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.

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.

Parenting a Prophetic Child part 2

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

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

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

Practical Parenting Tips:

Protect their innocence.

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

Recognize that there is no junior Holy Spirit.

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

Teach your child the Bible and who they are in Christ

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

Listen to your child.

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

Teach your children about the spiritual realm.

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

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

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

Encourage them to live a prophetic lifestyle.

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

Watch for any personality changes.

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

Use wisdom in your discipline.

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

Cultivate the gift.

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

Encourage them to connect with creation / nature.

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

Encourage them to try out different prophetic expressions

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

Remember they are still a child

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

Teach them healthy boundaries for expressing themselves appropriately.

Help them develop their inner sense of truth

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

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

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

Spiritual upbringing

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

Love is more important.

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

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parenting a Prophetic Child part 1

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

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

Recognizing a prophetic gifting in your child:

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

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

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

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

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

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

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

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

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

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