For the past few years I have been in the habit of using December as a time to seek God for a prophetic word for the year ahead – a personal word for my life.
- A word that will have significance for the coming months.
- A word that defines the theme of the next stage of my faith journey.
- A word that will lead me into closer relationship with Jesus.
And it is usually – literally – just one word.
Sometimes the word has come straightaway; sometimes it has taken much longer to discern. But God has always been faithful in providing a word to guide me, strengthen me, and give me hope. After all, Jesus is my Good Shepherd who has promised to lead me by His voice (John 10:27) – a promise that is true for every single follower of Christ.
This year is no different. At the end of a turbulent 2020 I believe that now more than ever we need to be seeking our Heavenly Father for the words that will light the path ahead of us as we face all the uncertainty of the year ahead.
So here are some simple steps that we can follow as we “incline our ears and listen” (Isaiah 55:3) to the One who knows us, loves us, and generously pours out His revelation into our hearts:
1. Create space to listen
We first of all need to create an environment where we can pay attention, and engage with God’s presence and voice. It’s very hard to hear God when we’re busy and distracted, so we need to slow right down and listen from a place of peace and stillness. This won’t happen accidentally; rather it is intentionality that opens up the doors to revelation. So grab a coffee, go for a walk, retreat to a quiet spot – do whatever you need to do to get some precious time alone with God.
Sometimes we forget the simple step of asking God the relevant question. So go ahead and ask Him: “What is Your word of life and transformation for me for 2021?” And then listen for His answer, with faith and expectancy. Remember that God speaks in all sorts of creative ways. It may be through a dream, through a picture that pops into your mind, through a Bible verse, or through a conversation with a friend. But stay alert for the word that He has for you.
3. Weigh it
The Bible makes it clear that we should test and weigh prophecy. So, once you start to have a sense of what God is saying to you, write it down and pray about it. Does it resonate? Does it sound like the voice of Jesus? Have you got a friend or prayer partner that you could share it with to help you discern?
4. Say “Yes” to the word
God doesn’t force prophecies on us; rather He invites us to walk with Him to see the fulfilment He intends. Every word He speaks into our lives is an invitation to transformation. So will you yield? Will you say, “Yes”? Will you fully embrace all that He wants to do in you through this word?
5. Make a plan
An authentic prophetic lifestyle is as much about responding as it is about hearing. So what simple, step-by-step plan do you need to make so that you can respond with obedience to the word throughout the year ahead?
My prayer for all of you reading this post is that you will be able to lean into the heart of our Good Father and hear the particular word of life that He has for you in 2021. Happy New Year!