I was tired. We had had a late night the night before. I had had an extremely busy week. I was on the team prophesying in pairs to individuals after the church service. I love prophesying and seeing people get a taste of what God thinks of them and His heart for them and how it can impact them greatly. I love helping to ‘unlock the gold’ within each person. This morning, we had prophesied well. The words had been accurate, encouraging, comforting. Many had tears as they listened and tried to take it all in. Most of the other teams had finished and left. My partner and I were still there, plus another team comprising my hubby and another team member. I glanced at my watch and realised that we had to get going as we had a luncheon appointment to be at. Plus, I was exhausted. The adrenaline was ‘running out’.
We finished with the lady we were prophesying over and then I saw someone else approach the front. My heart sank. This lady turned up every month for a prophetic word. I had given her several over the last six months and I could feel an ‘injustice’ (& a judgemental spirit) rise within me. Why was this person so ‘needy’? She should really chase after God for herself and not continually try and receive a prophetic word from others for herself. My judgemental attitude really kicked in. She approached for a prophetic word and my mouth opened and asked her about what she had done with all the other prophetic words she had received from us over the last 12 months. It was totally inappropriate of me. I was reacting out of my tiredness and frustration with people who chase after prophetic words and don’t do the hard yards putting in time with their own relationship with God. This lady responded by saying that she hadn’t received any prophetic words from us before. I was flabbergasted as I was sure that she had as I could clearly remember prophesying over her several times. My response did not communicate God’s heart as I turned and whispered to my partner that I needed to go. I called over the team leader and shared my response and my team leader kindly stepped in to give a prophetic word with my partner to this lady.
It’s fantastic that we can hear, see or feel God and what He wants to communicate to us and through us, but if we are not aware of the responsibility that comes with this, then we can hurt people. Plus, we can fall in to the trap of not representing God’s heart well. The goal of prophesying is 1 Corinthians 14:3 – to encourage, comfort and strengthen. Our role is to represent Father God well. To communicate his truth, love and heart for others in a manner that befits Him well.
On the day I was prophesying as described above, I did not represent the Father’s heart well. Sure, there was an identity issue with the lady concerned as she was always chasing after a prophetic word instead of listening to God for herself, but that doesn’t justify my response.
Below I have listed some of our responsibilities we need to incorporate when we are prophesying over other people.
- Be Prepared
Make sure you are on top of your game by having an early night the night before. Check your heart and confess sin. Keep short accounts with people and forgive quickly. What you take in affects your heart and mind so be careful what you watch and hear. Live a pure life. Devour the Bible. Keep your relationship with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus as number one in your life.
- Treat each person with dignity. Respect and honour the person.
They are a child of God. We need to see them through the Father’s eyes and have compassion on them and share the Father’s heart for them. They are a child of God. When we prophesy, it is not just about what we say but about what we communicate as a whole and how the person felt loved. We are communicating God’s heart to them.
This becomes evident with
- how we speak ie the tone of our voice, the volume, intonations etc
- what we say,
- our body language and what that is communicating,
- who is around when we share and how ‘public’ we say it ie the volume we use and how many others can hear what is personal for this individual especially if it is something they would not want others to hear.
- The prophetic word and how we communicate it must be encouraging, strengthening and comforting.
Thus we don’t prophesy anything negative. If we receive a ‘word of knowledge’ that is negative, we turn it around 180o and prophesy the positive.
- Ask permission first.
Do not just presume that because you think you have a prophetic word for someone, that they want to hear it. You need to ask their permission to share it with them. They may say no and you need to respect that. Also, please do not touch the person eg on the arm, shoulder etc without first asking permission to put your hand there.
- Stop when God stops.
When you stop hearing from God, stop. Do not add any extra. Do not add your spin (or hobby horse/pet topic) on it or try to expand or explain it. On the other hand, God loves questions, so ask God if there is anything more He wants you to communicate.
- They have a choice whether or not they accept it or do anything about it.
It is their choice. We cannot dictate what they do or not. If they choose not to do anything about what you have shared that you sense God’s communicating to them, that is totally their choice. You have not failed. You also cannot make them do something about it. We also are not fully aware of their whole situation. Instead, exude grace.
We do not have free reign to go up to everyone we have a prophetic word for and share. We need to come under the authority of our church plus any ministry group we are operating under. We also need to make sure that a ‘third person’ is present or that the person records what is said. That is the beauty of mobile phones these days as you can easily record a prophetic word. This is so important for accountability and being above reproach.
- We need to use clean language
We don’t say ‘God told me’. Instead, use language that gives the person a ‘way out’ eg ‘I have a sense that…’ Communicating that ‘God told you’ about another person borders on spiritual abuse. It implies that the person needs to do whatever you say otherwise they are not obeying God. That is not fair or correct.
- Remember that we prophesy in part.
We do not have full access to everything that God thinks, says, sees and knows. Therefore, there is always more to the story. 1 Corinthians 13:9 says “For we know in part and we prophesy in part.” We never have the full and total picture. That is also why it is helpful to have someone else prophesy with you eg in pairs as that can help spur you on and you can see and hear more of the picture.
- Be humble.
We are not God’s gift to mankind. No matter how skilled and accurate we may think we are, humility is important. We are not God. We represent God when we prophesy but we are not God.
- We want to make God look great, not the prophet look great.
A great question to ponder on is “Why am I wanting to give a prophetic word to that person?” Is it because I want to ‘look’ good?
Is it the right timing to tell the person what you are feeling, sensing, hearing, seeing? Is this God’s timing to release it to that person now? Am I meant to share it with them or is it for me to pray about and intercede for them about this?
Prophesying over people is exciting and rewarding to be a part of but it also carries with it the weight of responsibility. Keeping in mind these points means that you will be able to release the Father’s heart in a way that reflects who God is more accurately.
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: Make or buy the cardboard cut-out shapes of a person’s body. Ask everyone to write a person’s name on each ‘person’ and then a word that God uses to describes that person. Then pray over each person and give the cut-outs to the appropriate people.
2. Group Activation: Pair up and make 2 circles one inside the other and facing towards each other ie one of each pair on the inside circle facing outwards and the other on the outside circle facing inwards. Give everyone 30 seconds to hear, see, or sense one word for the person opposite them and then share that one word with their partner. Then ask the outer circle to move 3 people to the right. Everyone has 30 seconds again to get one word for the person opposite them and to share it with them. Then ask the inner circle to move 3 people to the right. Repeat the process.
3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God and quieten your heart and mind. Ask God what He would want to give you or if there is something He would like to place in your right hand at the moment. Ask Father God more questions about this eg why that object, what is it for, what does it look like etc
4. Intermediate Activation: Prophesy over yourself. Focus on God and imagine yourself somewhere with Him. Start your recording device and begin to prophesy over yourself what Father God thinks of you and feels for you and His plans for your life.
5. Advanced Activation: Record yourself the next time you prophesy over someone. Ask them permission first. When you have finished, spend some time later re-listening to what you said. Ask God if there was anything else He would have liked you to add. Listen and pay attention to how you prophesied and how you communicated God’s heart for the person.