Today I am going to review a very common barrier to growth in prophetic ministry, and that is being hurt in relation to your spiritual gift of prophecy.

(Note that these same points relate to wounds experienced in other spiritual gifts or ministries—replace ‘gift of prophecy’ or ‘prophetic ministry’ with the name of your gift or ministry)

An unhealed hurt or disappointment will not only affect your gift of prophecy, it will hold you back in other areas of your life, too.

Some signs that your prophetic gift may be blocked due to sustaining a wound are:

There are many ways that people can become hurt or wounded in relation to prophetic ministry. The two most common are criticism and disappointment.

1. Criticism

There are several ways that criticism can occur:

  • We may have made a genuine mistake in the use of our gift, but leadership of the situation was handled badly. Perhaps we were publicly shamed. Perhaps we were not guided or restored as we should have been.
  • The criticism may have been completely unwarranted—this adds a sting of injustice to the wound.
  • Criticism was aimed at our level of maturity in the gift.

We do not criticise or judge babies who are learning to crawl or walk—in fact we celebrate their efforts. And yet it is amazing how quickly we Christians judge one another when we are stumbling through learning stages in our spiritual gifts.

Accusation and judgement are also related to criticism.

I have known people who have been accused of being Jezebellic, for example. This kind of accusation can cause a deep wound in someone who has prophetic gifts. [1]

2.Disappointment

Some ways in which we can experience disappointment include:

  • Our prophetic ministry has not been listened to, encouraged or appreciated
  • Leaders have not recognised our gift or they have not made room for us to exercise or grow in our prophetic ministry
  • Mentors or people dear to us in prophetic ministry let us down, are removed from our lives, or are themselves wounded in relation to their ministry
  • Ministry opportunities—for whatever reason—have been removed from us

If you have experienced any of these types of wounds in your prophetic ministry, you are not alone. These are things that many of us can relate to in some form or another.

In fact, you will see these types of hurtful things happen to people with prophetic callings in the Bible.

Think of the rejection that Joseph went through with regard to his gift of prophetic dreams and interpretation. He was criticised, rejected, misunderstood and passed over for many years before God raised him up and released him in his call.

Yet he kept his heart free from bitterness—and in that is a lesson for each of us.

It seems that God allows us to go through these tests as part of our development and character growth. When we overcome, He can use us in greater ways and entrust us with His Word and His power.

Steps to Breaking Free from Blockages in your Prophetic Gift due to Hurt

1. Take Ownership

A blockage takes place when we put up barriers, or walls of self-protection around us to prevent us from being wounded again.

Even though others may have been the reason that we were shut down to start with, the ongoing issue is that we are reluctant to expose ourselves to further hurt. Our instinct is to hold back.

So the very first thing we need to do, is to recognise our own part and responsibility in the blockage.

We are the ones who, with God’s help, have the ability and the keys to break ourselves free.

We do this by acknowledging this in prayer and repenting of allowing the walls to go up.

God is sufficient. He is all the protection we need and He waits and longs for us to trust in Him. But often we use our own efforts to protect ourselves—and this is wrong.

Secondly, if we have been criticised, removed from ministry or held back in the past, there may be an aspect of truth in the reasons for the action that was taken.

I know from experience that this is a tough area to acknowledge, but addressing it and being humble enough to make any necessary adjustments is vital to fulfilling God’s call on our life.

2. Release forgiveness to the person or group that has wounded you

Jesus said, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25)

Unforgiveness and the desire to obtain justice can chain us to an event, preventing us from making progress in our prophetic gift.

In prayer, speak out forgiveness, release the offenders from judgment, and from any debt that you believe they owe you.

Sometimes, God might lead you to communicate with the person or group that has hurt you, but isn’t always necessary.

Use discretion here, and look for some wise counsel.

Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a choice that we make. Also remember that forgiveness is not just a one-off decision; it is an ongoing process. This means continuing to choose forgiveness whenever you feel the hurt or the negative effects of the situation.

3. Find a Safe Person who can pray with you

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)

Some things that can be prayed through personally and with a prayer partner are:

  • Pray through the issues raised in points 1 and 2 above
  • Identify and renounce any wrong belief that you have taken on board following the hurtful event—e.g. ‘I will never be good enough,’ ‘God has not called me to this ministry’
  • Pray and affirm the redemptive opposite of that lie, i.e. the truth about God’s love and affirmation of you as a person, as well as your gift
  • If criticism, accusation or judgement was involved, pray against the power or effects of the words spoken
  • Pray for healing of your heart and a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit

This also reminds us of the fourth and most important aspect of breaking free from any blockage caused by a wound to your gift and that is:

4. Receive God’s Healing

If we have believed a lie, we need a truth encounter. We need to know that God’s love for us, and His attitude towards us, is not reflected in the hurtful attitudes, words or actions of others—even when they are people in authority.

Meditate on the Father’s love and acceptance as expressed in the Bible, especially in the New Testament in the life and ministry of Jesus.

5. Step Out in your Gift Again

Finally, at the right time, we need to begin to step out again in our prophetic gift. [3]

Firstly, this means being accountable—and being under leadership. Sometimes, this means responding well to leaders who have hurt us in the past.

We know we are healed when we can receive feedback and be open to adjustment in the operation of our gift without reacting badly.

Becoming activated in our gift of prophecy again will mean taking risks and being vulnerable. However, the fruit in our lives and in the lives of others we minister to will be eternal.


Do you have any further ideas for healing from hurts that could help readers, or experiences and questions to share on this topic? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


Notes:

[1] For more information about the Jezebellic or religious spirit in relation to prophetic ministry, read my e-book, ‘Prophetic People in a Changing Church.’ Check the following links:

E-books Page

Prophetic People In A Changing Church E-book

[2] Sometimes hurts arise from a leader in the church—if this is familiar to you, I encourage you to consider my e-book, ‘Prophetic People in a Changing Church’ for more information on how to break free.

[3] I believe it is vital to foster a safe, nurturing environment in our local churches and prophetic communities to do this—so if you are a leader, I encourage you to make this a priority.


Related Posts:

11 Signs That Your Prophetic Gift Is Being Held Back

Set Yourself Free From Judging Others

6 Doorways To Discouragement In Church Life

Why Is My Spiritual Gift Or Ministry Not Being Released


© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

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

22 thoughts on “How to Break Free of Hurts That are Blocking Your Prophetic Gift”

  1. So true Helen , many years ago I exposed adultery in the leadership and as an intercessor had a very good relationship with the senior pastor, but the adulterer was a close friend of his so it all turned back on me and I was asked to leave the church I had attended and served for ten years, what was said to me burnt like a fire in my heart, all I could hear was a voice saying inside don’t justify yourself, so without a word I left, saying to god “don’t ask me to pray for another pastor ever”.the hurting words wounded me so badly I was disabled for years, I realized that spiritual abuse is much deeper and worse than any sexual abuse I ever endured.. Over the years following God still used me on the way to being healed, God justified me many years later and whatever I learnt I use as experience and his calling on my life is stronger than ever ..

    1. Hi Ann, that sounds like a very tough journey, how devastating it must have been at the time. Your ministry now is a beautiful example of the redemptive power of God, as He is using you powerfully in intercession and leadership.
      I am always very sad to hear of spiritual abuse–and the reality is that even good pastors sometimes fall short of reflecting the image of Father God and react out of their own shortcomings (only human, after all). It is vital that as prophetic people we become acquainted with God and His heart towards us. I would love to provide more teaching and testimonies that can strengthen us in that area. Really appreciate you sharing your story, and feel free to add your wisdom at any time, Ann!

  2. “We do not criticise or judge babies who are learning to crawl or walk—in fact we celebrate their efforts. And yet it is amazing how quickly we Christians judge one another when we are stumbling through learning stages in our spiritual gifts.”

    So true Helen….. I love that… Wow. I see this going on alot with Christians. I consider myself to be a new christian, so when I see things as such, it really bothers me, and sometimes make me think doubt within myself, but GOD leads me on. What is it that make Christians criticize like that Mrs. Calder?

    1. Hi Amy, you are right, sadly it is very prevalent.
      There may be many individual reasons for being critical and judgmental of other Christians, but I believe it mainly comes back to the issue of performance–believing deep down that we have to act a certain way to be pleasing to God, and then putting that expectation on others as well. It stems from not understanding the Father’s grace towards us, it is a cultural thing (we are brought up with constant measurements applied to us, from physical to educational) and it is also a religious thing. The book of Galatians addresses this issue very well. You have me inspired now, perhaps I will produce a blog post on this topic! 🙂

  3. carolyn cunningham

    Hi Helen! What an awesome article. I TOTALLY can identify with every word of what you are saying. It is good to know that you are not the only one and that you are not crazy either. Because sometimes you are made to feel as if something is not so quite right. Then as I began to grow and mature in the Lord I realize it wasn’t me it was those who had no spiritual insight in the gifts and they too even as leaders needed to grow and allow the Holy Spirit to flow. It is a deep wound when leadership and those you thought would support and understand you reject and isolate themselves from you but I can say now that it was good for me because if I had not been rejected I would have stayed and missed the journey that I am presently on being able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, helping the elderly and He has open my heart to love with passion I never had before. He has taught me compassion for others and humility.I can truly say what the enemy meant for evil God used it for my good. Oh yes, I have joy like never before as well. ” If they coiuld see me now.” Amen!!! God Bless

  4. carolyn cunningham

    Thanks Ann!!!!! That’s what happen to me as well. Instead of it being the pastor’s friend iit was the pastor. I obeyed God and boy did it turn on me.. It’s good to know that others have gone thru and God is using you even morer. Go forth.. God Bless

  5. Hi Carolyn, I’m sorry to hear of the difficulties you went through–but what transformation and power you have experienced as you have grown in God’s grace!
    Yes, Joseph’s story and words stand as a memorial to all of us who have been hurt in our physical or spiritual families:
    Genesis 50:20
    ‘But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.’
    You have overcome, and are now giving life to many others.
    Such a great testimony. Thank you Carolyn

  6. carolyn cunningham

    Helen Thank God for you!!! and the ministry He has given you to make it easy for us to share our wounds with someone who understands and encourages us to get back up again. who has been where we have been and can show us the way.
    Thanks again and God bless you.

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