Practice, practice, practice

iStock_000032521038Large women chattingRecently our daughter, who is 11 years old, was invited to have afternoon tea with the 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. It was just natural to think that way, almost ‘second nature’.

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. (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.) 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 ago, we would never have thought to do it either. The journey we have been on over the last three years has prepared us for this. We have specifically tried to take every opportunity that we can to write, draw, 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 he 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.

We have looked for ways to practice. My first year at this, I used to write 3-5 birthday cards per week. At that time, I was involved in a group to help people who were struggling with life issues and I would write encouragement cards and birthday cards for these folk, as well as cards for friends and family. On the left hand side of the card, I would ask God what to write, listen to what I felt Him saying and then write it down. At the time, I was busy with young kids and would set aside the 30 minutes during the kids swimming lesson to do this, putting myself under pressure to finish them in this time.

Every time I went to the shops or had a coffee at a coffee shop, I would make a concerted effort to give the cashier or waitress a prophetic encouraging word. It was during this time that I noticed my gifting developing so much. I believe that it was due to my practicing and developing it.

Even last week, my daughter and I were getting our nails painted for free at the local shopping centre. The young lady doing my nails was an immigrant to Australia with her family when she was four years old. She shared some family stuff with me and then I had the opportunity to speak into her life about her dreams for the future and the effect that I sensed she would have on other people through her art (she had just completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts). Tears came to this young lady’s eyes and she came alive as I spoke encouraging words to her that resonated with her spirit and gave her hope. She was transformed. She thanked me profusely for what I said. What a privilege it was to witness this. As I later reflected back on it, I realised that it hadn’t cost me anything. I was sitting there for 15 minutes. What an amazing way to fill in the time and change someone’s life at the same time.

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. Remember to only speak words that are encouraging, uplifting and comforting, not negative at all. Use plain, everyday English. A great way to start the sentence is to say, “I sense…” or “I have a feeling that….” or “You are a … person who…..”

  • Whilst in line at the supermarket, ask God to give you a few words to say to the cashier that will encourage and speak into their situation.
  • Ask God for people’s names and then write an encouragement card/email to them.
  • Leave a card with a prophetic word on it for the postman.
  • Drop an encouraging prophetic letter into your neighbour’s letterbox.
  • Every phone conversation you have this week, determine to pause and ask God what He wants you to release to the caller.
  • Find creative ways of writing and drawing prophetic words for your family / housemates. Leave them where they can discover them and be encouraged.

Go for it. Make it a part of your lifestyle. Enjoy!!

Prophetic Activations / exercises to incorporate into your week:

1. Children / families: Around the dinner table, or in small groups of 4-5 people, ask God to show or tell you what kind of animal could represent each person and why? Look for special characteristics of that animal that match the people. Give everyone a couple of minutes to hear or see from God and then share with each other.

2. Group activation: Play the game, duck, duck, goose. People sit in a circle with their eyes closed. Walk around the outside of the group and tap one person on the shoulder. That person is receiving the prophetic word. People are to ask God what to say and then give a prophetic word to the person, not knowing who the actual person is. Reveal the person who was receiving the words at the end and have them feed back to the group how accurate the words were, how they made the person feel etc.

3. Beginner activation: Ask God to highlight a person to you. Ask God  to show or tell you what sort of vehicle that person would be if they were a vehicle and why. Tell the person, encouraging the person with the why part.

4. Intermediate activation: Determine that whoever you hand money over to this week, you will give them an encouraging word at the same time. In a queue, ask God for a specific more indepth prophetic picture or word to share with the person.

5. Advanced activation: Write a prophetic card to the Duchess of Cambridge for her unborn baby who is due to be born this month. Then send the card/letter to : Duchess of Cambridge, Clarence House, London, England SW1A 1BA.