Several years ago, we were involved in a ministry where my kids would get the participant’s names before the weekend of ministry and they would ask God for a prophetic word for each person and then draw and write on an A4 sheet of paper what they sensed from God for each person. The person would then receive this sheet of paper with a prophetic word/picture on it during the ministry time at the weekend. There was one occasion where both of my children (who were the about 9 & 11 at the time) said that they couldn’t get a prophetic word for a certain name. In troubleshooting this with them, my daughter flatly refused to talk about it and my son said, “I just get total black”. I replied reminding him that what you do when you get something negative is to switch the thought 180 degrees. He replied that he couldn’t flip it to a positive as it was just so black and dark. We left it and my kids didn’t end up doing a prophetic word for this person. In chatting with the team after the weekend, we realised that the person whom my kids couldn’t get a picture for, was someone who was having a psychotic episode during the weekend and was admitted to a psychiatric ward. That is an extreme when I talk about getting a negative word for someone.
I must admit that I have only ever got a negative picture/sense/word three times in all my years of prophesying. The first time was when I had an overwhelming sense that the guy before me was entrenched in pornography. I gulped, composed myself and quickly reminded myself to prophesy the opposite. Thus, I prophesied over him that he was a man of purity. As I began to say that he was a man of purity, I really didn’t believe it. I felt a fraud. But as I went on, it became real to me and I could also see him change in his countenance. He had been given hope. He left a different person. The second time I saw a negative word for a person was reality. The lady in front of me was full of fear. It was ‘written’ all over her face. I didn’t need a word of knowledge about it as I could see it on her. Asking God for how He saw her, I felt a compassion for her and could prophesy love and peace and her identity and authority as a child of God. I practically saw the fear leave her. Third time, was a lady with such low self esteem that you could also see it written all over her. I loved sharing with her how God saw her and what Her Heavenly Father thought of her.
I believe most times when we get a negative prophetic word for someone, we are actually getting a word of knowledge. It is where there are currently at. What currently is happening in their life. That is not a prophetic word. It is not who they are becoming. It is a fact about their current situation. Thus, a word of knowledge. It is important to realise the distinction as it will help you with your prophesying. I have a number of friends who always thought they were getting negative prophetic words for people and once we helped them see that what they were getting were words of knowledge, it helped them reframe to get prophetic words. A prophetic word speaks about who they are becoming, not who they are currently.
Below I have listed two questions that are helpful and insightful for people who regularly get negative words for people when prophesying.
What are you asking God?
Are you asking for a word of knowledge ie where they are at now, or are you asking God for a prophetic word which is future based? 1 Corinthians 14:3 “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.”
What are you focusing on?
If you get a lot of negative words or images or senses about people when you go to prophesy, then the issue may be more with you than the people. You need to look at what you are focusing on. Are you focusing on what some people call the ‘second heaven’ – the earthly realm where Satan is in control. This usually comes from an inner belief system that God is not in full control and even that sometimes Satan is bigger than God. You are not living in the belief system that Jesus won at the cross and that God is in control and has the upper hand. You are not realising your position and authority that you have as a daughter or son of the most High God and heir with Jesus. Once you start believing and living from that place, you adopt a different mindset. Which spiritual realm do you live in and which does your mind operate out of?
Remember whenever we prophesy, to keep in mind 1 Corinthians 14:3 “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.”
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: Buy some cheap plain white pillowcases, one for each person, and fabric markers. Put on some relaxing Christian music and ask each family member to ask God to show or tell them how they are known in heaven. Let each person draw and write on their own pillowcase the words and images that they receive. Remind them that there are two sides to the pillowcase. Wash the pillowcases according to the instructions with the fabric markers. Then let each family member put their pillowcase on their pillow so that their head rests all night on the words and pictures that describe how they are know in heaven.
2. Group Activation: Get 26 cards and write one letter of the alphabet on each card. Place these on a table and divide the group into groups of 3. Ask each person to select one letter, thus each group will have three letters. Then get every group to take it in turns prophesying only three words over each member using those three letters ie each word must begin with one of the three letters.
3. Beginner Activation: Ask God for an image or word of a drink. Then ask God for something about the drink, the flavour, effervescence, warmth, size, refreshment etc. and then ask God to show you how it applies to yourself.
4. Intermediate Activation: Next time you go shopping, ask God to remind you of someone who needs encouragement and buy them a prophetic present ie a present that speaks of a prophetic word. (eg my son has a lot of prophetic words about him having a shepherd’s heart so I bought him a miniature statue of a shepherd.)
5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you this week someone who is connected with a prison, either staff, prisoner, family of a prisoner, prison chaplain, or a volunteer at a prison. Ask God for a prophetic word for them. Find a creative way to deliver it to them. If you truly do not have any contact at all with a prison, then ask God to give you a Prophetic word for the prison head and write him/her a letter of encouragement and support. Find the address and mail it to them.