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.