When a Prophetic Ministry Session Goes Wrong

by | Jun 8, 2022 | Prophetic

What do you do when prophetic ministry goes wrong? How do you get your peace back and start again when you feel embarrassed and broken? Are there warning signs you can see beforehand and prepare yourself?

Not long ago, I got invited to a presidential ball. It was a grand event with dignitaries, great food, music, and all the things that go along with an occasion like that. I felt honored to be invited. Sensing the Lord might have had a reason for me being there, I was open and pliable, listening to the Holy Spirit.

Sure enough, a nudge came, and I was obedient. The recipient gave a neutral response and said thank you, but I wasn’t discouraged. After that, things took a nosedive. The night had hardly begun when it started turning into a nightmare. The second prophetic word I delivered was not well received at all.

There were two women in the sitting area talking, and one appeared to be crying. Feeling prompted, I watched from a distance and waited until they were done. Then I went over and said “Hi” to both women. Turning to the woman who appeared to be crying, I said, “The Lord wants me to tell you something.”

To my surprise, the other woman responded with an annoyed voice: “Oh, He does?”

I nodded. The first woman said, “Yes?”

After I gave her the word, she replied, “A lot of what you said was what this woman just told me, and you expanded on it and told me more.” She thanked me and got up and left. I felt relieved that the message was accurate.

Then the Lord told me to speak to the other woman, the one with the attitude. This was not something I really wanted to do. I reluctantly sat down next to her and said, “The Lord wants to tell you something also.” Before I could start, she said, “Hold on a minute,” and proceeded to use her cell phone to reply to texts and answer emails.

At that point, I debated over getting up and leaving but decided to be obedient and wait because that’s what the Holy Spirit was leading me to do. After about five minutes, which seemed more like days, she said, “OK, I am ready now.”

I couldn’t get over her attitude, but I put it aside and asked her if she wanted to record the prophetic word. She asked, “Is it necessary?” I told her most people record the words because I don’t know what I am saying and I usually cannot repeat it. She said, “Oh, hmm OK.”

The whole time I prophesied to her, she glared at me, acting like it was a complete waste of her time. When I finished, she said, “Are you done? I want to give you feedback.”

“Sure,” I responded, feeling a bit taken aback since no one I ever prophesied to has ever offered to give me feedback. I know there is always more to learn, so I am open to it.

“When you give words,” she instructed, “you need to tell more about what’s coming rather than going back through my life from when I was younger because it’s not relevant. I am ‘so over all those things from my past, so you didn’t need to bring those things up. You need to spend more time on the now and the future than going back to the past.”

Stunned and confused by her negative response, I thought it was quite remarkable seeing I hadn’t known anything about her past. Nonetheless, I said “OK,” got up and walked away. It was obvious something had gone wrong and she was not happy about it.

Feeling like an idiot and a failure, I went back into the ballroom angry and annoyed. I no longer wanted to continue prophesying even though the night was still young and there was a room full of people that probably needed God’s loving touch of affirmation. Sure enough, I felt the nudge to speak to another person.”No, God,” I muttered. “I am done.”

The nudge stopped but came back later. The Holy Spirit is kind and gentle, and it was as if He was giving me some space. He must have poked me at least a dozen times, but I kept telling Him, “No more! I am done!” I just felt so angry, with no desire to continue. Sometimes I can be extreme, especially when I am upset.

Don’t expect people to always jump up and down with joy or applaud when you deliver a word from God to them. Being obedient doesn’t necessarily mean the word will be accepted or received. Sometimes it stings them and they will take it out on you.

Prophecies are not all words that give goosebumps but are words that pinpoint hidden issues and strongholds in people’s lives that God wants to heal and set them free of. They show that He sees them in their circumstances, knows their name, and loves them. You must learn to put emotions aside and move forward despite feelings of inadequacy or anger. Becoming too emotional hinders your ability to focus on the assignment.

Rejection can be extremely disheartening, but you can’t take it personally because it’s not about you. Like a mail carrier, you are just delivering the mail—only the mail you are carrying happens to be a message from God.

Validation or no validation, you should not be affected one way or the other. Do not look for head nods, a “thank you,” or “I receive that.” Again, it’s not about you.

A prophecy may be rejected because its message “hit a nerve” of an issue that a person is in denial of or not willing to face. There will also always be naysayers and critics. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted or discouraged by their remarks. Stay the course. The Lord is the One we strive to please. And from Him comes our ultimate reward.

Authentic prophetic ministry is always initiated and led by the Holy Spirit. There is a not-so-glamorous side to prophesying, contrary to what is portrayed in modern-day religious culture, especially on social media where prophetic ministers are placed on pedestals and “followed” as celebrities.

You need to understand all aspects of authentic prophetic ministry to know what you’re getting into. Obedience involves sacrifice and, at times, bearing the consequences of persecution and suffering. Throughout the Bible, the prophets were persecuted. If you feel called to move in the prophetic, check your motives to make sure they are pure before God. Ask Him to give you confirmation before prophesying, a confirmation that the message is from Him and of the right time to release the word.

Dealing with the issue of when things go wrong, or when we perceive them as seemingly wrong, the Lord has taught me not to rely on people’s reactions but to do what I’m supposed to do, leave the results in His hands and move on. I’m also learning that God is no respecter of status or title. Neither is He a respecter of feelings when we are on assignment. Our job as a prophetic voice is to lay aside our emotions and simply obey.

Ezekiel 2:7 couldn’t be plainer: “But speak My words to them, whether they listen or refuse to listen” (BSB). And Jeremiah 1:17 says, “Get yourself ready. Stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not be intimidated by them, or I will terrify you before them.” That is sobering for all who desire to walk in the prophetic. {eoa}

The preceding is an excerpt from chapter 8 of Hubie Synn’s Lessons From a Wandering Prophet (Charisma House, 2022). For more information, or to order the book, please visit mycharismashop.com.

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