Here’s just a few exercises that I’ve come across for growing in the gifts.
1. Look at Jesus – Practices the prophetic gifts (words of wisdom and words of knowledge), the seer/visionary gift, and discerning God’s voice
This one comes from the previously mentioned How to Hear God’s Voice book by Mark Virkler, with my adaptation. First, plead the blood of Jesus over your mind, thoughts and imagination; bind any spirits that would interrupt, distract, or hinder your time with the Lord. Get in front of your computer or use a pen and paper (if you want to go old school). Then picture yourself sitting with Jesus. Mark suggests using a Gospel setting for the imagery, my recommendation is that you can start with that and slowly adapt to picturing Him where you are. Remember the reality is that Christ is always with us (Matthew 28:20) so picturing this is actually activating our faith in the Truth. Then ask Holy Spirit to breath on what you are picturing and journal your conversation with the Lord. After you’ve written it all down, be sure to take the conversation to either a spiritual adviser or ask the Lord to confirm it with His word.
2. Prophecy Line – Practices the prophetic gifts (words of wisdom & words of knowledge)
This exercise requires a minimum of 3 people but is best done with 5 or more. One person faces the wall and an administrator organizes the others in a single-file line behind the prophesying person. The person at the front of the line has 10 seconds to get a word for the person behind him/her before another person moves up to the front of the line (this is monitored by the administrator). Instead of keeping a normal rotation, it’s good to mix up the line frequently. Prophetic words can be for the individual in the front of the line, but a lot of times we’ve found that Holy Spirit reveals who is receiving the prophetic words (which is a fun confirmation). The objective is to remove the analytical side of prophetic words and just use what Holy Spirit gives you. This is essential for moving in the prophetic in public settings, you don’t always have 10 minutes to get the interpretation for the revelation, so you go with what you have and 9 times out of 10 Holy Spirit gives all you need.
3. Small Group Healing – Practices the gift of healing
The gift of healing is pretty simple to practice, you pray for the sick. Kevin Dedmon said, “I used to have see 100% of the people I prayed for getting healed, because I wasn’t praying for anyone.” Remember the prophetic gifts and healing are promises for everyone, while there are those with aptitudes and callings that show particular gifts in these arenas, they are both promised to the body of Christ as a whole! (That means you). The easiest way to learn to pray for the sick is with a group of like-minded friends in a small group or just hanging out. Find some sickness among you, lay your hands on it, and command it to go. It’s that easy. Don’t despise the day of small beginnings, I still celebrate when headaches are healed through my hands… because it’s something I can’t heal on my own and God is choosing to do it through me and that’s worth celebration! I didn’t actually start praying for the sick this way, I joined a healing team and was visiting malls and hospitals on my own praying for the sick regularly. One thing that helps to stay encouraged is to read testimonies and record all the ones you see (until they start multiplying beyond your journaling ability). Bethel, Andrew Womack, Todd White, this blog, Joel2Generation blog, etc. All of these have great testimonies to encourage you. But I digress, back to praying for your friends. Just use simple phrases like “In Jesus name sickness go!” and if you run out of things to say just say the name of Jesus over and over (every knee must bow to His name).
4. Facebook Prophetic – Practices words of wisdom and words of knowledge
While the social networking outlet you choose is irrelevant to how this is done, Facebook has shown to be the best for this sort of arena in my experience. The objective is to join a community of people pursuing the prophetic gifts like yourself, and engage in prophesying over/with them. I have facebook group called Prophetic Practice where people that are interested in the prophetic go and are encouraged to message other members with prophetic words. There are other similar groups as well. Since our group has grown beyond what even someone with the gift of administration can handle (not my top functioning gift), I recommend finding people with the similar interest and starting a group. I used to hold weekly/monthly activities but consistent participation was hard to find. Anyway, all the members of that group are accustomed to prophecy and you can join and give prophetic words to any one of them. If you are new to the gift of prophecy, I encourage you to start by giving your words to an administrator first because they can offer some valuable feedback to your words.
5. Specifics – Practices words of wisdom and words of knowledge
This is simply having fun with the prophetic (who said God had to be boring?!) Get a group of friends, a small group, or online friends that are familiar with the prophetic gifts and ask a series of questions of each other. The following is an example we did with my men’s group:
* What did the person eat for breakfast?
* What is a circumstance the person is currently going through or dealing with?
* What is something the person can expect to see in the next week?
Since we had less than 5 people there we answered these questions for every group member, if you have a larger group… obviously it’s best to pick one person to be the “subject” and everyone else can get the words for that person.
6. Treasure Hunts - Practices the prophetic gifts (words of wisdom and words of knowledge) as well as the gift of healing and the gift of evangelism
This wonderful activity has swept the nation as Christians have become dissatisfied with the monotonous ineffective way-of-life that the traditional American church has been raised in. This began with Kevin Dedmon and you can read more about it in his book Treasure Hunts. So here’s how you do it: get a group of people together if possible (it’s not required, I started doing these on-my-own before I ever practiced this with a group), wait on the Lord for prophetic revelation for clues for who to pray for and where to go, then go out and find the people God points you to!
The way that you can be sure to practice the gift of healing as well, is to ask the Lord for people to pray for that need healing and He will point them out to you. This is the beginning of walking as true witnesses that we were called to be. I wrote another article on how essential this practice is to the growth of the believer/Church as a guest post for The Prophetic Life and you can view that article here.
7. Hospital Run – Practices the gift of healing
Okay so this one is just what it sounds like, go to a hospital and pray for the sick. There are a few things to pay attention to when you go to hospitals. The first is that security doesn’t always like it when you do this. I have never been personally kicked out of a hospital for praying for people, but I do personally know people that have been (you’d be surprised how many hospitals are branded with the name of a denomination of Christianity that disallow praying for the sick). There is a tension between submitting yourselves to authority and going through and obeying the mandate from Christ to pray for the sick. While I have called the clergy at multiple hospitals seeking permission to pray for people there, I have yet to be given that approval. So how do you get in? There are two ways that I (and others) do this.
First, if you can let your pastor or healing team leader know that you want to pray for the sick, oftentimes they will notify you when a congregation member is in the hospital. This gives you the excuse to be at the hospital. When a member is in the hospital, not only should you pray for that individual, but visit as many other people as possible! Just peek your head in and say “Hi, my name is ____ from ____ church, would you mind if I pray for you?”
The other method can be done more often, but it is a bit more risky: simply go up to the hospital/ER and start praying for people. We won’t see the sick healed if we don’t pray for them… and we don’t build our faith on what we never do. Just be aware that people are there for a reason and that Jesus wants to heal every single one of them!
8. Spiritual Reading Booth – Practices words of wisdom and words of knowledge
As seen in Furious Love, this entails setting up a booth or table with a sign Free Spiritual Readings and giving people prophetic words. This creates excellent opportunities for evangelism as well. As the Lord reveals things about people’s lives, call forth the destiny of their calling. Sow promise and prosperity over all that you minister to with the love of Christ. Do not be afraid to use the name of Jesus! However, it’s important to remember when doing this that you are not brow-beating people to Christ. Nor does a prophetic word necessarily require the salvation of an unsaved person you are ministering to (let the Holy Spirit do His work, so that every time that person thinks about the word you give… he/she will be contemplating the reality of Christ).
A word of caution for this one, I do NOT recommend starting off in a New Age or Witchcraft festival like you see Jason Westerfield do. This is a great thing to do for people that are accustomed to walking in the power of God, but especially for people that have experience in battling the demonic. Those settings can be dangerous for someone that has not quite learned to walk in the authority Christ has given them yet… so just pray about it before you determine to do that in an occult atmosphere.
9. The Quickdraw – Practices words of wisdom and words of knowledge
One moderator gets two individuals to be back-to-back, the moderator then counts out 10 paces, after the 10th step the two turn and whoever gives the accurate prophetic word first wins! Obviously the paces can be increased or decreased to permit more time to receive revelation. This exercise removes the “logical” human reasoning from the process, since the immediacy of the prophetic word disallows much contemplation on the revelation. It’s important that the winner must also have a correct interpretation if the revelation is abstract. In other words, you can’t turn around and say “I see you looking in a mirror that’s shattered into a thousand pieces and then it becomes a solid pane” (the only way that word wins is if that is something that has recently happened to the recipient, because it has no interpretation). The interpretation has to come with the abstract revelation. In the example it could be something like, “I feel like the Lord is saying that you see yourself as have a shattered/disconnected life and that the parts don’t seem to make a whole, but He is saying that He is making you whole.”
10. Concentric Rings - Practices words of wisdom and words of knowledge
This one requires at least 6 people. There is an “inner circle” and an “outer circle”. Every person faces another person. Those on the “outer circle” give a prophetic word to the person he/she faces. A moderator allocates a period of time to receive the words and then give them. After the prophetic words are delivered, the circles rotate and new words are given to the new partners.
To mix this one up, the moderator can have the group receive the revelation… and then rotate the circles (this prevents the bias of foreknowledge from interfering with the accuracy of the words). A good starter time limit is a minute. As the group progresses, the time to receive revelation can be decreased as well.