11 Signs That Your Prophetic Gift Is Being Held Back

One of the things I am passionate about is helping people to grow in their spiritual gifts—especially prophecy. [1]

People regularly share with me that they believe they have a gift of prophecy, but are not sure how to begin developing it.

Sometimes they express fear or embarrassment about stepping out with a prophetic insight, because they lack confidence.

I also come across prophetic people who tell me that they used to flow in the gift of prophecy but feel it has become blocked or closed down in comparison to how it used to be.

These Christians long for the ‘good old days,’ when they felt released in their gifts and saw miraculous things happen as a result.

This is why, over the next little while, I am going to be producing some articles on how to move forward and break through limitations in relation to prophetic gifts and ministry. [2]

Identifying a Limitation is Good News

Identifying a potential barrier to the growth of your gift or ministry is good news—for it is the first step to empowering you to break free and enter into the ‘more’ that God has for you.

In fact, in God’s Kingdom there is always more!

And you can turn that seeming obstacle into a stepping-stone to greater growth and fruitfulness.

Signs that you are Being held back in Your Prophetic gift

Here are eleven signs that there may be a limiting factor holding you back in your prophetic gift or ministry.

If you do not have a gift of prophecy, replace the words ‘prophecy’ or ‘prophetic ministry’ with the name of your gift or ministry.

See if you can identify with any of these:

1. You used to believe you were called to prophetic ministry [3] but now you are not so sure

2. You are wondering why your prophetic gift seems to be hidden and not recognised by other Christians or by leaders in the church

3. It is a long time since you stepped out, took a faith risk, and did something new in the use of your prophetic gift

4. You are drifting and have a lack of direction in your prophetic gift or ministry

5. You feel barren and are wondering where the fruitfulness is that you were promised or initially experienced when you started out

6. You recognise that difficulties in the use of your prophetic gift began with an event that occurred in your past

7. You are not sure what to do to get to the next level of growth in your gift of prophecy

8. You have been hurt or wounded in relation to your prophetic gift and haven’t gotten over it

9. You are not receiving opportunities to use and bless others through your gift that you would like to have

10.You are content with your current level of experience and do not have the motivation to press through for growth in your prophetic gift

11.You do have opportunities to use the gift of prophecy, but it is not flowing as smoothly or as accurately as you would like, or have known in the past.

Over the next little while we will be looking at how to overcome some barriers to growth in your gift. Many of these will apply to other gifts, not just prophecy.

Some of the things I will be considering include:

  • Fear
  • Not knowing where to start
  • The effect of past hurts
  • Apathy
  • Not being released or given opportunities

Feel free to forward or share these articles with others who may be helped by them.


[1] The gift of prophecy is the Spirit-empowered ability to receive and convey a message from God—to make known the Father’s mind, intention and purposes.

[2] If you are interested in developing your gift, the e-book ‘Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts’ is a tool to help you identify which stage of development you are in and move to the next level.

[3] By prophetic ministry, I do not mean a role or position. Prophetic ministry occurs when you use your prophetic gift to love and help people in a way that brings them closer to God and releases them into His purposes. As Paul says, ‘the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.’ (1 Cor 14:3)

Related Posts:

Why Is My Spiritual Gift Or Ministry Not Being Released?

Break Free Of Hurts That Are Blocking Your Prophetic Gift

4 Barriers to Hearing God’s Voice – and Biblical Insights for Breakthrough

© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog

Enliven Ministries:  In the David McCracken Ministries family

116 thoughts on “11 Signs That Your Prophetic Gift Is Being Held Back

  1. Asbury

    I have some questions that I really need guidance on. I have literally been kicked out of my church I’ve attended since birth and grandfather is minister. And am disowned from them for asking questions. Things have been going on/happening I can’t explain and or I fear the riticuel I’ve experienced from simple questioning the church. I’d like to tell or ask opinion from someone that could give me guidance or possible answer. If not it’s ok I appreciate the consideration. There’s knowledge in me I can’t explain how I know it or how it seems to flow out of me threw speech or helping people. If anyway possible I’d ask for a private email communication for My questions.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Asbury, sorry to hear of the troubles you have been having. I do answer a few questions online here on the blog, but unfortunately don’t have time to answer individual questions via email. It’s much better to talk to someone in person, and I suggest finding a counselor or leader who can take an objective viewpoint to help you in this situation.

      1. kennedy

        Hey Asbury. Just remember Jesus was also rejected by his own people… Count it all joy !! And don’t loose faith. Just stay prayerful and go share the good news.

  2. Raymond

    hi please am called Raymond and know I have the call of God upon my life.some years ago I started having so much dreams, visions and trances which were just on point. For about one year now i find it very difficult to remember my dreams. the moment my eyes are open after the dream everything disappears just in a second. the. more i try recollecting the more i forget. hmmm am so worried. what may be wrong? it wasn’t initially like this at all, help me out please

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Raymond, it is very common in the call and gifts of God to have a season where everything is new, powerful and intense, and then suddenly…nothing! Or so it seems. I share more about this, and what God is doing in the process here:

      My thought is, don’t become worried or stressed about it. Pray – if the Holy Spirit reveals something specific, respond to that, otherwise see the time of testing as an invitation to rest in and rely on Him. Also, it is always good to share your journey with a Christian leader in your church.

  3. RUBYE

    Praise God! I have often wondered why I can sometimes KNOW something before it happens! I am a new Pastor, have two people in the ministry that “have a knowing about things” and are afraid to activate their gift. My other point I would like to ask, is as a servant of God, there is a friend of mine who is very “harsh” in words, (very direct) in their approach of speaking to others as they minister. I am a very compassionate person and when God has allowed me to speak, I will, but I cannot be “harsh” in delivering the spoken Word to them as the Spirit speaks into my heart. My friend tells me that I must be like a ROCK, when it comes to the prophetic and not allow any sickness, pain or hurt of others to “absolve” me of weight or be drained. It is not that, it is the compassion I have for people and I want to see change in them. Now, I will give a message of prophecy sometimes to a person in their “ear” when God beckons, but normally, I don’t see how being harsh with people can be such a plus. People are where they are and I want all to be saved in the name of JESUS, but I am not trying to scare anyone away because I may sometimes speak the truth with boldness, but not with “harshness.” I thought that when you speak directly into that person as the Spirit as beckoned you to do, it is the very heart of God. God’s heart is not harden, it is not harsh in deliverance of Word, but a heart that is a refiner’s gold, speaking truth and LOVE, showing love and not saying to people as she does: “as a prophet I have to be direct and harsh, that’s how prophets are.” I look back at the prophets of old, they were not harsh in their deliverance, but they were handpicked by God to be HIS instrument of love, compassion and war cry. Am I wrong in my approach or is there a better way for me to handle situations aside from showing kindness, compassion and love. I am very much a discerner and last night as I spoke with her to tell her about a lady who has had to have her leg amputated, and her son took it quite hard and cried, was I not to show compassion and love to them? Maybe I am getting off the beaten path, I just wanted to hear God’s Spirit in you speak unto me.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hello Rubye,
      We believe that a prophet should accurately represent the heart of the Father, as well as His intention. At times, that may be direct and authoritative, but should never be never harsh, hurtful or condemning. Prophecy is a ministry of love. Also, as prophetic ministers we are all unique and have our own blend or mix of gifts. If the Spirit has gifted you with mercy (Rom 12:8) then do not hold back from expressing that mercy when you share a prophetic insight from the heart of the Father. What a precious gift, don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise. Do feel free to ask any questions you may have here on the blog or on Facebook.

  4. Angel

    why do people always resort to “I hope you get the counseling you need blah blah blah”… worldly crap which does NOT hold ANY cures or asnswers. You need to read your BIBLE and Ask GOD to speak to your soul/heart before spreading worldly empty defeating advice! Jesus gave His Life to GIVE US GREATER!!!! HOLY SPIRIT JESUS GOD= THE COUNSELOR
    If you cannot speak TRUTH —– Be Quiet so we can FIND OUR TRUTH AND WALK IN IT
    have a Blessed DAY in CHRIST JESUS

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hello Angel, I nearly deleted your comment due to the tone of it, however, you do bring up a good point – which is ‘why suggest counseling?’
      My blog is dedicated to lifting up the Name of Jesus, the pre-eminence of Scripture, the power of the Holy Spirit and His life-breathed power, gifts and words…
      There will, however be times when I do mention the gift to the church that is Godly, Christian counseling.
      It’s like, when someone has a serious disease or illness, we should always pray for healing in Jesus’ Name, We believe in the power of the Spirit and release the gift of healing. We ALSO believe that God has given to us gifts of medicine, doctors, surgeons and so forth who participate in his work, we honour God by honouring the expertise He has given to us through people He raises up. Likewise, when there is severe damage to the souls of people through abuse or trauma, we also pray, apply the ministry of the Spirit and truth of God’s Word. However God has also given gifts of PEOPLE to us – who apply the ministry of pastoral care, gifts of wisdom, discernment, mercy and help us heal. The more serious the trauma, the more care is needed…just as someone who is severely injured needs the care of a surgeon, some people have taken their God-given gifts of counsel, and grown these so that they can give expert care and help to those in need.
      I understand for those who have been hurt through people, or authority, it is hard to receive such care, and you may be one of these. So I do pray for you and others, that God will minister healing in this area.

  5. modesto talavera

    Hi I would like to say that 1-5, 7 and 9 apply to me. I do not know where to go from here, I am getting discouraged, my faith is wavering. I do not know where to begin. They have told me to make business cards and set up a website but I do not feel that I want to go that route. But I do not know what to do. I am credentialed with the Assemblies of God. I am not sure if they recognize people that flow in the prophetic. God seems so far away and I have pleaded, begged and nothing. Anything that you can share, please let me know.

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