Prophetic Activation Exercises

Prophetic Activation Exercises
This is a collection of group exercises that will help you learn to hear the voice of God more clearly for yourself and for others. No matter if you're a complete beginner, believing you've never really heard the voice of God, or one who has already ministered to people prophetically for years, they will sharpen your spiritual senses. Feel free to use these exercises for your personal training and also to equip others.

Pursuing the Prophetic

  • The Scripture challenges us to pursue the gifts of the Spirit and puts a special emphasis on the prophetic. If we are called to seek after those gifts, then it's clear that we will end up with less if we don't.

    1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. (1 Cor 14:1)
  • While every Spirit-filled believer can prophecy as a general grace God gave to the entire Church (Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:15-18; 1 Cor 14:31), the measure we experience the prophetic and are able to walk in it is determined by our hunger. If we can live without it, we most likely will.
  • While pursuing the prophetic includes many different aspects like praying for it (Mt 7:7-8; James 4:2), opening our hearts to it, joining a community that actively desires increase of the prophetic, and positioning ourselves to receive more from Jesus, I want to focus on the practical aspect of exercise here.
  • Paul exhorts us to test every prophecy which includes the possibility of failure. Prophecy in the New Testament is different to the Old Testament in the way that it not only knows the difference between true and false prophets, but also true and false prophecies. While now every believer can flow in a general grace of the prophetic, we certainly don't walk in the same authority or demand of infallibility. Almost everyone has had a situation where we believed that God spoke to us and later we found out that He didn't. So even a person operating in a divine gift of prophecy can sometimes simply mess things up. Paul tells us to be aware of that. But it doesn't make you a false prophet (who are most notably defined by sinful motives, ungodly character and bad fruit). Notice that Paul wants us to test everything, not everyone.

    20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. (1 Thess 5:20-21)
  • To distinguish true and false prophecies, we have the written Word of God, the gift of discernment (not the gift of suspicion), but also exercise. Although this might seem unspiritual to some, it's a biblical concept. We mature in discernment by training our senses through exercise (by simply using the gift). We get to know the voice of a friend simply by hearing it and will eventually be able to recognize this one voice even when there are many others at the same time. That is what we intend when we talk about prophetic activations: getting to know the gentle voice of God more and thus being able to discern it from all other voices more easily. We truly need to “learn” how to tune in to God.

    14 … who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Hebr 5:14)
  • For more information on the prophetic please also check out my article “Introduction to Ministering in the Prophetic”.

What Are Prophetic Activation Exercises?

  • Prophetic activation exercises are small group activities with the primary purpose of practicing to hear God's voice and to grow in the prophetic by ministering prophetically to one another. They focus on equipping through practice, although short teachings and responses to questions will definitely be an irreplaceable part of them. Since no or only basic background knowledge is necessary, they are suitable for beginners as well as the advanced in the prophetic.
  • Practice in small groups creates a place where such things become normal. We can grow in confidence and experience aspects of God's kingdom that are not always a reality in our home church. Therefore, they are a good way to establish a prophetic culture.
  • Positive prophetic experiences in a safe environment cause our faith to grow and equip us to walk in our gifts in other places with the expectancy that God is going to move through us.
  • Often we fail to hear God's voice because we do not know how God is speaking to us. Prophetic activities broaden our understanding and sensitivities to the way God uses to talk to us.
  • Prophetic activation exercises are meant to equip with practical tools for hearing the voice of God. Eventually you will be able to utilize those tools in every sort of situations: during ministry time at your local church, in everyday life conversations with others, while writing emails or simply praying for others in your private time with the Lord. They will help you flow in the prophetic in your everyday life.
  • Most importantly, prophetic activation groups provide a place where you can hear the voice of a loving God who so desires to share His love with us. In those places, we experience how much He loves us while we minister to others and others minister to us. This will tremendously refresh and deepen our personal relationship with God. Becoming a friend of God, being able to hear His voice and having real conversations with Him – that is what it is all about.

Basic Activation Exercises – Activating the Prophetic

  • This is a list of some basic activation exercises which are good to start with. They also resemble the most common channels through which God talks to us.
  • The majority of those exercises focus on one specific channel of how God talks to us. We need to realize that by doing so in practice we are not limiting God but sensitizing ourselves to specific ways in order to grow more comfortable and confident in them. Still we don't want to pick our favorite way long-term. Although for a season God may use one or another way more, limiting ourselves to our favorite method will eventually cause us to miss much of what He has to say. In His creativity, God likes to use all kinds of ways to talk to us.
  • Using Categories – Choose a certain category as a guideline for this group exercise (e.g. colors). Then everyone asks God what specific item within this category the person on their right represents (for instance color → red) and then ask Him why (prophetic interpretation).
    • Basically we ask: 1) Jesus, what color is the other person like? 2) Why? What does that mean? What do You want to communicate?
    • I found that this is the easiest way to get started in the prophetic for those who are completely new because it already limits the options down to a few. Often we don't hear God's voice because we don't tune in. Limiting the options helps us to know what to tune in to and what we can expect God to talk to us about. However, reducing the choices for the first step does not at all narrow down what God eventually says in the second step.
    • This is not manipulating God. It's taking the first steps. A toddler is still walking even though he is holding onto the hand of the father. It's completely the same here. It's a sort of prophetic “walking aid” and God knows we need it, especially in the beginning.
    • Biblical categories: book of the Bible (or just NT/OT), person of the Bible, spiritual gifts (Rom 12; 1 Cor 12), five-fold ministry (Eph 4:11), psalm, four gospels, 12 tribes of Israel (Gen 49), ...
    • Other categories: animal, color, season, weather, movie/comic character, form of water, fruit, room in a house, building, country, continent, state, ...
  • Scripture – Ask God that He would give you a Bible verse for the other person. Then ask Him for one specific aspect/word/part of this verse that He highlights for the one you are ministering to. Then ask Him what He wants to tell the other person through it.
    • One of the pitfalls with this option is that people start to preach the Word. We don't want to explain the other person what the Bible verse means but what God wants to say through this verse to the other person. It's a prophetic exercise in which we want to hear the personal message that is on God's heart right now specifically for the one we are ministering to.
  • Picture – Ask God to give you an inner picture (or vision = animated picture) for another person. Ask Him what He wants to tell them through it.
  • Emotional Feeling – Ask God to let you feel a certain emotion. Then ask God what it means for the other person, what exactly He wants to say through that.
  • Physical Sensation – Ask God for a physical sensation and then what it means.
    • God often uses this way to highlight body parts that He wants to heal in the one we are praying over. We might for instance feel a sudden light stinging pain in our left knee while praying for someone. God might want us to pray for the left knee of the other person. As you simply share it don't be surprised when they confirms that they have complications with this specific body part. This happens very often because God likes to raise our faith through such an occasion.
  • Word of Knowledge – This means we want God to give us a specific word of phrase for the other person – like a word suddenly popping into our minds. This can be anything and talk about anything (for example a street name, a number, one single word, a sentence, even a song). In a second step ask God what He wants to tell the other person through it.
    • Don't forget that it can have literal and/or symbolic meaning.
    • God can refer to past, present and/or future.
    • Sometimes it can be enough to share what we got and the person we are ministering to will directly understand what it means, especially if we simply don't seem to get an interpretation.
    • Even though God likes symbolism and enjoys speaking even through very strange things, don't get weird here.

Intermediate Activation Exercises – Improving the Prophetic

  • The purpose of these intermediate exercises is to progress in the use of the prophetic. They are based on the basic methods we have learned in the previous chapter but intend to help us improve specific areas of the prophetic (which is underlined in each description).
  • Any Way – Here simply all of the above methods (the basics) are applicable. The purpose of this exercise it to help us stay sensitive to multiply channels at the same time as we eventually don't want limit our focus to one single way while ministering prophetically.
  • Favorite Way Excluded – This exercise is very similar to the last one, but here everyone is asked to purposefully exclude the channel through which they hear God speak most easily. As mentioned earlier we all are tempted to pick our favorite method. This exercise is supposed to avoid that by encouraging us to grow more comfortable in the ways different to those we prefer. It will help us to be more attentive to the variety of the ways God talks to us.
  • Journaling – Ask God for a short prophetic sentence, message, just one sentence with no more than 20 words. Write it down. Then ask God to highlight one single word of this sentence and ask God for more understanding of this word. Integrate those meanings into the start-sentence. The purpose of this exercise is to pursue deeper understanding of what God shows us, rather than just delivering the message right away. We want to value what God shows us and seek Him for more understanding of what He speaks before we move on to something new. By doing this we increase accuracy and impact of the one prophetic word we give.
    • This exercise can be repeated with the same beginning sentence.
  • Meditation in Silence – This exercise is very similar to the last but a bit more advanced in that it skips the writing down part. We ask God for a prophetic message, picture or whatever and then meditate on it for 5 or 10 minutes. We don't give it right away. We explore it with Jesus by asking Him to show us more about every single aspect of what He initially showed us. The purpose of that is to help you stay focused on one prophetic word for a longer time and to go deeper in it. You will be surprised about how comprehensive your prophecy will be after 5 or 10 minutes.
  • “God, what do You think of me?” – Everyone takes a sheet of paper and a pen. We start with writing down a personal question (a very good one is “God, what do You think/feel when You look at me?”) and then we get quiet, listen and write down everything that comes to our minds. The purpose of this exercise is to grow more comfortable hearing God for ourselves which will tremendously enrich our private time and relationship with Him.
    • One of the biggest challenges in hearing God's voice is to discern it from our own thoughts. This is what God's voice sounds most similar to because the Holy Spirit dwells within us and so He speaks from the same direction that our own thoughts come from.
    • Many will hardly write down anything because they constantly think it's their own thoughts. They block themselves. A much better approach is to write down EVERYTHING that comes to our mind after asking Jesus the question. Don't try to discern right away, just write it all down. Don't look at the paper for a day or two and then read it again. It will be much clearer to you now what was really God and what He was not.
  • Past, present, future – Prophetic words don't only reveal the future, they can also interpret the past and give understanding for the present. Pick one of these three and let everyone ask God for a word for another person pertaining to either their past, present or future. Example: "God, what moved Your heart about the childhood of person xyz?" or "God, is there anything You want to tell this person about their current situation/circumstances?"
  • Unknown Person – Often we are tempted to prophesy out of what we know and see. Especially among friends, prophesying can be a tough thing because we already know them so well. This exercise is meant to avoid this pitfall and to help us get comfortable in using the prophetic without knowing the person.
    • Method 1 – The leader will secretly assign one person in the group as the target for prophetic ministry. However, the leader won't tell anyone who he or she picked. Then the group begins to prophesy over person xyz not knowing who they are actually ministering to. Only at the end the leader will reveal who was chosen. However, often the assigned person will have already realized by that point that they were prophesying over him or her.
    • Method 2 – This is just another method for the last exercise: In an even-numbered group let everyone draw a lot with a number that they will keep a secret. This will be their number. Then collect the lots and let everyone draw another number. This will be the number they will prophesy over. (Repeat if someone drew their own number.) Now everyone has time to ask God for a prophecy for the second number they drew. When sharing, let one after another say first the number and then give the prophecy (without the addressed number revealing that it's them). Only when everyone finished, let people reveal which number they were and how accurate the prophetic word was they received.

Advanced Activation Exercises – Growing In The Prophetic

  • This collection contains exercises that are best done with a group that has already had some experience in the prophetic as these exercises combine aspects of the basic and intermediate activations. They tend to be much closer to prophetic ministry as it may occur in a group or even congregational context and will empower us to flow with others in corporate settings.
  • Building on Prophecies / Team Ministry – The previous exercises were primarily done in groups of 2. However, you can open them up for team ministry. Out of the group of two, the partner publicly gives a prophetic word for the other person. After that, it will be open for everyone to build on that specific word by adding meaning, depth, interpretation, application and so on. This will help grow in ministering prophetically as a team to one person.
  • Receiving Corporate Words – Instead of ministering to individuals, this activation is about speaking to an entire group. This can also include that the word is addressed to individuals within the group but is primarily focused on the group as a whole. It's similar to when a pastor gives a word of knowledge from the front and then invites people to come up for prayer. Here the prophetic word can be instructions to pray for a certain person in the group (or anything else), a certain corporate word of wisdom regarding the group, or even a specific word addressed to a person within the group (even when it's not clear yet who it is). This exercise is designed to help us make the step from ministering to individuals to ministering to a group or entire congregation.
  • Prophetic Prayer – Form groups of two (at best people who don't know each other so well). One person is praying the other is receiving. The praying person gets silent and listens to what God is saying. Then, without the other person having said anything, you just pray what you feel God is showing to you over the other person. Take time to focus again, be silent and hear again during the time of prayer. It's ok if there is silence for some time. Do this for 5 minutes, then switch. This is less about prophesying than about growing in prophetic intercession (= praying what God tells us to pray), which will enable us to pray over others more powerfully.
  • Focus on “How” - Deliver a prophetic word and watch the way you deliver it, try to do it as integratively as possible (voice, face expressions, gestures and so on). The purpose of this exercise is increasing coherence of what we say and how we say it, thus making it easier for people to receive our prophecy and decreasing doubt and distraction. We don't only want to deliver a message, but also the heart of God (feelings, hope, mercy, love, …) that He carries towards this person.
  • Free Prophetic Ministry to Volunteers – You are going to prophesy as a team of 3 or 4. Previously, find people outside of your group and ask them if they would volunteer for your group for 10 minutes and in return receive a blessing. As a team minister prophetically to the volunteer for 10 minutes, while all the volunteer has to do is sit and listen. Place specific emphasis on flowing together as a team and building on each others' prophecy as long as the Spirit speaks. Pray before the session and after it. Give the volunteer the ability to give feedback and ask questions if necessary.
    • For reasons of memory, ease, later testing and accountability it is recommended to have one person in your group write down the main points and hand it to the volunteer at the end. Even better is to record the whole session and send the audio file to them.
    • It needs good preparation and empathy as you begin to minister to people who perhaps have never experienced prophetic ministry before. Shortly explain what you are going to do and the biblical foundation for it. Reduce prejudices and make them feel comfortable.
    • Please review the basic principles and values for prophetic ministry before you take steps outside of the safe boundaries of your practice group.

26 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for posting this information. I really appreciate it. Continue to share the gospel.

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  2. That is great revelation on to activate your prophetic giftings, now I have gotten some knowledge and can prophesy in capital letters, may God bless you and the ministry and more revelation in Jesus name

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  3. This is a wonderful resource! Thank you for the teaching in the previous article and then sharing how to practice the prophetic in a small group setting. I'm going to lead some prophetic activation activities with my small group!

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    1. That's awesome! Glad to hear you're starting your own group! Many blessings when you come together to hear His voice!

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  4. This sound like some kind of occult party game. I doubt that it`s God you are hearing from.

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    1. I don't believe in a God who gives me stones when I ask Him for bread.
      And I also don't believe that the devil beats God in His capability or willingness to talk to me.

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    2. I agree with you that God is good, he gives is good gifts and wants our attention. Put I don't think you can use it as a blanket statement to engage in whatever spiritual activity that you choose, and claim that it's from God.

      I have a really hard time reading this article and see that you are seeking to talk to God, you want to "activate" and "improve" the prophetic ability in yourself. Asking God to reveal what "color" other people are, the speak "prophetic" over a secret person. This really resembles New Age or occult seances.

      I belive that God gives us his gifts as he se fit, to equip us for service and to strengthen us. And I think that you can pray to receive gifts that you want, but also that you have to accept a no. Coming together like this to "activate" a gift, and to learn techniques on how to enable a gift, thats really risky business. It would be ridiculous to form groups to practice and activate speaking in tongues, and this is equally ... strange.

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    3. The exercises here in this article are nothing else but asking God questions and expecting Him to answer. This is a fundamental principle of biblical Christian living, prayer, and any relationship in general.

      Again, the issue boils down to whether or not you believe that God lets His children find the devil when they seek Him.

      John 10 paints a very clear picture of God's eagerness to speak to His sheep and to lead them well, and of the sheep's ability to discern God's voice from the enemy's.

      "But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers. ... My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (Joh 10:2-3,27)

      To your other points:

      1) In 1 Cor 14:1, Paul exhorts everyone(!) to seek after the spiritual gifts "but especially that you may prophesy". I'm not going to disobey.

      2) Saying that there's no need to grow in your God-given gift is like saying God gave you a mouth but you never need to learn to talk.

      3) You may find it weird to have groups of people who grow together in the prophetic, but we already find prophetic communities in Samuel's days in the Old Testament (see for instance 1 Sam 19:1–24).

      "Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances." (2 Thess 5:19-20)

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    4. Thank you so much for your answer!

      I think that growing in your God-given gift is learning to trust God on when and how to use it. To recognise the voice of the Spirit whenever he wants you to use your gift. I don't oppose that there is a need to grow.

      Now if I asked my friend to put a secret object in a box, and I asked God for prophetic revelation so that I would know what was in that box; do you think God would answer that? Why / Why not?

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    5. "To recognise the voice of the Spirit whenever he wants you to use your gift", exactly that's what those exercises are for. To grow in confidence that God actually talks to us and to learn to discern His voice. Again, exercise might sound unspiritual, yet as outlined in my article, Hebr 5:14 shows that your discernment grows "through practice".

      Paul's urging everyone to pursue the prophetic in 1 Cor 14:1 underlines that God wants to speak more than we expect. If that weren't the case, Paul wouldn't have urged them to tune in more.

      And though I do agree that not everyone has a noticeable prophetic gifting, I believe that every born-again believer has the ability to hear God's voice. Joel 2:28-29 also underlines that the pouring out of His Spirit on all flesh (beginning with Acts 2) will result in a widespread increase particularly of the prophetic in contrast to the more singular giftedness we find in the Old Testament prophets. As you said, there are times when God doesn't answer. I agree with that, and in the groups that I host I always say that everyone is free to pass when they don't get anything (because we want the real deal and not some fleshly stuff that's made up by yourself). But biblically (see verses above) and even from my personal experience (and that of countless others) that's an exception (though some Christian circles prefer picturing God as the God who's mostly silent, a notion with which I heavily disagree).

      Regarding the exercise that you brought up: See, you won't find an exercise like you described in my list above. It's because I don't believe in self-exalting exercises that focus on showing everyone how awesome my gifting is. The exercise you made up seems to have this primary benefits of showing everyone how accurately I can prophesy, rather than being Christ exalting and serving others by hearing what God thinks and feels about them. Spiritual gifts exist to build up others, not to make yourself great. The prophetic exists to share the heart of God (that's why the end goal in those exercises isn't "colors" but His thoughts, plans, and purposes - see Step 2 of that particular exercise above).

      The groups and group exercises I outline here always focus on serving one another and building one another up, on growing in discerning God's voice together, and on growing in confidence and in the experience that God really listens when I speak and that He really responds when I ask.

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    6. I really appreciate that you spend your time answering this, even though my approach is a bit harsh. I know that the Bible speaks of pursuing the prophetic gift, but it doesn't give clear instructions on how to do that. So it's a bit of a puzzle. We can also see that we cannot learn the gifts but we receive the gifts that the Holy Spirit wants to give us. 1 Cor. 12:11:"All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills."

      I think that the prophetic gift is something that calls for a lot of discernment because it's double dangerous, there is a really clear danger of manipulating other people as you claim to speak om behalf og God and you can be so anxious to hear from God that it becomes more important than the Bible.

      I have read, and re-read your article and answers, and I see that we won't agree on this. I still think what you are outlining is spiritual "games" that isn't very different from my example. I would never engage in such activities even though I believe in all the gifts mentioned in the Bible. But I have a better understanding of how you are thinking.

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    7. Thank you for reading the article and taking the time to respond as well.

      Yes, the prophetic, just like any other thing on earth, poses certain risks. That's why we have rules to compensate those risks as best as we can.

      What I have to say is that I come from a Christian background where people don't believe in the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit. I'm probably more careful in that area than the usual charismatic Christian you might come across.

      I also wrote an article in which I outline a few of the do's and don'ts of the prophetic. See here: https://yearningheartsjourney.blogspot.de/2011/05/introduction-prophetic-ministry.html and https://yearningheartsjourney.blogspot.de/2013/10/practical-tips-for-prophetic-ministry.html

      What I don't like is when people over-mystify the spiritual gifts to a point where they become so esoteric that people can neither relate nor will ever pursue them. They often make it seem something so ungraspable, that consequently no one ever actually obeys 1 Cor 14:1 and pursues it. What I want readers to take away from my articles is that hearing God's voice isn't something reserved for a small spiritual elite (Rom 8:14) and instead help them to take the first baby steps to grow in it. Whether or not someone actually does take them is up to the individual.

      Concerning the testing of prophetic words: The primary person testing a prophetic word isn't the one giving it to another but the one receiving it (1 Tim 5:20-21). Paul commands people to test every word, which is everyone's responsibility. But I often feel like the lack of biblically sound teaching and the experience of the prophetic in many churches leaves people immature in how they treat a prophetic word. If you don't know how the prophetic works and if you haven't experienced it in a church setting where people are mature, you're most likely to take any prophetic word as God's word, which will hurt you in the long run. In my other articles I also underline the importance to not claim infallibility for yourself by not using "Thus says the Lord" when you share an impression you have for someone else.

      I hope that those things show that I have put significant thought into how the prophetic can be implemented in a mature, safe, and biblically sound way. You personally might not agree with everything or most of it even, but I can assure you that I am very careful in how I do things and very eager to please the Lord in all things (2 Cor 5:9).

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    8. In my mostly catholic community in Czech republic, these exercises work very well for us. We are all mostly begginers with prophesying and hearing God's voice.

      Our desire is to be able to bring His words into real life situations and evangelization.
      In these exercises, we form small groups of trusted people, ask God for prophetic words or images (colors, animals, anything) and explanation. If we feel we've recieved something from the Lord, we say it and the person and the rest of the group may discern and confirm it. (Often the Lord gives similar words or image to more than 1 person.) This way we learn to discern His voice and thoughts from ours. By exercising. It's amazing and there's no need to fear. And God is really doing amazing things, I have many testimonies. He's a faithfull and a loving Father.

      I don't see anything wrong with this. It seems much better to me than getting out on the street and speaking words that might be anything to random people immediately after you receive the Gift of prophecy.

      Jan, 23

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    9. Hey Jan, that's so beautiful and encouraging to hear. Makes me happy to hear you guys are doing it in Czech Republic! Many blessings from your national neighbor - a German. :)

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  5. Will definitely be using these exercises in a workshop. I also honour both John-Olav and Benjamin for a respectful and helpful discussion. Like Benjamin I come from a background where the Spirit was barely talked about let alone the prophetic gifting. However, unlike John-Olav, I'm ashamed to say I was disrespectful and much more harsh in my discussions with others like Benjamin. And now I'm completely in agreement with Benjamin and training others to hear the voice of God.

    The verse that hurts my heart and the reason why I will always help others to hear the voice of God for themselves is 'Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before.' 1 Sam 3:7

    Thanks for some great exercises for this particular muscle, Benjamin.

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    1. Thank you very much for your encouraging feedback, Louise. 1 Sam 3:7 is a very interesting Scripture, the (intimate) knowing of God connected with the hearing of His voice. I like that, and will probably add that to my future teachings!

      Many blessing to your ministry of training others to hear and commune with Him.

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  6. Hi, my name is Richard and I would like to share my story in hopes of finding some new groups to expand and share my new gift.
    Here's my story.
    For the last several years, I have felt a tremendous burden to shut down all my activity within the Fake Church and to seek Him concerning His sight for the following years. My main request before God every day has simply been, “To receive a prophetic voice and how can I help prepare for the coming of the Lord." By God’s grace and through personal prayers. He has always answered me clearly through the dreams, visions, and now finally encounters with The Spirit and that first time is very shocking to your conciseness.

    In May, 2017 I had a visitation from the Spirit in the night in which he woke me by pulling my foot right out of the bed and holding it out in midair. I sat up and saw a cloud with a male face in the center and a thin stem of cloud holding my foot in midair. I could feel tingling around my ankle where it was being held. I then looked back to the face and said... now that's funny. The face said to me (without speaking) to go back to sleep and all would be revealed to me. The next morning I woke and was shaken to my sole and scared out of my whits.

    When the Spirit first came to me I denied this for several days not even saying my prayers at night I was afraid to go to bed ( not praying also had me very concerned ). On the forth night I felt I could be brave enuf to face what ever this was. I said my prayers and laying down still afraid and after several minutes I said Ok, lm ready to face you again Spirit too know your per pus of your visit. I felt like I had just fallen asleep when I felt that tingling sensation on my foot. I sat up and only saw a shadow by my bed and he said without speaking. Very clearly told me in my head to continue my research into Gods true word and that the Lord was going to prepare me for a very special job later. I was also instructed too consecrate myself for when His word would come to me. I awoke the next morning and felt I was awake looking around the room but was unable to move. But then I started to feel weightless and felt the presence of the Spirit filling my mind and body with an overwhelming feeling of joy, love and peace happy, happy to be alive and then I cried my eyes out.

    As I responded in obedience, I need to get re-baptized and I can't find a Church that will accept me after I share my story. know where to go due to my feelings and concerns regarding the fake church. I began receive several significant prophetic dreams concerning the Fake Church, Baptism, the Roman Catholic Church and the year 2017 and beyond. Each time that I awakened, I sensed the deep abiding presence of the Spirit and began having further fellowship and conversation with this Spirit, asking for greater clarity and wisdom. I sensed a release from the period of consecration and also permission to share what I have received from the Spirit. Amen

    So here I am with a new gift and no Church no one to share this with and am hoping to connect through this site.

    I'm originally from Owatonna Minnesota and just recently moved to Boone Iowa. I have only one other Prophetic friend I left in Owatonna and we are looking for more people close to our current locations.

    Help please, Richard

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    1. Hi Richard! That's quite a story. Thank you for sharing! It's not always the case that we find already existing communities that share our desire and openness for the prophetic gifts. Sometimes we have to create them ourselves by training His children to hear His voice ourselves. Be prepared to do that.

      A few more thoughts that came to me when I read your comment:

      Train yourself to use the prophetic, not to see the dirt, but to find the treasure in the rubble. No spiritual gift is needed to see darkness in a fallen world, but to see God in it. When you hear for other people, ministries, churches, let this be your focus and then proclaim the treasure He shows you. Don't forget: The primary purpose of the prophetic is "edification and exhortation and consolation" (1 Cor 14:3). From a serving posture it will also be much easier to find people and churches that are supportive of your gift.

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  7. I fully support the gifts of the Spirit. I struggle with these “activations”. Please reference scripture that supports sitting in a circle, drawing numbers and prophesying like you are at a psychic reading show. I don’t mean to sound rude or cynical, but we should be able to challenge what goes on as believers by discernment and referring to The Word. I am ok with the teaching of learning to listen and that The Holy Spirit can speak in numerous ways using your senses....I see no support of these “activation” exercises however and it appears as foolishness in church. If you tell someone to prophesy, they will be compelled to...but is it from God or from their own mind. I’ve watch for many years, people fall out in the spirit due to peer pressure… If you put two people across from each other and tell them to ask God what kind of fruit the other person is and why, they will say something, and it doesn’t mean it’s prophetic .

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    1. Hey Jerry! Thank you very much for reading this article and taking the time to respond to it. I'd kindly ask you to read my exchange with John-Olav Hoddevik in the comments above where I cover many of the aspects raised by you.

      Like you said, one of the biggest struggles for Christians in hearing God's voice is figuring out whether it's truly from God or just their own ideas. The Bible is clear that discernment grows through exercise (Hebr 5:14). As long as we don't provide His Body with specific steps, we're not equipping it to grow in discernment. Expecting the Church to mystically grow in discernment doesn't practically help anyone. I'm not saying that these exercises are the non-plus-ultra, nor am I saying these are the only ways. But I'm at least handing out practical tools believers can use to learn to hear His voice. I'm open for your suggestions, though, if you have better ways.

      Second thing, I mentioned it before in the comments: In the "hearing groups" that I host, I tell the participants repeatedly that they are free to pass if they didn't get anything. With that freedom there is not pressure to perform, and in all those years I have hosted those groups no one ever complained about it either. Still, I'm highly convinced that God talks much more and more readily than most of us believe. We have too many people in the Church who paint the picture of a mostly-silent God where it's the exception when He actually gets in contact with human beings. This to me clearly contradicts the picture Jesus paints in John 10.

      Thanks again for reading and responding. I hope I could shed some light on some of the things that I might not have stated clearly enough within the article itself.

      Many blessings!

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  8. Hi Benjamin,

    This is a really interesting and well researched article - thank you!

    I've been functioning in the prophetic/ word of knowledge etc for 40 years and still find these exercises hard to come to terms with. But that might be because I'm getting on a bit!

    I've seen these activation exercises, and have tried using them myself once or twice.

    These are my concerns. These exercises can PRESUME on God. They operate on the basis of ... 'asking God questions and expecting Him to answer.'

    To me, this is presumptuous – we’re telling God what he's got to talk about. What if he wants to say something else - after all, we're not his equals, He is Lord. Do these exercises give room for the Spirit to say exactly what He wants?

    For instance, God may want to say: 'Repent', or 'Forgive your brother'... and sometimes, God remains silent, or hides his face. It can give people a false impression to think that God WILL speak to their tune, even if they have undealt with sin, unforgiveness and other issues. God isn't a machine.

    I attended one of these sessions once. The leader showed me a stone, and said: 'What's God saying through this?' I said: 'To me, nothing. He MIGHT say that I'm a living stone ... or that he will turn my stones in to bread ... but that's presumption - and not his Rhema.’

    I also think 2 Peter‬ ‭1:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬ is significant: ‘For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.’

    Words produced during activation exercises can be produced by the will of man. And remember, the thing that separates the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit from the occult is: the Spirit ALWAYS takes the initiative. If we produce it, or initiate it, it’s not of God.

    My other thought is: why try to improve the bible’s training methods – eg, Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy, Moses and Jethro? I’ve never had any prophetic training of the kind you suggest … but I was fortunate enough to learn under a very gifted prophet for 30 years. He didn’t teach me – he just told me to ‘stand with him under the anointing’ and ‘catch it’. That’s what happened.

    This was better than any exercise, I promise. And that’s what we should be doing today. It’s ‘real’, not an exercise, and entirely biblical.

    I’m really keen to learn from you, Benjamin, as I might just be a bit ‘old school’! So I’d really appreciate your thoughts.


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    1. Hey and thank you very much for your long response and for reading them. I'm glad to hear that you found a way that works for you. And if you walk in the prophetic without needing those exercises, that's perfect. I affectionately call these exercises "walking aid" in this article. They are not the mature deal but help to get us started and grow in the prophetic. They are not needed.

      Now, many of your questions and comments I have already answered in previous comments down here but I still want to take time to comment on a few points that you made:

      You say that "words produced during activation exercises can be produced by the will of man". This is true for any word given in any setting for any reason. The flesh can show up anywhere. Exercises aren't exempt from that and it might just as well happen in any other situation where a prophetic (or so-called prophetic) word is given.

      The benefit of exercise groups is that 1) you're immediately exposed to an entire group of people who will "mercilessly" test your word, 2) it's not a place to shine or show off your prophetic gifting as following the boundaries of exercises teaches you in humility, 3) if something goes wrong, you have people around who can intervene and help out. It's a safer place than just jumping into it.

      Exercises don't alter the biblical model for growing in one's gifting. This is true, first, because I already outlined that we find prophetic schools in the bible. Secondly, because the Bible itself says that you grow in discernment through exercise. And thirdly because we would never question someone practicing on their music instrument to grow in it but for some reason completely discard this process for giftings that we categorize as purely supernatural. It's a double-standard to me that again is already ruled out with the fact that according to the Bible, discernment grows through exercise (Heb 5:14).

      How is "asking God questions and expecting Him to answer" presumptuous? If I knew that you are an expert in a field, would it be "presumptuous" of me to ask you a question about it? Would it mean I treat you as a machine? Giving an answer when someone asks you a question is basic decency. And if someone responds with silence when we ask a question, we usually think of this person as mean and unfriendly. Why again this double-standard with God?

      It's exactly BECAUSE we treat God as an undependable system, rather than a real person, that we think of Him as mostly unapproachable, unavailable, and unresponding. If we treated God like a real person instead, it would be natural to assume that He responds when we talk to Him. It's called having a conversation with a dependable partner.

      If His thoughts about me are really as numerous as the sand on the shore, then He always has something to say, He never runs out of things to tell me. He might not want to talk about certain subjects (I pointed that out above already), but if He doesn't want to talk about it, He will tell me. If He doesn't want to give me an answer to a certain question, He will tell me.

      I wholeheartedly disagree with this very popular contemporary idea of God as an avoidant, mostly silent, rarely speaking God. It's in stark contrast to New Testament theology.

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    2. The "producing prophecy by the will of man" is a misunderstanding of what these exercises are. They are not to produce prophetic words, they are there for us to position us to receive more from Him by tuning in to the God who speaks. (Again, I pointed out above that in the groups that I lead, there's always the freedom to pass, to not say or have anything. No one ever feels pressured to perform or make something happen!) It's just like prayer. We know that God does more when His people pray (Mt 7:7), but we don't look at it as "answered prayers being produced by the will of man". We are not making it happen, we are positioning ourselves to receive more from Him.

      Lastly, it's really nice that you had a very gifted prophet around you under which you could learn and grow. But many don't have this privilege. Still I'm a fervent believer in the fact that the prophetic is available to every born-again Christian (in varying degrees depending on calling). These exercises can be done by anyone. Through them, I have received some of the most important words from the Lord from Christians who had never given a prophetic word before, some of them didn't even believe in it.

      I'm passionate about teaching and equipping His body with practical tools to grow in hearing His voice and ministering to others with it. As long as no one can hand out very practical and specific tools that can be used by His church, these exercises are here to stay. Blanket statements like "just stand under the anointing" or "just catch it" don't help people grow who have never experienced the prophetic and don't have people around them to teach them. Other people above mentioned that there is some growing in the prophetic, but again they don't (or cannot) point out any helpful, practical piece of advice that can actually be used to facilitate one's gifting.

      I have yet to find a person who disagrees with these exercises and manages to hand out practical/biblical tools that are at least equally specific as these mentioned here. I'm willing to listen and to grow my list of tools to hand out to His Body.

      Anyway, hope those things help and shed some light on some possible disagreements and misunderstandings.

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  9. Thanks Benjamin, I deeply appreciate your time and thoughtfulness. I'm not disagreeing, just trying to learn.

    You're right, blanket statements like "just stand under the anointing" or "just catch it" don;t teach anything ... but DOING those things is powerful and effective and for me, stays closer to scripture.

    I guess discipleship can take many forms. But I prefer to stay very close to scripture, as the supernatural is such a deceptive area. I spent many years in the occult before I became a Christian, and I tend to spot wrong spirits very quickly.

    Also, I think the training for the office of prophet is different from people using the spiritual gift of prophesy.

    God miraculously provided me with an 'Elijah' because I was desperately hungry ... He will do the same for anyone who genuinely wants to grow in any gifting, if they're prepared to pay the price ... for me, that meant changing church, selling my house, giving up my ministry.

    OK, I accept the challenge, here are some tools you can use - they're not quick-and-easy, but they work ...

    1. Pray and hunger and search for a mentor ... ie, someone who's further on than you.

    2. Spend time alone, every day, having fellowship with the Holy Spirit ... become his friend, his partner learn to recognise his voice and how he speaks.

    3. Do the same with your mentor and like-minded friends ... spend time with the Spirit, worship God ... then the Spirit will start to move and bring the words, pictures etc that he wants to bring ... let the mentor guide and teach but allow the Spirit to lead, not the mentor. He WILL lead you into all truth, and it will be nothing like you expect.

    4. Spend at least 30mins a day speaking in tongues.

    5. Keep earnestly desiring the gift of prophecy and other gifts.

    Not quite as 'packaged', but it works.

    Bless you for your patience, I've learned stuff tonight and I am truly grateful.

    If you're in the UK any time, look me up - then we'll go on an unplanned Spirit-led journey together!



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    1. Hey again, and thank you again for getting back to me in detail. Thank you also for taking on the challenge of coming up with specific practices that help us grow in the prophetic.

      I think they are good and helpful, and I personally would advice people to do something along those lines as well if they desire to hear God more.

      And yet again, they only indirectly contribute to growing and cultivating prophetic giftings and that again would be my point of criticism.

      Within the 5-fold ministry according to Eph 4:11, we would have very specific steps for each of the different ministries. Want to become a better teacher? Here's a book on how to better package your thoughts and create outlines that people will get. Want to become a better evangelist? Watch this teaching on how to share the gospel more effectively by being relevant to people's needs and aware of cultural differences. Want to become a better apostle? Here's a book on church planting, how to train and raise up young leaders, and how effective church leadership looks like. Etc., etc., etc.

      But for some reason, we get very mysterious when it comes to the prophetic ministry, recommending primarily indirect ways that somehow down the road promise a deeper sensitivity to His Spirit. I really desire to remove this esoteric otherness that many parts of the Church place on the prophetic, when it's really just hearing God's voice which should be common ground within the NT community (Joel 2:28; Acts 2; John 10). Why make it mysterious and ungraspable if it's really just being in relationship with Him, asking Him questions, telling other people what He thinks and feels about them? In its most basic form, it's really just that.

      As long as we isolate the prophetic from an authentic relationship with a real Person, we end up not really helping the average church goer embrace it as part of the mundaneness of their life.

      Another thing I disagree with is an attitude of fear about the supernatural. Specifically fear of deception when I reach out for God. I often hear people scare other people away from the spiritual gifts by making it sound as if its the best place for the devil to get you.

      I don't see a strong biblical warrant for this idea. Unlike in many teachings, we find surprisingly little thought being invested in the Bible in the idea that as a born-again, God-fearing believer you would need to be afraid of enemy activity as you desire to walk in your calling and grow in your giftings.

      What we do find, though, is Jesus exhorting us to stand in confidence in the Father who won't give us stones when we ask Him for bread (Mt 7:9-11). Moreover, in the same chapter where Jesus makes clear that His sheep hear His voice (John 10:27), He also clearly say that "A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers." (John 10:5).

      In the end, how we think about the prophetic comes down to how we think about God.

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