Recording Prophetic Words

Part of the prophetic protocols at our church (Stairway) is that prophetic words are recorded. It is common and usual to hear someone ask a person for permission if they can share with them something that they sense God is showing/telling them about that person. The other common and usual protocol is to then see that person about to receive the prophetic word pulling out their smartphone to record what is about to be said.

During prophetic presbytery’s when people come forward for a prophetic word, I will ask people if they have a recording device ready to record what I am about to say.

If I am prophesying over complete strangers in a shop, I don’t ask them if they want to record it as I couch the prophetic word in complete non Christian terms and don’t want to presume that they will value it or want to work with the prophecy. During those times, I want to communicate the heart of God. That He sees them, that He knows them, that He understands what they are going through and that there is a future for them.

Why record a prophetic word?

  1. Accountability

Recording a prophetic word keeps both the receiver and the deliverer accountable. When I give a prophetic word, I am accountable for what I am sharing. If it is wrong, negative, discouraging, totally inaccurate, etc then I need to be held accountable and spoken to, and then receive training in how to deliver a prophetic word. The receiver also is then accountable for what they do with the prophetic word. Hopefully this is to listen to it again several times, pray through it, type it out etc.

Six years ago, I gave a prophetic word to a team member about her ability and future leadership. Several months later, I was asked by the leadership of the group if I could remember what I actually said. This person had challenged the current leadership and communicated that I had prophesied that they would be the overall leader of the group the following year. Thankfully, for my sake, there was a record of what was actually communicated.

  1. Accuracy

Our memory is not 100% perfect. We all have selective memory. How many times have you thought or believed someone said something, when in fact, if you had an opportunity to play back what was actually said, it was slightly different? Not only hearing what we think versus what was actually communicated but also the lens through which we interpret.

When we returned from Mozambique seven years ago, I can remember saying that the prophetic word we had received said ‘the real reason we went to Mozambique was because of our daughter’. A close friend read the actual prophetic word and challenged me as it said, ‘going to Mozambique had a lot to do with our daughter’s future’. Slight difference in wording but a massive difference in meaning.

  1. Personal responsibility

Please do not come up to someone who has prophesied over you and apologise for not recording the prophecy but ask them if they can write down what they said to you. It is your responsibility to record any prophetic prophecies over you. Once the person has prophesied over you, they are no longer responsible for that prophetic word. It has been delivered to you.

I have lost count of the number of times someone has come to me and asked it I can remember what I said to them as they didn’t record it. I’m sorry but usually as soon as I give the prophetic word, I forget most of it. I may remember the exciting part or a sense or picture of something I said but not the actual wording or tone or feel. I feel o’kay about that since I have fulfilled my part. It was their part/responsibility to record it and then deal with it. Thus, now days, usually before I give a prophetic word to someone, I ask if they have a recording device handy.

  1. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelations 19:10)

When two or more people prophecy the same thing over you, then you definitely know that there is an accuracy there that you can rely on as truth and use as a prophetic weapon for your life. One of the benefits of recording your prophetic word is that you can write it out and see the accuracy of it lining up with other prophetic words you have received.

  1. Growth in giving prophetic words

Every so often I find it helpful for me, as someone prophesying over someone else, to ask their permission if I can record what I am about to say so that I can learn from it and use it as a tool for growth. Listening to what I have prophesied afterwards, I can hear if I have rambled on, excessively repeated myself, hit the target and been definitive and accurate or massaged the message to allow leeway etc.

  1. Prophesying over children

We always record prophetic words spoken over children (under 16 years of age) and make sure that an adult (parent or guardian or children’s leader) is also present. We then give the recording to the parent of the child. This helps to keep us accountable in our ministry to children and keep all children safe from emotional harm.

Conclusion:

For those people giving Prophetic words, please encourage the person to record it. For both your sakes. Accountability and accuracy for yourself. For encouragement and accuracy for 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: Write the names of everyone present on individual slips of paper. Fold each slip of paper and slide it into a separate balloon. Everyone then has fun blowing up a balloon, tying it and then bursting it. Unwrap the piece of paper and find whose name is on your slip of paper. Ask God what He wants to tell that person. Communicate that to that person.

2. Group Activation: 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 just 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.

3. Beginner Activation: Take a $50 note out of your wallet (or the highest value note in your wallet) and spend some time prophesying over the people whose hands it will pass through. Place it back in your wallet and try and use that note next time you are shopping.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to give you a name of a book to buy and who to buy it for. Ask God for a prophetic word to write on a slip of paper to put inside the book before you give the book to that person.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you someone struggling with purity in their life. Spend time crafting a prophetic word for them about how God sees them, remembering to keep it encouraging, comforting and edifying.

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.

“I will never…”

Words we speak over ourselves can become self fulfilling prophecies.

When I was in year 10 at high school, I was a School captain. A boy in our grade had mental development issues and he used to hang around me because I was nice to him and took the time to say hello. I can remember being teased about how people thought he was my boyfriend. To make it clear that that was definitely not the case, I would say, “I am never going to marry a boy with red hair and glasses.” Eight years later, I married a guy (not the same one) with red hair and glasses.

“I will never…”

When we say, “I will never…”, we are pronouncing a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’. Self fulfilling prophecies will always come back to bite you. We need to realise that when we say these words, we are releasing into the atmosphere something that puts into motion the very same thing to happen to us.

Can you ever remember being embarrassed by your mother as a teenager and you would say, “I can’t wait until I am an adult. I will never….”. Twenty years later, you suddenly realise that exactly what your mum did you are now doing.

Do you ever wonder why people who say “I never win any competitions” never actually win anything?

 

  Are there times in your life you are using those words now?

 

If you have children, have a listen to your children. Do they ever say it? We can help our children by modelling a life that is free of these negative statements. One of our tasks as a parent is to help our children not fall into the habit of stating “I will never…”. I encourage you to take a few moments to look back on your life and see if there were any times you said, “I will never…” Share these with your kids. Help them to see that it is not in their best interest to speak these negative words into their life.

If we slip up, we say sorry and make amends.

An effective prayer I find useful is, “Lord Jesus, can you please bring to my mind any negative words I’ve said that I will never do…. Lord, I am so sorry I said that. Please forgive me. In Jesus’ name, I cut off the effect of those words especially in regard to self fulfilling prophecies and the judgements I made about that person and situation. Amen.”

 

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: Have everyone ask God to show, tell or give them the name of an article of clothing that best describes something about the person on their left. Ask them to ask God why that particular article of clothing best describes that person. Share with that person.

2. Group Activation: Gather an assortment of items from nature eg stones, feather, leaves, twigs, soil, seeds etc. Spread them out over an area eg on a table, section of floor etc. Ask everyone to pair up and then find an item that they can use from this assortment from nature to prophesy over their partner. Encourage them to go deeper with their prophesying by looking at the feel, sound, look, smell, use etc of the item and prophesy from that, asking God for clarification and extension.

3. Beginner Activation: Grab a blank sheet of paper and start doodling on it drawing a key. Be creative with God and the drawing of the key. Ask God to then show you how you are similar to that key and ask Him what He wants you to unlock or what He wants to unlock for you. Enjoy exploring this with God.

4. Intermediate Activation: Choose a person close to you. Ask God to show you a road sign for that person. Ask God what that road sign means for that person, then share it with them.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God for a prophetic word for the Principal of a school near you. Write it out in a letter, making sure that it is encouraging and comforting and doesn’t have any christian language in it and then send it to them.

Growing your spirit – Living from a Place of Victory (part 10)

Twenty eight years ago, hubby and I drove into an Australian town well know for its New Age and witchcraft practices. We briefly looked around the town for a gift shop and for somewhere to eat but before we had time to find anywhere, I asked hubby if we could drive on to the next town. I sensed something ‘awful’ in the atmosphere and something like a fear descended on me. Fast forward twenty years and hubby, the kids and I drove back into that same town and it ‘felt’ completely different. We loved the place so much that we decided to revisit it again on that holiday.

 

                        What was the difference?

 

As far as I could tell, there was a Christian church that was having a massive impact in the town ministering to the New Age community. But the New Age and witchcraft presence was still ‘thick’. I believe that the main difference lay within me. I had grown and matured as a Christian, but more importantly, I now knew my identity as a daughter of the Most High King. I was also aware of ‘brushing’ off negative atmospheres (http://www.unlockingthegold.com/spiritual-hygiene-living-from-a-place-of-victory-part-8/). Most of all though, I believe the greatest difference was that my spirit had grown enormously and could now ‘defend’ itself instead of being intimidated.

 

How do you ‘grow’ your spirit?

Just as your physical body needs nutrition to grow and your soul needs love and care and intellectual stimulation to grow, so too does your spirit needs things to help it grow.

 

I have identified the top five things I have done to grow my spirit.

  1. Worship God regularly.
  2. Grow your identity in God. Go after your inner healing.
  3. Speak/pray the Bible over yourself.
  4. Pray in tongues often ie on a daily basis. 1 Corinthians 14:4 says “anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies (or builds) themselves up”. One of the most effective methods is to pray in tongues each day.
  5. Bless your spirit.

 

How do I ‘bless my spirit’?

I first became aware of the huge impact of calling one spirit to attention and blessing it after I found some teaching from Arthur Burk and Sylvia Gunther (www.theslg.com) and started practicing on my family. I immediately noticed a difference in our son and how he loved his spirit being blessed. Our son is a spiritual thermostat. He easily and automatically ‘picks up’ the spiritual atmosphere of a room, place or land region and acts this out. This caused numerous hassles earlier in his life until we became more fully aware of what was happening. (A particular city in Australia has the ruling spirit of rebellion over it and when we stayed there, our son became very rebellious. We tried disciplining him without any effect and began to doubt our parenting until I ‘connected the dots’ and realised what was happening. As soon as I identified it, our son’s behaviour immediately normalised.)

Thus, when I began calling my family’s spirits to attention and reading a blessing over them of a night, this son loved it. Each night he would ask me to ‘do that thing that makes me feel good’.

As a side note, I used to call people’s spirit forth eg “Jane I call your spirit forth” but a Pastor’s wife became quite anxious about that as if I was trying to make people’s spirit travel. Thus, I now call their spirit to attention. Look at it as if you are asking them to stand up on the inside and take notice. Eg “Jane, I call your spirit to attention” or “Jane, I call your spirit to take notice of what I am about to say”.

Over time, I have noticed a huge effect on people whenever I bless people’s spirit. I use this all the time in our Church’s Healing Rooms at the end of each person’s time of ministry. In fact, it is uncommon for me to not use it when praying for someone.

David Tensen has a great course on this (www.davidtensen.com). He bases his blessing on 4 D’s – delight, design, destiny and dominion. I can never seem to remember the 4 D’s so I just ask Father God to show or tell me what to bless each individual person with.

I have crafted a short blessing for you, my readers. Please feel free to try it and speak it over yourself, inserting your name into it. I have several friends who each night will call their spirit to attention and bless their own spirit (& their spouse’s if they are married) with a blessing. There is no magic formula for what to say. Go with what you feel Father God is saying to you. With my kids, I will often bless their spirit along the lines of their prophetic words, the giftings they have, their dreams and their sleeping and relationship with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus.

I also find that if people have their eyes open and look into mine whilst I am blessing them, there seems to be a greater impact on the person. Try it and see.

 

Blessing:

“(Your name), I call your spirit to attention and bless you with knowing that Father God loves you so much. There is nothing you could do to make Him love you any more or any less. (Your name), Father God had you in mind before He created the world. He ordained your parents, time in history and birth date. I bless you with knowing how precious and valuable you are to God, your family, friends and community. I bless your spirit with knowing that God has gifted you with special gifts and has created you with your personality. He so loves you.

(Your name), I bless your spirit with realising in a deeper way today the reality of God’s love in your life. I bless you with experiencing today Father God romancing you in a fresh new way, with you seeing, hearing and experiencing his extravagant and generous nature and goodness and kindness. I bless you with receiving His kisses of joy today. I bless you as you walk out the next few days and weeks and months ahead that you will see the hand of Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus on your life in a new way. I bless you with amazing insight and discernment from God, with hearing Him at a deeper level and seeing what He is up to in the spiritual world.

(Your name), I bless you that wherever you walk, you carry the peace of God and change atmospheres. That people will know that a child of the Most High God has been there with you. I bless you with leaving a lingering fragrance of the presence of God wherever you step. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Please feel free to forward this blog post to any of your friends and encourage them to subscribe to receive my blog posts on a weekly basis. Thank you.

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: Chat about what ‘blessing’ is. Have a time of focusing on each individual person and ask God to show, tell or give to everyone else some words to bless that person with. Then all say it over that person. Then move on to the next person. At the end, feel free to share how it felt.

2. Group Activation: Pair up and spend a few minutes asking God what He would have you bless your partner with in regards to the 4D’s – delight, design, destiny and dominion. Then release the blessing over your partner.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time this week intentionally calling your spirit to attention and blessing it with hearing God’s voice clearly. Also ask God each time what else to bless your spirit with.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you someone to bless today. Make or buy a gift for that person that represents the essence of what you are blessing in them and give that to them during the time of releasing the blessing over them.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to reveal to you an unreached people group. Spend time with God crafting a blessing for that people group. Ask God to then show you how often He would like you to say that blessing, speaking as if over that people group.

Rest – Living from a Place of Victory (part 9)

I personally believe that one of the greatest tools we have to live a life of victory is to live from a place of rest.

But what does it mean to live from a place of rest?

I used to think that it meant setting aside a day per week to ‘rest’. Not work. Like a Sabbath. God modelled this when He created the world. He ‘worked’ on six days and on the seventh day, He rested. This is a brilliant idea and one that God modelled for us. Our family has personally found it hard to carve out that day of solitude in amidst a busy lifestyle.

God didn’t work flat out and then stop to rest. He paced Himself. Yes. He still stopped and rested but He didn’t become frantic and frazzled.

When the kids were small and I was busy all week with them, hubby would look after them of a Thursday evening and that was my time ‘off’. I would set it aside and go out shopping. I loved having something to look forward to but I gradually came to realise that it didn’t ‘fill’ me up. In fact, it seemed to drain me more – the loud music, the bright lights, surrounded by heaps of people, busy shops, racing around trying to get a lot of things done. I needed to use that time instead to ‘chill’, to be at peace with myself and my surroundings, to be filled up by spending time with God and nature.

Living from a place of rest is completely different to setting aside a certain period of ‘time’. When you realise that the opposite of ‘rest’ can also be ‘striving’ then it changes the equation.

Being at ‘peace’ with God and inviting Him into every aspect of our life by turning our hearts frequently to Him through the day to listen and converse together seems a lot more effective. Our internal rest/peace grows and we live out of that. Thus, when we encounter external ‘noise’, disagreements, frustrations, we are quick to retreat to that place of peace and rest and operate out of that area. I find that I tend to let more things go. Those ‘things’ that used to annoy me no longer have the same grip over me.

Does it really matter?

I find that I often ask myself that question as I live from that place of rest. This allows me to then brush stuff off and not let it become a ‘big’ deal in my life or to not spend time and emotional energy on something that isn’t really worth it.

Perhaps the most well know person who managed to operate out of a lifestyle of rest is Brother Lawrence. He writes in “The Practice of the Presence of God” – “by dwelling in the presence of God, he has established such a sweet communion with the Lord that his spirit abides, without much effort, in the restful peace of God. In this centre of rest, he is filled with a faith that equips him to handle anything that comes into his life.”

To cultivate a lifestyle of rest, here are some pointers.

  1. Be still. Psalm 46:10 talks about being still and internally at rest as that is when we truly know God. It is not reliant on our external world being quiet. Delight in a period of solitude and quietness with God on a daily basis.
  2. Live a lifestyle with margin. Allow extra time, energy, thought space, finances, & room in our life for friendships etc so that nothing creates alarm or tension. People often ask me complex questions especially about God or healing and my reply is that I just accept what God does and says as I don’t have the emotional energy to ‘waste’ time exploring that issue in a complex way or to give it a space in my life. If we are driving somewhere, we allow ourselves a few minutes extra for any interruptions. In preparing for times of ministry eg Healing Rooms, we arise earlier and give ourselves some extra time and space for preparation.
  3. Guard your peace. Fiercely guard your peace. This is my personal thermostat for when I realise that I have not been living from a place of rest. When I find anger arising within me, I realise that I have not been ‘resting’ with God as much. If a car driver cuts you off, do you get angry? What comes out of your mouth – blessing or cursing? When we need to leave at a certain time, giving the kids & hubby a 5 minute warning helps in our household. The same with talking about expectations. We find that this helps the family know what is expected and therefore we are able to operate out of peace more often.
  4. Spending time meditating on God – His goodness, His character, His attributes.
  5. Constant interaction with God about the small things in life, the daily grind, the emotions and feelings. Abide with God. Enjoy delighting and wondering with God in the small things.
  6. Increasing your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Exploring new ways of communicating with Him and being open to Him.
  7. Find your ‘markers’ that let you know when you are not living out of a place of rest. When do you notice that you are striving? Are wanting to be heard or noticed or recognised?

We can really only truly release rest externally when we have cultivated rest internally. Jesus calmed the storm (Mark 4:39) with His internal world changing the external world. King Jehoshaphat discovered that as Israel rested, God fought and won for them (2 Chronicles 20). Verse 15 says “For the battle is not yours but God’s”. Wow – Imagine if we lived every day out of that premise.

Do you continually release rest and peace into your world?

What would others say about you?

Do you bring chaos with you?

How often are you contacting your prayer warriors to pray for ‘emergencies’?

What is one thing you can implement this week to begin to live a lifestyle of abiding with God and resting in His presence?

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: Intentionally create some down time this week to go for a walk as a family. As you walk, ask everyone to find where they see God on the walk and to bring back something that reminds them of that. Also ask everyone to find something on the walk that reflects what God is showing them about another family member. Stop and share it with that family member.

2. Group Activation: Have an extended soaking time (time of meditation) where everyone meditates on the goodness of God. Allow time at the end of that for people to share their experience and what they discovered about God and themselves.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time this week intentionally creating space for resting and abiding with God. Ask Him to show you areas of your life that He would like you to change.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight an area of unrest or chaos in your world (personal or area of living). Ask God to show you what He wants to release and do there. Prophesy over that area and release peace.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to bring to your mind a current television news reader. Spend time with God crafting a prophetic word for that person. Make sure that it is encouraging and be aware of your language and make sure it is not full of christian words. Send it to the person care of the television station.

Spiritual Hygiene – Living from a Place of Victory (part 8)

Just like having a physical shower washes off any dirt and germs and cleanses you on the outside, there is a spiritual ‘shower’ or spiritual ‘hygiene’ activities that you can do that can enable you to blossom and to not be pulled down into mediocre by ‘critters’ that attach to you.

When our daughter was 9 years old, she was involved in giving some words of knowledge for physical healing during the church’s morning service along with 2 other girls and 3 other boys similar ages. The kids then formed 2 groups (one the boys and the other the girls) up the front of the church and preceded to pray for over 150 people each group.

Since this took a long period of time, we left for home almost immediately after they had finished praying.  We live a 45 minute drive away and by the time we arrived home, our daughter was complaining of feeling ill. She complained of feeling nauseous, and a sore stomach. No matter what I did or what medicine I gave her or the endless praying for her appeared to change anything. 24 hours later I sat on the side of her bed totally frustrated. Nothing we had done had helped at all. She was still feeling totally nauseous and had a very sore stomach. In frustration I said, “when did this start?” My daughter replied, “Straight after I was praying for people yesterday”.

 

                   BINGO!!

 

I suddenly realised what had occurred. I did one action that changed everything.

As I said, “I brush off everything that attached itself to you during the time of ministry that wasn’t of God” and physically just used a brushing action to brush off over the top of her, she immediately sat up and said, “Oh I feel totally fine now!!”

I was gobsmacked. Was that even possible?

My daughter preceded to get out of bed and ate lunch with no more complaints of a sore stomach and nausea.

I then emailed our Church’s Children’s Worker and explained this as well as notifying the Healing Rooms Director of which we were part of the Healing Rooms team. Since that day, we have implemented a quick action at the end of every Healing Rooms time of just ‘brushing off’ everything that has attached to us during the ministry time that is not of God. I believe that has circumvented a lot of potential sickness of healing rooms team’s members.

Our family also do this after every time of ministry, whether prophetic, evangelism, healing, serving, prayer etc. We are proactive and don’t wait until we feel unwell to do it. Even if we had the best time serving and ministering, we still do it to get rid of anything lurking. We have made it a fun thing that we automatically do when we get in the car on the way home from any ministry time.

I find that children tend to exhibit spiritual things quickly in the physical. I watch my kids and learn from them. No doubt what happens to them also occurs with me but it doesn’t seem to be as physically apparent.

The other side to this is making sure that we are properly prepared for times of ministering. For our family, this includes:

  1. Dealing with sin immediately
  2. Forgiving quickly
  3. Keeping short accounts with people. Not letting anything negative build up between us and anyone else.
  4. Not sweating the small stuff ie don’t get distracted by the small niggly issues. Get over it. Focus on God instead.
  5. Praying a hedge of protection around, under and over our family, house etc.
  6. Spending time worshipping God and listening to Him.

What about you? What are your ‘spiritual’ shower things you do to cleanse 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: Get some bubble blowing equipment (bubble mixture and bubble wand etc) and blow bubbles. Ask each person to spend a minute with God asking Him to reveal to them something exciting for them that God wants them to begin to do or something that they would love to be able to do. Then blow the bubbles and ask each person to walk through the bubbles declaring out aloud what they are wanting to walk into.

2. Group Activation: Get a whole lot of Lego blocks. Set up several stations of Lego around the room and ask people to spread out around the Lego in groups. Ask people to start building with Lego and to get them to ask God to show them what to build, colours to use etc. Give them a time limit of ten to fifteen minutes to build and have fun building with God directing them. The end result of the built Lego is something personally for them from God. Ask people to ask God what it means for them personally, either the finished product or the process.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to show you an electrical item that you remind Him of. Ask God to show you why and how.

4. Intermediate Activation: Spend time with God crafting a blessing to either write or declare over your parent. If your parents are both dead, then ask God to show you a significant older person in your life to be able to bless.

5. Advanced Activation: Spend time with God interceding and asking God what to pray and decree and declare over your state / country’s Education Minister & his/her future decisions. Then decree that into the atmosphere.

Joy – Living from a Place of Victory (part 7)

Nehemiah 8:10 says that the joy of the Lord is my strength. How can it be my strength?

When we live life from a joy filled place, it is amazing what grabs our attention and what is no longer significant. What ‘burdens’ we can hold and what we can let go and not focus on.

When circumstances threaten to overwhelm us or take a turn for the worse, the joy of the Lord gives us the ability to stand firm and not be swayed emotionally or spiritually.

When the Joy of the Lord overwhelms you and becomes your new ‘go to’ or ‘live from’ place, then you find an incredible inner strength that changes your perspective.

Our burdens and grumbles turn into gratitude and blessings. Our outlook changes to focus on the good, not the bad. We focus on what Jesus is doing, not on what Satan is trying so hard to do to capture our attention and bring us down.

You may well say, “Jane, you don’t know my circumstances.”

You are darn right. I don’t know your circumstances but you also don’t know mine and how hard life has and can be for me. One of the biggest steps forward I have had in my life with God and my own personal growth was when I stopped focussing on my problems and started focusing on God’s goodness and giving thanks.

We begin to find things to be grateful for.

We change our perspective to how God sees the situation.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16, Paul said, “Always be joyful.”

Why?

Paul knew joyfulness is imperative in order to love the life God has given us.

But how do we do that when life stinks? When people hurt us? When circumstances seem hopeless? When our hearts are broken?

Paul then answers this question in the following 2 verses.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Never stop praying”. To be joyful, we need to stay connected to God in prayer, asking Him daily to fill us with joy based on our walk with Him — not our satisfaction with everything in life.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus”.

This can be hard to start to do and to develop it until it becomes a lifestyle. It can feel phoney. It can feel like I am not being honest with myself or with others. Am I trying to hide stuff instead of facing up to the reality of my situation?

Being joyful always doesn’t mean walking around with a fake smile on my face. It doesn’t mean ignoring reality. It doesn’t mean ignoring negative emotions.

It means getting a grip on our life and realising that we will never have the perfect life this side of eternity but Christ is in us and He is perfect. His will is for us to live with joy. To contend for joy. Not because we are perfect or false but because Christ is perfect and He is in us.

We are commanded to intentionally focus on the good, instead of the bad.

To count our blessings rather than our burdens.

To let our faith, not our feelings, dictate our joy.

To focus on Christ not on circumstances.

Lift your heads, my friends and keep your focus on God. Be grateful and watch the joy of the Lord fill you to overflowing.

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: Make cupcakes and decorate them by writing on them a word to encourage someone. Give them away to the appropriate people.

2. Group Activation: Ask people present to put their phones in a box in the middle of the room. Ask 5 people to come forward and each pick out a phone but not turn it on. Get those 5 people to prophesy over the owner of the phone they have in their hand. After they have prophesied, ask the owners to step forward to collect their phone.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to highlight a person to you whom needs joy. Ask God to give you an encouraging prophetic word for that person.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight a local business to you that is not prospering. Ask God what He would have you pray, prophesy and declare over the business and its future customers.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you where you can find a homeless person and what God would have you say and do and give to this person. Get prepared and then go and find this person.

Renewing your Mind – Living from a Place of Victory (part 6)

When I first had my children, I really felt God impress on me to live my life with Romans 12:1-2 being paramount.

In the Message version it says in Romans 12:1-2 “Place Your Life Before God – So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

These verses and meditating on them, have helped bring a peace and joy to my life and that of my family. We have tried to base our whole thinking around what is of God versus what is of our culture. The NIV writes Romans 12:2 like this: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” This led us to home school our children, an uncommon thing in Australia. I realise that home schooling is not for every family, but all too often people do not even ask God what form of schooling their children should have or who should have the major role in educating and indoctrinating their children.

Several principles I have found that have helped me tremendously in renewing my mind are:

  1. Whatever we focus on, grows.

Thus, if we focus on negative things, they will grow. Thus, be careful what you think about. Also, be aware that what you put into your mind, or feed your mind, will also reap fruit. Deliberately focus on the good. I am constantly amazed by people who continually say negative or depressing things. There is so much good in this world to focus on instead. Thus, be intentional what you look at, read, listen to.

 

                              I challenge you to go on a media fast for a week to a fortnight. Soak instead in God’s Word and see if there is any change in your circumstances and your thought life after the media fast.

 

  1. Change your thoughts

What we believe in our hearts not only determines our behaviour but it directs our lives. Check out Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”. Deliberately change your thoughts to positive thoughts.

The key to personal transformation is to change the way you think; to renew your mind (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 10:5, 1 John 5:4).

2 Corinthians 10:5 talks about “take captive every thought”. Stop and capture every thought that flitters through your mind that is not of God. Immediately take it captive and get rid of it.

I like to think of a 3 colour traffic light system with my thought life. Very rarely now will I be anxious, worried, sad or depressed. I classify those emotions as the colour red in the traffic light system. I am generally very positive and upbeat – thus green traffic light. I identify, for me, some things that raise an amber warning light in the traffic light system and that prompts me to immediately go back to God to keep in the green. I immediately take them captive and get rid of them. What are your ‘amber’ warning lights?

  1. Meditate on Scripture. Play Christian songs with lyrics that speak life.

Speak life over yourself. Write out a declaration and speak it out over yourself on a regular basis. Speak the Bible over yourself. Pray it over your life. Bless your spirit with words from the Bible.

  1. Don’t second guess or keep asking.

So many times, I know people have heard from God but they don’t like the answer so they waste precious time by continually asking God for (hopefully) a different answer. This does not lead to a peaceful mind.

  1. Watch your words – speak life. Be careful of what you say. Are you speaking words that bring life or words that bring death? Our words have the power to create the outcome. (see blog post from June 2nd, 2018 – http://www.unlockingthegold.com/what-we-say-living-from-a-place-of-victory-part-4/)
  1. Memorial stones

I find that it helps me to stay focused if I am beginning something new to have reminders around the place. Just like the Israelites had the memorial stones (Joshua 4 – stones from the Jordan River that reminded them of what God had done for them), I keep reminders at home for me. Little momentoes that remind me constantly of God’s goodness, kindness and love. These momentoes encourage me to turn my thoughts to Christ, to stay positive.

7. Guard your Peace

Be aware of living in a state of total peace so that when you come against any feeling that is not from this ‘peaceful’ state, you are immediately alerted in your spirit. Guard your peace. Do whatever you have under your control to keep your spirit at peace.

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: Go around your family/table and ask God to show you a supernatural superhero power that God has given to each family member. Encourage each person in their own superhero supernatural power.

2. Group Activation: In preparation, write an encouraging single word on a piece of paper eg fun, June, special, warm, gold, Holy, grace, laughter, September etc. Write enough different single words so that there is at least one piece of paper for each person expected to be present. During the group time, spread out the pieces of paper and ask people to choose one piece of paper each. Then ask them to find someone the word applies to prophetically and speak a prophetic word over them about that characteristic.

3. Beginner Activation: Keep track of every thought and feeling today, pulling yourself up when you start to feel, say or think anything negative. Capture those thoughts and change them to the opposite. Deliberately try to choose positive and thankfulness instead. Find someone who appears down and not cheerful and give them a sincere prophetic word.

4. Intermediate Activation: Find a house in your neighbourhood with an unkempt front yard. Walk past and spend time blessing the house, the occupants and the owners. Try and do this on a regular basis and take note of any changes.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God how you can be part of the response to your country’s refugee situation. Prophesy over the situation, whether your country or the wider world situation for refugees.

Changing Atmospheres – Living from a Place of Victory (part 5)

Several years ago, my daughter and I were having a drink with a lady whilst waiting for my husband and son to join us. After a good twenty minutes, we both were looking at one another in amazement. The woman was so negative. We were both feeling very uncomfortable because everything we said was turned into a negative complaint. The woman stated that it was such a cold, dreary day. She then went on to say that the café would probably forget her drink (which they did). She then said that the coffee would probably be cold, which it was. Everything she said was so negative.

Suddenly I remembered that we can change or ‘shift’ the atmosphere. As a family we had recently listened to a CD by Dawna DeSilva from Bethel on this topic but we hadn’t yet ‘tried’ it out. Very quietly so that only my daughter and I heard, I said, “Spirit of negativity I see you and I choose not to partner with you. Instead, I release a spirit of joy.”

Instantly this woman stopped complaining and being negative. The atmosphere changed significantly and instantaneously. My daughter and I were gobsmacked. We both realised the results were amazing.

I believe it is important to teach our children that they are responsible for their attitude and the atmosphere they carry and also how they can simply change the atmosphere around them by speaking a few simple words.

We are spiritual beings and the spirit within us has power to change the atmosphere where we are. I have personally used this a number of times in my work situation where I have been nursing a patient who is really upset and the atmosphere will completely change. It is usually so powerful that all my colleagues will notice it and comment on the change with amazement.

Friends, this is a powerful weapon. Whenever you notice an atmosphere that isn’t of God, use this method to change it. Whenever you walk into a room and feel an extremely strong emotion that isn’t you or you didn’t have a few minutes ago and there seems to be no apparent reason, try this method. It works.

An example is friends were walking through the casino from the carpark to the restaurant and the woman suddenly felt a strong sexual urge overwhelm her. She was completely baffled but tried this strategy and the strong sexual urge immediately left her. She had encountered a spirit in the atmosphere that was not of her but had impacted her as she walked through that area.

I encourage you to try it this week and then teach your children how they can also do it. When I teach kids how to do this, I usually frame it as saying, “fear go, peace come”.

I taught it to a Sunday School class last year and that very afternoon at lunchtime, one of the kids was in his kitchen helping his mum who was stressed and the atmosphere became quite tense. The mum later shared how her son said, “I learnt something today. I can’t remember what to say. Oh yes. Stress go, peace come.” The mum shared how they both noticed an immediate change.

Try it when you next encounter something negative “in the air”. It may even be your own children being grumpy, dishonest, defiant etc. You have spiritual authority over the situation, so just quietly say, “I see you spirit of…. and I choose not to partner with you and instead I release the spirit of…..(the opposite)”. See what happens.

If you would like to hear a full teaching on this, Dawna DeSilva from Bethel Church has a  fantastic teaching audio on ‘shifting atmospheres’. (http://store.ibethel.org/p4003/shifting-atmospheres)

Let me know how you go.

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: Cut shapes of fruit out of paper. Write negative emotions & characteristics eg fear, anger, bullying, lying, on those pieces of ‘fruit’. Stick to a wall. Get a nerf gun and take it in turns to ‘shoot’ the fruit. When you ‘shoot’ the fruit, you then can turn the fruit over and write on the other side the opposite emotion. Practice saying eg “Fear go, peace come”.

2. Group Activation: 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.

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

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

3. Beginner Activation: Take notice of the everyone whom you meet who is negative today. Practice changing the atmosphere by saying quietly into the atmosphere “Negativity go, peace and positivity come”. Watch and see the change.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight 3 articles of clothing to you – the colour, type etc. Watch for a person wearing those 3 articles. Be ready to give them a prophetic word to encourage, strengthen or comfort them. Remember, you can give a prophetic word that doesn’t have “christian” language in it.

5. Advanced Activation: Go to an area of your town which is often in the news for negative reasons. Ask God to show you His heart for this area and the people within it. Prophecy over this area for a change towards Kingdom values.