When I can’t hear God for myself?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DRAW 4choose 4 people to give you a prophetic word

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

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

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

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

Easter Blessing

Dear Readers and Subscribers to my blog,

As we journey towards Easter over these next few days, I want to release a blessing over you that incorporates the values of Easter and the journey Jesus made.  I encourage you to say this blessing over yourself out aloud. Feel free to read this aloud over your family and significant others in your life. There is power in not only reading a blessing but speaking it out aloud over you and calling your spirit to attention first. It helps grow your spirit on the inside.

 

“I call your spirit to attention and bless you throughout this Easter season.

I bless you with being able to communicate yourself fully and articulately. I bless you with intimacy and fun in your relationship with Jesus. I bless you with knowing your true identity and allowing people to know the real you. I bless you with being celebrated for who you really are. I bless you with allowing others to extravagantly express generosity towards you and it to flow abundantly from you. I bless you with ease and acceptance with those few close people in your life, that you can truly be yourself and disclose your true feelings. I bless you in discerning the flattery and the ability to see the lies and the truth.

I bless you in keeping focussed on what God is focussed on, your gaze focussed where God’s eyes are focussed. I bless you with peace in the uncertainty of the future. I bless you when you dread the immediate future. That you will be able to glimpse the other side of the huge mountain just in front of you and it will sustain you in the plodding onwards. I bless you in keeping alert when the things of this world press upon you. With not slumbering but having an alert spirit at all times.

I bless you with integrity. Compassion. Standing firm amidst any false accusation and that you will see your name cleared and your reputation upheld. I bless you in being able to forgive the betrayal and the lies. I bless you when it appears to be the end of your dreams and I bless you with perseverance to see the start of redemption. I bless you with being able to see things as God sees them.

I bless you with journeying close to Christ during the dark times. With knowing the love of the Father so intimately and realising that one day you will understand more fully the dark and lonely times. I bless you with holding on to hope when everything seems hopeless. I bless you with realising Jesus is with you in that crushing, seemingly senseless time of pain that overwhelms.

I bless you in the waiting season. For perseverance. For joy in the journey. I bless you with intimacy and finding shelter in the secure and intimate place. I bless you with having people support you through all times. I bless you with being prepared to last the journey that is your call, despite the circumstances.

I bless you with seeing the answers to your greatest prayers. I bless you with experiencing the risen Christ and the full impact of that in your life – joy, life, hope, freedom, reconciliation, fulfilling potential and reaching your destiny. I bless you with a new and renewed perspective of God’s love, goodness, grace and mercy. I bless you with being able to celebrate and celebrate well. I bless you with enlarging your supernatural gifts and seeing miracles in your everyday life. I bless you with seeing and taking opportunities to share God’s goodness with others and your testimony of what God has done in your own life. I bless you in living in a new way with a new attitude. I bless you with a burning desire to devour the Bible, the Word of God, and love reading it. I bless you with allowing the Holy Spirit to permeate and access every part of your life and fill you to overflowing, accessing deeper levels of empowerment and intimacy.

I bless you with finishing well. With staying the course. With being a world changer.”

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: Ask the children present to pray a blessing over each adult. If they have never done this before, pray a blessing over them first. Practice calling each other’s spirit to attention first as this commands your spirit on the inside of you to stand to attention to fully hear and absorb what is being said.

2. Group Activation: Partner up and spend a few minutes asking God to show you what He would like you to pray for your partner. Then turn the prayer into a blessing and pray aloud a blessing over your partner that incorporates what God showed you.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God listening to Him about what He would like to bless you with. Then write out the blessing for yourself. Say it aloud over yourself and begin a practice of daily praying it over yourself.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you His heart for your local church and the leaders. Compile this into a blessing that you can pray aloud daily for the next little while, calling the spirit, heart and identity of your local church to attention.

5. Advanced Activation: Spend time with God aligning His heart for your nation with your heart. In Australia at the moment, we have an election in a few weeks and this is a fantastic time to be blessing the heart and identity of the nation as it can significantly affect the future of Australia. Compile a blessing for the nation, the leaders and politicians. Pray it aloud daily over your nation for the next little while.

Keeping your Prophetic Gift ‘Clean’

“I felt worse after that person prophesied over me” a number of people informed me. “I don’t know what it was as he was so accurate about my past, but I came away feeling yuck.”

I Corinthians 14:3 says that a prophetic word is to be encouraging, edifying and comforting. Thus, when we receive a prophetic word and we don’t feel encouraged, built up or comforted, then something has gone wrong. The person giving the prophetic word may have been not hearing God clearly and using more soulish thoughts than spiritual sensing. We may also not be in the right spiritual space and it may be incorrect timing to receive the word. Another issue may be that the person giving the word may have their psychic door open.

Psychic door open? What do I mean?

Sometimes before people become Christians, they may have dabbled in some witchcraft, New Age or Clairvoyancy, thus opening their psychic door. Conversely, someone in their generational line may have opened the door and it remains automatically open down through the generations. Satan loves jumping on the bandwagon and taking full advantage of any slight little opportunity he gets. Thus, if someone in your generational line has looked to sources other than God for their wisdom, insight and prophetic insights, then they have opened a door that continues down the generational line until it is closed.

If it has never been closed, then it is still open and Satan can just as easily confuse your thoughts and tell you about a person’s past, present and future. Revelation can come from both sides. If it is a generational issue, you may be totally unaware that you are receiving insight from the dark side.

Arthur Burk from the Sapphire Leadership Group (www.theslg.com) has a great teaching on this called “The Druids and the Psychic door”. You can watch this on Youtube free, roughly 20 minutes long. The druids violated their stewardship of the prophetic gift and they delivered true words but from a defiled source, pursuing revelation from the dark side. Arthur goes so far as to say that if you have a generational line that goes back to England, Wales or Scotland, then it is advisable to pray this prayer as many of these family lines were defiled by druids, either having druidic blood in the family line or a carrier of uttering curses about them. Likewise, finish your prayer by asking God to overtly release to you and any other descendant any treasures that belong to you.

The great news is that this is really easy to ‘close’ and deal with (unless you are still dabbling in witchcraft). There is a simple prayer you can pray along these line…

“Heavenly Father, I repent on behalf of myself and every person in my past generational line who has looked to someone or something else apart from you Heavenly Father for wisdom, insight, truth and discernment. I am truly sorry for myself and my relatives not looking solely to you for these things. Heavenly Father, I ask you to come now and cleanse my family line of all times that we sought wisdom, insight, truth and discernment not from you. Heavenly Father please come and shut that door and seal that door closed now with the blood of Jesus. Heavenly Father, would you also please release all treasure stored up for our generational line that has never been released to us yet. Thank you so much Father God.”

Spend time with God asking Him if there is any further action you may need to take eg have some inner healing prayer ministry to deal deeper with the issues if there has been a major involvement in any witchcraft etc. Our aim is to draw closer to God, able to hear His voice clearly and to release His promptings to others to encourage, strengthen and comfort. Anything that comes in the way of this should be dealt with as soon as possible so that it doesn’t hinder or defile the process.

Other important steps to keep in mind include:

  • Be careful what you fill your mind with eg what you watch on tv, what you read etc. Garbage in = garbage out.
  • Cultivate your personal relationship and intimacy with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus.
  • Devour the Bible. Love reading the Word of God and applying it to your life.
  • Be accountable to someone for your prophetic gifting.
  • Always get the person you are giving a prophetic word to to record the prophecy. If they can’t do this, then at the least have someone they know and rely on to be there with them.
  • Have regular prayer ministry eg annual check up. This deals with little things before they become major footholds in your life.
  • Be accountable to someone re your blindspots or prophesying out of your passion. This can skew your thinking.

My prayer for you, my readers, is that

  • you grow in your intimacy with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus
  • and that you will grow in your prophetic ability to see, hear and sense what Father God is communicating so that you can release accurate words to everyone you meet for the purpose of encouraging, strengthening and comforting 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: Make up glasses/jugs of different coloured liquids to resemble various drinks. Ask everyone to select a person and then imagine with God what sort of drink that person would be and why. Then allow time for everyone to draw or share it.

2. Group Activation: Ask for the names of any businesses connected with people in the group ie business that people own. Get into groups around those people. Spend a few minutes hearing from God and then ask people to prophesy into those businesses. Warn the business owners that they are not to make business decisions based on a prophetic word shared at this time but to weigh it correctly. Remind people that they are to hear God’s heart for the business and to be careful re any prophesies that would sway decisions needing to be made etc.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time reading about a prophetic person in the Bible and their life and the prophetic words they gave and the impact of those words. Ask God to show you how this Biblical person is similar to you.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight to you a failing business or a business that is not going well at the moment. Spend time with God asking Him for His view on the business. Ask God what He would like you to do with the information that He has shared with you.

5. Advanced Activation: The massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand occurred yesterday. Spend time with Father God asking Him His heart for this city and formulate a prophetic word that you decree over the city. (You don’t need to travel to Christchurch. You can declare and decree it from your home.) Ask Father God if He requires any further action from you eg send the prophetic word to someone in Christchurch etc.

Prophetic Activations – fun, simple, and important.

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

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

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

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

  • fun
  • simple
  • quick

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

Finding a partner:

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

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

Some activations for pairs:

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

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

Key points to remember:

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

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

Pass the parcel:

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

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

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

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

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

Prophetic UNO:

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

UNO Prophecy Instructions

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

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

                     BLUE          – you give a prophetic word to the person opposite

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

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

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

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

Duck, duck, goose:

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

Musical Chairs:

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

Prophetic Tag:

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

Prophetic Ping Pong:

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

Lucky Dip Bag:

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

Blindfolded Lucky Dip:

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

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Helping my Kids hear from God part 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

First: Practice, practice, practice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Second: Develop intimacy with Father God.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Third: Look at your true identity.

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

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

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

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

 

Fourth: Take responsibility for your own growth.

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

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

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

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

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

Ask friends if you can ‘practice’ on them.

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

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Helping my kids hear from God part 3

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

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

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

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

You and your kids can do this as well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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 from God (part 1)

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

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

I was flabbergasted.

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

These sheep did.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three Different Voices we can hear:

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

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

What does God’s voice sound like?

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

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

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

Satan’s Voice:

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

Our voice:

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

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

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

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

Different ways of hearing from God:

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

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

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

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

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

Our Imagination:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

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

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

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

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

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

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