Exasperated, I told my daughter rather harshly that God didn’t talk like that. We had had our morning devotion, we had then put on a Christian song to listen to quietly in the background. My kids had grabbed their journals and blank paper and pencils & crayons. I had then asked them to ask God what He wanted to say to them today. My daughter immediately said that God had told her that He was going to give her an apple device. This was the third day in a row that God had apparently told my daughter that. I retorted by saying, “That’s because you want an iPad or iMac. God doesn’t work like that.”
I now look back on that interaction at least five years ago and I am embarrassed. Embarrassed at my callousness and impatience and unkindness towards my daughter. Embarrassed by how I misrepresented God. Embarrassed by putting my frustrations over my relationship with her. Embarrassed that my daughter had a lot greater clarity of how God works than me. (For the record, within a few months God did miraculously give her the money for an iMac.)
I often get asked by parents to share with them how I taught my children to be prophetic. Yes, my children are prophetic but I don’t think I can take all the credit for ‘teaching’ them.
In fact, I really learnt heaps by helping out in their Sunday School class. (Parents – please, I implore you – help out regularly in their class and pick up strategies and tips for use at home.) I was sitting at a table with 4 & 5 year olds. My 5 year old son next to me. The children were all lined up opposite each other with a sheet of paper in front of them and crayons on the table. They were then simply asked to draw a picture from God for the child opposite them. Us adults then asked the children what they had drawn and wrote that on the sheet of paper. The children then gave the paper to the children opposite them and explained what they had drawn.
I was gobsmacked. Basically this was all there was to prophecy with children.
I went home and that week, I started to incorporate this every few days into our devotions.
I find that children hear, sense and see from God immediately. Children don’t seem to have the same ‘hang ups’ as adults do about what God would and wouldn’t do and say, so they find it easier to trust God. They just seem to automatically accept that the first thought through their mind is from God. They asked God and He answered them. Perhaps it is also that they don’t have all the years of experience of ‘not hearing from God’ or perhaps more correctly – not recognising that what we were hearing and sensing was actually from God.
So, when I start with people wanting to teach their children how to hear from God, I start with having them explain briefly the character of God to their children in a really basic manner of a couple of sentences. Get your children to brainstorm what God would sound like. He is a good God so He is not going to say anything mean. God is going to be encouraging, positive, kind.
Second step is to hear from God for yourself and feel God’s thoughts towards you (or your children to hear and sense from God for themselves). Once you can recognise God’s voice for yourself, or your children can recognise God’s voice for themselves, it is pretty straight forward from then on.
I have listed below two activations or practical exercises that you can do yourself or with your children to help you begin to hear, feel, sense or see what God is saying to you or your children. It can be helpful to provide a quiet place where you can all rest or lie down. It is also helpful to have sheets of paper and pencils /crayons /textas that people can use to draw what they feel God saying or showing to them.
- Find a quiet place to lie down and close your eyes.
- Ask God, “If you could play any game with me right now, what would it be?”
- Capture the first thought that goes through your mind, or the first thing you feel.
- If you are having trouble getting something, ask God to give you a feeling or to bring to mind your favourite game. Use that game in your imagination.
- Then ask God a question based on that, for example
- “God, why did you pick that game?”
- “What is special about that game?”
- “What do you want to teach me or show me through that game?”
- Draw a picture of what you say or felt or heard.
- Share with someone, your parent etc.
- Ask God if He could have a special time with you anywhere in the world right now, where would He take you and why?
- Capture that first thought that goes through your mind, or the first thing you feel.
- Ask God some more questions about that place. Eg
- “God, why did you pick that place?”
- “What’s special about that place?”
- “God, what do you want to say to me here in this place you’ve chosen for me?”
- Draw a picture of what you felt, saw or heard.
- Share with someone, your parent etc.
Chat with your children about the fact that God loves chatting with us. He wants us to have a two way conversation with Him. Thus, He loves it when we ask Him questions and clarify what He said etc.
Next week’s blog post will be part 2 on helping your children hear from God for other people.
Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:
Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.
1. Children / Families Activation: Have everyone close their eyes and ask God what supernatural clothes God wants to give to them to be dressed in. Share what you heard, saw or felt.
2. Group Activation: Play prophetic duck, duck, goose. Have everyone sit in a circle and ask them all to close their eyes. Walk around behind people and touch one person on their head or shoulder. Then ask everyone to open their eyes. Ask them to hear from God and prophesy over the person you touched (whom only you and that person know who it is). After a certain amount of prophetic words, ask the ‘receiver of the prophetic words’ to identify themself and share how the words resonated with them. Repeat with another person being the receiver.
3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God asking Him where in the universe He would like to take you and why. Ask Him questions about what you would do there together, why that place is special etc.
4. Intermediate Activation: Write a prophetic word for your garbage collector this week. Buy a small present that relates prophetically to this and give them both to your garbage collector when he next collects your rubbish.
5. Advanced Activation: Write a prophetic word for the leader of your country. Remember to exude grace and love and kingdom values. Find a way of emailing or posting this to Him/Her.