8 Ways to Grow In Prophetic Visions and Pictures

Prophetic VisionsThe Holy Spirit speaks to God’s people in many ways, one of which is through prophetic visions, pictures and visual impressions of the mind.

In the Old Testament, prophets frequently received visions and pictures from God and saw into the spiritual realm. One of the terms used for a prophet was ‘seer’. The Hebrew word, ra’ah used by Samuel of himself means to see, look, perceive and have vision. (1 Sam 9:19, [1]) The noun chozeh used of many prophets in the OT means ‘a seer’ or ‘a vision.’[2]

The gift of prophetic vision is carried through to the church today and examples appear throughout the New Testament. On the day of Pentecost, Peter quoted God’s word through the Prophet Joel:

‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.’ (Acts 2:17)


Types of Prophetic Vision.

  • A vision usually occurs as a simple picture (or moving picture) coming to mind—the Holy Spirit’s fleeting imprint upon our imagination.
  • The New Testament also records a ‘trance vision’. (Acts 10:9-17) During a trance vision, awareness of physical surroundings remains, but the vision also appears real to the senses.
  • A third type of vision is ‘open vision’, where a person experiences the vision as a physical reality. (Acts 10:3-4)

8 Ways to Grow In Prophetic Visions and Pictures

Would you like to develop your ability to receive pictures, impressions and visions from God? Here are 8 ways you can grow in your gift of spiritual sight:

1. Desire to See What the Father is doing

“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:19)

Firstly ask, ‘What is my motivation for wanting to see in the spiritual realm?’

Your motivation for prophetic vision should be that of Jesus—the desire to see what your Father is doing and to know what is on God’s heart. This is not only the highest use of prophetic vision; it is also a guard against deception.


2. Yield Your Imagination to the Holy Spirit

Pray and yield your imagination to the Holy Spirit. Consider your imagination to be a canvas that the Holy Spirit can paint upon. Habakkuk says, ‘I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me…’ (Hab 2:1)

If you are not used to this, here are some practical exercises that can help you to activate your imagination:

  • Read or listen to Scripture and picture the stories in your minds eye. Imagine them as a movie—where are you in the scene?
  • Picture yourself operating in in the future call and destiny of God upon your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you and show you the Father’s purposes. Hold onto these visions lightly—you can only dream according to what God has revealed to you to date. More will unfold in times to come. (See point 7 below regarding accountability)
  • Picture yourself in immediate commitments or challenges that you have, operating in the anointing of the Spirit and in intimacy with God.
  • Wait on God with your eyes closed during times of reflection and worship. Be expectant to see what the Holy Spirit may show you.
  • When you are praying for or with others, pause in God’s Presence to see if He has anything to show you.

3. Keep a Record of What you See

‘Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.’ (Hab 2:3)

Take notes of what you see, so that you can reflect on what God is showing you and keep it for future reference. Journaling is a good way to record prophetic pictures and visions, but your method can be as simple as jotting down a few notes on your phone or any handy device.


4. Guard What You Look at

I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. (Ps 101:3a)

It is vital that you set aside your vision and imagination for the use of the Holy Spirit by guarding what you choose to watch (this includes Internet, TV and movies).

As the Apostle Paul says, ‘In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter [turning from wickedness, will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.’ (2 Tim 2:20-21)


5. Remember Symbols Require Interpretation

‘The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” (Jer 1:11-12)

Learn to distinguish between revelation that is plain, requiring no interpretation, and that which is symbolic.

In the Bible, God frequently uses symbols and metaphors in prophetic vision. These require interpretation to explain their meaning.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit does not give an immediate interpretation and invites us to go on a journey of discovery with Him as to the full meaning of a vision.


6. Prioritise Study of the Bible

Alongside your regular Bible study, take note of Scriptural symbolism. As you grow in prophetic vision, the Holy Spirit will make use of any symbols that are familiar to you, but the first base for interpretation is always Scripture.


7. Operate with Love and Wisdom

Be natural in your approach to growing in your gift of prophetic visions. Practice these tips for beginning in your prophetic ministry.

Love people in the use of your gift—practice sharing sensitively and in a positive and encouraging way. If you don’t yet have clarity on the meaning of a picture, and it may be confusing, hold back and pray further. Use wisdom in the timing and manner that you share a picture.


8. Practice 3 Levels of Accountability

There is no hierarchy of importance in the different types of prophetic vision. A simple, fleeting impression given by the Holy Spirit can be just as powerful in its effect and meaning as an open vision—and both need to be weighed up. In 2 Cor 11:14 the Apostle Paul warns, ‘Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.’

Three levels of accountability are:

  1. Personally weighing up the prophecy or vision against Scripture, along with other filters
  2. A means of accountability in your prophetic gift. As well accountability to your own oversight, this includes accountability unique to certain situations (for example to parents if ministering to a young child, or to the leadership of a church where you have been invited to minister)
  3. Accountability for personal guidance and important life decisions. This includes pastoral oversight who know you well and have the big picture of your life and family in mind.

Notes:

[1] Strongs H7200 [2] Strongs H2374


Related Posts:

The Power of Prophetic Accountability

How to Activate Your Prophetic Gift


Growing in the Prophetic

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23 thoughts on “8 Ways to Grow In Prophetic Visions and Pictures

  1. Helen,

    Every time I visit I am encouraged and God’s Word is confirmed. You seem to write what I am hearing…God is so amazing! I want to thank you for writing the book Prophetic People, it has been “supernaturally good” is that a term? That is the only way I can describe the prophetic nature of your prophetic book in my life. Although our paths are different, God used and is using (I am still walking though it) your transparency to minister to right where I am…in my marriage, my family, my work and my spiritual walk including my current church situation or lack thereof. Thanks for sharing this with me. I truly am grateful for you taking the time to pour into my life.

    • Hi Samantha, thank you so much for sharing how you are going and how the book has blessed you – that blesses me right back 🙂
      Happy Easter

  2. Dear Helen, thank you again for this GOD Breathed Prophetic Teaching, I Love it. This is a Poem I wrote recently, Reflection and Inspiration is always the KEY for me. I Pray the LORD makes me more Sensitive and Receptive to be able to “SEE” and Hear HIS Voice with more Clarity.

    GOD has made me a Carrier of HIS Glory
    Yes, I Can SEE, I Carry the HOLY PRESENCE of GOD in me
    I was Chosen in the Heart of GOD, Before the Foundation of the World you See
    Such a Wonderful, Glorious, Beautiful Mystery
    How I Abide in CHRIST, and CHRIST Abides in me
    How I Belong to CHRIST, and CHRIST Belongs to me
    CHRIST in me the HOPE of GLORY

    It is for HIS GLORY, I tell the World of HIS Story
    How HE Suffered and died for me, How HE shed HIS Precious BLOOD on the CROSS at Calvary
    How HE AROSE again TRIUMPHANTLY
    For ALL the World to SEE
    HE Conquered death in VICTORY
    This is my JESUS, this is my LORD

    HE is the Only WAY, HE is the Living DOOR
    HE is the PEACE that Covers me, through every Season of my Life you See
    HE is the JOY Bubbling up, from Deep within my Heart

    HE is the Living BREAD of LIFE you See, HE Sustains me in every way
    HE Satisfies the Longing of my Soul
    Yes, my JESUS Nourishes me, and HE makes me Whole

    HE is the ONE TRUE Living VINE you See, The ONE sent from Heaven, to Reveal FATHER GOD to me

    Yes, HE is the Living WATER for my Thirsty Soul
    Springing up Like a Mighty River, and making me Whole

    Rivers of Living Water Overflowing from Deep within my Heart
    Precious HOLY SPIRIT getting ready to Impart
    Always Overflowing, Refreshing, Reviving, Renewing, and Restoring my Soul
    Rivers of Living Water are making me Whole

    In HIS Presence, there is REST for my Soul
    In HIS Presence I am Refreshed, Strengthened, and made Whole

    Now I hear HIM calling me, with a gentle whisper, just so Heavenly

    “Enter in, through the Living DOOR you See”
    “Enter into the Most HOLY Place, through the VEIL that was Torn at Calvary”

    The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come”
    Whosoever is Thirsty, “Come”
    Whosoever is Hungry, “Come”

    Come to the River, and Drink from the Water of Life
    Come to where the Healing Waters Flow

    Poem by Irene Kyriacou

    • Dear Irene,
      I was just telling my Mum this afternoon (who is a songwriter) about your wonderful poetry on my blog and mentioning that I’ve missed it recently. So it must have been the Holy Spirit whispering in your ear to send me a message. What a treasure! Thank you!

  3. Dear Helen,
    This is my first day I took time to have look of this course and this is what I want for going forward in prophetic anointing.
    I believe that is helpful to me and my ministry.

    May the Lord bless you.
    HAMULI NGUMA.

  4. grateful having you.i wish you teach me more on how to activate and recognise prophecies from god

  5. May God bless you for the simplicity in which you make the prophetic ministry I receive message in these form , God will describe sitting position, color of cloth and in most cases it happens as I go to preach. I want to grow in it and I find your blog very helpful, I will appreciate more of your coaching.
    Thks

    • Hi Tony, I love the way the Holy Spirit ministers and confirms His plans that way! I trust you will find the articles and messages on the blog helpful. If you want to find something in particular, let me know in the comments or on Facebook and I will get back to you.

  6. Helen,
    Thank you for this blog. I believe you – through this very blog – were the first to confirm for me that I have a prophetic gift. Since then it has been quite a journey of super and deeper intimacy with the Father!
    #4 and #6 in this article really hit home for me. I have often suspected that spending time on social media seems to make seeing/hearing from God difficult – even though the content is not inappropriate, it’s still a mind stimulating activity. And I found it so true that my study of specific symbols was followed by the Spirit’s use of those symbols in my dreams. I’ve loved this journey, and I am still growing!
    I do have a question. I have found that the times in my life I am most at peace are the times I am hearing (or seeing) from the Lord -anytime I am moving in the prophetic. I don’t know if that is because the prophetic reminds me of His sovereignty and love, but I feel most at peace, rest, and trust in Him then. Have you found this to be true? I’ve wondered at times if this is bad, like I am “dependent” upon the prophetic. But I also think that’s the way He made me – to desire Him. What are your thoughts? And thank you again!
    Elizabeth

    • Hello Elizabeth, I am delighted to hear from you and I love that the blog has been a help to you – praise God!
      Yes I believe that because the prophetic is the experience and expression of the heart of the Father it is especially dear to those of us who are ‘wired’ by Him that way. As long as we keep the balances of Bible study and accountability in our lives! So – I wouldn’t worry too much about dependence, do take care to keep the balance and flourish in the wonderful gifts and prophetic perspective God has bestowed upon you. 🙂

  7. You have made my spirit mind feel so strong ? this month of December….God will strengthen you more and more

  8. i began my journey of salvation in 1998… by 2004 my life had been turned completely upside down…i asked Him what He wanted from me and a vision appeared…it was an older man with snow white hair in it appeared a blue suit on a busy street and a dark haired short young man stepped from the street in front of the elder man and shot him five times…the vision vanished…can you give insight please….

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