This past weekend our family was ministering to some families who were part of a small group wanting to help themselves and their children hear from God. During this last week, I had asked our children to draw a prophetic picture for each person who was going to be present. Our children had basically asked God what He wanted to say to that person and had then drawn a picture representing that, and then told me what it was and I wrote at the bottom of the picture what they had said. My 9 year old son had drawn a picture for one lady and had then told me “She is a missionary in jail.” At the time, I thought – wow – that is very specific. Half the time, the pictures tend to be specific, the rest are general about their relationship with God and having fun with God, being able to trust God, their identity etc. This lady later shared how when my son gave her this picture, she immediately thought it was wrong. She couldn’t see how it was right as she wasn’t in jail, had no desire to help prisoners or volunteer in jail and could only think of the Andrew Chan case in Indonesia at the moment and how she wasn’t like that. Sure, my son could be wrong but I encouraged her to not dismiss the picture but to pray about it and see what God says. Also, to feel free to put it aside and return to it in 12 months time and see if it resonates at all then. I also encouraged her to look at how being a ‘missionary in jail’ is about bringing freedom to those who are locked up or bound up or imprisoned by fear etc and how it may not be a ‘real’ jail.
Several things came out of this. Firstly, how we give prophetic words and secondly, what you do with a prophetic word. Today, I would like to address the “What do I do with a prophetic word?” question. Another way of looking at it is “How can I make the most of any prophetic words given to me?”
Biblical precedence: In 1 Timothy 1:18, it says, “Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them, you may fight the battle well”. Paul is remembering the prophesies given beforehand to Timothy. He considered them significant, he brought them to mind and he gave further instruction in line with them.
1. Record it at the time, if at all possible. If you can’t record it at the time, or the recording didn’t work, don’t despair. Your spirit will still take in what is relevant. As soon as you can, write down what you do remember, asking God to bring to mind the specific content that He wants you to know.
- Does it resonate with you and what you already know and feel (like an inner witness in your spirit)?
- Does it align with God’s Word?
- Does it line up with the nature of God?
- Will responding to it bear good fruit in my life?
- We sometimes talk about ‘weighing it up’. Weigh it up. Test it. (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 “Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all, hold on to what is good.”)
3. Write it out fully so that you have a ‘hard’ copy and can ‘see’ it. (Habakkuk 2:2-3 “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time.”). Use it as a working document. Underline specific phrases and words that appear significant.
4. Acceptance – Do you want to embrace / accept this?
5. Timing – Is it a ‘now’ word, is it something for the future, or is it something I will put up on the shelf and review in 6-12 months time?
6. Pray – If you are ready to embrace it and step into it, I encourage you to pray about it daily for at least the next month or two.
- Read it through each day.
- Pray through it.
- Underline key words and phrases.
- After several weeks of praying it through daily, change the sentences into decrees and declarations. Eg “I see you as a mountain climber in the prophetic” I would change to “I decree and declare that I am a mountain climber in the prophetic”. Continue praying and declaring it daily. (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 desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
7. Clarify with God – Throughout the month, be asking God:
- “Who do I need to become for this to come true?
- What character traits do I need to grow and develop in?”
- “What is the timing in relation to this?”
- “What action do I need to be taking now?”
- “How do I need to align how I see my identity with how God sees it according to this prophesy?”
8. Accountability – We are called to do our life in community with others. Ask a friend, a family member, a mentor, a leader for advice on your prophetic word. Does it resonate with what they know of you? When leadership are aware of prophesies over your life, they can hold you accountable, but more importantly, they can also help nurture the gift and call of God on your life, just as Paul did with Timothy. When we returned from Mozambique 3 ½ years ago where we had received one of our family’s first significant prophetic words, I met weekly with a friend and we agreed to pray daily through our prophetic words for two months. At the end of two months, we both knew our prophetic words off by heart. During this time, my friend asked for a copy of our family’s prophetic word. There was a sentence in it that I had paraphrased inaccurately. It was not quite correct. My friend challenged me on this. I needed this correction as it influenced the outcome and what I was declaring.
9. Allow the prophesy to enlarge your vision and stretch your perspective of who you are and who you were created to be. Sometimes it may not be evident immediately. Wait on God. Explore your true identity with God. Remain intimate with God. Allow Him to show you the bigger picture. Our prophetic words are really to help us get a bigger picture of how heaven sees us and are really contingent on our deepening relationship with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus.
10. Keep all your prophetic words together and look for the common theme running through them. Regularly read them through and review what is happening in your life in relation to the prophetic words. Ask God for an update on them. Review how you are going in relation to your character and who you are becoming. Enjoy reflecting on them.
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.
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)
1. Children / Families Activation: Have blank pieces of paper and coloured pencils/textas handy. Get everyone to ask God for something for the person sitting on their right. Draw what God showed/told/gave them for that person. Write a sentence or two at the bottom that explains the picture. Then give it to the person.
2. Group Activation: Gather a selection of items eg balloon, feather, candle, piece of string, stickers, toy car, chocolate bar, pen etc. Place them in the middle of the group where everyone can see them. Take it in turn going around the group having each member select an item and giving it to another person, at the same time prophesying over that person about the relevance of that item to that person and his/her situation.
3. Beginner Activation: Imagine God giving another person a gift. Who is the person? What is the gift? Prophesy about this person receiving the gift from God and the outworking of this gift in that person’s life.
4. Intermediate Activation: Sometime this week when you are at the supermarket, walk down the confectionary aisle. Ask God to highlight a particular item eg chocolate bar, bag of lollies, chewing gum, box of chocolates etc. Ask God to show you who you are to buy it for and why? Before you give it to this person, keep asking God for more details about the item and the application to this person’s life. As you give the item to the person, share with them what God has shown/told you.
5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to identify a particular neighbour to you. Ask God to then show you how He sees them and feels for them. Write a note to this neighbour, outlining what God has revealed to you in an encouraging manner without using any ‘Christian/churchy’ language. Drop the note into their letterbox.