Comparison and Prophecy

Chatting with a close friend last night, I had a sudden ah-ha moment. I suddenly realised that one of the biggest reasons that people don’t like a prophetic word they have received, and also then don’t go on to steward that prophetic word well, is that they compare their prophetic word to what another person has received. They believe that the other person’s prophetic word is better than theirs and they want that one.

 

                   Have you ever compared your prophetic word to someone else’s?

 

One of the dangers of someone giving prophetic words in public to people is that it sets us for comparison. Everyone can hear what everyone receives.

You hear a great word for someone else and you go “I desperately wish that was for me. I want to be that person. I long for that outcome in my life.”

You hear the word for you and you are so busy wanting something else that you don’t see the gold in the prophetic word for you.

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul is talking to people about their marriages and what to do if a non Christian spouse leaves etc. He then says in verse 17 “And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life.”

Don’t look around at what prophetic word others are receiving. Focus on yourself and God.

The definition of comparison is to look at the similarities and differences between two things, in this case between what has been prophesied over you and what has been prophesied over others.

The definition of envy is the feeling of discontentment or resentment of another person’s position, possessions, qualities or luck.

Comparison is the beginning of envy. Envy causes strife. Stay away from comparison!!

Last week I shared about what to do when you feel like you have received a bad prophetic word. http://www.unlockingthegold.com/what-to-do-with-a-bad-prophetic-word/ This is a great blog post to review for practical steps on what constitutes a bad prophetic word and what to do about it.

When we are tempted to compare our prophetic word with someone else’s, or we finding ourselves feeling envious of their prophetic word, the following are some steps to take.

Our role as children of God is:

  1. Focus on God. Who God is.
  2. Get a grip on who God says you are. God has a far larger view of you and your abilities and your future than you have.
  3. Rejoice with others. Celebrate the positives that others have prophesied about them.
  4. Do not begin to compare. If you have any feelings of envy, go to God and deal with your feelings with God. Stop the negative feelings of comparison quickly. Keep ‘clean’ before God and before others. One of the ways that I know if I have a great heart attitude towards someone else is to genuinely bless the other person and what has been prophesied over them.
  5. Chase after God. You will not go without. Grab hold of what He says about you and work on that in your life.

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 paper, crayons, and stickers of all sorts of clothes set up on a table. You may also like to have a whole heap of dress up clothes as well that children can select from. Pair children up and ask then to ask God how He sees their partner dressed ie what God sees them dressed as. Then ask the children to either draw that on the paper or select stickers to stick on the paper that represent what they felt/saw/heard or to choose from the dress up clothes. Ask the children to share with each other how God sees them dressed.

2. Group Activation: Choose two people to stand facing each other. Ask everyone else to stand behind these two people, half the group behind each of the front people. Take it in turns giving prophetic words. The first person gives a prophetic word to the person facing them and then they go to the back of the line behind them. The person who just received a prophetic word prophesies over the person in front of them. As soon as they have delivered the prophetic word, they go to the end of the line behind them. Continue on until everyone has received a prophetic word and has also given a prophetic word. Have a time of people sharing the highlights that they heard for other people and for themselves. Celebrate the accuracies that were heard.

3. Beginner Activation: Choose a chapter of the Bible to read. Highlight for yourself any promises or ‘gold’ that you get out of that chapter. Then spend time with God writing a prophetic word for a friend from that chapter.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to remind you of someone whom you find it hard to bless or celebrate their prophetic words or someone whom you find its hard to love. Spend time with God getting a glimpse of how He sees that person. Write a prophetic word for that person and deliver it to them this week.

5. Advanced Activation: Awakening Australia is occurring in Melbourne this next week. Spend time with God crafting a prophetic word for the city of Melbourne. Write it out. Then declare it out over Melbourne.

What to do with a ‘bad’ prophetic word

Recently I was with some teenagers and we were going through what to do with your prophetic word. One of them expressed the fact that he didn’t like his prophetic word. Later, when I chatted one on one with this young person, he confided that he didn’t like it because it hadn’t said anything at all about what he wanted his future to be like ie a sports star. Thus, he didn’t like the prophetic word at all.

It really depends on why we think it is a bad prophetic word.

  • Is it because we didn’t like it?
  • Is it because we were wanting something else?
  • Is it because the ‘spirit’ of it was wrong?
  • Is it because it came completely out of left field and nothing that I had ever thought of before?
  • Is it because it brought confusion, fear, doubt, anger, jealousy?
  • Is it because it doesn’t make sense?

Prophecy can come from 3 sources:

  • Spirit of God (2 Peter 1:21) “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
  • Human Spirit (Jeremiah 23:16-21)This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes.
    They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord……But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word?……I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied.
  • Demonic spirit (Jeremiah 23:13) “Among the prophets of Samaria, I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray.”

Thus, not all prophesy comes from God. Most times you will find it does, but sometimes the person giving the prophetic word can prophesy out of their own spirit.

What is our responsibility when receiving a prophetic word?

If we look to the Bible, we find that it encourages us to ‘test’ all Prophetic Words:

  • “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1).
  • “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophesies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good.” (I Thessalonians 5:19-21)

If you get a bad word, don’t come into agreement with it publicly or privately. Break every word that is not coming from the heart of God and speak what you know to be His will over yourself.

These Scriptures warn us to test every prophetic word. Don’t gullibly take it all to heart.

  • Search God for yourself.
  • Test the prophecy, not the prophet.
  • If you don’t understand or like each part of the prophetic word, don’t immediately reject it as false. It may be that it is referring to something that is yet to come about in your life. Put it ‘on the shelf’ for prayerful consideration at a later time.

Living with imperfection:

There are no perfect prophets. There are very few perfect prophecies. Even experienced prophets get it wrong sometimes. A number of prophecies from God will be slightly contaminated by something the prophet has added from his own heart. This is normal even for experienced prophets, because all prophets are human.

I can remember a friend being prophesied over by a world class prophet. This prophet stated publicly that she would have a certain number of children and the first would be a boy. When this friend finally became pregnant, we bought her a blue item to congratulate her. I was 100% certain that she was having a boy as this prophet was meant to be so accurate. My friend delivered a girl. This really challenged my thinking at the time.

The solution is not to reject all prophecy, but to test all prophecy.

What to focus on:

  • Look for the inner witness within our spirit
  • Look for the confirming points – those things that God has already been speaking to you about.
  • Look for the encouragement, the strengthening and building up, the comforting.
  • Look for the hope for something that is coming to pass in the future.
  • Begin to pray over it and work with it to see it come to fruition in your life.

What do you do with a prophetic word that doesn’t make sense?

There are choices to make when a prophetic word doesn’t make sense.

  • We can throw it out because it is in no way witnessing with our soul and spirit, and we think the person who delivered it is way off in left field.
  • We can pray into it and see if the Holy Spirit confirms the word to us.
  • We can also put it ‘up on the shelf’ and see later if the Holy Spirit brings it down or not.

A word of caution – please don’t be too rash with discarding the prophetic word. Keep doing what you are doing for that season. When and if the word is for you, God will bring it back to remembrance, confirm it in His Word, the Bible, or bring another person to prophesy a similar word to confirm it to you.

No matter what, a prophetic word should never take the place of our own personal relationship with God. Several years ago, a woman kept asking my husband for a prophetic word after church for several weeks. What she was really wanting was confirmation about a husband. Instead, my husband gave her an amazing prophetic word about her and her relationship with God. The following week when she asked again, hubby stopped and basically said, “Please go home and work on last week’s prophetic word before you ask again.”

What do you say when you receive a ‘bad’ prophetic word?

Whenever you receive a prophetic word, especially if you have any doubts about it, some good questions to ask are:

  • Did the prophetic word resonate with what God has been talking to you about lately?
  • Did it speak into a situation you are currently facing?
  • Did the prophecy encourage you?
  • Did you feel honoured and respected by the person giving the prophecy?
  • Was the language appropriate?
  • Did the tone and facial expressions match what was said?
  • Which part of the prophecy was most impacting for you?
  • Which was the least impacting for you?
  • How did you find the manner in which it was given?
  • How do you feel it could have had more impact?

If the language was off putting or the prophetic word was negative, please give feedback immediately to the person as this will help them grow in the prophetic. Please do this in a loving manner. Please also encourage them with what part of the prophetic word you felt really resonated with you and was the most impacting.

In the prophetic group I was part of, we would often practice and get feedback from each other in relation to not only what we said but also how we said it.

This is a fantastic reason that the church our family is a part of (Stairway Church) has strong prophetic guidelines in place when people give prophetic words to someone. These guidelines are to help safeguard people and reduce the risk of ‘bad’ prophesying or hurtful words being said.

Part of those guidelines include:

  1. Check your heart – be filled with God’s love for the person and prophesy out of that.
  2. Your prophetic words must encourage, build and comfort.
  3. Appropriate permission, language, tone, timing and touch. Always ask people’s permission before you give them a prophetic word and respect their right to say ‘no’.
  4. Record the prophetic word.
  5. Anyone under the age of 16 has to have a parent, guardian or appropriate adult with them when they are receiving a prophetic word.

Basically, every Christian is hopefully wanting to grow in their relationship with Jesus and in hearing from God for themselves and others. How we do this is so important.

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: Give out paper and ask each person to draw a tree. Label each branch with a family member’s name or a person close to them. Have pre-cut out ‘leaves’ from green paper. Ask each person to write at least one encouraging word on a leaf for each person they have labelled on a branch. Ask them to pause for a moment and ask God to tell, give or show them that word. Glue the leaf on to the appropriate branch. Repeat for each person/branch drawn.

2. Group Activation: Break into small groups. Brainstorm negative things that could be said when prophesying or negative situations or character traits you may receive a word of knowledge about. Chat about how you would respond. Share back in the large group. Then practice with each other.

3. Beginner Activation: Look through your own prophetic words (ie words given to you) and ask God to highlight to you any misconceptions. Ask God how you are to respond. Then write a prophetic word for the person who prophesied the misconception over you.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you a teenager who is sitting exams at the moment. Write a prophetic word for this teenager and pass it on to them as soon as possible.

5. Advanced Activation:  Ask God to highlight to you someone who has made an unwise decision lately. Prophesy over them.

Finding missing children – how the prophetic can help

Shawn Bolz has an amazing prophetic ministry. I have recently started listening to some of his podcasts where he interviews ‘famous’ prophetic people and unearths really interesting and challenging stories about these people’s prophetic abilities and their prophetic stories.

I encourage you to listen to a few of his interviews. Maybe even subscribe to his podcasts so you don’t miss any. This is a great way to also grow in your own prophetic gifting.

In this episode (number 27 from March 12, 2018 – http://exploringtheprophetic.libsyn.com/exploring-the-prophetic-with-dan-mccollam), Shawn Bolz interviews Dan McCollam.

Dan leads an amazing Prophetic “Finders” Group out of Mission Church in Vacaville, California, USA.

Dan and his group make a point to hear God about life and death situations by asking God for kidnapped, missing and trafficked people and how to locate them. They have been partnering with authorities to find these missing children and unsolved crimes.

In this episode, he shares some truly amazing stories about how God has used him and his team in Words of Knowledge to locate missing children, some that have been missing for many years. These stories are awesome! Dan also shares some cautionary words as well.

Imagine if we grew in our ability to hear God about matters of life and death like this. Imagine the huge impact on children, families, cities and nations.

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: Choose several people you know whose parents have died or are adopted or fostered. If possible, try and have a photo of each person. Ask each child to select a person and ask God to share with them how He sees that person and their situation and who they really are known as in Heaven. Ask each child to draw a picture or write it down. Then pass these pictures/words on to the people they were drawn/written about.

2. Group Activation: Prepare beforehand from an old missing person/kidnapped child case. Find some details and perhaps a photo of the missing person and some of the details once they were found. Share the photo and the initial details of the case. Break the group into smaller groups and ask them to ask God for some clues to the rescue of this person. After 15-20 minutes, bring the whole group back together and ask every group to share their thoughts. See if there are any common themes across the group. Then share the outcome of the case and the real details released in the media.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to reveal to you something about your identity which has been missing or overlooked. Spend time with God seeking more and looking to Him for the next step for this part of your identity to be truly realised within you.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you someone who is lonely and feels abandoned or is without a close family. Ask God to show you his answer and how He sees this person. Frame it in a prophetic word and tactfully deliver it to this person.

5. Advanced Activation: Spend time with God asking Him to reveal to you a missing person and some details about that. Write the details down and just observe what happens with the missing person case. Ask God to help you hone your skills in this area and review the information you thought with the information about the missing person which comes to light. Be interceding for this person to be reunited with their loved ones and for their safety.

Your Identity as a Prophetic Person

Four weeks ago, my dad died. During the few days of dad being sick in hospital interstate, travelling for that and also for the funeral a week later and then dealing with dad’s house and belongings, I learnt a lot about myself and helping others dealing with grief. Everyone expresses grief differently.

Timing coincided with five other friends having their parent or an immediate family member die in the last four weeks as well. We have been to a lot of funerals this past month!

A question I have had is what is the most effective way that I can support my friends or someone dealing with grief. During this time, I have valued love, encouragement, generosity, prayer and a listening ear. Everyone expresses grief differently but there are some common elements.

  1. Our identity – in Christ or in your gifting?

The first of my biggest ‘ah-ha’ moment for me came with the realisation that our identity is who we really are in Christ. Our identity is not based in our gifting.

I had a friend who is experienced in prayer ministry try a method of prayer ministry on me during this time, not at my instigation but out of them operating out of their gifting being their identity. It left me feeling ‘robbed’ and ‘used’ when I really thought she was contacting me to listen to my journey, not probe deeply. I have had another with a prophetic gifting giving me a prophetic word when all I needed was a listening ear and love.

As someone with a prophetic or supernatural gifting, has that become your identity or is your identity still based in who you are as a child of God just with a prophetic or healing gifting attached?

Your prophetic gifting is a necessary function here on earth that is used to build the Kingdom of God here on earth. It is not who you are in Christ. We are not defined by our role but by our personhood and Father.

In your everyday life, do you operate out of who you are as a child of God or out of your gifting?

  1. The power of praying for someone

My second ‘ah-ha’ moment came with the realisation of the power of praying for someone in the here and now. Over the last several years, I have tried to apply the pattern that I wouldn’t say that I would pray for someone without then and there actually praying for that person out aloud with them. Often over the phone I will pray for someone. This really impacted me several times as I was sharing with close friends during the initial stages of dad’s hospitalisation about whether the doctors could actually operate on him without him dying during the operation or leave him to die. I desperately would have appreciated these friends praying for me over the phone. There was often a long silence, and they may have been praying for me silently, but I would have appreciated being prayed for out aloud over the phone. Those times that friends did pray for me, I definitely felt something shift and happen during that time.

  1. We are called to love and encourage

My third ‘ah-ha’ moment came with the fact that we are called to encourage and love. That’s it. Love and encourage. It doesn’t matter if our prophecies are not the best. What matters most is our ability to love and encourage well.

1 Corinthians 13:2 says “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”

1 Corinthians 14:3 says “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.”

Encouragement and comfort can be expressed in a variety of different ways – not just in prophetic words. A phone call, hugs, meals prepared (I had never experienced an uber meal before but this was a beautiful gift from a friend), practical needs being met, unexpected expenses covered, animals cared for, a listening ear allowing the grieving person to share, attending the funeral (wherever possible) to support your friend etc are all amazing ways of showing love and comfort. I had a close high school friend, whom I haven’t been in contact with for at least ten years but who lived close to where my dad lived, come to dad’s funeral to show her support for me. That gesture really touched me immensely.

A coffee date especially at the 6 week mark when friends are busy and the person dealing with grief is still dealing with the immediacy of the loved one no longer being present is also great. Expressing love, encouragement and comfort during times of loss can be huge and speak volumes and convey God’s love in ways we may never total understand.

Prophetic people are encouragers. Part of their identity, apart from being a child of God, is that they are true encouragers. They see the best in people. They see the ‘gold’ inside people and love helping to find and unlock that gold so that the person can become all that God has called them to become. Prophetic people are ‘gold’ diggers. To be prophetic yet ooze discouragement is an oxymoron.

How well do you love and encourage those around you?

What is your identity based in – your gifting or your sonship?

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: In preparation, cut out of gold coloured cardboard large round circles for ‘gold’ coins. Give out a ‘gold coin’ to each person and ask them to write a prophetic word or draw a picture that will be like gold for someone. Ask God to show each person who they are writing / drawing it for. Then give the cardboard coin to that person to encourage them.

2. Group Activation: In preparation for this activation, ask group members to bring a childhood photo of themselves. Collect the photos during the session and hand out the photos randomly to participants along with a sheet of paper. Ask each participant to write a prophetic word for the child in the photo they were given. Allow participants 10 minutes to write a prophetic word and then ask participants to one at a time show the group the photo and give the photo and the prophetic word to the rightful owner.

3. Beginner Activation: Try this week to say something encouraging to as many people as you can. Be careful not to say false encouragement but ask God to show you His heart for each person and encourage them in this.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you someone who is grieving. Ask God how you can most effectively show love and encouragement to them this week.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to bring you into contact with a Foster family or someone who works in the Foster system. Ask God to show you His heart for these children and their carers and how you can most effectively communicate it to them and their carers.

Prophesying over Kids

Recently I was chatting with several teenagers who had received a prophetic word from a world renowned prophet. These teens didn’t like the prophetic words they received. When I asked more questions, I realised that these teens had assumed some stuff.

  • One teen felt an enormous responsibility to fulfil the career spoken about.
  • Another teen didn’t understand that some of the words spoken had multiple meanings. It was obvious to me, but not to the teen, that the meaning of several of the words were taken wrongly. This would bring a whole new meaning to the prophecy and change things hugely for this teen.
  • Another teen was passionate about a particular hobby and wanted to turn his hobby into a professional career so he was disappointed that this ‘hobby’ was not mentioned in his future.

In this blog post, I want to share some principles that we use when we prophesy to kids. By kids, I’m meaning anyone under the age of 16.

When you prophesy over anyone, especially kids, you are always encouraging and strengthening and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3). You could liken it to giving them a set of binoculars to see a bit of the way into the future in regard to whom they are becoming.

Important ‘times’/seasons to give prophetic words to kids 

  • At their birth
  • Start of school
  • Transition times eg grade 6 to year 7
  • Baptism
  • Transition to higher education or when trying to sort out subjects for future career.
  • It’s great for every child to have a prophetic word so that their parent can help steward it for them.

Main Principles for giving prophetic words to kids

  • Please keep all kids safe – emotionally, spiritually, mentally & physically.
  • Keep yourself safe and above reproach.
  • Don’t place huge a responsibility or expectations upon the child with what you say.

Practicalities

  • Language – easy language that they understand. Thus, no big words. Use everyday language. Watch your tone and facial expression eg smile. A child can presume that if you are frowning then you are angry with them or telling them off. Obviously not the intention of prophesying!
  • Parent / guardian / kids leader present for safety, accountability and ability to steward it well. Please do not prophesy over a child with no other adult present. This is unwise for yourself but can hurt a child emotionally and spiritually. Children can also take words spoken out of context and believe something quite different was said. We want to keep our children safe.
  • Focus on character and identity.
  • Don’t place huge expectations on them eg it is unwise to prophesy that they will be for example a Prime Minister of Australia one day (even if you think you clearly heard that). It is far more effective for children to say to them that they have a leadership gift that can be grown so that they can impact a large number of people and that they may find themselves in groups where they can be the leader.
  • Not long winded. Remember children have a short attention span.
  • Get down to their level physically so you are not towering over them and intimidating them.
  • Don’t touch them eg don’t place your hands upon them.
  • If you can, write it out and give it to the parents. Especially if the child is very young, it may not be necessary to speak it over the child. Ask God how you should deliver the prophecy.

What parents can do after a child receives a prophetic word

  • Record it.
  • Write it out.
  • Pray through it.
  • Discuss it with your child, how they felt and the meaning.
  • Look at who it says they are ie their identity and character.
  • Look at what it says about their relationship with God.
  • Look at what they will do, their passions.
  • Pray it over your child.
  • Make it visual and put in their bedroom eg paint it, write the words on a poster, be creative with the words and how you can visually present it.
  • Pray a blessing over them using the words.

What are the principles and safety guidelines you and your church follow in regard to giving prophetic words to kids? I would love to hear them. Please feel free to comment below. Thanks.

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: Using the paper cardboard cut outs of people, write a name on the back of each paper cutout until you have included the names of every person in the room. Shuffle the cardboard cutouts. Pass them out so that everyone in the room has one cardboard cutout. Ask each person to write or draw a prophetic word or picture on the front of the cardboard cutout without turning the cardboard person over to see who it is for. When everyone has finished drawing/writing, ask people, one at a time, to speak it over the person whose name is on the back.

2. Group Activation: Ask each adult present to write the names of each of their children (together with the child’s age) on the top of individual sheets of paper ie one name per piece of paper. Collect the sheets of paper. Shuffle them. Hand out the sheets of paper so that each child will have something written or drawn about them. If more adults present, they can join together to prophesy. Give people 10-15 minutes to write or draw on the sheet of paper a prophetic word for the child. Collect the papers and redistribute to the correct parents.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to remind you of someone who is pregnant or has a newborn baby. Write a prophetic word for that baby. You may even like to ask God to show you a prophetic object that would be suitable to buy for the baby as well.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you a child who is in a stage of transition eg one school to another, primary school to high school, selecting career subjects at school etc. Write a prophetic word for that child, then pass it to the parent.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to remind you of a child with special needs. Write a prophetic word for this child. Ask God to show you an object or present that fits in with your prophesy that you could buy for this child. Give the prophetic word and the object to the parent when you have finished.

Recording Prophetic Words

Part of the prophetic protocols at our church (Stairway) is that prophetic words are recorded. It is common and usual to hear someone ask a person for permission if they can share with them something that they sense God is showing/telling them about that person. The other common and usual protocol is to then see that person about to receive the prophetic word pulling out their smartphone to record what is about to be said.

During prophetic presbytery’s when people come forward for a prophetic word, I will ask people if they have a recording device ready to record what I am about to say.

If I am prophesying over complete strangers in a shop, I don’t ask them if they want to record it as I couch the prophetic word in complete non Christian terms and don’t want to presume that they will value it or want to work with the prophecy. During those times, I want to communicate the heart of God. That He sees them, that He knows them, that He understands what they are going through and that there is a future for them.

Why record a prophetic word?

  1. Accountability

Recording a prophetic word keeps both the receiver and the deliverer accountable. When I give a prophetic word, I am accountable for what I am sharing. If it is wrong, negative, discouraging, totally inaccurate, etc then I need to be held accountable and spoken to, and then receive training in how to deliver a prophetic word. The receiver also is then accountable for what they do with the prophetic word. Hopefully this is to listen to it again several times, pray through it, type it out etc.

Six years ago, I gave a prophetic word to a team member about her ability and future leadership. Several months later, I was asked by the leadership of the group if I could remember what I actually said. This person had challenged the current leadership and communicated that I had prophesied that they would be the overall leader of the group the following year. Thankfully, for my sake, there was a record of what was actually communicated.

  1. Accuracy

Our memory is not 100% perfect. We all have selective memory. How many times have you thought or believed someone said something, when in fact, if you had an opportunity to play back what was actually said, it was slightly different? Not only hearing what we think versus what was actually communicated but also the lens through which we interpret.

When we returned from Mozambique seven years ago, I can remember saying that the prophetic word we had received said ‘the real reason we went to Mozambique was because of our daughter’. A close friend read the actual prophetic word and challenged me as it said, ‘going to Mozambique had a lot to do with our daughter’s future’. Slight difference in wording but a massive difference in meaning.

  1. Personal responsibility

Please do not come up to someone who has prophesied over you and apologise for not recording the prophecy but ask them if they can write down what they said to you. It is your responsibility to record any prophetic prophecies over you. Once the person has prophesied over you, they are no longer responsible for that prophetic word. It has been delivered to you.

I have lost count of the number of times someone has come to me and asked it I can remember what I said to them as they didn’t record it. I’m sorry but usually as soon as I give the prophetic word, I forget most of it. I may remember the exciting part or a sense or picture of something I said but not the actual wording or tone or feel. I feel o’kay about that since I have fulfilled my part. It was their part/responsibility to record it and then deal with it. Thus, now days, usually before I give a prophetic word to someone, I ask if they have a recording device handy.

  1. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelations 19:10)

When two or more people prophecy the same thing over you, then you definitely know that there is an accuracy there that you can rely on as truth and use as a prophetic weapon for your life. One of the benefits of recording your prophetic word is that you can write it out and see the accuracy of it lining up with other prophetic words you have received.

  1. Growth in giving prophetic words

Every so often I find it helpful for me, as someone prophesying over someone else, to ask their permission if I can record what I am about to say so that I can learn from it and use it as a tool for growth. Listening to what I have prophesied afterwards, I can hear if I have rambled on, excessively repeated myself, hit the target and been definitive and accurate or massaged the message to allow leeway etc.

  1. Prophesying over children

We always record prophetic words spoken over children (under 16 years of age) and make sure that an adult (parent or guardian or children’s leader) is also present. We then give the recording to the parent of the child. This helps to keep us accountable in our ministry to children and keep all children safe from emotional harm.

Conclusion:

For those people giving Prophetic words, please encourage the person to record it. For both your sakes. Accountability and accuracy for yourself. For encouragement and accuracy for them.

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: Write the names of everyone present on individual slips of paper. Fold each slip of paper and slide it into a separate balloon. Everyone then has fun blowing up a balloon, tying it and then bursting it. Unwrap the piece of paper and find whose name is on your slip of paper. Ask God what He wants to tell that person. Communicate that to that person.

2. Group Activation: 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 just 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.

3. Beginner Activation: Take a $50 note out of your wallet (or the highest value note in your wallet) and spend some time prophesying over the people whose hands it will pass through. Place it back in your wallet and try and use that note next time you are shopping.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to give you a name of a book to buy and who to buy it for. Ask God for a prophetic word to write on a slip of paper to put inside the book before you give the book to that person.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you someone struggling with purity in their life. Spend time crafting a prophetic word for them about how God sees them, remembering to keep it encouraging, comforting and edifying.

Parenting a Prophetic Child part 2

Last week I wrote about parenting prophetic children, specifically looking at the likely characteristics they will display whilst a child and how to recognise if your child may have a prophetic gifting.

This week I am addressing the issue of how to parent these children so that their prophetic gifting is encouraged and developed within them. It is so important that their ‘spirit’ does not become broken.

The following practical parenting tips have been compiled from our own experience of parenting prophetic children along with insights gleaned from parents of grown children who have evident prophetic giftings. I love learning from people who have walked the road before me!

Practical Parenting Tips:

Protect their innocence.

  • When they are young, don’t let them watch movies that have demons, witches, warlocks etc in them. I want my children to have images in their mind that God has given them of Him, angels etc not what some movie maker has created. Certain movies and television shows can also open the door to a spirit of fear.
  • Also, be careful what they read. ‘Feed’ them great books that will ‘feed’ their appetite for the things of God.

Recognize that there is no junior Holy Spirit.

  • They have the same access to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit that we have. However they usually do not have the character or the emotional maturity to process and understand things the same. Thus, it is important to maintain an open line of communication so that they can ask any questions they have.
  • As they mature, chat about times of doubt and how those times can be helpful if we pursue the answers with God.

Teach your child the Bible and who they are in Christ

  • Teach them their identity and their authority in Christ.
  • Practice what to do during a spiritual attack to rebuke the demonic. Make it a normal thing to say something similar to, “I am a child of Father God. Holy Spirit please come and fill me with your peace and put your angels around me to protect me.” An alternative saying for my child was “Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, please come and show me where you are with me right now.”
  • My children know and use the Bible verse Isaiah 43:1 “Don’t be afraid. I have rescued you. I have called you by name. Now you belong to me.” They will verbalise this during times of fear. One of our children asked for this to be printed out and stuck above their bed and then recited this every night before going to sleep during an intense time of attack several years ago.
  • They know to use the name of Jesus and to tell the demonic to go in Jesus’ name. They know to ask Jesus to come and show Himself to them and for the Holy Spirit to show them where their protective angels are at that moment.
  • Another great Bible verse is 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and a sound mind.” I love praying over them and reminding them of their identity in Christ and how heaven sees them and what Father God thinks of them.

Listen to your child.

  • Take them seriously. If they are ‘seeing’ things at night, listen to them and teach them how to manage the situation. Home needs to be a ‘safe’ place. Ask them to explain to you how they are feeling and what is happening for them. I acknowledge that my child has seen something demonic and I say to the demon to get away in the name of Jesus Christ but then I focus my child on to Jesus. I get my child to ask Father God, Jesus or Holy Spirit to come and show my child where they are in the room. Father God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is so good and will always come, whether in their room or, at times, by stationing angels on the roof to guard over us, usually one angel for each family member. This greatly comforts my child. I will also ask my child to ask Jesus what else He wants to show, tell or give to my child at that particular moment. I never dismiss or down-play my child’s fears and safety concerns. I always try to focus my child’s attention on Jesus.
  • Empower your child to be able to deal with the negatives themselves but be there to support them emotionally.

Teach your children about the spiritual realm.

  • Talk naturally about God, angels, demons, and the second and third heavens.

Pray for them and protect them spiritually, especially during times of ministry.

  • That is, when you are involved in ministry and also when they are involved in times of ministry.
  • Have your prayer partners pray for them as well.
  • ‘Brush off’ anything not of God after a ministry time. Several years ago, one of our children was involved in praying for healing for people during the church service. This child was involved in praying for over 100 people. Afterwards, that child felt physically sick and had a bad headache. Despite all my nursing measures, medications (panadol and nurofen) and lots of prayer, nothing changed. 24 hours later, I suddenly realised that we had not prayed off any negative effects of that healing time. So I physically brushed off with my hands as I prayed that everything negative that had remained on that child from that time of ministry would be brushed off and gone in Jesus name. Immediately, and I mean, immediately, that child stated that they no longer felt nauseaus and sick and they got out of bed and resumed normal daily life. Our family now makes this a physical and spiritual practice that we do after every ministry session we are involved with.
  • We also share with our children the answers to prayer and the outcome of ministry times. A leader once shared with me how when she was a child, she noticed that when her parents were out ministering to others, she was often spiritually attacked. Her parents also never shared the great outcomes and highlights of the ministry times, so she was left with negative impressions of ministry.
  • Expose them to miracles. When they see physical miracles, their faith soars and they can no longer doubt that God can do something.
  • Include them in ministry with you, whenever appropriate. Our children have been on our church’s Healing Rooms teams since we started seven years ago. They have grown tremendously over that time and seen a lot of miracles. They automatically accept that God can do anything. We have included them as much as possible during times of prophecy as well. When they were younger, they preferred to draw pictures instead of giving prophetic words. Our family has been asked several times to give prophetic words to participants in an AA adapted course. These participants were all struggling with addictions and substance abuse. We asked our children (then about 10 & 8 years old) how they wanted to prophesy – drawing pictures for each person beforehand or prophesying over them in the room. They elected to get each person’s first name beforehand and draw a picture for them and then whilst we were prophesying over them, they would wait in another room watching a movie so that they didn’t have to have a conversation with these folk. Their pictures were amazingly accurate and received so well from the participants. In fact, their pictures were the highlight due to their accuracy.
  • Our family has been asked to help prophesy over land and help church’s select sites etc. Our kids have come along with us and participated in this with us. They usually immediately have a sense of what is occurring spiritually on the land and can see stuff that we don’t see in the spiritual realm. We always try and make it fun or special afterwards eg stopping at a favourite bakery on the way home etc.
  • Try and have someone a few years older whom your child looks up to, to be their mentor or encourager in this area. We have been blessed to have another female (Jess) 18 months older than our daughter who has been on the Healing Rooms and several other ministry areas with our daughter when there were no other children involved, plus a female in her 20’s who encouraged them also. I must confess that there were a number of occasions when a major persuasion that helped our daughter be involved in these ministry times was the thought of catching up with Jess and knowing she would be there as well.
  • Ask your children what they see in the spiritual. One time we were returning from a birthday party where a friend had shared about a spiritual oppression in their home and asked us to pray etc. During the drive home, I just happened to ask both children if they had ‘seen’ anything demonic in the house. One of my children stated, “do you mean that red demon that smirked at me in the hallway, like he was mocking me?” I would never have known that firstly, this had occurred, secondly, it was obviously common for this child to see demonic stuff as it didn’t phase them, and thirdly, what a bonus in helping to deal with this person’s home and the oppression within it.

Encourage them to live a prophetic lifestyle.

  • Go after intimacy with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.
  • Read Bible stories to them as well as stories of heroes and heroines of the Christian faith.
  • Encourage them to journal and have a daily time of reading the Bible.
  • Prayer ministry at different times, suitable to your child’s age can be beneficial so that issues don’t become big. We have taken both our children, aged 11 and 8 at the time, for a Sozo prayer ministry session and both children loved it. We took them not because there were any huge issues but just recognizing that we are not perfect parents and that everyone has issues at some point in time and we wanted them to have as few as possible. Both children loved it and wanted to go again. We also noticed afterwards that one child became more courageous and was willing to try things more eagerly than the reticence we had noticed beforehand. Hubby and I both have a Sozo every year and view it like a car’s service, essential to keep running smoothly and address issues before they become huge.
  • Pray with your children, not just for your children. Listen to their prayers. Encourage them to pray and pray prophetically. Share answers to prayer with them.
  • Have a regular time where you ask them to ask God if there are any lies they are believing. Once they recognise a lie, then ask them to ask God what the truth is. The lie may be about themselves or God etc.
  • I love asking my children the question, “If Jesus walked in the room at the moment, what would He say to you?”
  • A prophetic lifestyle means that they set the trend, not follow it. It can be lonely being the person walking out in front.

Watch for any personality changes.

  • Prophetic children can easily take on the spiritual atmosphere of the environment they are in and act it out. Help them understand how to recognize this and what to do with how they are feeling and what they are seeing. Help them to communicate it verbally and then help them, or you on their behalf, pray about that demonic spirit that has manifested. One of my children would for example, immediately change and act rebelliously if we went to a city that had a ruling spirit of rebellion. This child did not know how to communicate this or understand what was happening with them until we taught this child how to recognise and talk to us about it.I now love that one of my children is a ‘spiritual barometer’ and their behaviour highlights to me important spiritual things to pray about and how to deal with them during intense times of focused prayer.
  • When we commenced Healing Rooms seven years ago, one of our children would always be on my team as they were quite young. I noticed a pattern that whenever clients who had been sexually abused as children came for prayer, my child would turn their back on the client and try to ‘distance’ themselves from them. Thankfully it didn’t take me long to recognise this as my first preference was to discipline my child for being rude when, in fact, they were just trying to protect themselves but didn’t know how to do that or what to say. It was their way of communicating something they didn’t know how to communicate.
  • Be very wary of imaginary friends or ‘spirit guides’. The demonic may be masquerading as a ‘friend’ or they may be simply playing a pretend game. Ask your children what their ‘friend’ is telling them to do.

Use wisdom in your discipline.

  • You don’t want to break their spirit. You do want to correct any behaviour, though, that is not appropriate. Character is paramount.
  • Ask lots of questions about what they have said and done. Try to get a fuller picture of how they were feeling, what they actually did, what actually occurred from their perspective. The actual wording is extremely important with prophetic children. Try and view their actions from their perspective and realise that the ‘exact’ wording you are using is not how they view it, thus they may believe that they are not lying.

Cultivate the gift.

  • Encourage times of ‘soaking’ – putting on christian or reflective music and just being quiet before God and asking God what He wants to show, tell or give me during that time. One of my children plays with Lego whilst soaking, the other used to but now just sits and writes, draws or scribbles.
  • I get both my children to draw prophetic pictures for people. I give them a blank piece of paper with a person’s name on the top left hand corner and the date on the top right hand corner. I encourage them to ask God for a picture, sentence etc for that person. I encourage them to capture the first thought that comes through their mind and draw that. We then usually write a sentence along the bottom of the page to describe the picture. My children find it is easier to draw a prophetic picture for someone they don’t know as against someone they do.
  • Be creative in finding people that your children can prophesy over by drawing pictures. A number of years ago, my children drew pictures for every child and teacher in a school in Nepal. There are numerous opportunities, just think creatively.

Encourage them to connect with creation / nature.

  • This can help ground them and also sow the seed of the contemplation / seer gifting.

Encourage them to try out different prophetic expressions

  • Encourage their creativity. Encourage them to try prophetic art, dance, worship, speaking, Lego building, cupcake art, jewellery making etc

Remember they are still a child

  • They need to enjoy life and not be ‘pushed’ in their gifting.

Teach them healthy boundaries for expressing themselves appropriately.

Help them develop their inner sense of truth

  • Teach them Christian values and Godly character.
  • They need to know why those values exist and why they are so important.
  • They need to learn to forgive quickly.

Don’t jump in and try and ‘save’ them from negative experiences.

  • Help them work through how to deal with rejection. Usually as a child, their character and calling means that they are not part of the status quo and they may seem ‘out of step’ with the rest of their classmates.
  • Part of their training is that they need to experience pain and rejection so please don’t quell God’s work in their life. God will be preparing them for the call on their life.

Spiritual upbringing

  • Please do not leave their spiritual upbringing and the responsibility of that to the church. The church’s role is to complement your training and discipling of your child. Their christian discipleship is your role and responsibility. Help them grow in the things of the Spirit.

Love is more important.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:2 “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing”. Mo matter what else, love is far more important than anyone’s ability or giftings. It all comes back to your child’s character and helping them develop in that area.
  • Deliberately put them in situations where they will be tested in this area and need to grow and learn.
  • Watch your character as your children learn more from watching you than what you say and will copy your actions.

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: Get everyone into pairs. Ask each person to ask Jesus “If my partner was a bag, what sort of bag would they be and why”. Encourage them to ask Jesus to share with them the colour of the bag, the type of bag, what it could hold, the size etc. (An important part of hearing from Jesus on this is the why that particular bag and how it applies to that person.) Then ask everyone to share with their partner what they felt, heard or saw from Jesus.

2. Group Activation: Prepare a lucky dip. Wrap a number of small, inexpensive items. Place them in a deep container. Ask everyone to find a partner and then select a wrapped item out of the container. Keeping the item still wrapped, prophesy over their partner about something that they feel or sense from the wrapped item. After finishing prophesying, give the item to your partner and let them unwrap it. You can then take this a step further by then finding a different partner to give the now unwrapped item to and prophesying over them about the item.

3. Beginner Activation: Find the definition of your name. Ask God to highlight why He chose that name for you and what it is about it that He loves about you. Turn it into a declaration and prophesy over yourself. Write it out and place it in an area where you can see it daily and read it aloud over yourself.

4. Intermediate Activation: Find a really comfortable chair and relax back into it. Picture yourself being comforted by God. Stay in that place for a little while. Then ask God to show you someone who needs to experience comfort at the moment. Compile a prophesy that you could prophesy over them – either by phone, in person or by writing it down and sending it to them.

5. Advanced Activation: Find a Childcare Centre or Kindergarten nearby and spend time with God hearing from Him for this Centre, the staff and the children. Speak it out over the Centre and ask God if you should send it to the manager as an encouragement etc (without including any Christian language).

Parenting a Prophetic Child part 1

Every child is unique and one thing I am learning is that there is no singular right way to parent every child. Every child needs some adaptation to our parenting style. Prophetic children (ie children with a prophetic gifting) in particular, pose some issues of their own.

Let me say this up front. I strongly dislike it when a parent talks about their child and how God showed them that that child was going to be so special, important and do amazing things for God, especially when that parent has other children and doesn’t talk about them in the same manner. Every child is important and special. Sometimes, particular children are highlighted from a young age or when they are in the womb. Please, be careful what you say to them and others. Be discrete with what God has showed/told you.

Recognizing a prophetic gifting in your child:

The following characteristics are not prescriptive. They are based on my own reflection of my children (ie these characteristics particularly describe one of our children) and other children in whom I can identify a strong prophetic gifting at an early age. Do not be discouraged if they don’t fit your child, or conversely, if they do and you just can’t identify a prophetic gifting. They are generalizations!

  • They have a strong justice meter. They recognize injustice and are concerned with right and wrong. They have an inbuilt ‘fairness’ detector and know instinctively when they have been wronged. Most children can pick up unfairness etc, but these children are particularly hurt by unfair situations and can’t seem to understand why people would treat them unfairly.
  • They may be seen to have a habit/tendency to lie and not tell the truth. In fact, I have discovered at these times, they are so focused on the exact wording of what you are ‘accusing’ them of that they cannot agree totally with the accusation. They have seen their actions slightly different. Thus their denial of involvement comes across as though they are lying.
  • They are generally sensitive in nature and wouldn’t intentionally hurt anyone. They tend to ‘feel’ others pain.
  • They seem to be naturally drawn to the things of God and search for the truth.
  • They can easily identify sin in their parents.
  • They have prophetic tendencies where they ‘see’ things we don’t see and pick up on situations we don’t. There may be certain people that your child will avoid and won’t want to be near. They may well be ‘seeing’ something negative in the spiritual over that person. They may well not want to go into a certain place because of what they are ‘seeing’ in the spiritual over that place.
  • Their spiritual radar is amplified. Most young children tend to have a sensitivity to spiritual things, but these children have an unusually high sensitivity to this. They may ‘see’ demons or other bizarre things happening in their room at night.
  • They usually have had at least one, if not multiple, experiences when they could have died, especially by bizarre circumstances. Satan comes to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10) and certainly doesn’t want this child to make an impact for the Kingdom of God so will try and ‘snuff out’ their life. There is usually a situation when they were in their mother’s womb or when they were young where they could have been seriously damaged or died. They are often born with either the cord wrapped around their neck or in respiratory distress. Often they have respiratory issues or voice issues as is Satan is trying to silence them. (In one of these circumstances, our children had a bizarre ‘accident’ up at the snow one year when they were very young where I ‘saw’ a demonic interference which could have easily resulted in their deaths but for an amazing rescue by God.)
  • They are usually hard to discipline. They seem able to withstand ‘harder’ punishment. We have one child who was devastated at just the mention of the consequence of spanking, and raising your voice at that child was enough to bring about immediate change. The more prophetic child almost ‘pushed’ us to breaking point with our discipline of them. We could very easily have become physically abusive to that child as no matter how you punished them, they would show no emotion or remorse.
  • They may have ‘roller-coaster’ emotions and need to learn how to control their emotions and how to process their feelings. They may experience a deep sense of fear suddenly and seemingly out of proportion to what else is happening at the time. Satan wants to intimidate prophetic children so that they won’t rise to the calling on their life.
  • They tend to not be part of the status quo. Please do not expect them to be the most popular child in a group or to fit in with the crowd. They may seem ‘out of step’ with the rest of the world. They may tend to have a hard time making friends and fitting in. It is almost as if other children have an inbuilt radar that something is different with this child. They tend to experience a lot of pain and rejection in relation to friendships. They can also be very headstrong. This can also impact their forming friendships with other children.
  • Their parents may well operate in the prophetic gifting/office. It can be common for children to follow on in the blessing and calling of their parents. 2 Timothy 1:5 “I am reminded of your sincere faith,which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also”.
  • They may have sudden personality and behaviour changes. We have a child who ‘picks up’ atmospheres and acts them out. Thus, if we are in a place where there is a dominating rebellious spirit, that child will become very rebellious. I can remember one time in particular when we were on a combined holiday / ministry trip and that child suddenly became very rebellious. I had only that day commented on the various signposts in that city that were suggesting a rebellious attitude but didn’t put everything together. We tried disciplining our child but to no avail. We tried everything and were becoming very frustrated with the lack of response to our disciplining efforts. I began to seriously doubt our parenting style and started to look at how we could learn new strategies. It didn’t actually ‘click’ for me properly until a year later in Cambodia when we saw this same child take on the extremely strong emotion and behaviour of the ruling spirits over that area. That child did not know how to process those emotions so they acted them out. At that time, I realised that I needed to help that child be able to verbalise and process what they were sensing and feeling and help them (and me) be able to use that prophetically for specific focused prayer for the area. I found that when that child picked up a spiritual atmosphere of an area and began to ‘act it out’, that as soon as I was able to identify that atmosphere, the child’s behaviour returned to ‘normal’.
  • They may have imaginary friends, cartoon characters or super heroes who ‘tell’ them to act differently. This is usually a demon trying to exert influence over your child.
  • They can be hugely observant. This becomes the ‘seed bed’ for the prophetic and helps them make the connection between the seen and the unseen, the physical and the spiritual realm.
  • Our more prophetic child came home from Children’s Church one day so excited that they had found out what they were meant to do with their life. That day, they had learnt the verse from Jeremiah 1:5 “I am your Creator and, before you were born, I chose you to speak for me to the nations.” This so resonated with their spirit that it impacted them greatly. Six months later, this child could still recite that verse from that day as it had impacted them in such a huge way that it resonated with their whole being and how they were designed.

Next week I will continue this theme and I will present a number of practical parenting tips to help you in parenting a child like this. These parenting tips can actually apply to any child and help all children, but are very specific to children with a prophetic gifting.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations 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 prophetic stations set up around the room. One station – drawing a prophetic picture for a parent by asking them to draw a picture for their parent on what God wants to say to their parent. Another station, focus on asking “if Jesus walked through the door, what would He say to me”. Another station – tasting. Have an assortment of food eg strawberries, chocolate, chip, bread, grape, piece of lemon etc. Ask them to choose something to taste on the table and ask God what He wants to tell them about their leader or parent that will encourage them as a result of the tasting. Another station – smelling. Have a number of containers filled with different smells eg cinnamon, lavendar, roses, wood shavings, cloves etc. Get them into pairs and ask them to smell a container and then ask God what He wants to say to their partner from that smell that will encourage their partner. Then ask them to share it with their partner.

2. Group Activation: 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.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to highlight a Bible verse to you that communicates how God feels about you right now. Look up that Bible verse and meditate on it.

4. Intermediate Activation: Sit in a public place where you can see a doorway eg a cafe. When anyone enters the doorway, ask God to show you His heart for that person. At some stage, ask God which people you are to share what God has showed you for them and which people you are asking God about to grow your listening/feeling/seeing spiritual ability.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight to you a major theme within your country this week eg within Australia it might be the farmers and the drought situation. Ask God to show, tell or give you His heart for this theme and the outworking of this. Prophecy what God shares with you into the atmosphere. Ask God if there is a way that you can communicate what He has shared with you to the relevant people.

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.