Prophesying In The Dark: What The Owl Taught Me

The owl as a prophetic symbolIt was October 2010, and I was processing the call of God to join the David McCracken Ministries team. A question uppermost in my mind at that time was, ‘Am I really called to the prophetic ministry on a full-time basis?’

One night while I was preparing dinner, I was listening to a podcast by Kris Vallotton in which he shared about a prophetic word God gave him. [1] It was:

“The prophetic mascot for this season is no longer the eagle, but the owl. Because the owl is nocturnal—the owl lives in the darkness, can see through the darkness and knows ‘who’s who.’”

He went on to talk about supernatural owl sightings that confirmed the word. As I was listening, two responses were happening on the inside of me.

Firstly, I was a little disappointed—the symbolism of the eagle for prophetic ministry had significant personal meaning for me. And secondly, as I was listening to Kris Vallotton’s stories about the appearance of actual owls that confirmed this word about a shift of season, I thought (somewhat cynically), “Well, we have been living in Australia for 8 years and have never once seen an owl.”

What happened next is a reminder that God has a sense of humor.

An hour or two later, our daughter returned home from visiting a friend after school. She came through the door and rushed up to me, excitedly saying, “Mum, Mum! I’ve just seen a whole family of owls!” There was a tree with a nest of them just outside her friend’s home. She was particularly excited because she could not remember ever seeing an owl in her whole life.

And inside I’m thinking, “Well you nearly got me there, Lord, but I still haven’t seen an owl in Australia!”

The following evening, my husband Malcolm and I were leaving a friend’s birthday party late at night, and as we were driving up a road lined with trees I noticed a flutter of wings. I said to my husband, “I think that’s a kookaburra!” I would have gone on but he said, “Back up.” So I backed the car up, and right there was a huge owl on a branch, looking at us.

A few days later, my Mum visited us and she brought me a photo—of her own recent sighting of a native Australian owl.

And Then the Lights Turned out

Since I was very young, I have had a gift of discerning spirits. One aspect of this gift is the ability to see or sense any demonic spirits that may be operating in a person’s life (as well as places, groups, and atmospheres)—and know quite clearly what these are. [2]

This gift was predominant in my ministry as an intercessor—but the season was changing.
Soon into my new ministry role, I noticed something unusual was happening. The gift of discernment of spirits that I had for most of my life was not functioning. It was as though Holy Spirit had turned the lights off, and I was operating in the dark.
What was even more interesting, was that as I ministered in personal prophecy during these early days, the Spirit was leading me to the very people whom I might previously have avoided, had I been seeing what was motivating or oppressing them. This happened over and over again.

I was embarrassed at first, but then I woke up to what God was doing.

He was teaching me to see people as He sees them, breaking down my former judgments and stereotypes. Teaching me to see as the owl does—in the dark.

Loving People and Seeing Treasures in the Darkness

The heart of our Father looks and reaches beyond what is seen by our natural eye, and even what we know presently through discernment.

  • He looks beyond a person’s exterior and the interior condition of their soul
  • He looks beyond a person’s history and He sees a much-loved child of God, someone who has a prophetic identity, and destiny in His Kingdom

As Kris Vallotton points out, the role of prophetic ministry is to look into the darkness and see the treasure in hidden places. (Is 45:3) He says, “An owl can look through the darkness and see a Rahab (a prostitute in the Old Testament) and know it’s the great great great great… Grandmother of Jesus Christ.” [1] (Josh 2:1, Matt 1:5)

Many times a word of love and affirmation from God will break down the barriers and bondages and hurts that a person carries. But even if it does not—He still loves them. He still desires to reach out and affirm them. And He takes great delight in demonstrating that love to them and others through His prophetic ministry.

The experience I have had of prophetic ministry—especially personal prophecy—these past few years I have likened to ‘a baptism of love.’

And yes, I have recently noticed that the lights have turned back on—although perhaps not as strong as before. It seems Father trusts me with discernment again.


[1] Kris Vallotton is from Bethel Church, Redding. This particular podcast is published by Kris and Kathy Vallotton Ministries, dated 30/9/2010, and entitled ‘Becoming a History Maker.’

[2] When teaching on the discernment of spirits, I emphasize that the balance (and glory) of discernment is that this gift enables us to sense the Holy Spirit and His anointing. Our focus should always be primarily on what God is doing, not on what the enemy is doing.

[3] Would an owl be used as a prophetic illustration when it is an unclean animal in the Old Testament? 
There is always value in understanding what Scripture says and in what context.
The owl is listed as being unclean in the Old Testament (Deut 14:15-17). Peter’s vision of the unclean animals now being edible is an example of the Holy Spirit bringing a prophetic revelation (vision) in a way that offends the minds of those who pay attention to the letter of the law. I personally love the way our Father loves people, and that He would use an ‘owl’ – a creature of the darkness, and also representative of sorrow and isolation (Ps 102:6, Is 34:11) to share His love for people, is a picture of His redemption. He has called us out of darkness into His glorious light! He calls us to see and perceive with His heart, and call others out of their dark places also.

Related Posts:

Prophetic Signs And Unusual Coincidences

Prophesying Out of God’s Love

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

Enliven Ministries: in the David McCracken Ministries family

24 thoughts on “Prophesying In The Dark: What The Owl Taught Me”

  1. Yes it was a brilliant insight brought through Kris Vallotton, wasn’t it! Great to hear from you Julia 🙂

  2. Hi Hellen,
    Very interesting message. I have been seeing images of owls during worship at Church for about 1 1/2 years or so. Didnt really understand what it meant. I talked with my pastor about it but he really didnt know or understand either. I continued to pray and ask God what it meant but heard nothing. One night it was brought to remembrence so i did a web search as to was might this mean, this was 9 Aug 2013. It took me to Kris Vallotton and his Word about the owl and its meaning. On 23 Dec 2009 I had a vision while praying of an eagle in the sky. The size of the eagle covered the whole sky with a bearded man under the right wing of the eagle and behind the eagles head was a bright light. I could not see the source of the bright light because everytime time I thought I would the eagle would move its head to block the bright light. This was also the first time I saw an image of the owl. And just
    tonight my son and I were coming home from church and saw an owl sitting on the very top of a tree over looking a cut field. It was as if the owl was watching us drive past him. Awesome! 2 Feb 2014 you speak of God’s love. I had this image of a rose in the form of a shower head. God showers His love down on us in our time of need. GOD raining His love down and cleansing us of all unrighteousness of all our filth. Our sin is covered by the blood of Jesus His sacrifice on the Cross was enough. When we call upon His name he rescues us. We recieve eternal life when we put our trust and faith in Jesus Christ. The fragrance of the rose covers the stench in our lives when life seems rotten.Praise God. Thank you Hellen for all your prophetic insight. Ive been following you for some time but never wrote. Always intended to but didnt. Not until tonight. If I lived closer I would come to your traing school but the USA is a long way from your facility. Maybe you and the team will come to the states some time. The east coast perhaps. Thanks again God Bless.

  3. Hi Frank, thanks for sharing – it’s great to hear from you. Greetings from Down Under, Australia!
    You have a remarkable gift of prophetic vision – isn’t it amazing how God can speak to His people in different parts of the world confirming what is on His heart for the current season. Love the insight and vision about the rose!
    Be blessed, Helen.

  4. en ocasiones me parezco en caracter a Jonas…de mal caracter…por hechos que Dios no hace para apoyarme en lo que pido…se que no debo ser asi,pero en ocasiones ,si lo es…!saludos!

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