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.
- 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).