- What lies ahead for us?
- What are God’s plans for our lives in the coming year?
- What promises does our Heavenly Father want us to lay hold of?
Many people are looking for prophecies for the coming year. They want to know what the prophets are saying.
Like them, you may be searching for that special word from God that your heart connects with; a prophecy that is His personal message for your own situation.
Reading prophecies from others can be encouraging—but there is something even better available to you and me. We can hear God’s voice for ourselves [John 10:4-5].
I am going to share some keys on how to receive a word of encouragement for you directly from God for the coming year.
But first, here are some personal stories to let you know how powerful even a simple and straightforward word can be.
A Word From God can Change Your Life
One regular visitor to our church office this past year brought me a great deal of joy. It was Brian—a retired, single man whose life has been transformed by a word from God.
As 2009 drew to a close, Brian’s life was the same as it had been for a long time. He describes it now as a life characterized by sadness. Brian found himself unable to stop continually dwelling on hurts and pain from the past.
Reading the book ‘The Shack’ at around this time gave Brian hope that his life could be different. A word came to him: it was ‘Freedom.’
Then one of our prayer leaders gave Brian a printed copy of my blog post on how to receive a personal word from God for the year 2010. At the top of the page was a space that read, “2010: Year of ______ “
One Sunday at church, our pastor’s message brought life to Brian’s soul. He responded to God and heard the Father speak personally to him, ‘I will set you free.’ From that moment, Brian was powerfully delivered.
He then wrote on the blog article, ‘2010, Year of Freedom.’
During the following months, Brian would often bring in the printed blog post and show me the words ‘Year Of Freedom’ along with a growing list of scriptures he added to the page in his own handwriting.
God’s Word was building his faith, enabling Brian to continue in the victory Jesus purchased for him on the cross.
A Word From God Can Herald Breakthrough
Late in 2009, I was participating in a prophetic worship night at our church, when I had a vision.
I saw myself smashing down a massive plate of glass that had a nice, smiling, but a superficial image of me on the front. Behind the glass, another, real, ‘me’ was waiting to break out: a warrior and leader, who would call people to serve Jesus and join His army.
At that moment, to my amazement, a team member took the microphone and sang a prophetic song of the Lord calling His people to war.
Realising that the act of smashing down was symbolic of repentance, I took time to repent of projecting an image of myself that I felt would make me acceptable to people and to God. This image was an idol, standing in the way of being all that my Father had created me to be. It was keeping me trapped in a lifestyle of performance. 
As 2010 approached, I was praying about God’s purposes for the coming year and the vision kept coming to mind, along with the words, ‘Break Out.’
I felt that God’s word for me was that 2010 would be a ‘Year of Breaking Out.’
My husband Malcolm felt that God was saying something similar to him.
‘Breaking Out’ proved true for us on many fronts. We broke through some stuck places spiritually, as a couple, and in our finances. New ministry opportunities began to emerge for me personally.
A Word From God Can Sustain Us in Times of Trial
But the fulfillment of God’s word is not always comfortable.
In May 2010, ‘Breaking Out’ was to prove painful as I felt that God was leading me to lay down a ministry leadership role.
I shared this with mentors and leaders in my church, who confirmed this guidance was from the Lord. The anointing of the Holy Spirit was evident in the decision and in the handover to a new leader.
For a short time, I felt lost. I knew I had broken out into a new place but had no way of defining what that was. Knowing that God ordained my ‘Breaking Out’ helped me to trust Him for my future.
It was not long before the Holy Spirit revealed the Father’s plan. As I entered 2011, an exciting new door of ministry was opening for me.
How You Can Receive Your Own Word From God for the New Year
Here are some simple steps to waiting on God for a personal word for the coming year. Of course, you can receive a lot more than a single word—however, I have found that encapsulating God’s message for your year in one or two words can help you remember and focus on His purpose for you throughout the year.
1. Pray and ask your Father to give a word concerning His promise and plans for your coming year
There are many ways in which you might receive a revelation. He might speak through a through, scripture, a picture, an idea, or some other way 
2. Pray and ask the Lord for any further insights about the word.
I like to look the word up in a dictionary or thesaurus to clarify the meaning, as well as pray and seek out scriptures that reinforce what God is saying
3. If the word goes beyond simple encouragement and compels you towards action or change, remember that principles of interpretation and accountability apply to the word 
What you can do with your word
1. Write down or journal about how you received the word and what it means to you.
2. Share it with those around your life who can rejoice with you when it is fulfilled and encourage you on when times get tough
3. Keep it in front of you throughout the year.
4. Review the word and its outcome at the year’s end. As I have done, you can reflect upon what God has done in your life throughout the year and how the prophetic word has been fulfilled.
 If my thoughts about performance resonated with you, the following post may be helpful:
 For more about this topic, check the following post:
 As I did in the above story, I advise submitting what appears to be a directive word, or guidance, to a leader. For more about how to determine whether a word is of God, the following posts may help:
© Helen Calder
Enliven Ministries: Prophetic ministry for a revival generation