Last week I wrote about parenting prophetic children looking at the likely characteristics they will display whilst a child and how to recognise if your child may have a prophetic gifting. This week I am addressing the issue of how to parent these children so that the prophetic gifting is encouraged and grown within them and also so that their ‘spirit’ is not broken.
The following practical parenting tips have been compiled from our own experience of parenting prophetic children and also with gleaning insights from parents of grown children who have evident prophetic giftings. I love learning from people who have walked the road before me!
Practical Parenting Tips:
Protect their innocence.
- Don’t let them watch movies that have demons, witches, warlocks etc in them. I want my children to have images in their mind that God has given them of Him, angels etc not what some movie maker has created. Certain movies and television shows can also open the door to a spirit of fear.
- Also, be careful what they read. ‘Feed’ them great books that will ‘feed’ their appetite for the things of God.
Recognize that there is no junior Holy Spirit.
- They have the same access to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit that we have. However they usually do not have the character or the emotional maturity to process and understand things the same.
Teach your child the Bible and who they are in Christ
- Teach them their identity and their authority in Christ and what to do during a spiritual attack to rebuke the demonic.
- My children know and use the Bible verse Isaiah 43:1 “Don’t be afraid. I have rescued you. I have called you by name. Now you belong to me.” They will verbalise this during times of fear. One of our children asked for this to be printed out and stuck above their bed and then recited this every night before going to sleep during an intense time of attack several years ago.
- They know to use the name of Jesus and to tell the demonic to go in Jesus’ name. They know to ask Jesus to come and show Himself to them and for the Holy Spirit to show them where their protective angels are at that moment.
- Another great Bible verse is 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and a sound mind.” I love praying over them and reminding them of their identity in Christ and how heaven sees them and what Father God thinks of them.
Listen to your child.
- Take them seriously. If they are ‘seeing’ things at night, listen to them and teach them how to manage the situation. Home needs to be a ‘safe’ place. Ask them to explain to you how they are feeling and what is happening for them. I acknowledge that my child has seen something demonic and I say to the demon to get away in the name of Jesus Christ but then I focus my child on to Jesus. I get my child to ask Father God, Jesus or Holy Spirit to come and show my child where they are in the room. Father God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is so good and will always come, whether in their room or, at times, by stationing angels on the roof to guard over us, usually one angel for each family member. This greatly comforts my child. I will also ask my child to ask Jesus what else He wants to show, tell or give to my child at that particular moment. I never dismiss or down-play my child’s fears and safety concerns.
- Empower your child to be able to deal with the negatives themselves but be there to support them emotionally.
Teach your children about the spiritual realm.
- Talk naturally about God, angels, demons, and the second and third heavens.
Pray for them and protect them spiritually, especially during times of ministry.
- That is, when you are involved in ministry and also when they are involved in times of ministry.
- Have your prayer partners pray for them as well.
- ‘Brush off’ anything not of God after a ministry time. Several years ago, one of our children was involved in praying for healing for people during the church service. This child was involved in praying for over 100 people. Afterwards, that child felt physically sick and had a bad headache. Despite all my nursing measures, medications (panadol and nurofen) and lots of prayer, nothing changed. 24 hours later, I suddenly realised that we had not prayed off any negative effects of that healing time. So I physically brushed off with my hands as I prayed that everything negative that had remained on that child from that time would be brushed off and gone in Jesus name. Immediately, and I mean, immediately, that child stated that they no longer felt nauseaus and sick and they got out of bed and resumed normal daily life. Our family now makes this a physical and spiritual practice that we do after every ministry session we are involved with.
- We also share with our children the answers to prayer and the outcome of ministry times. A leader once shared with me how when she was a child, she noticed that when her parents were out ministering to others, she was often spiritually attacked. Her parents also never shared the great outcomes and highlights of the ministry times, so she was left with negative impressions of ministry.
Encourage them to live a prophetic lifestyle.
- Go after intimacy with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.
- Read Bible stories to them as well as stories of heroes and heroines of the Christian faith.
- Encourage them to journal and have a daily time of reading the Bible.
- Prayer ministry at different times, suitable to your child’s age can be beneficial so that issues don’t become big. We have taken both our children, aged 11 and 8 at the time, for a Sozo prayer ministry session and both children loved it. We took them not because there were any huge issues but just recognizing that we are not perfect parents and that everyone has issues at some point in time and we wanted them to have as few as possible. Hubby and I both have a Sozo every year and view it like a car’s service, essential to keep running smoothly and address issues before they become huge. Both children loved it and wanted to go again. We also noticed afterwards that one child became more courageous and was willing to try things more eagerly than the reticence we had noticed beforehand.
- Pray with your children, not just for your children. Listen to their prayers. Encourage them to pray and pray prophetically. Share answers to prayer with them.
Watch for any personality changes.
- Prophetic children can easily take on the spiritual atmosphere of the environment they are in and act it out. Help them understand how to recognize this and what to do with how they are feeling and what they are seeing. Help them to communicate it verbally and then help them, or you on their behalf, pray about that demonic spirit that has manifested. I now love that one of my children is a ‘spiritual barometer’ and their behaviour highlights to me important spiritual things to pray about and how to deal with them during intense times of focused prayer.
- Be very wary of imaginary friends or ‘spirit guides’. The demonic may be masquerading as a ‘friend’ or they may be simply playing a pretend game. Ask your children what their ‘friend’ is telling them to do.
Use wisdom in your discipline.
- You don’t want to break their spirit. You do want to correct any behaviour, though, that is not appropriate.
- Ask lots of questions about what they have said and done. Try to get a fuller picture of how they were feeling, what they actually did, what actually occurred from their perspective.
Cultivate the gift.
- Encourage times of ‘soaking’ – putting on christian or reflective music and just being quiet before God and asking God what He wants to show, tell or give me during that time. One of my children plays with Lego whilst soaking, the other used to but now just sits and writes, draws or scribbles.
- I get both my children to draw prophetic pictures for people. I give them a blank piece of paper with a person’s name on the top left hand corner and the date on the top right hand corner. I encourage them to ask God for a picture, sentence etc for that person. I encourage them to capture the first thought that comes through their mind and draw that. My children find it is easier to draw a prophetic picture for someone they don’t know as against someone they do.
Encourage them to connect with creation / nature.
- This can help ground them and also sow the seed of the contemplation / seer gifting.
Encourage them to try out different prophetic expressions
- Encourage their creativity. Encourage them to try prophetic art, dance, worship, speaking
Remember they are still a child
- They need to enjoy life and not be ‘pushed’ in their gifting.
Teach them healthy boundaries for expressing themselves appropriately.
Help them develop their inner sense of truth
- Teach them Christian values and Godly character.
- They need to know why those values exist and why they are so important. They need to learn to forgive quickly.
Don’t jump in and try and ‘save’ them from negative experiences.
- Part of their training is that they need to experience pain and rejection so please don’t quell God’s work in their life. God will be preparing them for the call on their life.
- Please do not leave their spiritual upbringing and the responsibility of that to the church. The church’s role is to complement your training and discipling of your child. Their christian discipleship is your role and responsibility. Help them grow in the things of the Spirit.
Love is more important.
- 1 Corinthians 13:2 “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing”. Mo matter what else, love is far more important than anyone’s ability or giftings. It all comes back to your child’s character and helping them develop in that area.
- Deliberately put them in situations where they will be tested in this area and have to grow and learn.
- Watch your character as your children learn more from watching you than what you say and will copy your actions.