. Ask each person one at a time to put their hand in the bag and select an object without looking in the bag. Ask them to prophesy over the owner of that object and then, when they have finished prophesying, ask who the object belongs to and return it to them. Encourage people to respond with brief feedback on the relevance and suitability of the prophecy.

3. Beginner Activation: Research different names for God in the Bible and ask God to highlight one for you to reflect on more. Spend time with God, reflecting on that characteristic of Him. Ask Him to show that side of His character to you and how He already operates in that way in your life. Write a prophetic word to a friend incorporating that part of God’s character within the prophetic word.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight a community group to you and to give you His insights for that group. Carefully and sensitively write a letter to the group, encouraging them in what God has shown you without actually mentioning God.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you His plan for Antarctica and what the current state of play is there. Spend time with God crafting a prophetic declaration that you can decree over Antarctica and its future.

Helping my kids hear from God part 3

It is so exciting, as a child, to hear your Father say “I love you”, “You are beautiful”. Imagine how exciting it is for people to hear their Father God say, “I love you”, “I care enough about you and know you so intimately that I have something here that is just what you need to hear.” That is basically what happens when we give people prophetic words.

I love being on the prophetic team at church and people come forward for a prophetic word. They get out their phones to record the word and myself or my partner begin to prophesy and tell them what we sense God is saying through us to them. Most times, we don’t get very far in before they start to cry. You see tears form in their eyes and they start to get emotional as what we are saying touches their core. God knows exactly what this person needed to hear and our job was to hear from God and then communicate it to that person.

Other times I have written names on sheets of paper of people whom we will be ministering to in a few days time. I have then seen my kids draw pictures on those sheets of paper at home. When we arrive at the ministry session, my kids give those sheets of paper to the people and find that that is exactly what the person needed.

Last year I was at a trivia night and three people came up to me. I remembered these three different folk from an AA type meeting we had been invited to six years ago. Hubby and I gave prophetic words to each participant and my kids had drawn pictures for each person. Each of these three people commented how the pictures my kids had given them were still on their fridge and still meant so much to them as they were so accurate.

You and your kids can do this as well.

1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” You can desire and develop the ability to hear God’s voice. Practice is crucial to develop skills in just about anything and the same is true with prophecy and hearing God’s voice. The more you practice something, the better you get at doing that activity.

There are numerous ways you can practice. Turn it into a game. On my website, I have basic kids games that we have adapted to be prophetic practicing games. Also look at part 1 and part 2 of this series of “Helping my kids to hear from God” for further hints on how to begin, firstly with hearing God for yourself and then for others.

My kids have always preferred to draw pictures for people (even though their drawings are quite basic) and I will then ask them what it is they have drawn and write what they say along the top, together with the person’s name it is for plus the date. We have taken every opportunity we could to develop this, drawing prophetic pictures for all the students and teachers in a school in Nepal, other times for every participant at a ministry workshop for over 80 people.

I believe the key is to practice and keep listening to what God is saying or showing. I often use the phrase “what is God showing, telling or giving you for that person?”.

I love prophetic activations for this reason. Prophetic activations are basically some exercises that you can do to help you practice hearing God’s voice and sensing what is on His heart for a particular situation or person.

At the end of each of my blogs on this website, “Unlocking the Gold”, I always compose five prophetic activations. They include one aimed specifically at families or groups of children, another one for groups, beginners, someone a bit further down the track and another for people who consider themselves quite advanced and have been operating in the prophetic for a while. You are most welcome to do the whole five each week.

The individual activations will take about five to ten minutes to do. Some may take a bit longer eg twenty minutes. I have found with my children that they hear God immediately and they are finished within five minutes whilst I am usually still trying to work out what God is saying.

My first year at operating in the prophetic, I used to write 3-5 birthday cards per week. At that time, I was involved in a weekly meal to help people who were struggling with life issues, usually suffering from mental illness as well, and I would write encouragement cards and birthday cards for these folk, as well as cards for friends and family. On the left hand side of the card, I would ask God what to write, listen to what I felt Him saying and then write it down. At the time, I was busy with young kids and would set aside the 30 minutes during the kids swimming lesson to do this, putting myself under pressure to finish them in this time.

Every time I went to the shops or had a coffee at a coffee shop, I would make a concerted effort to give the cashier or waitress a prophetic encouraging word. I would usually begin by saying, “I notice that you are (and go on to highlight an encouraging character issue)..” It was during this time that I noticed my gifting developing so much. I believe that it was due to my practicing and developing it.

I encourage you this week to look for ways to practice for both you and your children. Look for the hidden ‘gold’ inside a certain person and try to bring it to the surface by asking God to show you how He views them and what they need encouragement in. Then speak it kindly and gently to them in an encouraging and uplifting way. Remember to only speak words that are encouraging, uplifting and comforting, not negative at all. Use plain, everyday English. A great way to start the sentence is to say, “I sense…” or “I have a feeling that….” or “You are a … person who…..” or “I notice that ….”

  • Whilst in line at the supermarket, ask God to give you a few words to say to the cashier that will encourage and speak into their situation.
  • Ask God for people’s names and then write an encouragement card/email to them.
  • Leave a card with a prophetic word on it for the postman.
  • Drop an encouraging prophetic letter into your neighbour’s letterbox.
  • Every phone conversation you have this week, determine to pause and ask God what He wants you to release to the caller.
  • Find creative ways of writing and drawing prophetic words for your family / housemates. Leave them where they can discover them and be encouraged.
  • Realise that every time you come across someone who annoys you, it is an opportunity for you to discover the hidden ‘gold’ in that person and reveal it to them.

I have found that kids respond better and join in when they see you modelling it.

Go for it. Make it a part of your lifestyle. Enjoy!!

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Ask each person to think of an elderly person they know. Ask God what He wants to show, tell or give them to draw and write to that person. Then spend some time drawing a picture for that person that communicates what they felt God saying, showing or giving them for that person. Then find a way this week to deliver it to that person.

2. Group Activation: Ask people to take off their shoes at the door. Gather one of each shoe and go around the room, passing a shoe to a person who has to prophesy over the shoe owner. Once they have prophesied, the owner of the shoe can identify themself. Then pass a shoe to the next person and repeat the process.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God, giving Him your heaviest problem. Ask Him to show you what He wants to give you in return.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight to you someone whose blog or emails you receive. Spend time with God, crafting a prophetic word to send back to them to encourage them.

5. Advanced Activation: Abortion (especially full term) is a topic that is being debated in numerous countries at the moment. Ask God to show you His heart in relation to this and how you can communicate that most effectively and to whom in relation to the policy and decision makers responsible in your country. Prophesy into the situation for babies to be recognised as humans from conception.

Helping my Children to Hear from God – part 1

Exasperated, I told my daughter rather harshly that God didn’t talk like that. We had had our morning devotion, we had then put on a Christian song to listen to quietly in the background. My kids had grabbed their journals and blank paper and pencils & crayons. I had then asked them to ask God what He wanted to say to them today. My daughter immediately said that God had told her that He was going to give her an apple device. This was the third day in a row that God had apparently told my daughter that. I retorted by saying, “That’s because you want an iPad or iMac. God doesn’t work like that.”

I now look back on that interaction at least five years ago and I am embarrassed. Embarrassed at my callousness and impatience and unkindness towards my daughter. Embarrassed by how I misrepresented God. Embarrassed by putting my frustrations over my relationship with her. Embarrassed that my daughter had a lot greater clarity of how God works than me. (For the record, within a few months God did miraculously give her the money for an iMac.)

I often get asked by parents to share with them how I taught my children to be prophetic. Yes, my children are prophetic but I don’t think I can take all the credit for ‘teaching’ them.

In fact, I really learnt heaps by helping out in their Sunday School class. (Parents – please, I implore you – help out regularly in their class and pick up strategies and tips for use at home.) I was sitting at a table with 4 & 5 year olds. My 5 year old son next to me. The children were all lined up opposite each other with a sheet of paper in front of them and crayons on the table. They were then simply asked to draw a picture from God for the child opposite them. Us adults then asked the children what they had drawn and wrote that on the sheet of paper. The children then gave the paper to the children opposite them and explained what they had drawn.

 

I was gobsmacked. Basically this was all there was to prophecy with children.

 

I went home and that week, I started to incorporate this every few days into our devotions.

I find that children hear, sense and see from God immediately. Children don’t seem to have the same ‘hang ups’ as adults do about what God would and wouldn’t do and say, so they find it easier to trust God. They just seem to automatically accept that the first thought through their mind is from God. They asked God and He answered them. Perhaps it is also that they don’t have all the years of experience of ‘not hearing from God’ or perhaps more correctly – not recognising that what we were hearing and sensing was actually from God.

So, when I start with people wanting to teach their children how to hear from God, I start with having them explain briefly the character of God to their children in a really basic manner of a couple of sentences. Get your children to brainstorm what God would sound like. He is a good God so He is not going to say anything mean. God is going to be encouraging, positive, kind.

Second step is to hear from God for yourself and feel God’s thoughts towards you (or your children to hear and sense from God for themselves). Once you can recognise God’s voice for yourself, or your children can recognise God’s voice for themselves, it is pretty straight forward from then on.

I have listed below two activations or practical exercises that you can do yourself or with your children to help you begin to hear, feel, sense or see what God is saying to you or your children. It can be helpful to provide a quiet place where you can all rest or lie down. It is also helpful to have sheets of paper and pencils /crayons /textas that people can use to draw what they feel God saying or showing to them.

First Activation:

  1. Find a quiet place to lie down and close your eyes.
  2. Ask God, “If you could play any game with me right now, what would it be?”
  3. Capture the first thought that goes through your mind, or the first thing you feel.
  4. If you are having trouble getting something, ask God to give you a feeling or to bring to mind your favourite game. Use that game in your imagination.
  5. Then ask God a question based on that, for example
    1. “God, why did you pick that game?”
    2. “What is special about that game?”
    3. “What do you want to teach me or show me through that game?”
  6. Draw a picture of what you say or felt or heard.
  7. Share with someone, your parent etc.

Second Activation:

  1. Ask God if He could have a special time with you anywhere in the world right now, where would He take you and why?
  2. Capture that first thought that goes through your mind, or the first thing you feel.
  3. Ask God some more questions about that place. Eg
    1. “God, why did you pick that place?”
    2. “What’s special about that place?”
    3. “God, what do you want to say to me here in this place you’ve chosen for me?”
  4. Draw a picture of what you felt, saw or heard.
  5. Share with someone, your parent etc.

Chat with your children about the fact that God loves chatting with us. He wants us to have a two way conversation with Him. Thus, He loves it when we ask Him questions and clarify what He said etc.

Next week’s blog post will be part 2 on helping your children hear from God for other people.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Have everyone close their eyes and ask God what supernatural clothes God wants to give to them to be dressed in. Share what you heard, saw or felt.

2. Group Activation: Play prophetic duck, duck, goose. Have everyone sit in a circle and ask them all to close their eyes. Walk around behind people and touch one person on their head or shoulder. Then ask everyone to open their eyes. Ask them to hear from God and prophesy over the person you touched (whom only you and that person know who it is). After a certain amount of prophetic words, ask the ‘receiver of the prophetic words’ to identify themself and share how the words resonated with them. Repeat with another person being the receiver.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God asking Him where in the universe He would like to take you and why. Ask Him questions about what you would do there together, why that place is special etc.

4. Intermediate Activation: Write a prophetic word for your garbage collector this week. Buy a small present that relates prophetically to this and give them both to your garbage collector when he next collects your rubbish.

5. Advanced Activation: Write a prophetic word for the leader of your country. Remember to exude grace and love and kingdom values. Find a way of emailing or posting this to Him/Her.

Hearing God’s Voice (part 4) – Growing in the Prophetic

Three years ago, our 11 year old daughter was invited to have afternoon tea with the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott. One of our first reactions as a family, after agreeing that we would do everything possible for her to attend, was to agree to draw (for the children) and write (for hubby and I) a prophetic word each for him.  It was just natural to think that way, almost ‘second nature’.

(Our children find it easier to express what they are hearing / seeing from God for a person by drawing a picture for them and writing a sentence or two of explanation.)

Several weeks later, I was amazed at the number of Christians who had commented to me that they would never have thought to write or draw a prophetic word / picture for him. This shocked me. Why wouldn’t you take the opportunity in person to do that. We didn’t include any Christian language. We were encouraging and strengthening in what we wrote and drew. We purely asked God, “how do you see him and what would you like to say to him?” and then we listened for God’s reply.

Reflecting on this later, I realised that several years earlier, we would never have thought to do it either. The journey we have been on over these last seven years has prepared us for this. We have specifically tried to take every opportunity that we can to write, draw, and speak prophetic words over people. We have incorporated it into our daily lives so that it is part of us. We have grown considerably in our gifting because we have practiced. I encourage you to practice and take every opportunity you can.

We have stuck to the basics of it being encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting. We have tried not to use Christian language but begin by saying, “I sense that…” and not using “God says…”. We have never spoken or drawn negative things. If we ever did get anything negative, we would change it to the opposite and speak the positive, thereby giving life to what we said and to the other person.

Basically, there are four steps to take initially to grow in the prophetic.

Firstly, practice, practice, practice.

The more you practice something, the better you get at doing that activity.

I love prophetic activations for this reason. Prophetic activations are basically some exercises that you can do to help you practice hearing God’s voice and sensing what is on His heart for a particular situation or person.

At the end of each of my blogs on this website, “Unlocking the Gold”, I always compose five prophetic activations. They include one aimed specifically at families or groups of children, another one for groups, beginners, someone a bit further down the track and another for people who consider themselves quite advanced and have been operating in the prophetic for a while. You are most welcome to do the whole five each week.

The individual activations will take about five to ten minutes to do. Some may take a bit longer eg twenty minutes. I have found with my children that they hear God immediately and they are finished within five minutes whilst I am usually still trying to work out what God is saying.

My first year at operating in the prophetic, I used to write 3-5 birthday cards per week. At that time, I was involved in a weekly meal to help people who were struggling with life issues, usually suffering from mental illness as well, and I would write encouragement cards and birthday cards for these folk, as well as cards for friends and family. On the left hand side of the card, I would ask God what to write, listen to what I felt Him saying and then write it down. At the time, I was busy with young kids and would set aside the 30 minutes during the kids swimming lesson to do this, putting myself under pressure to finish them in this time.

Every time I went to the shops or had a coffee at a coffee shop, I would make a concerted effort to give the cashier or waitress a prophetic encouraging word. I would usually begin by saying, “I notice that you are (and go on to highlight an encouraging character issue)..” It was during this time that I noticed my gifting developing so much. I believe that it was due to my practicing and developing it.

I encourage you this week to look for ways to practice. Look for the hidden ‘gold’ inside a certain person and try to bring it to the surface by asking God to show you how He views them and what they need encouragement in. Then speak it kindly and gently to them in an encouraging and uplifting way. Remember to only speak words that are encouraging, uplifting and comforting, not negative at all. Use plain, everyday English. A great way to start the sentence is to say, “I sense…” or “I have a feeling that….” or “You are a … person who…..” or “I notice that ….”

  • Whilst in line at the supermarket, ask God to give you a few words to say to the cashier that will encourage and speak into their situation.
  • Ask God for people’s names and then write an encouragement card/email to them.
  • Leave a card with a prophetic word on it for the postman.
  • Drop an encouraging prophetic letter into your neighbour’s letterbox.
  • Every phone conversation you have this week, determine to pause and ask God what He wants you to release to the caller.
  • Find creative ways of writing and drawing prophetic words for your family / housemates. Leave them where they can discover them and be encouraged.
  • Realise that every time you come across someone who annoys you, it is an opportunity for you to discover the hidden ‘gold’ in that person and reveal it to them.

Go for it. Make it a part of your lifestyle. Enjoy!!

Secondly, intimacy with Father God

I have found that a hugely significant way to grow in the prophetic is to get closer to God. To become more intimate with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus. The more intimate we become with all three, the more we recognise the subtleties of what they say and do and who they are.

God is creative and He loves us being creative with Him. Experiment with how you relate with God. Change the place eg go for a walk on the beach during a storm, take a hike, sit in a coffee shop, rest in a quiet place. Change the how eg put on quiet music and meditate on God’s goodness, read the Bible, fast, be silent, go out into nature and touch that which the creator has created, try creating a piece of art, etc

We become what we behold. Thus, we need to be careful at what we are looking at. What are we listening to and watching on the television or our social media? Who do we surround ourselves with that are impacting on our soul and spirit? What are we feeding our spirit, soul and body? If we are exposed to the glory of God, we will be transformed. 2 Corinthians 3:18 – “And we, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Thirdly, look at your true identity

I encourage you to go on a journey of discovery with God and yourself. Look at who God says you are. Discover your true identity. Find out how you are known in Heaven.

Explore the good, the bad and the ugly about yourself. God is a safe person and place. Be truly vulnerable with God and ask Him to reveal to you those areas you need to grow in eg any fears, shame, guilt etc. Spend time with God immersing yourself in being completely vulnerable with him and discovering what He thinks of you.

As you uncover your true identity and live that out in its purest form, the more likely you are to hear God and operate in an intimate manner with God. Thus, your prophetic skills of hearing and seeing from God will grow and you will want to release what God is sharing with you to others.

Fourth, take responsibility for your own growth.

You are responsible for your own growth. Do not expect anyone else to take this responsibility from you.

Some further ways you can help yourself to grow in your prophetic ability include:

  • Read books about the prophetic
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Find prophetic people and ask them to mentor you.
  • Keep a journal outlining the promptings you feel from God and what you have done as a result and the outcome (if it was apparent).
  • Ask a friend if you can record a prophecy you speak over them so as to listen to it back and hear what you say. Sometimes we can be shocked by how often we mumble or keep repeating ourselves.
  • Ask friends if you can ‘practice’ on them.
  • Find someone to have fun with on this journey and be able to spur each other on in your prophetic growth.

When you are intentional about growing in the prophetic and taking risks, you will see a huge improvement in your ability to give prophetic words and the depth of those words.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Place an assortment of Lego on the table and ask everyone to make something from God for the person on their left out of Lego. Set a time limit. At the end, encourage everyone to share what they made and why.

2. Group Activation: Have enough envelopes and slips of paper for each person in the group. Ask people to write their own name on a slip of paper, fold the paper so the name can’t be seen and put it in the envelope and seal the envelope. Gather all the envelopes and shuffle them. Pass the envelopes out so that every person has an envelope. Ask people to write on the outside of the envelope a prophetic word for the person’s name inside it. Set a time limit of seven minutes maximum. Ask people to then open the envelope and pass to the person whose name is on the inside. Let that person read what is written on the envelope for them.

3. Beginner Activation: Find a strong fragrance and take your time inhaling the aroma. Ask God to reveal to you what He wants to communicate to you through that fragrance.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to speak to you through an advertising sign. Ask God to also highlight a person or situation that it speaks into. When you realise what that is, communicate the prophetic word to that person using the advertising sign as a base or springboard for your prophetic word.

5. Advanced Activation: Find a house or business for sale that has been for sale for a lengthy time and doesn’t seem to be selling. Spend time with God asking Him what to pray and then prophesy over that house/business. Observe over the next few weeks to see if what you prophesied makes a difference.

Hearing God’s Voice for Others (Part 3)

  • “I’ve got nothing.”
  • “I can’t Hear God.”
  • “I’ve never heard God before.”
  • “What if it’s not God but my own thoughts?”

These are all comments I regularly hear when adults are beginning to prophesy. With children, I don’t hear the same. Children tend to just take it for granted that they will hear or see or sense something and that what ever that is, then it must be from God. Us adults can tend to highlight our own thoughts way too high and believe that what we are hearing or sensing is from ourselves, that no way would it be from God.

First Thought Principle:

I encourage people to grab the first thought that comes through your head when you are trying to hear or sense from God. This works well if you are in a great place emotionally and spiritually, but not so well if you are in the pits of despair or a spiritual barren place.

I find that the ‘first thought’ through my mind is from God. It comes so quick. Then a second thought follows soon after – “What if it is me and not God?” Grab that first thought and hold on to it and expand it with God. Don’t partner with the second thought of “What if it is from me?” Ask God questions to find out more information because He loves answering them.

Once you have started hearing God for yourself, you learn to recognise what God sounds like. Some people will see pictures or sense what God is saying. Once we can hear God or sense Him, it is easy to begin to hear God and what is on His heart for others. We can help others realise how God sees them.

When starting to hear God for others, it is always important to remember that you only ever communicate to another person the positive. 1 Corinthians 14:3 says “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for the strengthening, encouraging or comfort.” Thus, we only share that which will be encouraging, comforting and strengthening.

What if I am wrong?

I can remember when I was fairly new at hearing from God. I was matched up with another person and we were giving prophetic words to leaders in a prophetic presbytery at our church conference. This lady came in and sat down. I immediately received the words ‘Romanian orphanage’. I was aghast. I must have heard wrong. Fancy saying that to someone. What if I was terribly wrong? I couldn’t say that!

Take note that during these thoughts I had, I was giving myself and my thoughts far too much credit and not focusing on the magnificence of God. It became all about me and not about God.

I managed to say something to the lady but did not utter anything about Romania and orphanage. The lady politely sat there impassively, recording the conversation. At the end of five minutes, after repeated promptings of ‘Romanian orphanage’ in my mind, I finally blurted out, “I just keep getting a sense that you will have something to do with an Eastern European orphanage”. (I tried to be more general and not mention the exact word ‘Romania’ to be safer.) The lady immediately burst into tears and then preceded to share with us that only the evening before, her husband and her had agreed to lay the years of infertility treatment behind them and felt that God was calling them to adopt a baby/child from Romania. They had pleaded with God to confirm it within the next few days.

I am so glad that I finally got ‘over myself’ and the thoughts of it being from me or thoughts of ‘what if I was wrong’. It was so exciting to partner with God and see this lady receive an answered prayer. I decided then and there that I would always communicate exactly what I felt God was wanting to say through me.

This blog post is third in a series of 4 blogs. Last week, I blogged about Hearing God’s voice for yourself (Part 2). The first week of the series was Hearing from God (part 1)

For now, we are going to practice hearing or sensing from God for something for someone else. Encourage everyone that this is a safe place to learn to hear God for someone else. As long as it is encouraging, then that is great.

If you have more than one person with you, these two following exercises work well. If you are on your own, ask God to highlight to you a person whom you could use to follow these exercises.

First Activation: (For this activation you will need a number of matchbox vehicles)

  1. Put a number of different match box cars, trucks, planes, trains on the table.
  2. Partner up.
  3. Ask God to highlight one particular vehicle to you that represents your partner.
    1. Ask God why that particular vehicle.
    2. Ask Him what does that vehicle have about it that is similar to their partner.
  4. Pick up the vehicle.
  5. Explain to your partner what you felt God say or tell or show you.
  6. Ask if anyone wants to share in the bigger group or in front of every family member present what they felt, saw or heard from God for their partner.

Second Activation: (For this activation, you will need a number of pictures or patterned paper)

  1. Put a number of pictures or patterned paper on the floor.
  2. Partner up with someone different to your first partner.
  3. Get everyone to walk around and look at the pictures.
  4. Ask God to highlight to everyone a picture that says something of God’s heart for their partner. (Even just pick up a picture that gets your attention.)
  5. Pick up the picture.
  6. Give it to your partner, explaining what God showed, told or impressed on you about your partner and the picture.

I would love to hear how you are finding hearing from God. Please feel free to comment below. Next week I will blog in part 4 about how to grow in your ability to hear, sense and see from God.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Sit in a circle and ask God to show, tell or give you a movie/tv character for the person on your right. Ask God why this particular tv or movie character and what is similar about the character and the person on your right. Share with the person on your right.

2. Group Activation: Play ‘prophetic tag’. Choose a person to be ‘the tagger’. They stand in the middle of the room and everyone goes to the other end. These people have to try to get to the other side of the room without being tagged by the person in the centre (the tagger). If someone is tagged, that person has to give ‘the tagger’ (the person who tagged them) a prophetic word. They then become ‘the tagger’ and the previous ‘tagger’ joins the rest of the group trying to cross the room without being tagged. If you have a large group, consider having several people in the middle being ‘taggers’.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to highlight a Psalm from the Bible to you. Read it through and meditate on it. Ask God to highlight whom you could share this Psalm with today and how it might minister to them.

4. Intermediate Activation: Select a very old person at church and spend time with God receiving what He has to say about this person. Communicate this to them in an appropriate manner.

5. Advanced Activation: Spend time with God asking Him for a prophetic word for the Seniors group in your church. If your church doesn’t have a Senior’s group, ask God which other Senior’s group it would be relevant for and deliver it to them appropriately.

Hearing God’s voice for yourself (Part 2)

As I asked God what He thought of me and how He saw me, I stood still and waited. Almost immediately an amazingly beautiful picture filled my mind of a me as a Princess. I was wearing this stunning pearl blue sparkling long gown with a stunning diamond tiara. But as I looked at this princess, I was most struck with ‘this is how God sees me, as a beautiful princess’. I had never believed I was pretty but it hadn’t been anything I had spent time thinking about. But looking at myself as a princess in this picture in my mind, I realised that God saw me as beautiful, as His princess. He was my daddy and I was His princess and that was all that mattered.

I was so excited. This was such a great picture and made me feel so great, that I couldn’t wait for the rest of the exercises or activations for that night. It was truly transforming for me.

That evening was one of the first times that I had actually heard God for myself about myself. I had heard His audible voice a number of times in relation to a directive for my life, but not like this. I was undertaking a year long course in inner healing and prayer ministry and we were looking at ‘Hearing God’s voice’. The first thing we had to do was ask God how He saw ourselves.

I believe that a great place to start when beginning to prophesy is to hear and feel God’s thoughts towards yourself. This process works really well with all age groups, particularly children. Children don’t seem to have the same ‘hang ups’ as adults do about what God would and wouldn’t do and say, so they find it easier to trust God. They just seem to automatically accept that the first thought through their mind is from God. They asked God and He answered them.

I have listed below three activations or practical exercises to help you begin to hear, feel, sense or see what God is saying to you. It is helpful to provide a quiet place where people can rest or lie down. It is also helpful to have sheets of paper and pencils/crayons/textas that people can use to draw what they feel God saying or showing to them.

First Activation:

  1. Find a quiet place to lie down and close your eyes.
  2. Ask God, “If you could play any game with me right now, what would it be?”
  3. Capture the first thought that goes through your mind, or the first thing you feel.
  4. If you are having trouble getting something, ask God to give you a feeling or to bring to mind your favourite game. Use that game in your imagination.
  5. Then ask God a question based on that, for example
    1. “God, why did you pick that game?”
    2. “What is special about that game?”
    3. “What do you want to teach me or show me through that game?”
  6. Share with someone what you felt or heard. Perhaps draw a picture of what you say or felt or heard. If you are alone, it is great to draw or write down what you felt, saw or heard God saying.

Second Activation:

  1. Ask God if He could have a special time with you anywhere in the world right now, where would He take you and why?
  2. Capture that first thought that goes through your mind, or the first thing you feel.
  3. Ask God some more questions about that place. Eg
    1. “God, why did you pick that place?”
    2. “What’s special about that place?”
    3. “God, what do you want to say to me here in this place you’ve chosen for me?”
  4. Share with someone what you felt God say. Perhaps draw a picture of what you felt, saw or heard.

Third Activation:

  1. Ask God how He sees you dressed. Ask God what sort of clothes you are wearing, what is on your head, what is on your feet, if there is anything you are carrying in your hand, etc. Ask God what sort of person and character He sees you as.
  2. Keep asking God more questions about this. Pay attention to anything you hear, feel, and see.
  3. Share with someone or write or draw it in on a sheet of paper.

Today’s blog is part 2 of a 4 part series. Next week I will be covering the practical steps of how to start to hear God for someone else.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Get some large paper eg Butchers paper (Ikea has huge rolls of this) and textas. Place a long roll of paper on the floor that’s long enough for a person to lie completely on and ask a person to lie down on the paper. Trace around their body. Write that person’s name on the sheet of paper. Do this for every person. Then spend some time writing on the paper encouraging words about that individual. Ask God to show, tell or give you words that describe that person. Write it on that person’s piece of paper. Then get each person to read aloud what is written or drawn on their piece of paper.

2. Group Activation: Divide the group into equal teams. Select one person from each term to stand at one end of the room. These people are the team captains and will receive a prophetic word. The rest of the team stands at the other end in a line. One at a time, each team member has to race to the other end and give the team captain a prophetic word. Once they have done that, they return to the team and the next team member runs to their team captain and gives them a prophetic word. Keep going until every team member has given a prophetic word to their team captain. The team captain then reports back on what they received, the accuracy but more importantly the flow of the combined prophetic words from their team.

3. Beginner Activation: Quieten your heart before God and ask Him “What do you think of me?”

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to help you activate a sense that you don’t use in the prophetic eg smelling or taste or seeing. Ask God to highlight this and spend time over a series of days practicing receiving from God using this sense.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight an unreached people group to you. Spend time with God hearing from Him for this people group. Then decree and declare out aloud what God has told, shown or given you for this group.

Hearing from God (part 1)

Twenty three years ago, hubby and I were in Israel on a work party painting a hospital in Nazareth. Whilst there, we also toured around and since it was part of a subject for our theological degrees, we had lots of biblical input from various people.

Unfortunately I don’t remember it all. But the thing I most remember is walking down the hill from the place where Jesus may have given his sermon on the mount to the Sea of Galilee. As our group chatted away, we passed an old arab shepherd and his small flock of about ten sheep. Due to our noise, we frightened the sheep and they ran off in all directions. The shepherd quietly uttered a couple of arabic words and the entire flock of sheep immediately stopped and ran back to him.

I was flabbergasted.

I had been brought up on a dairy farm in Tasmania and we had some sheep from time to time (mainly for the freezer). Sheep in Tasmania never obeyed your voice.

These sheep did.

As I pondered this, I realised the main difference was the shepherd was sitting with these sheep all day. They knew they were safe with him. They knew his voice.

It made the passage in John 10 come alive for me that day “My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

Basically, to hear God’s voice, it requires us to be intimate with Him. To spend time with Him. To recognise His methods of communicating with us, His love languages, His voice, His nuances, His tone. I don’t know about you, but I want to hear clearly from God, to be able to instantly recognise Him.

If we want to become proficient in prophesying, we need to get close to God. Prophesying is communicating what’s on God’s heart to others. We can only know God’s heart when we are intimate with Him.

When I teach on this subject, I begin by giving biblical examples of God communicating His heart to His people and also a biblical perspective of God expecting that we will be intimate with Him and hear His voice. I then cover the three different voices we can listen to, the different ways that we can hear, sense or see what God is communicating, and then lead people through the practical steps of hearing God for themselves.

As Christians, part of our responsibility in our relationship with Jesus is to get to know Him, know His voice and follow Him.

In learning to begin to prophesy, we need to become proficient at hearing and recognising God’s voice.

Three Different Voices we can hear:

I believe that there are 3 different voices we can hear – God’s, Satan’s, and our own. (Sometimes we can also hear other people’s voice’s but I won’t cover that today.) It can be difficult to discern between them and it takes practice.

I find that children usually pick up God’s voice quickly because they don’t seem to have as much ‘junk’ in their thinking about whether or not what they heard or sensed was really from God or was it just their own thoughts etc.

What does God’s voice sound like?

God is always good. His voice is always kind, encouraging and uplifting. It never condemns. God is all about relationship and drawing us into a closer relationship with Him. He desires to share His secrets with us. He has great thoughts towards us. God’s voice is patient, loving, positive, comforting, safe, encouraging, peaceful, truthful and kind.

God will never trick us or contradict the Bible or go against His character and nature. He brings life. God’s voice will sound like the fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-23) – love, joy, peace, patient, kind, gentle etc.

How do you know what God’s character and nature is like? Spend time getting to know God. Ask Him questions. He loves answering our questions.

Satan’s Voice:

Satan’s voice is full of condemnation, accusations and lies. He desires to bring us down and discourage us, to confuse us and make us feel guilty. His voice will not sound encouraging. It will make us feel worse. It is critical, negative, full of lies. It kills all hope. It is not uplifting. It sounds like his character (Galations 5:20-21) – angry, intimidating, jealous, bringing shame, guilt, doubt and fear.

Our voice:

One way we know when it is our own voice inside our head is if it is self focussed or if it majors on our desires. If the voice says, “How embarrassing” or “I want..” then it is most likely coming from myself.

One way I know if it is my own voice is that it will try and reason with human logic & what is already known. It may try and justify or be logical. It usually doesn’t contain any new information. It will speak what is best for us and our expectations and can go around in circles.

Sometimes we can confuse our own voice with God’s. Lots of times I believe that we give ourselves too much credit and spend time wondering if it was our own thoughts instead of God’s.

I love the idea of the first thought principle. Whenever you are asking God about something, grab the very first thought that goes through your mind. I usually find that it is a fleeting thought that rushes through. That thought is from God but this only truly works if you are in a healthy place with God at the time.

Different ways of hearing from God:

God is a creative God. He wants a relationship with us. Since He is creative, He hasn’t just created one way that we interact with Him. He has created a multitude of ways that we can interact with Him and hear His thoughts and desires towards us.

  • Auditory – loud voice, still small voice, songs, sounds
  • Visual – pictures, colours, symbols, vision, dreams, angels
  • Emotions/physical sensations
  • Other senses eg smell, taste,
  • Through reading the Bible
  • Impressions / ‘gut’ feeling
  • Spontaneous thought
  • Other – nature, music, numbers, and more

I like to bring it down to three broad areas of receiving something from God:

  • What is God telling me?
  • What is God showing me?
  • What is God giving me?

Another way of saying it is, “What does God want to show, tell, or give me?”

Our Imagination:

I find that God uses our imagination. He gave us our imagination in the first place. Usually though we have been exposed to movies, books, things that are not always helpful in keeping our imagination clean so that God can use it effectively.

To begin with, it’s great to pray a short prayer. An example is:

“Father God, I’m sorry for the things that I have seen, watched and read that are not of you. I ask you to come and please wipe my imagination clean. Can you please replace any images and thoughts that are not from you with your thoughts and images. Please cleanse my eyes so that I can see you and my ears so that I can hear you. I want to hear, see and feel from you. Thank you God. Amen”

How to hear God clearer: positioning oneself to hear more from God

  • Be intentional – desire to be more intimate with Father God, Holy Spirit, Jesus
  • Confess known sin
  • Worship Him
  • Spend time with God reading the Bible
  • Quieten yourself down and get rid of distractions
  • Soak – play some quiet worship music that allows you to sit / lie in God’s presence and meditate on Him.
  • Be open-minded – God doesn’t always work the same way. He loves trying new things and methods. God is creative. He wants to romance you with the unexpected.
  • Ask God what is on His heart for you and expect Him to answer.
  • Grab the first thought that goes through your mind (as long as you are in a healthy mindset). This ‘first thought’ principle is usually always God.

Today’s blog is part 1 of a 4 part series. Next week I will be covering the practical steps of how to hear God for yourself.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Grab some playdough and distribute among everyone at the table. Pair up and ask everyone to make the following for their partner out of playdough. Ask them to create what God sees when He looks at their partner.

2. Group Activation: Beforehand, place a number of various supermarket objects in a bag. Ask for 5 volunteers to go up the front. Blindfold them. Ask for 5 more people to come and stand one in front of each of the blindfolded volunteers. Get the blindfolded people to put their hand in the bag and select an item. Based on what that item feels like and reminds them of, get each blindfolded person to give a prophetic word over the person standing in front of them. At the end, ask each person who received a prophetic word to give feedback to their blindfolded person based on how accurate and ‘weighty’ the prophetic word felt and whether or not it raised any emotions within them ie how it ‘felt’.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God asking Him to give you a particular song to encourage yourself with. Go with the first song that comes into your head (if it is encouraging). Then sing the song. Ask God why He gave you that particular song.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight a particular person to you who needs encouragement. Ask God to show you a Biblical story or person from the Bible that reminds God of this person. Ask God why that person/story etc. Share this with your person who needs encouragement.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to reveal the name of a country to you that you don’t know much about. Craft/write a prophetic word for this country. Then pray it through. Pray a blessing over the country and its people as well.