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. shoki

    Hi Helen I was told by my two friends who often tap into the prophetic ministry that I have a gift of prophecy. I’ve seen a few signs here and there, but still uncertain if this is true. I would like to know how do I for certain that I do have this gift, because I don’t want to deceive myself and think God gave me this gift whereas am called into a different ministry. Thank you!

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Shoki,
      I think the main thing is to not feel pressured in this area. Go with your heart. If prophecy is something you are interested in and desire, then certainly believe and reach for the gift of prophecy. The Apostle Paul gives you 100% encouragement to do this – in 1 Cor 14:1. 🙂
      And it doesn’t matter what main area of ministry you serve in – whether it is practical, evangelistic, or any area of ministry – having the prophetic gift to draw on is still relevant and helpful. So continue to explore your overall gifts, skills and passion, along with prophecy if you are interested, and see where the Holy Spirit leads you.

    2. odeen

      Hi Helen, Throughout my teenage years I started experiencing things. most of it during dreams and other times I would be wide awake. I would see things in my dreams happening and then few days after it would happen just the way I see it. at first I didn’t know what to make of it and still having difficulties in coming to grip with things I would see and how I feel at times. As the years goes by it get stronger and I start experiencing a lot of things . I have been told by friends I have the gift of discernment but I don’t understand it and at times it makes me feel weird but lately it is not as strong as how it use to be.

  2. kathryn mckelvy-johnson

    To make it short, my gift of prophesy I always have known things I should not have. Mathematical, almost photographic memory, the problem is they * whoever* they are knew I had these gifts also. I am a McMartin preschool survivor from the early sixties, not eighties. Most of my fragmented memories are back. And yes I was sodomized, drugged, taken to other locations. Watched animals killed and knew more about sex at three and four years of age then I do today. No one has ever approached me ,nor my family, but I believe they were co-conspirators. My father was a highly respected M.D. but after* selling my soul * for his fame and fortune. This story is absolute truth and the names and power behind it, I have spent the last 25 years of my life, trying to find answers, to which there is just evil, absolute evil, the devil, is its name. I was raised without God in my home. For some reason my father was kicked out of church when i was 3.So I searched for a spiritual solution every where which of course opened even more doors that should have remained shut. Finally, not the small still voice but a booming one, if you want to know me, read the bible, learn Aramaic, Hebrew and Latin. So after years of looking in all the wrong places, I was led toTHE LORD CHRIST JESUS OF NAZARENE. My Lord and savior Yes, I blabbed to long . And if i can help just one , just one, girl that was used as i was. Who could not only because of the things that i see and hear . You must understand the plot only goes deeper down that rabbit hole, not only is it ingrained into the core of my soul i am not to speak,its sort of like life or death why i picked [this site to blab, i do not know, i pray that is by the Holy Spirit, this is mk ultra and involves the most vile humans on earth, are they human or daemon s. They raped and controlled me and to a certain amount have certain holds on me even today. But when Jesus saved me , no longer is the fear there, that is there tool fear and pain. thank you for letting me get this off my heart, i need help finding a christian councilor, and safe place to peace together a truth to set many free.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Kathryn, I’m sorry to hear of the trauma you have been through. You have a testimony of God’s goodness and salvation that is powerful. I pray you get the counseling help you need to continue to move forward in freedom and to minister His life to others.

    2. mk ultra victum

      I too was victim of mk ultra and Lord led me right to ur post during a pivotal time. I soon will have a platform to expose. I need your prayers that I have the courage from the Lord God Almighty to speak when called to do so. I will be praying for you and I had read about the preschool when researching what they did to me. I too have deep spiritual discernment and we will lead many to the Lord thru this pain we have endured.

  3. Prophetess Ella Nickerson

    Fear, Church hurt and I dont know where to begin ,I was told by a prophet some years ago to sit under an apostolic church and I would be taught, My Pastor saw my gift and then I was ordained last year as a Prophetess But I feel Lost It used to be so active. I know God called me to be his Prophet He woke me up one night in 2004 and I heard him say Ezekiel then a second time Ezekiel 33, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel and gave me instructions shout out and warn my people from me said the Lord , when you see th sword coming upon the Land…
    I use to have visions a lot ,now very little, when I have dream they are warnings, but since Ive been married I feel as if my focus is not the same. Another thing that changed is I cant seem to find work as before, I got distracted God told me to focus on ministry but my husband dont understand, so he complains about and tells me I need to find me a Job, and it began distracting me really bad from my studies, I cant focus anymore for hearing him complaining in my head, I need some guideance I pray but I seem to always put away what I should be doing for my family, they are my distracton I tried talking to my Pastor but I feel like noone understands me. I want and desire to please my Father in heaven, where are all the spiritual, Holy people of God, He told me nobody would understand me,well I thank you for having a ear to hear. God bless your ministry and family

    1. EMI

      Please contact me ASAP. I am blessed to have read your post and am excited to have come across this article as a whole.

  4. Paul johnson

    Hi beloved, one faithful night i was in bed I heard I voice that say come and serve me, I know it was God voice, I got born again and serve God with all my heart, one Sunday morning I was ordained as a pastor, two years later a churchbwas giving to me to pastor, all this was like a dream why because i have no education, never been to Bible school, the first person I prayed for minifest I hear a demon speaking inside her, from that day if I pray for 10 people 5 or 6 persons we minifest meaning demons is speaking from them, some of the demon will be saying that great fire is burning in me, if I may ask what kind of gift is this?

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Paul, are you able to minister freedom (deliverance) to these people? It sounds as though you have a ministry to bring healing in the area of demonic oppression and deliverance. The demonic realm is recognising the authority of Jesus in you.

  5. Addo Yaw Sah

    I have been prayed for to receive spiritual sight and hearing but up till now I see no signs. Please can anything be the reason?

  6. felix

    Hi Helen . I just some few questions.
    Many are the things that have been said about my life, many great things. I never really used to believe them cos I wasn’t seeing the manifestations of those prophecies. The more I doubted the more the different prophecies came. Which are still yet to manifest.

    Helen is it possible that a prophecy spoken by God can not come to pass? No matter the circumstance ( sin, prayerlesness, etc). If yes what are the reasons?

  7. malwande

    hi,HELEN… i was on a seeven fasting earlier this year on a mount when i met onother man of GOD and told me i had a gift of healing ever since then i had dreams of me praying for peaple and were healed but the problem i nerver practice is it infront of peaple but one day my sister was ill and i prayed for her she was well at tha minute. also GOD is speaking through in scriptures whe i had a vision of me given a chance to preach at my church i refused and GOD sad i must read JER 1vs 5-8. SO HELP ME figure out my real calling. stay blessed

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Great times with God, Malwande, keep honouring Him and the gift He has given to you!

  8. Robin

    My name is Robin. I have a powerful gift of discernment, especially with demonic spirits. I also, have a gift of prophecy which has been evident since I was a child. My dad had it, I have it and my daughter has it. I really want to know how to develop my gifts more for the building of GOD’s kingdom.

  9. kennedy

    Hi Helen , I was wondering if you knew anything about the number 11?? Or is it just a fear tactic of the devil to throw my mind off reckless when I see the number ?

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Kennedy, I don’t know of any particular Biblical or prophetic significance for the number 11. But if it keeps coming up for you, and you have prayed about it and the Holy spirit hasn’t revealed anything in particular yet, just hold onto it lightly, don’t worry about it or feel you are pressured to find out what it is. The Holy Spirit will show you in His time if it relates to something.

  10. Charles

    thank you so much director i greatful to God for using you to correct some of my errors especially fear I’m Charles from Nigeria

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Charles, I’m glad Enliven Blog has been helpful to you. May you continue to flourish in the boldness and freedom Jesus has purchased for you.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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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