Today I am going to review a very common barrier to growth in prophetic ministry, and that is being hurt in relation to your spiritual gift of prophecy.

(Note that these same points relate to wounds experienced in other spiritual gifts or ministries—replace ‘gift of prophecy’ or ‘prophetic ministry’ with the name of your gift or ministry)

An unhealed hurt or disappointment will not only affect your gift of prophecy, it will hold you back in other areas of your life, too.

Some signs that your prophetic gift may be blocked due to sustaining a wound are:

There are many ways that people can become hurt or wounded in relation to prophetic ministry. The two most common are criticism and disappointment.

1. Criticism

There are several ways that criticism can occur:

  • We may have made a genuine mistake in the use of our gift, but leadership of the situation was handled badly. Perhaps we were publicly shamed. Perhaps we were not guided or restored as we should have been.
  • The criticism may have been completely unwarranted—this adds a sting of injustice to the wound.
  • Criticism was aimed at our level of maturity in the gift.

We do not criticise or judge babies who are learning to crawl or walk—in fact we celebrate their efforts. And yet it is amazing how quickly we Christians judge one another when we are stumbling through learning stages in our spiritual gifts.

Accusation and judgement are also related to criticism.

I have known people who have been accused of being Jezebellic, for example. This kind of accusation can cause a deep wound in someone who has prophetic gifts. [1]


Some ways in which we can experience disappointment include:

  • Our prophetic ministry has not been listened to, encouraged or appreciated
  • Leaders have not recognised our gift or they have not made room for us to exercise or grow in our prophetic ministry
  • Mentors or people dear to us in prophetic ministry let us down, are removed from our lives, or are themselves wounded in relation to their ministry
  • Ministry opportunities—for whatever reason—have been removed from us

If you have experienced any of these types of wounds in your prophetic ministry, you are not alone. These are things that many of us can relate to in some form or another.

In fact, you will see these types of hurtful things happen to people with prophetic callings in the Bible.

Think of the rejection that Joseph went through with regard to his gift of prophetic dreams and interpretation. He was criticised, rejected, misunderstood and passed over for many years before God raised him up and released him in his call.

Yet he kept his heart free from bitterness—and in that is a lesson for each of us.

It seems that God allows us to go through these tests as part of our development and character growth. When we overcome, He can use us in greater ways and entrust us with His Word and His power.

Steps to Breaking Free from Blockages in your Prophetic Gift due to Hurt

1. Take Ownership

A blockage takes place when we put up barriers, or walls of self-protection around us to prevent us from being wounded again.

Even though others may have been the reason that we were shut down to start with, the ongoing issue is that we are reluctant to expose ourselves to further hurt. Our instinct is to hold back.

So the very first thing we need to do, is to recognise our own part and responsibility in the blockage.

We are the ones who, with God’s help, have the ability and the keys to break ourselves free.

We do this by acknowledging this in prayer and repenting of allowing the walls to go up.

God is sufficient. He is all the protection we need and He waits and longs for us to trust in Him. But often we use our own efforts to protect ourselves—and this is wrong.

Secondly, if we have been criticised, removed from ministry or held back in the past, there may be an aspect of truth in the reasons for the action that was taken.

I know from experience that this is a tough area to acknowledge, but addressing it and being humble enough to make any necessary adjustments is vital to fulfilling God’s call on our life.

2. Release forgiveness to the person or group that has wounded you

Jesus said, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25)

Unforgiveness and the desire to obtain justice can chain us to an event, preventing us from making progress in our prophetic gift.

In prayer, speak out forgiveness, release the offenders from judgment, and from any debt that you believe they owe you.

Sometimes, God might lead you to communicate with the person or group that has hurt you, but isn’t always necessary.

Use discretion here, and look for some wise counsel.

Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a choice that we make. Also remember that forgiveness is not just a one-off decision; it is an ongoing process. This means continuing to choose forgiveness whenever you feel the hurt or the negative effects of the situation.

3. Find a Safe Person who can pray with you

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)

Some things that can be prayed through personally and with a prayer partner are:

  • Pray through the issues raised in points 1 and 2 above
  • Identify and renounce any wrong belief that you have taken on board following the hurtful event—e.g. ‘I will never be good enough,’ ‘God has not called me to this ministry’
  • Pray and affirm the redemptive opposite of that lie, i.e. the truth about God’s love and affirmation of you as a person, as well as your gift
  • If criticism, accusation or judgement was involved, pray against the power or effects of the words spoken
  • Pray for healing of your heart and a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit

This also reminds us of the fourth and most important aspect of breaking free from any blockage caused by a wound to your gift and that is:

4. Receive God’s Healing

If we have believed a lie, we need a truth encounter. We need to know that God’s love for us, and His attitude towards us, is not reflected in the hurtful attitudes, words or actions of others—even when they are people in authority.

Meditate on the Father’s love and acceptance as expressed in the Bible, especially in the New Testament in the life and ministry of Jesus.

5. Step Out in your Gift Again

Finally, at the right time, we need to begin to step out again in our prophetic gift. [3]

Firstly, this means being accountable—and being under leadership. Sometimes, this means responding well to leaders who have hurt us in the past.

We know we are healed when we can receive feedback and be open to adjustment in the operation of our gift without reacting badly.

Becoming activated in our gift of prophecy again will mean taking risks and being vulnerable. However, the fruit in our lives and in the lives of others we minister to will be eternal.

Do you have any further ideas for healing from hurts that could help readers, or experiences and questions to share on this topic? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


[1] For more information about the Jezebellic or religious spirit in relation to prophetic ministry, read my e-book, ‘Prophetic People in a Changing Church.’ Check the following links:

E-books Page

Prophetic People In A Changing Church E-book

[2] Sometimes hurts arise from a leader in the church—if this is familiar to you, I encourage you to consider my e-book, ‘Prophetic People in a Changing Church’ for more information on how to break free.

[3] I believe it is vital to foster a safe, nurturing environment in our local churches and prophetic communities to do this—so if you are a leader, I encourage you to make this a priority.

Related Posts:

11 Signs That Your Prophetic Gift Is Being Held Back

Set Yourself Free From Judging Others

6 Doorways To Discouragement In Church Life

Why Is My Spiritual Gift Or Ministry Not Being Released

© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

22 thoughts on “How to Break Free of Hurts That are Blocking Your Prophetic Gift”

  1. I have a prophetic girlfriend and it is clear that she has been hurt and continues to be hurt in the church. We bonded for a while and for a while our relationship was healing, however, she began to claim that while there were things I prophesied to her that were correct, the way I came to her was hurtful or wrong. A few times like this are okay, but eventually I felt like I was having to prove myself to her time and time again. I’ve had to make the decision that our relationship has become toxic and the season for our association has passed. We may come back to each other in the future, but I do believe that she is going through a season of refinement and that can make people lash out in ways they would not normally, I know I went through it too.

    1. Hi Damola, I’m sorry to hear of the trouble and conflict you have had. I pray that as you lean into the wisdom of the Holy Spirit you will have His peace about your personal direction. Also that your friend will be healed of the hurts she has experienced.

  2. “I have known people who have been accused of being Jezebellic, for example. This kind of accusation can cause a deep wound in someone who has prophetic gifts.” – so true.
    This is what happened to me by my pastor at a church I worked at. I was being sexually harassed by another member of the church. I was told by the man who was sexually harassing me, “that when I looked men in the eyes when I talked to them, I was unknowingly sending the signal I wanted to have a sexual affair. I said well that is not what I was thinking, so I was not really the one with the problem. He then said, “well my wife agrees you look like the kind of woman that would try and steal another woman’s husband.” This man has a lot of problems, so I decided I would just stay away from him.
    Also, during this time I was having to deal with a almost 3 year sexual abuse case/trial of my then 8 year old daughter who was sexually abused my a close friend of my husband. We had been friends with this man and his wife for over 10 years. We trusted him and allowed our daughter go have play dates with his daughter and granddaughter.
    Anyway, the pastor new all of this. One day after the man at church had made another unwanted comment about my bottom. I told him not to talk to me any more. I then decided enough was enough and went to complain about this man to the pastor. The pastor after listening to me, laughed at me, and then told me, “I had issues and was insecure.” He followed that up by saying, the man who was making these remarks used to be a police officer and he “knows how to read people.” I ended up complaining to the board at the church and they made the pastor apologize to me. His apology was “well we were just trying to help you.”
    Since my job at the church was to clean it, I was marginalized by the rest of the staff and many of the members who I thought were my friends. All this during one of them most difficult times in my life due to the sexual abuse of my daughter.
    My daughter was unable to testify at this time because of fear and her young age. A month after they dismissed the trial, I was very surprised to found out I was pregnant. I was 45 at the time, but I miscarried at 9 weeks. Three days before I was to go for an ultra sound. My heart was broke. But instead of compassion, the few members of the church that knew, then questioned if I was really even pregnant. It was so hurtful I cant even put it into words.
    God during all this had given me a vision of a Pharisees spirit walking in that church. I kept my job there for a while because we needed the money. People that know me, know the truth and so does God.
    I am trying to start at a new church, but I am having a very difficult time trying to really connect. I was reading your article about spiritual warfare which helped me to confirm/discern the some of the lies from truth. I have learned an incredible amount through it all. Mostly, I know I never want to treat another person the way I was treated at that church. Surly it is taking God’s name in vain judging and hurting others an calling it Christian. It was “CRAZY like the twilight zone” Now, I am trying to forgive, let it go, and move on. And slowly I am.
    Thanks for helping me to make sense of things that don’t.
    God Bless,

    1. Hi Denine, wow you have been through so much! I rejoice to hear the clarity and wisdom you have as you process what has taken place. I pray you will have the grace to connect and persevere. Bless you.

  3. Hi helen pray for me i went to the funeral at home so i told my leader about it,we left with my husband when we come back we received a call that they want us back home there is an urgent thing that need all the we phone back home to hear what is wrong,we heard that there was a church who was in the hall at home now the prophet ask his members that which funeral was here they told him and he said he want that family urgently he saw another funerals that are coming over the family i need them all so before we went we tell our prophet they need us home for this situation he allow us to go so that prophet prophecy about us and unite the family caused there was misunderstanding in the family we prayed for to nights sunday we visited the church and got deliverance and our prophet got a prophecy so that prophet told us to give our prophet his prophet we call him and tell him we are on our way we have prophetic word for him he said we must passby where he stay we gave him and he agree was a confirmation on sunday i felt there is something that is not right we arrived @church we suprised when he was preaching he preach about us and read a word on numbers14:36-37 and curse us and he say we have to tell him first so that he can help our family but he didnt saw the problem while we tell him we are going to the funeral and he knows is the 2nd funeral in the family the prophecy come out when we are with him and our family called us and we report it to him but he cursed us but im glad he cursed the people who didnt do bad thing on him we cursed by our honest that we have with him pray with us and give me advised what to do

  4. I recognized a desire, when i was a teen, to always want to “fix” what ever was wrong with people and even animals that were sick or wounded. I wanted to go into the medical field but the sight of blood and needles make me woozy. I have a strong Christian family around me and visited many churches growing up. I always had complete strangers walk up to me and tell me that God has something special in-store for me. I always wished i knew what it was right then! Well over the next twenty years I learned its the gift of healing. I just didn’t know how to use it. My cousin invited me to her church one night and I learned her pastor has a healing ministry. At the end of service, he called for anyone that needed a healing to come forward and a woman went to him. She had issues in her hips and legs and it was painful for her to walk. So while he was praying for her, I received a vision. My vision was me leaving my seat and walking to the woman and placing my hands right above her knees and praying for her. I disobeyed what God wanted me to do and argued with him instead. I told him I was at a new church that no one knew me and I didn’t want to embarrass my cousin. I refused to move out of my seat. When the pastor dismissed everyone, I went to stand up and couldn’t move my hips. I had to pull myself up and have had horrible hip trouble every since. I emailed the pastor and told him exactly what I have said here and he wanted to sit down and talk with me. That was 3 years ago and I have not yet. I also have not been able to use my gift any more either. I have recently been lead to a church filled with a lot of sickness and diseases and I have cried and cried begging God to use me to heal these wonderful people. Still nothing. U have asked for forgiveness for being disobedient a few times. I am at my wits end on what to do. The new church I’m attending is called healing hands and it’s name came to the pastors wife in a dream. I know I have been placed here to help heal but I don’t know why I’m in pain both physically and mentally still. I could use some guidance and prayers over this situation.

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