How To Activate Your Prophetic Gift

I am sometimes asked by people who have attended my prophetic training sessions, “How do I get started in activating my gift of prophecy?” In other words, ‘Where do I go from here?’

If this is something you have wondered, here are some suggestions to help you get started:

1. Make a Decision

It has been said that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. That vital step is preceded by a decision to move forward.

Activating your gift of prophecy starts when you acknowledge before God that you are willing to move ahead in this area, and choose to take your first steps forward.

You do not need to know for certain that you have a gift of prophecy—in the early stages you may be unsure. [1] This is about being a good steward of:

You may also have had affirmation by church leaders that you have a God-given prophetic ability.

2. Be involved in a Church Community

The New Testament context for activating the gift of prophecy is a local church where there is leadership and accountability. (1 Cor 12-14)

3. Talk to a Pastor or an appropriate Leader within the Church

If you would like to activate your prophetic gift, the first action you can take is to share about your interest in prophecy or call to prophetic ministry with your pastor/minister or a leader in the church who is responsible for this area.

It is important to make your desire to grow in the gift known, in order that you can follow the next steps:

4. Find Someone to be Accountable to

Find a leader or mentor to whom you can be personally accountable with regard to activating your prophetic gift.

This person should be:

  • Someone your church oversight is comfortable with
  • A person who will able to help you weigh up the prophetic insights and will not hold back when you need to be redirected.

5. Begin in your Personal Devotional Life

The first place you can start to activate your prophetic gift is in your devotional life, learning to receive insights from the Holy Spirit.

  • The best way to begin is by studying the Bible and listening to what God is saying through the scriptures
  • Record any insights that you receive from the Holy Spirit—one way that you can do this by journaling [2]

A leader can help you weigh up these insights and confirm that you are hearing from God. This is especially important if you are considering taking action from the revelation that you are receiving, or using it to pray.

6. Develop a Lifestyle of Encouragement

Prophetic ministry requires us to see others and ourselves as the Father sees us.

Nurture the Father’s perspective about others. He is a God of grace and love who desires to redeem people and situations so that His purpose is fulfilled.

Develop a lifestyle of encouragement—this will spill over into your prophetic ministry. (1 Cor 14:3)

7. Tune in to the Holy Spirit

Develop an intimate relationship with God and be open to receiving insights from the Holy Spirit throughout your day.

Learn about the different ways He can speak to you, including through scripture, pictures, thoughts and impressions, dreams, prompts, inner urges and Divine appointments.

8. Ask about Protocols in your Church

Find out the protocols and guidelines for passing on prophetic insights in your church—and follow them.

Be open to these being adjusted by leaders as prophetic ministry develops in your church.

9. Begin Simply

The best way to begin activating your prophetic gift is to start in a very simple way. This may be through words of encouragement, or exhortation, or sharing scriptures that God puts on your heart.

  • Be natural in the manner you share an insight that you believe is from God
  • If you are starting out, it is best not to call your words a ‘prophecy’—in fact you do not always need to state that you have heard from God
  • Allow the fruit of your insights to be the evidence that you are hearing from God

As people are impacted and encouraged, your emerging gift of prophecy will be acknowledged.

10. Find an Appropriate Environment to Practice

Some areas in church life where a prophetic gift can be activated include:

  • Prayer meetings
  • Small (home group) meetings
  • Ministry areas such as worship, evangelism and so on
  • Prayer departments and altar call ministry

Find out the appropriate protocols and guidelines for each area. Then—step out of the boat and have a go.

11. Stay in the place of Learning

Ongoing learning about the prophetic gift will encourage you to continue activating your gift of prophecy. [3]

Enliven Prophetic School: Activate Your Prophetic Gift and Take it to the Next Level

The Enliven Prophetic School is now open!

This self-paced, video lecture school is for anyone who would like to learn and grow in the gift and ministry of prophecy and includes classes for discerners as well.

Discover ways to activate your prophetic gift and begin to put it into practice.

Modules currently include:

  • Foundations of prophetic ministry
  • How to hear God’s voice, begin and grow in prophecy
  • The Seer gift: how to grow in pictures and visions
  • Discernment and prophetic warnings: how to respond and share a prophetic warning
  • Prophetic Guidance Master Class

You can currently join the school for as little as $6.95 USD (monthly subscription) or make a single payment to join with no end date.

Visit the Enliven Prophetic School here.


[1] Even if you do not have a specific gift, every Christian benefits by learning how to hear from God and receive insights from the Holy Spirit. You may explore this area and find out that prophetic ministry is not for you—that is OK.

[2] Following are some articles to help you activate your prophetic gift through journaling:

[3] Enliven Blog is an online resource of Enliven Ministries, containing many articles to help Christians grow in the gift of prophecy. ‘Grow your Prophetic and Prayer Gifts’ is an e-book about the stages of growth in gifts of prophecy and prayer, and contains many practical tips to help you activate your prophetic gift and take it to the next phase of development. View the Enliven Blog e-books page here.

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries
In the David McCracken Ministries family

Activate Your Prophetic Gift Through Prayer Journaling

What is Prayer Journaling?

Prayer journaling is writing down your prayers and questions, and then listening to the Holy Spirit and recording God’s answers. It is a great way to activate your prophetic gift.

I have to confess that I approached the practice of ‘Prayer Journaling’ this week with a bit of trepidation, even though I have used this method of journaling before. It feels presumptuous, writing down God’s ‘answers’ to my prayers and questions.

Does God really want to speak to me conversationally? And how can I know for sure what He is saying?

In John 10:27, Jesus said, ‘My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me’.

As I set out, I am encouraged that God desires an intimate relationship with me even more than I want it with Him—He created me to fellowship with him and to hear His voice!

How to Practice Prayer Journaling

It’s important that you set aside some private space for this kind of journaling. Try to eliminate interruptions and distractions as much as you can.

I personally find that some quiet background worship music helps me focus if I don’t have the luxury of silence in my home, or wherever I happen to be.

It is vital when approaching this journaling practice that you deal with any issues between you and God—forgiveness, repentance and so on—before you start out.

Reading the Bible and praying in the Spirit can help you prepare for your prayer journaling time.

In your journal, you write down your prayer or question to God. Some examples are:

  • What would you like to say to me today?
  • How can I grow?
  • What would you like me to do?
  • What are You saying about…

Then, focusing on Jesus, you listen for the Holy Spirit’s answer, and write down what you believe He is saying.

How the Holy Spirit Speaks

Remember that the Holy Spirit brings revelation to us in many ways. He may speak through a picture coming to your mind, a feeling, a Bible verse, an idea, word or impression.

I find that the Holy Spirit’s ‘voice’ usually comes as a series of light, gentle impressions. I need to tune in to these to hear what He is saying.

Although it is good to weigh up the revelation and thoughts as they come, too much analysis will halt your journaling.

Give yourself the freedom to write without editing. Yes, what you record will inevitably be a mixture of your own and God’s thoughts. Remember that any prophecy is imperfect and subject to judgment.

When you have finished, review your journaled ‘message from God.’ Now you can sift through your writing for the nuggets of heavenly wisdom God is giving you. I like to use a highlighter to mark important parts where I believe God is particularly speaking to me.

Use the same criteria for your prayer journaling that you use when weighing up any prophetic word.

If you believe you have received guidance through this kind of journaling, it is vital that you check this by sharing with mature Christians and leaders around your life who will give you honest feedback and help you process it.

Some strengths of this kind of journaling are:

  • Fosters intimacy with God
  • Helps you become familiar with the ways the Holy Spirit speaks
  • Great practice for tuning in to receiving God’s revelation
  • Helps you receive guidance and prophetic insight for yourself and others
  • You have a record you can refer back to of what God has said to you in your prayer time

Some weaknesses of this journaling method are:

  • It does not use the Bible in the journaling process
  • Less suitable for newer Christians who do not have a thorough grounding in the scriptures (I recommend the SOAP journaling style for new Christians)
  • This style will not suit everyone, e.g. it will be harder for those who are perfectionists or tend not to process thoughts conversationally.

Because of these weaknesses, I advocate the use of other journaling methods in conjunction with this one.

Prayer Journaling and Habbakuk

A leading proponent of prayer journaling is Mark Virkler, who teaches journaling from Habakkuk 2:1,2.

Virkler maintains that God speaks through a flow of spontaneous thoughts, and that as we tune into those we can hear what He is saying.

Just as God instructed Habbakuk to write down his vision, we can also record what God is saying to us through journaling.

The Challenge

Over the next week, I will be trialling prayer journaling as a method, and recording my journey in the comments section of this post (scroll down to see these). Why not join me?

To review my comments and share your own journey throughout the week, check back here.

Related Articles

For an article on Prophetic Activation In Small Groups, check out the Free Resources Page.

‘How to Activate Your Prophetic Gift’

‘Take Time to Sharpen Your Prophetic Gift’

© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Sharpen Your Prophetic Gift Through Journaling

Do you want to develop or sharpen your prophetic gift? Journaling is an easy but powerful tool for prophetic activation. It can help you grow your gift of prophecy.

Journaling is basically recording any insights you receive from God during your prayer and Bible study times.

Some ways journaling can help you grow in your prophetic gift are:

  • It encourages you to listen to God and become familiar with His voice (John 10:4). You can also practice receiving revelation from God and processing it.
  • Journaling helps you remember what God has spoken to you by providing a record to refer back to
  • It provides a means of focus, discipline and accountability
  • You can practice putting what God is saying into a clear and communicable form—a necessary skill for prophecy
  • You can look back later and see what, in the case of prophetic revelation, has come to pass—this helps sharpen your gift.
  • Journaling provides a record from which you can pray God’s purposes into being
  • You can get more revelation when you journal. Once you record what you have received, it frees your mind so that you can be open to hear more of what God is saying.
  • You can use what you have received in your journaling time to share with others
  • It brings glory to God when the things you have journaled take place
  • It provides a safe place to practice receiving and processing prophetic revelation without the pressure of public exposure
  • You can use what you have heard from God to help you walk with Him and obey Him (Hab 2:2)

Journaling in scripture

For an example of journaling, we don’t have to look past the Bible itself. Much of scripture is prophetic revelation recorded in written form.

What Do You Need for Journaling?

The type of journaling you choose should suit your personal style. There are also a variety of media you can use to help you journal. These include:

  • Writing in an A5 or A4 journal
  • Typing and recording your journal using a computer.
  • If writing or typing is difficult for you, you can record your journaling in small, bite-sized files using a recorder, MP3 recorder, or mobile phone, then name and store them for later reference.

Journaling is essentially private, but if you would like to share from your journal, another media you can use is the Internet. Some of my blog posts started out as journal entries.

It is best to keep your journal notes together in one place, such as a notebook, journal or single folder on your computer. This way, you can refer back to them later.

Types of Journaling

You don’t have to stick to any one type of journaling. Choose a journaling style that best suits you.

Some simple options you can use for written journaling are:

Two popular methods that can assist you with the journaling process are:

1. SOAP method (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer)

2. Prayer journaling

Remember that journaling methods are tools, not rules.

Journaling Should be Weighed Up

Prophetic journaling is always to be viewed (like prophecies and other prophetic media) as needing to being weighed up. (1 Thess 5:19-20, 1 Cor 14:29, 1 Cor 13:9,12) Our personal journaling can be a mixture of what God is saying, and the processing of our own souls in our journey with Him.

Filters for prophetic journaling include: submitting to leadership and accountability (for weighing up), checking against Biblical principles, checking against the fruit of the Spirit and Godly outcomes, and so on.

It should never be seen as ‘dictation from God’ because that is where we can move into error.

See more in this article: ‘Take Time to Sharpen Your Prophetic Gift’

The Two Week Journaling Challenge

I will be reviewing the prayer journaling and ‘SOAP’ methods in the next couple of posts.

I am not currently using these two journaling styles (I use mind-mapping). But I will use these methods for one week each as I blog about them, and describe my experiences in the comments section of each post.

It would be fun if you would join me on this ‘two-week journaling challenge.’

Consider some of the benefits I have mentioned in this post. Journaling can help you sharpen your prophetic gift, and it could change your life as you hear from God.

Would you like to develop your prophetic gift?
Here are 3 things that can help you:

1. Prophetic Teaching:
Enter your email address in the subscribe box at the top right hand side of this page to receive:

  • regular blog posts containing teaching that will help you grow in your gift of prophecy, as well as articles on spiritual gifts, prayer, spiritual renewal and supernatural Christian living

2. Prophetic Training:

Check here for prophetic training resources and information

3. E-books to Help you Develop Your Gifts:

‘Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts’ is a high-value e-book specifically written to help you grow in your prophetic gifts – at whatever stage or season you are on the journey.

Check out our e-books page for more e-books related to prophetic and prayer ministry.

© Helen Calder    Enliven Publishing

A Prophetic Exercise for a New Season

Prophetic Word Picture 2010Have you noticed that there is an inbuilt curiosity and yearning in the heart of a prophetic person to reach out to God for the revelation of His plans and purposes?

This is especially true when we enter a new season, such as a new year. We want to see what the Father is seeing and hear what He is speaking.

If you would like to develop your prophetic gift, and especially if you would like to develop your gift of prophetic visionhere is a prophetic activation  exercise to start the year off with.

Use these questions to wait on the Lord for a powerful prophetic picture and word for yourself, or for another person you are praying for.

1. What (new) name is the Father calling me by, in reference to this coming season?

‘You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.’ (Is 62:2b)
(Read Isaiah 62:2-4)

The Lord often calls forth His plans and purposes in us with a descriptive name. He named Abram, Abaham, ‘Father of many nations’ (Gen 17:5) while he was still childless. The angel of the Lord addressed Gideon as ‘Mighty warrior,’ though he was in hiding from the enemy (Judges 6:12)

We do not need to let the past define us, not even our recent history.

Ask the Lord for a name or description that is in keeping with your spiritual identity and calling for this year and beyond. As you agree with Jesus about who you are and what you are capable of, His word will bring transformation to your life and things of the past will begin to drop off you.

The second question is related to this:

2. What is the picture of me—in Jesus—that God is giving me, that will help prepare me to reach my highest potential in the coming year?

For Abraham, that was a vision of his descendents. For Gideon, the name the Lord gave him was evocative of leading others into battle and winning in warfare.

If you have a ‘seer’ prophetic gift and have an ability to perceive pictures, visions and dreams, this exercise will be easier for you. If not, or you are uncertain, you might find it simpler to ask the Lord for a Biblical character that you can identify with.

Here are some more questions that may help you:

3. What Garment has God Given to Me?

Here are some Biblical examples of symbolic clothing:

  • Joseph’s coat of many colours (Gen 37:3)
  • Robe of righteousness (Is 61:10)
  • Signet ring of authority (Esther 8:2)
  • New mantle (Gen 41:42)
  • Holding a sword (Eph 6:17)

There could also be a non-Biblical symbol or garment that has specific meaning to you.

4. What am I doing?

Some examples are:

  • Witnessing in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)
  • Stomping on the enemy (Luke 10:19)
  • Dancing (Ps 30:11)
  • Caring for hurting people (Luke 10:34)
  • Resting (Ps 23:2)

(Hint: use a word ending in ‘ing’! Some other examples are: preaching, leading, enlisting, moving, and so on)

5. Some more questions you can ask as you seek God’s picture for your new season are:

  • What am I saying? (to people)
  • What am I praying? (to God)
  • Where am I standing?
  • Who is with me?

And finally,

  • What is in my hand that God can use? (Exodus 4:2)

God has given us an imagination. As prophetic people let’s surrender it to Him and allow Him to anoint it for His use.

Once you have a picture from the Lord, use it to build your faith. Journal about it. Refer to it often and commit it to memory.

When you have the assurance of how God sees you, it can help dispel old identities and negative thinking. Belief will rise up in your heart and you will begin to walk in that God-given vision. For some of you, that may mean walking boldly, with Divine confidence. For others, it may mean simply relaxing into His plans and purposes for your life and experiencing peace, no matter what circumstances you are currently facing.

Would you like to develop your prophetic gift?
Here are 3 things that can help you:

1. Prophetic Teaching:
Enter your email address in the subscribe box at the top right hand side of this page to receive:

  • regular blog posts containing teaching that will help you grow in your gift of prophecy, as well as articles on spiritual gifts, prayer, spiritual renewal and supernatural Christian living

2. E-books to Help you Develop Your Gifts:

‘Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts’ is a high-value e-book specifically written to help you grow in your prophetic gifts – at whatever stage or season you are on the journey.

Related Articles:

8 Ways to Grow in Prophetic Visions and Pictures

Sharpen Your Prophetic Gift Through Journaling

Exercising Your Prophetic Gift Pt 2: How To Receive A Revelation From God

© Helen Calder  2010   Enliven Blog

How To Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 1: Understand The Process Of Prophecy

The Process of Prophecy

links in a chain

Prophecy is a gift of the Holy Spirit that is given by Jesus for the purpose of building the Church (1 Cor 12:10). A prophecy is a message from God that is given through a person who is filled with the Holy Spirit and has a prophetic gift.

Prophecy is one means that God uses to communicate His love and His purposes to people. Like any means of communication, it takes all of the parties’ cooperation for the message to be given and received as God intends it.

When we prophesy, we want to faithfully represent not only God’s message, but also His heart. We want to convey both His intended meaning and redemptive love for the person or group we are bringing the prophecy to.

Why Prophecy is Like a Chain

The prophetic process can be likened to the links in a chain. Prophecy begins with a message or prompting from the Holy Spirit residing within us. We recognise and assess this revelation, decide how to frame the message, and deliver it. The person or group receiving the message then interprets its meaning in the light of their own paradigm—and then may or may not receive and act upon it.

A chain with one broken link is useless for its purpose. In the same way, a prophecy may not accomplish  God’s intended purpose in the life of the person, church or group He is speaking to if the communication is not clearly passed on.

In my younger years, one of my schoolteachers sent a message by whispers around our class. By the time the message returned full circle to the teacher, it was not only scrambled, but it also meant something completely different to what the teacher originally intended. The ‘chain’ of the message became broken, not once, but many times before it reached its intended destination.

In spite of this potential weakness, Jesus entrusts us with His message, choosing to use imperfect human vessels, just as He does with other ministries such as preaching and teaching. God by His grace is able to take our imperfect communication and use it to transform lives through His love and power.

Some reasons it is helpful to understand this process are:

  • Breaking the prophetic process into simple parts demystifies prophecy to someone who is starting out
  • It aids prophetic activation and helps us to learn how to prophesy by focusing on one area at a time (e.g., in my next post, I will focus on how to receive a revelation from God)
  • If we discover we are weak in one area of the communication process we can focus on becoming better (e.g., we may be great at receiving revelation, but need to grow in the area of how to deliver the message)
  • It takes the pressure off the responsibility for the outcome when we understand our part in the process—and what is God’s, and what belongs to the recipient of the prophecy
  • It helps us to grow in wisdom and sensitivity, not only to God, but also in understanding the communication needs of the person or group we are sharing with

Here is a brief description of each stage in the prophetic communication process:

link in a chain


1. Message Acquired (Revelation)

This is the prophetic message as it has been initially received. The Holy Spirit often speaks in a ‘seed’ form; such as a picture, scripture, word, feeling or dream.

Like a fingerprint, God’s way of speaking to and through you will be unique – just as we have unique personalities, learning styles and preferences. Throughout the Bible, prophets received revelation in many different ways.

link in a chain

2. Message Assessed  (Interpreted by person prophesying)

This is what you think the revelation you have received means and will determine whether you speak it and how you frame it.

At this stage, you are not only assessing the worthiness and source of the revelation (remember, this process may take a split second!), you may also be assessing the meaning. You are interpreting the revelation in the light of anything you know about the recipient’s needs. You are also interpreting the revelation in the light of what you know of God’s character, ways and word.

link in a chain

3. Message Announced (Delivery)

Delivery may include any way in which you bring the prophecy. Some Biblical examples include speaking, singing, writing or symbolic acts.

When starting out, you can bring the revelation as you receive it, i.e., simply share the picture, or pass on the word or impression. A maturing prophet who has grown in faith will use the revelation received to launch into prophecy, allowing the Spirit of God to direct the flow of words.

During delivery, you are framing your revelation from God (picture, word, impression, scripture or feeling) with words

Delivery also involves how you bring the message. It includes your style, the tone of your voice and your attitude as you give it. If you write a prophecy, this includes your writing style.

link in a chain

4. Message Assessed (Interpreted by Recipient)

This is what the recipient believes the message means and what they believe it applies to. They are listening to the message in the light of their past history, their present needs and their desires for the future, as well as their own unique perspective on God’s word and character.

link in a chain

5. Message Applied (Application by Recipient)

Once you have delivered the message, it is over to the recipient as to whether or not they will respond to it.

Prophecy is miraculous by nature—but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be taught, nurtured and grown to maturity as a gift. In the same way that gifts of teaching or leadership benefit from instruction, prophecy can too! In coming posts we will look at each part of this process in more depth.

Would you like to develop your prophetic gift?
Here are 3 things that can help you:

1. Prophetic Teaching:
Enter your email address in the subscribe box at the top right hand side of this page to receive:

  • regular blog posts containing teaching that will help you grow in your gift of prophecy, as well as articles on spiritual gifts, prayer, spiritual renewal and supernatural Christian living

2. Prophetic Training:

Check here for prophetic training resources and information

3. E-books to Help you Develop Your Gifts:

‘Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts’ is a high-value e-book specifically written to help you grow in your prophetic gifts – at whatever stage or season you are on the journey.

Check out our e-books page for more e-books related to prophetic and prayer ministry.

Related articles:

How To Develop Your Prophetic Gift Pt 1: Where to Begin

What Are Some Signs You Have a Prophetic Gift

and How to Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 2: How To Receive a Revelation from God

© Helen Calder   2009 Enliven Blog