A couple of weeks ago I was called out during a church meeting and given a personal prophecy—a message from God—by a visiting team from another church.
A person who did not know me spoke accurately of my gifts, passion, and future direction. I have since been given an MP3 of the word as well as the typed prophecy.
Receiving a personal prophecy can be a powerful moment—a reminder that God knows you intimately, cares for you personally and has a mind-blowing purpose for your life. Maybe someone has paused whilst praying for you and given you a word from God, or written an encouraging Bible verse on a card that spoke of great things to come in your life.
It is a trait of prophetic people in particular to collect prophetic words. I have a journal in my drawer overflowing with messages from God for my family and for me. Some of them are years old and have already been fulfilled, some speak of great things yet to come in our lives, others are… well, a mystery.
If you have received but not recorded a personal prophecy in the past, you may have what was said in mind (Luke 2:19). I recommend writing it out, or at least making a note in your journal.
Whether fulfilled or unfulfilled, a personal prophecy can be of a great encouragement to you. Here are 4 things you can do with it:
1. Review your personal prophecy
Retain encouraging prophecies and review them regularly (Hab 2:2-3). Prophecies that have already come to pass are a reminder of God’s faithfulness. Prophecies that speak of your future can encourage you and strengthen your sense of purpose.
2. Pray about your personal prophecy
Praying about a prophecy will help you determine whether it is really from God—you will have a sense of peace and confirmation about a true word, even when the thought of it coming to pass is overwhelming!
Jesus taught us to pray for God’s will to be done (Matt 6:10), so it is good to pray for the fulfilment of your prophecy, not just sit back and wait for it to happen.
3. Share your personal prophecy
Talk to your close friends and leaders—the people who share your spiritual journey—about the prophecy, along with the hopes and dreams you have in relation to it. They will support you, dream with you and pray with you. They will encourage you and help keep you accountable to God’s plans for your life in the tough times.
Be careful not to share your word with someone who will pull you down, or be disbelieving or negative about it (Matt 7:6)
4. Wage spiritual warfare with your personal prophecy (see 1 Tim 1:18)
Sometimes, before a prophecy is fulfilled, it seems as though the very opposite of what the Lord said is taking place in our lives. The great heroes of the Bible had this experience (check out Abraham, Joseph, David).
Sometimes the enemy can try and steal away the word God has given us (Matt 13:4).
A great thing to do is to anchor your prophecy to scripture and pray and declare God’s truth about your life. This will build your faith and counteract discouragement.
Remember that God is sovereign—no one except we ourselves can stand in the way of a true word from God coming to pass. A prophecy can be a great reminder to keep our response to difficult people and events healthy, letting go of past hurts, as well as to hold our course in the face of opposition.
Some don’ts about personal prophecy:
- It’s OK to desire a prophetic word, but it is not healthy to chase after personal prophecy. We need to pursue God, and use the Bible as our main source of guidance and direction
- Don’t swallow any prophecy whole without carefully considering it against what the Bible says, the nature of God, and whether it sits right with you (1 Thess 5:19-21)
- Don’t change direction quickly in response to a prophecy. A prophetic word should bring confirmation. Remember also that a prophecy can relate to a time in the distant future. If you are considering a change of direction in response to a prophecy, I recommend that you take time to pray and consider it, as well as talk to a church leader and people who know you well about it (Prov 11:14)
Now, I think I will go dust off that journal…
© Helen Calder 2009 Enliven Blog
Enliven Ministries: In the David McCracken Ministries family