“My feet are killing me!”
“You’re a pain in the neck”.
“I’m sick and tired of this.”
How often have you heard those words?
Maybe, you’ve even said them.
Fast forward a few years, you have feet that are in so much pain they are literally ‘killing’ you, and a pain in the neck area that you can’t get rid of. You constantly feel sick and tired.
The words we say are powerful. Whenever we speak, we are releasing the potential for positive or negative effect into the atmosphere. Our words have the power to create, to form and fashion something out of nothing and to change outcomes. In Genesis 1, God spoke and the world was created. He has given us the same creative power that by the words we speak, we create outcomes, good or bad. Do you speak life or death?
God’s Word does not return empty and our words don’t either.
The Bible says a lot about our use of words:
- Isaiah 55:11 “so is my word that goes out from my mouth:It will not return to me empty,but will accomplish what I desireand achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
- Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death,and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
- Proverbs 12:18 “The words of the reckless pierce like swords,but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
- Romans 4:17 “the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.”
This is a subject I often chat with my kids about and my children can sometimes be heard reminding me “Mum, be careful what you say as it will come true”.
Our family is so used to hearing about the power of our words that even last week we had a great example of this. Josh (12) was one of the top 3 semi finalists in the Victorian Young Achiever Awards for the Creating Change Category for his work with collecting over 18,000 pairs of brand new socks for the homeless. Dan (the eventual winner) had done amazing things and I commented how Dan would probably win it but that Josh and I needed to write a speech just in case Josh won. Josh interrupted me and said, “Mum, you are not creating a good atmosphere. You should be supporting me and saying instead, ‘When you win…’.” Josh was realistic but also fully aware of what we say into the atmosphere can change the future.
Self talk also comes under this category. When we say negative things about ourselves eg “I’m an idiot, I shouldn’t have done that” it releases the potential for me to think like an idiot, to see myself like an idiot and to become an idiot.
Words spoken harshly or hastily can still affect us years after the incident. Did a parent or teacher ever make a negative remark to you that you can still remember?
- “You are stupid”
- “You’re ugly”
- “You’ll never amount to anything”
How has self talk impacted your life? Your beliefs about yourself?
Impact of a Parent’s words
In a rash moment of anger or frustration we, as parents, can say something that will impact and change our child’s self-esteem and life forever.
I’ll never forget a number of years ago when Josh and I were going over his spelling words for his visual and auditory processing exercises. My frustration level was rising and Josh suddenly stopped and said, “Please don’t get angry and say something horrible to me.” This made me stop and have a serious think about what I was communicating to him. I was reacting out of shame. At the previous appointment, Josh had completely forgotten all the work we had done and the behavioural optometrist asked us not to come back if he couldn’t do it the next appointment as it was a waste of time. I had felt ashamed and that emotion was then impacting my behaviour when we next were practicing my son’s spelling words.
There is so much power in your words. We can take precautions when we are frustrated and angry to not speak, to take a few minutes time out, but there may be a time when we say something hurtful or life impacting in a negative way.
What can we do when we have hurt our children with our words:
- Apologise. Not just say sorry but accept full responsibility.
- Realise that it takes a lot more times of saying the positive for them to then believe it.
- Lead our kids through a prayer to break all agreement with the lies. You may also need to do this for yourself. An example is “I break all agreements with lies and negative thoughts, both known and unknown. I also break all agreements with assumptions & perceptions that have come about through believing the lies. Please forgive me God for partnering with the lie. God, what would you like to give me, show me or tell me in exchange for the lie?”
I encourage you to have a new normal in your life and at home. No negative words. Only kind and positive words allowed.
Power of words when praying:
Can I also encourage you to use the power of your words for good when praying? This is an amazing weapon that we have been given for living a victorious Christian life. I find that a massively effective way of praying is to decree & declare that what is in heaven is done. Eg “I decree and declare that your back will be completely healed”. I find that this carries a lot more authority than praying, “God, can you please heal this person?”.
There is slight difference between a decree and declaration.
- A decree is an order, a command or a prescription.
- A declaration is to announce officially, to proclaim, to make public.
That is why I usually listen to God for what He wants me to pray and then boldly proclaim, “I decree and declare…”
I encourage you to try it and see if there is any difference in the authority that you operate in as you pray.
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: Grab a tube of toothpaste and illustrate with your children how when you squeeze the toothpaste out of tube, it is then really hard to put it back in. Liken it to when we say words, it is then hard to take back those words. Go around the table and all share positive and encouraging words about each person. Spend a few moments asking God to highlight special encouraging words to say.
2. Group Activation: Break into pairs. Ask people to ask God to show or tell them an area of their partner’s identity or character that they are to speak into. Spend a few minutes going deeper with God to obtain more clarity about the issue. Speak this out over your partner and bless them in this area.
3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to reveal to you any lies you have believed about yourself from self talk or from what other people have said over you. Spend time with God receiving healing for this, repent of believing the lies and assumptions. Ask God to show you His truth about yourself and how He sees you.
4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight a community group who cares for women deciding whether or not to abort their babies. Prophesy life over that group and pray and bless their effectiveness.
5. Advanced Activation: Spend some time with God asking Him about an identity area for your country or state that has been robbed eg same sex marriage, safe schools with gender ideology, legalisation of homosexuality, abortion, children growing up without both parents present etc. Ask God to show you how to intercede and what to prophecy about this issue and your country.