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. Tim Inglis

    I would say that I identify with the following points Helen:
    1. ????
    2. ~
    3. ????
    4. ????
    5. ~
    6. ????
    7. ????
    8. ????
    9. X
    10. X
    11. ????
    I can distinctly remember the time that I was shut down. I was doing the wrong thing, but wasn’t handled well. Being only 19 at the time I thought it was better from that point to just keep my mouth shut.

  2. Tim Inglis

    Nghaaa… those question marks are supposed to be ticks. That’ll learn me for trying to get fancy now won’t it?

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Tim, not sure what you were trying to do with the ticks, but the question marks have character, so I’m going to leave them 🙂
      Yes, totally know where you’re at, sadly, happens to so many of us. This is one of the things I’m going to explore over the next few weeks. Would love to see you released in your prophetic gift, Tim, keep in touch on this one.

  3. Vienna

    This is exactly what i’m going through this season , i have received a number of prophecies regarding my ministry and actually it was first dreams of me ministering to the multitudes and prophecy to me was a confirmation , but right now honestly speaking i try as much as i can to run away from prophets because i so much attract their attention and i would receive more or less the same prophecy aout my ministry and nobody has ever told me how to activate that prophetic word , yes i spent time fellowshiping with God ,meditate on the word of God and reach out to people , yes right now i feel barren , my prayer life has dropped , i feel things are hidden for me , dont know what to do to get to my next level , i’m drifting and have lack of direction , i feel i need to spend time alone and even when i pray i dont know what t ask God anymore so when i enter into my prayer closet i just worship Him pray in tongues and just thank Him for what He is doing , what comes into my spirit right now is that Paul was there for Timothy , Samuel was there for Saul and David , Elijah was there for Elisha , i believe i need a midwife someone who will unlock or help me give birth to what im carrying, im not content i need of God now than i ever did before , i sense a disconnection of some sort , and i can hear myself weeping deep from within , i really dont want the baby im carrying t be aborted please help me i need direction , one prophet of God told me that the anointing upon my life has overstayed and until now i wondered whatmust i do , i said yes to the calling and i’m making myself available to be used my God and i’m in a big church were it is so difficult to even talk to my pastor about what im going , the dreams i’m seeing ,because it depends on who you are to see the Pastor , May the Almighty use you to minister direction into my life in a level at which i will be able to comprehend and understand it , God bless you as you do that

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Vienna,
      It sounds as though you have some exciting things ahead in the call of God on your life. This also brings challenges along the way, and I understand and can relate to the hardship you are experiencing. Here are a few thoughts, feel free to leave another comment in response to these:
      **There is usually a long lead time between the call of God coming, and the prophecies, and the call being fulfilled. So don’t be concerned that it isn’t happening straight away. The call of God being fulfilled on my life right now originated with prophetic words and a personal call more than 30 years ago, and a prophecy very specific to what I am doing now 20 years ago. This is a Biblical pattern, as is a ‘wilderness’ period (David, Moses, Paul, etc)
      **This article on a ministry call may be helpful http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2011/06/29/do-you-have-a-ministry-call/
      **It is right to process the prophecies and ministry call with your leadership. In a large church, it can be difficult to communicate with the senior pastor, so another leader, even a small group leader to start off with is good, and take it from there
      **It seems that you are doing everything you know to do, I believe that as you are faithful God will make the way open in His time
      **You can also trust your Heavenly Father to bring the right mentors into your life for the seasons that you go through, He is your Provider and He has your life, your cause and you call in His hands (Isaiah 49:16)
      I pray that you enter a place of rest and trust in relation to your call and that God’s Word and love be tangible to you today.

  4. Nadia

    Shoooo I can Identify with Vienna…. I too sit with prophetic words , intercession for my prohecies. Believing God and yet I have failure upon failure to see the prophecy come to pass.
    And part of the prophecy is to speak into people’s lives, encouraging the body of Christ. Now how can I do that if I am u not encouraged?
    Yet I do not have any doubt nor unbelief! a barrenness , dry place, that;s what I experience. Desperately trying to take my prayer life up a notch, and all that I face is distractions, studies that take up my time. Yes I need direction too , to get me back on track to hear fro ABBA! Especially if I am where Abba wants me right this moment in my life. I too ask of God to use you speaking his heart to me as I am trusting him for a word.
    Thanks for your wonderful teachings . God bless

      1. Helen Calder Post author

        Sorry to hear you are feeling low, Lisa. Believing with you for some encouragement to lift your spirits today.

  5. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Nadia,
    Some of the thoughts I have shared with Vienna, above, also relate to your situation.
    Today I pray this scripture for you:
    May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom 15:13)
    I also pray that you will be powerfully encouraged and find a place of rest in your current circumstances.
    I believe that it is not a question of failure (so long as you are staying on track in your relationship with God) but of timing. Keep an eye on the blog over the next few weeks, I trust there will be more to inspire you on your journey.

  6. Martha

    I remember a brother prayed over me and spoke. leader…prophet. Some time later a woman prayed over me and told me i had the gift of prophecy and why wasnt i using it. I felt dumb being that I had no clue…Only for the fact of a thought would come to mind like someones name and then that person would call me or I thought of an event while sitting in a dr. office and lo and behold an earthquake took place. a small one but it happened. I will pray about something and what i was praying about i will read a prophetic word about that very thing I was praying about.stuff like that. One time being in a atmosphere of prophets one spoke of fire and with our eyes closed i could actually smell smoke like a real fire. But I feel so out of tune…kind of a bummer….im curious about it but have no clue as to how to fine tune myself to use it to the fullest.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi there Martha, thank you for leaving a comment 🙂
      It does sound as though you have some prophetic traits. Here is a blog article in which I outline some signs that might be helpful – http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2009/08/21/what-are-some-signs-that-you-have-a-prophetic-gift/
      Keep checking back over the blog over the next few weeks, as I will give some more thoughts about developing your gift from an early stage.
      Having two people give you a prophecy about having a prophetic gift sounds like a confirmation, have you been able to process this with a leader in the church?

      I don’t believe that the part of the word ‘why aren’t you using it’ sounds like God–more likely from the soul of the person giving the prophecy. We should alway be free to weigh up a prophecy and discard anything that feels wrong. The Father’s voice is loving and encouraging, He doesn’t belittle or intimidate. How would you feel about releasing this part of the prophecy as not being from God–and instead receive His grace and encouragement to take the small steps forward and relax in the process.
      The checklist about personal prophecy in this article may help. http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2011/08/17/is-personal-prophecy-biblical/

      I hope this helps–feel free to ask another question if you need to!

  7. Sipho Joseph Sangweni

    Dear Helen Calder

    I am an ordinary Christian who is always eager to share the word with other people and in many instances I was given the pulpit to preach. I always share the Word with my colleagues where I am an educator. Since I started preaching, many people have said I have a gift (but I am not sure which gift) and I always bless them and I preach the uncompromising Word of God and some few individuals will be annoyed. The few that get annoyed really bring my spirit down and then I feel worthless and blocked but whenever I share the Word people say the message was powerful. Recently a man of God prayed for me and told the church that I am a man of God. Again recently, another man of God told me that I have a prophetic gift and mind you, they have never heard me sharing the Word of God! I personaly feel that I have been called by God but I do not know which gift I have and to be honest with you, I do not think I am worthy of His ministry because of the sinfull life that I am living but I believe I am a strong defender of the Word because I get hurt when people disrespect God and talk-ill about Him. I also feel that I am completely lost but I do pray and wish to be a faithful servant of God.. Could you pls. help me in this regard.

    Best regards.

    Mr. Sipho Joseph Sangweni

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Dear Mr. Sangweni, it is wonderful to hear of your heart for God and desire to share His word. I believe it is OK to be unsure about which spiritual gift or ministry you have. The main thing is to continue to be faithful and to take the opportunities just as you have been doing, and allow the specific gifts to emerge in God’s timing.
      The feelings of being uplifted when you believe people have been helped, but disappointed when some criticise, is common for those who are beginning in ministry. It shows that you have a need, as we all do, of becoming stronger in knowing your value to God, the assurance of your call, and even the truth about your salvation. As you become stronger in your relationship with the Father and His love for you, the fear of people’s criticism or rejection will drop away. These articles may be helpful for you http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/category/orphan-spirit-2/

      This one may too, as I share about how God sees us even in our weakness. http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2010/07/13/the-gift-of-prophetic-vision-see-what-heaven-sees/
      Keep pressing in to Him, I believe you will break through in the sin areas that are troubling you as you gain a revelation of His love and acceptance of you, and that will flow through into a more powerful expression of your gifts, because you can only give away what you have received yourself.

      1. Kai

        Sin can bring lot of guilt, work on getting closer to God, fasting regularly leads to rising above sin, and leads to Holiness.
        Sin quenches, grieves the Holy Spirit. Worship, fasting regularly, praying in tongues and with understanding, reading the Word of God regularly all these empower you to work in the spirit, it then enhances boldness, increases your confidence in God and you will not be easily discouraged by people’s view about you when you are doing things inline with the Word of God. Always be quick to give God the glory when people complement you very important.

  8. Regie

    My gift is being choked by:

    1. pressures at work, home, and even church. So many things to do and I am struggling to have as much quality time with God as I desire. I have re-prioritised my activities and weaned off some but it is still not good enough for me to cope.

    2. Coming out of my closet with a smile on my face ushers me into a harsh world. anyone close to me shouts at me, or I disappoint them and feel my spirit rapidly fall down from the clouds where I had been. I end up feeling alone and and lonely in the world.

    3. when I have a word for someone usually something comes up to separate us. All of a sudden people fall sick and get days off, or I normally have to spend several days out of town or something of that sort.

    4. Generally people avoid me. I became boring when I got born again. (there are emails and jokes that they are no longer free to share with me or speak of when I am around) I have been labeled “Holier than thou” christian at one point in time.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi there Regie, thank you for leaving your thoughts. It’s so true that busy-ness of life can get in the way of our intimacy with God–which then impacts our ability to hear His voice, and it also becomes more difficult to stay full of the Holy Spirit. The fact that you have already re-prioritised shows that you have the desire to get on track, and I pray that you will find the space that you need.
      I pray also that you will know the intimacy with the Holy Spirit that will sustain you throughout the day. Being busy can drain us–take time to be filled or re-filled with Holy Sprit, you will find that makes a difference also to your faith. People will be attracted to you because the joy of the Lord is on you.
      As Paul said in Romans 14:17-18, ‘For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.’

  9. Nadia

    Hi Helen

    Thanks for the prayer and inspiring guidance. I will certainly watch the up coming blogs. I have recently joined a financial firm as a financial planner, very demanding and yet I know that is where God want me because of a prophecy.

    What you said make sence, there will be challenges,and I need to remain focussed on the call. I believe that what I do is for the kingdom and the greater picture God will reveal as I travel on this road.Thanks for encouraging me that the challenges is not failure, I like that, it calmed my spirit when I read it. I believe I am in preperation season…. Thanks for your intercession.

    God bless

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Nadia, what an exciting job opportunity for you. May you be blessed and a blessing where God has placed you in this season!

  10. David

    Dear Helen,
    I had an instance that happened to me over 25 years ago when I said something to someone which I believed was a stern warning, someone I had a close relationship to, shortly after having giving a word of admonishment in a small congregation. It was also the last time I felt that I was used in this way and I concluded that it must be because I said something wrong and God was angry at me.
    Now I believe God is revivng me and I have begun , after many years of silence to understand that God wants to talk to me because I have been having dreams lately and The Holy Spirit has directed me to scriptures and thoughts which I have shared in my church.
    I was awakened by a dream this morning at 04:20am and I while I was praying God told me to download your E book Grow your Prphetic and Prayer Gifts! So I did it right away and I’m so glad that I did. I see now that what had happened 25 years ago was the seed. Now I believe that the seed is growing after lying dormant many years and I am very excited about the growth which I now see coming!

    God bless you, David

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi David, thank you for leaving the note and WOW! So wonderful to hear of the Spirit breathing on your life and gifts in this way. When the revelation starts to flow it certainly brings a sense of awakening and intimacy with God with it, what a wonderful testimony. I pray that you will find clear ways to move forward in the stewardship of your gifts and that you find the e-book helpful with keys, too.
      One of the greatest revelations we can have is that Father is not ‘angry’ with us, but like a Father helping His children grow, even desiring to comfort and pick them up when they stumble. Sadly, the responses of people often don’t reflect His heart, and this is especially true when they believe we have done something wrong. So I believe it is God’s desire and great joy to breathe life into your gifts and to speak to you through prophetic means.
      As far as warnings and admonishments, this is something we advise prophetic people to be very careful about. Here’s some general guidelines:
      *avoid directional prophecy and correction
      *If you felt strongly a corrective word or warning is from God, take it privately to a leader and submit with humility
      *it may may an insight of discernment for you to pray privately
      I share more about this area in these posts:
      (Feel free to ask questions)
      Again, so thrilled to receive your note and I pray that you will flourish and grow in your gifts in this next season. Blessings! Helen

  11. Chontae

    Hi Helen,

    I pondered on your 11 signs and you know I have been my biggest block. Not anyone or anything but me mentally. Before I came to Christ I use to work as Clairvoyant and I never done face to face readings rather I done it all by email and I never used a tool either i.e tarot cards or what ever else people in new age use these days. I done many readings around the world with accuracy and diligence I never would pass on bad news to that person as I believe in passing on messages for the common good of that person how it felt easy at that time. I since returned to the Lord as I was 13 when I was baptized and now at 30 years have been back in the Lord for 2 years I am now too afraid of using my prophetic gifting…I remember going to my Pastor when I first joined our church and asking him to take my gift away because to me it was a hindrance I disliked it and had since I was a little girl…The share reality for me my dreams and visions were not nice and still aren’t but I am understanding as I am learning and growing in my relationship with our Father. As a child growing my mother recalls how often I would wake from my sleep saying “He’s coming for me” and foresee things that would happen. It has been spoken over my life that my calling is I am a messenger, I am a deliverer for the King of King by three senior Pastors and That Jeremiah 1:1 confirmation of the Lords word for Who I Am and God himself through a dream revealed this too me oh and of cause my Mum who has known and believed since I was born. But Helen knowing all of this and believing it is another thing for me.

    Thank you Helen for listening to me I appreciate your time. Bless you as continue to be a blessing to all.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Chontae, thank you for leaving your note.
      It certainly sounds as though you have had a prophetic gift upon your life from a very young age. The enemy tried to take you from the faith with a counterfeit calling of Clairvoyancy, but now you are back where you belong. What a wonderful testimony!
      I am wondering if you also have a gift of discernment, which can give you insight into the spiritual realm (see here: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2010/08/08/8-signs-you-may-have-the-spiritual-gift-of-discernment/ )
      I believe that God is redeeming the gift on your life and will use you powerfully for His glory.
      A couple of people I have known with a similar story to yours found it best to not use the prophetic gifting for a period, while they got their faith on track, and journeyed to freedom, so don’t worry about the 2 years or any further time you may need to be released in your prophetic gift again.
      You will get to a place where you are comfortable in being yourself and the way God has wired you with your gifts, and become freed from the fear that you have had. It’s OK to be on a journey with this, our Father is so wonderfully patient. The main thing is to allow yourself to decide to move forward, one small step at a time.
      When you do start to step out in your gift, you may find it helpful to ask your pastor to allow you to run what you receive past him or her, or to appoint someone who can be that person for you. As you find a safe place to express your gift, one this under leadership, you will receive the confirmation that you are hearing from God, and grow in the confidence again.
      Do keep in touch on the blog and read some of the posts I have written on prophecy and discernment. I answer comments like the one you have just left, so feel free to ask questions this way again, and keep an eye out on this topic over the next few weeks.

  12. Chontae

    Hi Helen,

    Thank you for your confirmation about taking my time I feel relieved to hear someone say that to me because this journey has not been easy for me coming into accepting my prophetic gifting has taken nearly 2 years. At present my husband and I are the Children’s Ministry Leaders in our church and for 2 months God has spoken to me about my gifting. Every time I went to step out He would say “No Chontae, I want you to know my voice in all area’s of your life. He also spoke to me about nurturing, preserving and training me in Children’s Ministry such as character building He tells me character will sustain me in the gifting. All my prophetic dreams, visions all go to my Pastor because this is where I feel most comfy at this stage. A BIG thank you Helen for confirming all this for me most importantly its ok to be where I am so long as I keep moving forward which I am.

    I am in a season of knowing Gods voice in such a noisy world. I mean I have 5 children that in itself is full on lol.

    Also to answer your question about discernment yes I operate more in this gift than any other. I am yet to understand it fully so thank you for your link.

    Bless you abundantly Helen may your cup overflow in every area of your life as you continue to extend the Kingdom of God.

    Chontae xx

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Thanks Chontae,
      That all sounds great, and yes, your five blessings must keep you very busy!
      Thank you for your encouragement, too 🙂

  13. carolyn cunningham

    All of the above!!!! When I recognized my gift and was led by the Holy Spirit to speak to my pastor who is a Baptist Preacher, didn’t know how to handle it. I was made to feel as though something was wrong with me and when I was led again to speak to his administrator she quickly made the changes that the Lord had requested and I was watched like a hawk and felt so uncomfortable. I was excluded from the people that I was in fellowship with, I was talked about from the pulpit. It was horrible to see church people who say they believe in the Lord and had faith carry on in such a way toward another member in the Body oc Christ just becauce I was growing and wanted to know the plan God had for me and my spiritual gift. God revelaed those things to me and I was so excited that He had spoken to me and wanted then to be excited with me and for me. It took pressing in prayer, fasting,, reading tne word and spending lots of time with the Lord to get what He gave me. I wanted it just that bad, but I didn’t EXPECT the gifts of Prophecy, Intercession, Exhortation and Faith. Trust me, the process is NOT what I expected and the PAIN as well. . I was on fire for the Lord and for the past YEARS, Its like what was all of that about???? you can’t be thru with me God and those same people will think that I was a false prophet or crazy. I am unchurched and the Lord is with me and I feel as if I am in a holding pattern and waiting. Does this makes sense to anyone???? Its’ always good to know that you are not alone.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Carolyn, I’m so sorry to hear of the troubles you had early on when you tried to express your gift. So many times people around our lives, in positions of trust and authority who should most represent the Father to us actually misrepresent Him badly. This can cause a lot of damage and it takes healing, forgiveness and realisation of the true nature of our Heavenly Father to move us forward again.
      The expression of the prophetic gift in the NT flows from within the life of the church (1 Cor 12-14). Perhaps the stirring you feel now is the Spirit calling you back into fellowship–there are so many wonderful churches and leaders that do receive, embrace and encourage the gifts of the Spirit. Something for you to pray about. No church or leader is perfect, and I have been through a great deal of hurts myself in the past, but I believe with all my heart that the church community is the place to thrive and operate in our gifts and to fulfil the deep calling of God in our lives.
      I’m praying for you today that you will be encouraged in your walk with God, and your spiritual gift of prophecy again.

    2. L

      Caroline, I too have faced most of the things you’ve faced. Those of us blessed with the gift of prophesy or discerning of spirits are often overlooked, misunderstood and ignored in the church. I too am unchurched at this time, not because I want to be but because I went through so much verbal abuse I had to step aside for awhile. I love God, I love people, and I love church. I believe God is bringing us closer to Him so we will hear His voice more clearly. No way is God finished with you or with me. He brought us out of bad environments to protect us. Don’t give up.
      He promised to NEVER leave us or forsake us. I was prophesied over several years ago by a proven prophet in that church and since then I have faced persecution and hurt. I’ve also been given dreams that showed me “behind the scenes” looks at some of the goings on in the church…clearly from God. These
      were things I suspected but until the dreams, no real evidence. Since then, these prophetic dreams have shown themselves to be true.

      1. Helen Calder Post author

        Thank you, L, appreciate your soft heart towards God and your wisdom. So good. Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂 May 2015 bring a healing and mending time for you also.

  14. carolyn cunningham

    Thank you soo much and I enjoy your articles they are always encouraging. I get a whole lot of insight and confirmation to let me know that I am on the right track with my gift regardless of what has happen. I am stronger and I look forward to being in place where the Holy Spirit can really flow. I had to grow and things had to happen in order for me to draw closer to the Lord as well. I had to encounter people who rejected me in order to depend on and learn to hear the Lord. I forgave long time ago and it was very painful. Great days are ahead. take care and God Bless..

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi and thank you Carolyn, it is lovely to get the feedback from you. Indeed, great days are ahead, what a wonderful thought :-). You have allowed Father to take you to a new level through the testing and your response. May you be richly blessed in your walk with Him!
      Psalm 66:10-12 says,
      For You, O God, have tested us;
      You have refined us as silver is refined.
      11 You brought us into the net;
      You laid affliction on our backs.
      12 You have caused men to ride over our heads;
      We went through fire and through water;
      But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.

  15. Beverley

    Hi helen, I can identify, and I believe my prophetic gift is being held back, it can be so challenging, when god has been pruning you,which has been occuring with me, and pruning involves cutting of the dead branches that will not bear any fruit, because god wants me to be more fruitful, I had a fresh supernatural revelation of this last week, after I had received a prophetic word from faylene sparks, and then I received another word from apostle collette toach who is with apostolic movement international; I felt too and I was wondering what is next, I identify with many of the above that you have listed, stepping out when god gives you prophetic insight, is not always easy, but my confidence, has grown in this area, sometimes too you want to have opportunities to use the prophetic gifting, and the opportunities just dont seem to be there, I feel I have the faith for god to take me to a new level of growth, I can identify too with feeling let down by one of the pastors, at my current church. I can be so challenging at times, but as pastor pauline said, nothing is wasted what you go through in god, I am very encouraged by the blog, helen you are an inspiration.
    best wishes luv Beverley

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Thanks Beverley, you have a wonderful gift of enthusiasm and I love your passion for God. You also have some wonderful insights and I pray that 2012 will be a year of moving forward and fruitfulness for you.

  16. Sharon


  17. Wilma

    I know this is an older blog, but I am experiencing something today that. After a really tremendous prayer time with 2 friends this afternoon, in which I had some key prophetic roles and words, I am now this evening struggling with a deep sadness. No one threatened my life, as Elijah’s was after the confrontation with 400 prophets of Baal. But I fee like I have new insights into his state of mind, unfortunately! I also know that I should not feel this way, so there is an added dimension of somehow dishonoring God with my sadness.

    Have you ever felt a “let down” after a particularly victorious prophetic time? What do you do to either counteract it or prevent it in the first place?

  18. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Wilma,
    I do experience a natural tiredness physically/emotionally after prophetic ministry when there has been a big output. However, the sadness you mention sounds like spiritual warfare (although I could be wrong).
    If we are involved in prayer or prophetic ministry, that is spiritual warfare in focus or effect, then praying a ‘dust off’ type prayer afterwards can be helpful.
    This is where you break off (cancel) any negative effects from the atmosphere around your life personally.
    On some occasions when I have ministered in an atmosphere or engaged in a spiritual battle that has affected me, I have forgotten to do this immediately, but remembered later when problems have occurred.
    So I would recommend trying that or praying protection prayers as a team, or have someone personally pray for you.
    Hope that helps. 🙂

    1. Wilma

      Thank you. Yes, it does. I had done that when I realized what was going on, and I’ve had minor ones, but this one was particularly deep. I got downright weepy, I am not proud to admit.

      But we don’t hear much about this phenomenon – at least, I have not. But this occurrence underscored my need to be aware and guard against this.

      Again, many thanks!

  19. Althea

    It is quite funny I am finding this resource at this time in my life. I was filled with the Holy Spirit at 17. Shortly thetafter I began walking in the prophetic with words of knowledge, wisdom. The church I attended at the time had no mentors or prophetic training. Because of limited understanding this later resulted in them ridiculing me and calling me a witch????

    Though heartbroken and disillusioned I stayed with God. But when ever I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to speak, I suppressed or quenched the urge to allow the gift to flow.
    Fast forward 20 years later I faced my fear and repented for allowing others to cause me to fear. A few years later after seeking God through a lenghthy period of prayer and fasting the prophetic gift was stirred up again in the prophetic song of the Lord and word of knowledge was stronger than ever.
    This went on for about 5-6 months. Then something happened..I was about to speak a word of knowledge to a young lady and the drummer(we had at the time) tapped the drum maybe by mistake I I don’t know. But as soon as that word was in my mouth for that woman it was gone. If I had training, mentoring I probably could have asked God to reveal it again.
    Presently I am at a place that I just want God more than anything.I want God to be real in my life! There are times while praying for others the prophetic gift flows or the word of knowledge. But it isn’t as consistent as I believe it should be.
    However I am in constant search for sound, Godly prophetic teachings, mentoring and counsel. I know my gifts and I want to become more sharpened in the ministry and flow in all the gifts God has placed in me. I want to be ready and available! I know there are people out there just like I was. I don’t want anyone to experience what I did unnessicarily.
    Feel free to reply if you are led.

  20. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Althea, the prophetic call is a journey, it unfolds through time and seasons, even wilderness seasons, such as you have described.
    I pray that you will enter into a new flow and sense of grace in your gift and calling. The articles I have suggested to Andrea, above, may be a help to you too, and I trust you will be blessed as you take a look through the materials I have provided here.

  21. Annette

    I’ve been gifted by God from early childhood and had a hard time in the churches but as I trusted in God and his voice only it got better. What I’ve learned is that when people don’t understand or are afraid they act funny. My gift is sure so I’m not upset about the way others see me. What has just happened is I said what God gave me and the pastor said you’re not the only one that’s got the gift of prophecy and got mad. My gift is sure and on point that the unsaved just praise God. That’s all that matters.

  22. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Annette, Thanks for visiting the blog and leaving a comment.
    I believe that an aspect of ministering in love (1 Cor 13) is that we share our prophetic insights in a way that is loving – in a way that is helps them not be afraid- offered in humility, and promotes unity. Even when we’ve been hurt (and I’ve surely been there :-)).
    I didn’t used to believe that (I write about my journey in my eBook ‘Prophetic People in a Changing Church) and at one stage would have thought accuracy and knowledge and being spot on prophetically were the main things.
    May I encourage you to keep exploring this area. Let me know is you would like a copy of the eBook I’ve mentioned. Bless you.
    (P.S that’s awesome about the prophetic evangelism!)

  23. Renethia Kirby

    I personally can relate to number 9, due to the spirit of religion i have recognized that it’s hard to flow in the Prophetic Realm if the leader of a congregation(Apostle, Pastor, Bishop, etc) has a spirit of pride and a “my way or the highway” type of attitude in ministry, or even someone that is a Prophet in the office and they tell you that you shouldn’t say this or that cause you didn’t flow in the Prophetic the exact same way that the Holy Spirit allowed them to do so and it hurts because you expect in not to occur inside the body of Christ…it all boils down to the Spirit of Religion as far as i am concerned!

  24. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Renethia, thanks for stopping by. Yes I understand it can be very difficult and sometimes leadership can be strong, and not as releasing as we would like.
    I think it all boils down to, ‘Am I in the church that God has planted me in.’ If we are, and He hasn’t called us out, then it is a matter of staying and embracing and honouring… and adapting.
    This article might help
    Bless you.

  25. karen

    There are several points that I can identify with, not as sure now of my gift as I was in the beginning, feel barren, how to get to the next level, not flowing smoothly and accurately as before, lacking directions gifting as regard to teacher, very thankful to have found this site

  26. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Karen, thanks for the note – there are some links I have recommended in the comments above that you might find helpful. Blessings 🙂

  27. Paul

    Its taken 23 yrs for me to realize my calling even after being obedient & going out to start a church ministry (which didn’t take off) but I learned alot about Church planting. The Pastors knew that my gift was starting but I remember I gave a word to the Pastor & to share with Church & was to he would think about it. It was just pushed aside.
    But about almost 2 yrs ago I came close to having a stroke. My wife & I went thru so much after that where we really didnt have a Church family as we thought we did. We went from being in leadership to being a bunch of nobodys. My wife wants no part of the Church because she was so hurt as so was I. I went thru so much to end up having anxiety attacks afterwards. I must confess that I went thru periods of crying before God in anger asking where was He at, where was my so call family in Christ. It was a wilderness I was taken into.
    The Lord has been storing my body back into go health but its been a process. I do say that after 23 yrs we no longer have a home Church.
    I get to work early & find my little spot in my room before the day starts & just pray before the Lord. I do wonder if the Lord will ever restore my wifes heart again & mine because I know since this happen, the trust is not there anymore.
    All I can do is worship the Lord in this area of my life & pray for my family.

  28. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Paul, I know there are a lot of people in your position and my heart goes out to you and your family.
    Healing from such devastation can be a long process, I pray that God leads you with a sense of freshness and expectation in this. Jesus – the ultimate haven of protection, your safe place and refuge. And that you will eventually find a church and leaders that you can trust again – because there are some very gentle, safe people and pastors out there, and there will be the right ones for you.
    Your worship, times of prayer, totally the right thing. May you know Him face to face with increasing joy.

  29. Debra Reed

    I can relate to the following: #1, #3, #4, #5, and #7. Sometimes I wonder why we don’t see more of the move of God in our lives, churches and situations. But I know that there are many reasons to that answer and not just one. I think sometimes we are waiting on God when He is waiting on.

  30. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Debra- so true, sometimes God IS waiting for us. 🙂 I’ve included some more links in the comments above, there might be something there you find helpful, too. Bless you!

  31. Sonia

    I know I’m called to be a prophetess however I was mentored by someone that had an eye of an eagle very sharp in the prophetic however she started getting caught up on the money having money lines to get a word I never understood how she could just rape these poor hungry for a word from The Lord she and her other friends that were prophets always justified this I could go on and on but I pulled myself away from her because I just didn’t feel this was right in the eyes of God

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Sonia, like you, the mentoring I received in the early days was a mixture – hold on to the good, and leave the rest. May your heart to give and release and reflect God’s heart to people through prophetic ministry, multiply His word and encouragement to many!

  32. Wendy

    I have had a prophetic gifting and had word’s of knowledge type of thing since I was young. Actually my whole family is somewhat gifted in prophetics of sort. I used to use my gift up until I gave a word about a situation going on in the messianic synagogue I was involved in (which happened to be exactly what was going on), but when a younger leader of it heard me speak, he humiliated me in front of the entire group saying something to the effect of “You think your the only one who hears from God?” to which I replied, that that was not what I was saying and he bashed me so badly it took years to get over it. I recently have started to speak out more and I find that EVERY time I open my mouth, someone bashes me. I could say the grass is green and someone bashes me about it. I find it very frustrating as I feel God just wants me to love on people who do this to me, but I find I take these attacks too personally. I’ve been prophesied over that I would be prophesying to the nations but I’ve yet to see that come to pass. My son has had similar rejections and episodes of bashings as well and he has been prophesied over that he would bring his music to the nations. He has pretty much given up on pursuing his music right now. I personally find these latest bashings to be extremely fierce toward me and often find myself feeling like I shouldn’t even bother to open my mouth. I also have a gift of intercessory prayer and praying in tongues one day caused a raucaus in the church I now attend because someone didn’t understand the gift of tongues and so pastor had to teach on it because they thought I was of the devil. I’ve read several of your articles on the prophetic already and really appreciate any advice and/or prayer. Thank you for your willingness to help!

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Bless you, Wendy. The prophetic gifts on our lives take time to develop and we invariably get knocks along the way.
      I do find (and encourage others) that it is important to modify our approach to using the gift according to the culture in which we find ourselves. I don’t believe this limits or waters down God’s gift – it actually strengthens it and makes it more receivable to others because it is shared in love and with wisdom. Wisdom means being sensitive to the culture in which we find ourselves, and adapting the way we share in accordance with that.
      This article may help: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2013/04/30/growing-in-prophecy-when-no-one-is-cheering-you-on/
      The hurtful actions of others are not deserving of holding us back. Seek and receive the healing you need and move forward in Jesus’ grace.

  33. Anita

    I can relate to number 11. I feel that even though I have been given the opportunity, if I am given an assignment, I am not trusted to fully operate and that my leader still wants to do at least half of the teaching or if God has really moved in an area that there will be less freedom for me to flow the next time. I don’t know if it is even a conscious decision, but it keeps happening. It goes from saying you are released to you are released sometimes

  34. Wendy

    Thanks for your encouragement, Helen! I do try to be sensitive to the culture, but it seems they aren’t so willing so listen. Perhaps it is what my calling is all about.

  35. Kai

    I have all of the signs. I joined a ministry that activated my prophetic giftings so strong until I had to research what was going on with me. I could see, know what demonic forces or spirits were around and their assignments, smell what sin a person was engaged in, and a very strong warfare intercessor. I’ve had encounters with going to the “threshing floor”, angelic visitations, divine revelations, divine utterances, could feel the presence of God like he was sitting in the room, experienced deep worship, and prophetic dance. This happened to me for at least 2 years while I was functioning in ministry as an elder. But the pastor took a wrong turn and became demonic and unrepentant for his actions. I left that ministry and most Pastors know about my giftings, but this particular pastor scrutinized my name and put out that I practiced witchcraft. I was a psychic and had mental issues. I live a life of worship and prayer so that I can tap into God’s presence at anytime. I know nothing about witchcraft and it definitely is no working for me if I did know. The church that I currently attend is prophetic but he will not train anyone or recognize their giftings. So my gift has dwindled to stagnancy and I’m frustrated because I do not intercede or do what I was doing because I’m held back. I love the ministry and the Pastor but God is calling me strongly into ministry again. I have dreams about being a Pastor and see myself laying hands. I hear sermons and texts in my head with revelations of the scriptures. What do I do?

    1. Wilma Straight

      I think every prophetic gift needs to be “scrubbed” as in cleansed. The result or the methods of the scrubbing are on the list. John Sandford (not the horror fiction writer, pls note) teaches on the prophetic gift/office and speaks of the dark night of the soul, a crucible of purification of faith and vessel.

      My church holds a “Super Blessing Sunday” service on Super Bowl Sunday – followed by pancake breakfast, of course. It is a service where we bless each and every family that comes forward and pray prophetically into their lives. This year, by unusual circumstance, I was a “roving praying person” which gave me incredible freedom to follow the leading of the HS and to deliver personal words for various individuals. It didn’t really hit me till after how much trust my pastor instilled in me to let me rove like that, but that has not always been the case.

      Let the fire – and the pain of the fire – make God’s mark on you and purify motives and tenderize your receptors, burn flesh out of the equation, and braise obedience onto your very soul and spirit.

  36. karen

    mmm, its surprising how much I can relate to regarding all this. I have been a Christian for 21 yrs, and I have always had pictures from the Lord but only began moving in Prophecy about 2 yrs ago. About 6 wks ago, I had a word from Haggai 2 and wrote it down for the pastor. It was ignored, so 2 weeks after this it was his Birthday and i sent him a card and put the same word in and my phone number so he could text or ring to tell me his thoughts? Ignored again….. the wks passed and I was hurt and angry. so my Sister asked the Pastor after the service, how come he had not acknowledged it? He said he appreciated it, but was too busy, but says I have a gift.

  37. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Karen,
    Your experience with bringing a word to the Pastor but not feeling as though it was acknowledged or well received is one that many prophetic people in churches relate to. When I am teaching on the subject of prophetic ministry in church life, I encourage people when they give a word to the pastor, to leave it with your pastor and with God, to release it and not try to follow it up.
    To use an analogy, with prophecy our role is like that of a post office or mailman. Our job is to deliver the word – put it in the mailbox – and it is the responsibility of the person receiving it to do something about it.
    And I also teach that in church life, we should not place any expectations on our pastors to do anything or respond to the word that we bring. One reason is, the nature of prophecy is that it may relate to a later period of time and is not necessarily for right now.
    Hope that helps. If you still feel hurt, the two ‘related posts’ that I have shared at the end of the article above may help. Bless you.

  38. Andrea Savoia - Adams

    Hi. I have all but a couple of the signs. To compare it to something, I’d say it’s almost like having writer’s block. I’m almost tired..mentally and emotionally. I’ve had the gift since I was a small child. I also had a true knowing of God since I was 4. I am an intersecor prayer warrior, always have been, and I havent really been able to do that very much or well either. I know good from evil when it comes to people I know when something is bothering someone, If they’re sad, guilty, etc., just really sensitive to energies. Both living as well as the non living. We just recently moved, and our old house.. Energy everywhere. . Negative energy. And I know whatever it was tried on more than one occasion to kill me. Or at least hurt me badly. I would feel it touch me.. But on Halloween day of 2012, God spared my life from enemy’s attempt to take my life in a very bad car accident that by no other way than God, am I alive today. I’d tell you everything that happened, but such a long story. Too much happened, life threatening injuries. Doctors couldn’t believe I made it. I was good for awhile after coming home from the hospital, but after awhile I started to get discouraged, angry, you name it. I’m still healing. I thank God for my life, but I don’t want to feel like I do anymore. I feel distanced from God, which hurts because I was always so close in my walk with Him, nothing.. Not a thing could shake me and I miss it so badly. I’ve been going through trial after trial, satan attacking different areas of my life.. Trying to get and keep me down. I know he’s mad that I am literally a Walking miracle. I just want back what I had, what I felt, hearing from God for others etc.. But only I want it to be even stronger. I don’t know what to do anymore!? God Bless you and keep you always. ?

    1. Andrea Savoia-Adams

      Hi Helen. Forgive me for appearing to be rude, I am just now seeing all of the comments. Thank you very much for the link, and God Bless you so for being so obedient to Him and helping others! Much love ?

  39. felix

    i read about the 6 reasons why we should invest in our prophetic gift, and whiles reading i came across something that was talking about the arena of our prophetic calling, can you please enlighten me on that?

    And secondly, i was told that God had called me into the office of a Prophet, and that even has been confirmed by another pastor, who even told me that God has placed certain prophetic gifts( the 4 main prophetic gifts) in me, but up till now i don’t seem to be manifesting in them, its been 2 years, what could be the problem?

  40. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Felix, our prophetic calling relates to any ministry area that is a long term call of God on our life.
    It can also relate specifically to our gift of prophecy or a calling to prophetic ministry.
    The long term test of a prophetic word about a specific gift or ministry is – does it relate to how God has wired and gifted you, and is it acknowledged by your own spiritual oversight?
    If you do have a strong desire to learn and grow in prophecy, and you still believe it is the call of God for you, don’t be concerned about time frames. Some prophets in the Bible were prepared for many years in the wilderness or in training before emerging in their ministry. e.g. Moses – 40 years.
    Time between my own first call of God and release into full time prophetic ministry – 35 years. Lots of training, developing and growing ministry opportunities between those years. 🙂

    1. felix

      wow! okay, i will keep on believing and trusting God to act on his word no matter how long it will take. Thank you!

    2. felix

      Helloooo, it’s me again. My question now is, i believe i have been called to the prophetic office because of the word that came to me, and this calling normally comes with certain specific gifts( prophetic gifts). We are basically God’s mouthpiece, and all we do is say God’s word to his people, but i dont hear God’s voice audibly or see visions and all of that, i just believe he is speaking to me through my spirit. I then give his people( a small congregation where i am) what i think God is saying….but my question is whenever i give this word, or prophecy, and it doesnt come to pass, should i doubt my hearing God’s voice or what should i do?

  41. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Felix,
    There are different types of prophecy, and it sounds as though you might be referring to ‘predictive’ type prophecy, which is forecasting that certain events will happen.
    When beginning in prophecy, it is best to keep to general encouragement, exhortation and comfort (per the Apostle Paul’s guidelines in 1 Cor 14:3).
    I write about this a lot – have a look through articles in the prophetic training category on the right hand side of the blog.
    Keeping to general, but timely encouragement takes the pressure off when you are starting out, and when you minister to people and their lives are changed, it strengthens you in your gift and ministry.
    Prophecy that is predictive in nature (foretelling events, times etc) is something best kept for those who are very mature in prophetic office and whose ministry has been tested and found accurate over time.
    Even then, we advise to offer prophetic insights in a humble way, offering them with the invitation for the receivers to weigh them up.
    Hope this helps, with regard to starting in prophetic ministry.

    1. felix

      wow! you have been more than helpful to me, i thought of just sticking with Paul’s type of prophecy for now since i was not very matured to start operating in predictive prophecy. But i decided to push forward…lol….thanks a lot

  42. Belinda

    I have dreams and most of the times all my dreams does happen. I went to a prayer explosion or I can say in each and every church I go to they Always telling me that a have a gift and I have to pray, read the word and fast more.\

    Please will you help me to unlock my gift.

  43. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Belinda, it’s great to hear from you. There are lots of articles here on the blog that can help you with gifts of prayer and prophecy. Take a look in the categories on the right hand side of the page to view articles relating to those topics. 🙂

  44. el

    Hie,i need help,i had some past experince tht z confuzn m.here goes…..last year wen i ws in my room abt to sleep n tht nyt i ws feeln at peace,ddmt hv my music on n ws nt thinkn bwt anythn really,a voice spok t m n i felt like i had mistknly heard t,aftr th t nevr cm again bt th follwn days i had dreamz whch turnd out t b true,i knew then i hd a gift bt ddnt knw wt t d.thr ws a guy in m class who offrd t help n w gt alng n yes in sm instancz i hd dreamz tht turnd out t b true,nw h olws spok abt a spirit tht olws troubld th ppl in ma class sayn w shld pry against t,aftr a while h confessd t known an actually doin thingz tht th spirit wntd,in othr wordz h encouraged it…i lost trust n wonderd if i really hd th gift n if those dreamz wer frm God,nw am in tht state of just emptyness i fil lyk i ws usd up n only being in my teen years dnt knw wh t trust,my friends r nt aware of ol of ths,please help if cn olso prophesy too…. please..wl b waitn

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi El, it sounds as though you could benefit from being with others who are strong in faith. I encourage you to find and attend a healthy, Bible-believing church where there are people who can support and pray with you. God loves you, receive His peace of heart and mind.

  45. Amanda

    Hi Helen, thank you for taking time out to write all these super helpful articles!?
    I’m in a 14 month old church which already has 340 members and we are in our second building.
    I’m not sure what’s wrong with me!? The Pastors allow and trust me to operate in my prophetic giftings anytime (I journal also), I’m leader of the intercessors prayer group, I’m on the pastoral team and regularly prophecy for people with confirmations from them etc… I feel like I’m doing all the ‘right’ things but I can’t stop feeling so alone! We are a church of unchurched and baby Christians as our focus, so there isn’t anyone who operates similar to me. I’m the office manager and part of a tight 5 member staff team that shadow and protect our pastors. So why do I feel so isolated?
    Is this something you have encountered? Have you ever felt it’s all too much and you want to run away as far as you can?
    Thanks, Amanda?

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Amanda, yes I think the feeling of isolation in your gifts can be a big part of the journey, especially when you are in leadership, and sometimes you are carrying prayer and prophetic burdens that you can’t share with others.
      So my answer is yes, I can really identify with how you are feeling, have certainly been there (in similar roles too) so just want to cheer you on!! It’s worth pressing on, and there won’t always be that sense of aloneness as Father provides significant people at different times to share our journey.
      So I pray that you receive a huge dose of Holy Spirit and Word encouragement to keep on the journey, it is soooo worth it!

      1. Amanda

        Thank you Helen! That is very encouraging to know it’s not just me! 🙂 Thank you for your prayer. I’ve just bought one of your books so I’m looking forward to diving into it! xx

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