We are living a time when it is a challenge to be a good parent. Life is so busy and full of pressure just to provide for all the physical needs of the family. As a Christian parent it is an even more challenging, because we know we are preparing the spiritual leaders of tomorrow. Some are called as evangelists, some pastors, some teachers, and some prophets.
In the last thirty years, the church has witnessed a great increase of prophetically gifted people. I believe we are going to see more and more people with this gift coming forth, especially in children and young people. Isaiah 4:4 tells us that God calls a generation from the beginning. God is calling a prophetic generation to rise up – a generation of young men and women that will hear the voice of the Lord and have the boldness to proclaim what they are hearing. I believe the children and youth of today are that generation, and we as parents have a great privilege and responsibility to train them to walk in their calling. Parents, be encouraged to carry out your high calling of training up your children and preparing them to be the prophetic generation.
Look at what God sees. Look at your child and ask God to show you what He sees. God saw Jeremiah as a prophet and appointed him to be such even before he was born. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
What an awesome responsibility that must have been, to be the parents of Jeremiah, a child called to be a prophet to the nations, one who knows and speaks forth God’s Word. Many parents today have the same awesome responsibility Jeremiah’s parents had. However, unlike Biblical times when there were only a few chosen prophets, Christian parents today have the privilege and responsibility of training up a whole generation that has been chosen by God to proclaim His word.
You have probably known a number of prophetically gifted men and women. But I’m sure you would agree that we have not yet seen an entire generation of prophets. As I look back, I realize my mother and father were both prophetically gifted but they did not know it. They were not affirmed in their gifting and did not even understand how to properly use the gift they had. As I grew up I always felt like our family was so different from other families, and so I began to seek out how to be “normal.” I soon realized normal is merely a setting on the dryer, only intended for a machine. God used 1 Peter 2:9 to stop my search for normal - “You are a chosen generation, a peculiar people.” This verse makes it very clear that those who are chosen by God and set apart for a purpose can not be satisfied with normal.
Because understanding of the prophetic has only emerged in the last thirty years, many prophetic people have believed something was wrong with them, causing them to hide their light under a bushel. Now God is calling the light to rise up and shine. “I the Lord hath called thee in righteousness…and given thee for a covenant of the people and a light to the Gentiles.” (Isaiah 42:6). “Who hath wroth and done it, calling the generations from the beginning?”(Isaiah 41:4) I believe God has called today’s prophetic generation from the very beginning, and that this is the generation He has chosen to shine the brightest of all times.
Confirm the gifting
If you are prophetic, you need to pay close attention to your children, because they are probably prophetically gifted as well. Your children need to be confirmed and encouraged in their gifting. Your prophetic child may begin to say things about people and situations that are very accurate and/or begin to show signs of leadership even as a child. As these children mature, they will have the ability to see and hear what is going on behind the scenes around them, have a deep awareness of the presence God, be able to sort out His voice from all other voices, sense when the Holy Spirit is moving in a given situation, and know what God is saying to them through dreams and visions.
Other indications of a prophetic child are creativity, a vivid imagination, a fascination with the world, a desire to explore, express, and create their own ideas. Prophets in the Bible were builders and planters by trade. Prophetic children can have five or six things swirling in their head at the same time.
Prophetic children will get bored easily in traditional teaching settings. They may even be disruptive in class because the creative ideas are running faster than the teacher can teach. This is not an indicator that they need Prozac to focus at school, but is an indicator that they don’t have an outlet for their creativity. A prophetically gifted child will have the ability to capture what is happening in the world around them by painting a picture, writing a poem, or in some creative way expressing what they are seeing. Boys may enjoy woodwork, building forts or castles. These structures will have far more meaning to them than what meets the eye. Girls may be creative in painting, designing, writing, or decorating. Children who are prophetic will need to have an outlet of expression in the home and be taught how to process the creativity so it can be used at the appropriate time. The way they learn to bring their creativity into a focused project and see that project to completion will greatly benefit them as an adult.
Vivid dreams will be another characteristic of the prophetic. Parents need to ask frequently about their children’s dreams. The child needs to have this outlet and needs an understanding of how to interpret their dreams. It is very important to monitor what is allowed into the prophetic child’s spirit. Frequent bad dreams are an indication that spiritually defiling things are being allowed into the child’s eye-gate. A prophetically gifted child will actually go into a video game and get lost in it. If a child is rebelling, a parent needs to take a look at what is being fed into their child’s spirit.
Another aspect of a prophetic child is a strong sensing of danger or awareness that something isn’t quite right. As they get older they may have a strong sense of right and wrong and therefore do not go along with the crowd. This can isolate a young person to only one or two friends. A parent can wrongly conclude that the child isn’t being sociable, when really they are operating out of discernment and choosing not to comply with a negative peer group. A child who has a prophetic gifting may feel like they don’t fit or that there is something wrong with them because they are different than the other kids. A parent who understands the gifting can encourage their child and help them understand that there is nothing wrong with them but rather that there is something right about them, and God has a special purpose for them. This will help keep the child free from the fear of man.
Like Samuel as a child, prophetic children will have an ear to hear the voice of the Lord, but may not realize what they are hearing. Parents need to give their children opportunity to speak forth what they are hearing from the Lord, even if it is just a simple impression.
When a child or youth begins to have an understanding of the prophetic gifting, they can embrace the gift as from God. This truth will dispel the lie that there is something wrong with them and encourage them to seek to have a deeper walk with God.
Denise Boggs is an author, teacher, and Christian Counselor and is the founder of Living Waters Ministry in Statesville, NC. She shares a Daily Devotion called "Path Called Righteousness".