Prophetic words from Pihop

[The Well is a prophetic prayer ministry of Pihop. I have gone for the last month and received prayer. Each time they record your session and email it to you. This experience has been very impactful for me and I wanted to share them here.  I would invite you to listen not just for your own benefit to get an idea of what is going down at Pihop (and other parts of the Body of Christ that you may not be familiar with) but also for my own benefit.  While Pihop is remarkably sensible about the whole affair I am incredibly new to being open to receiving prophetic words from other people and discerning what is from God and what is from man. If in listening to these recordings you think something is completely wrong or is confirmation of something you have seen in me please let me know.]

On Saturday nights many people from the greater L.A. area gather around a small venue and line.  It looks like we are all waiting to get into a club on the weekend, but in fact we are signing up to receive prophetic prayer at the Well.  This is a prayer ministry run by Pihop and every Saturday evening you can sign up at 6:00pm. Trained prophetic prayer teams then start praying for people at 7:00pm.  They invite you to wait in the main worship area until your number comes up on a marquee.  There is worship going on but if you have a long wait you can always leave and come back later.

In my experience, the worship during this time is incredibly sweet and moving and sometimes I now go just for worship.

When I started attending Pihop I was still very skeptical of this whole Holy Spirit/Pihop/Pentecostal/Charismatic/prophetic prayer thing I was being called to.  Even after such powerful experiences in inner healing prayer I barely trusted God enough to show up at Pihop and receive ministry which I felt He was gently leading me to.  All of my suspicions aside, I was growing cautiously hopeful.

I have intentionally made myself very scarce at Pihop so people who pray over me have no idea who I am.  They do not know my personality, my history, I have not added them of Facebook or passed them a link to this blog. I have also kept the name God gave me in inner healing prayer a secret and asked God that if there is something I really need to hear from someone at Pihop, that He would give them this name.

I have done all this because I want to know what was really happening was prophecy, not just people making educated guesses at what I wanted to hear from them based off of my personality or what I’ve shared with them.

The first time I attended, my number was called and I went over to the smaller building. Both of my prayer teams (you get a double session your first time) were comprised of three people of different genders and races that I had never met before in my life.  After I introduced myself  they began recording my session.

These are some things to keep in mind while listening…

  • I had received a very specific name and purpose from God recently in inner healing prayer.
  • I had over the months wondered if the pain in my life was part of my training to be a healer.
  • Psalm 144 was one of my favorite Psalms, especially in high school.
  • I have experienced the greatest friendships and strongest communities I am in, have come from when I am vulnerable and honest about my past pain and my faults as a person.
  • Hypocrisy is abhorrent to me. (Especially considering how hypocritical I have been in my life.)
  • As I have come to be more open about my life, this has been pushed back upon by some people, at times for seemingly no reason. A number of people appear to be critical of me and my character for really no discernible reason.
  • This last year I have seen that I am passionate about what I am doing.  I generally approach life and the task at hand with an “all or nothing” attitude.

Then this is what I heard…

To me it appeared that many of the words spoken over me were from true. Some of their words matched up with ideas I had been wrestling with for some time. Additionally, if these people were guessing randomly, whatever their motivations, they could have suggested so many different things about my character.  However, they basically named two things I am well-known for.

The next week I went back.  Sitting in worship I was still thinking in my head, “Is this for real? Do I honestly believe that God is speaking to me through other people here?  Why are we (as in the people waiting for prayer) here?  Is this just our (meaning Christian) version of going to a palm reader or psychic?  I mean I know they are not charging anything, but is this just people wanting to hear an encouraging word at a dark or transitional time?”

These are some things to keep in mind while listening…

  • Previously a Christian gifted in discernment had commented that from just shaking my hand she could tell how powerful I was. (This was spiritual strength, and strength of character, not physical strength.  My 5’7″ and 150 lbs. frame is not that imposing.)
  • Randomly, after praying for someone else in inner healing prayer, another participant took me aside and said, “When I heard you speak I saw three swords.  I feel you have the LORD’s anointing and the demons will run when you preach.” I thanked him but had no real idea what to do with this.  People do not talk like this in the Christian traditions I am from.
  • I am known for bringing people together and making community. When I was in Modesto I turned the 511 ministry house into a place of welcoming fellowship and I have done much the same with Apartment 3.  When I talked to one of my roommates when I was suicidal he encouraged me that he loved me and he had seen how I bring people together and invite people into my life, no matter where I am at.
  • Aside from me asking if this (meaning prophetic prayer) was legit, this last season of my life has been  marked by me really seeking after God and asking the hard questions of the faith.  “I want to know if it’s real” was a phrase that kept repeating in my head during this time.
  • I have felt called to work with Native American communities, have done missionary work a Reservation, but never thought of that as a missionary journey or calling.
  • I crave real talk regarding our lives and wider issues in the Church and the world.  It has saddened me that while my generation often talks about desiring authenticity we fail to get there, and instead settle for more fluff.

Then this is what I heard…

So these three women basically spoke directly into issues that I had been wrestling with, even that night. Again, I had never met any of these three women before or spoken directly to them. Additionally, it appears they confirmed other prophetic words that had been given to me previously.

The next week I came back and received prayer from three more people.  By this time I was very open to what God had to say.  I had began to die to years of cynicism, ignorance and fear.  I think if God had called me to life-altering decisions in the previous two session, I probably would have really struggled to obey Him if He did.  I think what He was doing was confirming what was going on at Pihop was indeed prophetic and from Him.

Some things to keep in mind after you listen to the third week…

  • I have had a bad relationship with my father most of my life and never felt like I was fully loved and celebrated, though now I am working towards a better relationship with my parents.
  • I had very recently begun to explore the Holy Spirit’s movement in my life, even coming to believe praying for others will be a large part of my future ministry.  I had even showed up at Pihop because of the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit.
  • I have received a calling to be a healer, and Peter’s shadow healing others has come up a number of times in regards to this.

Then this is what I heard…

To be honest, part of my cynicism came up after this prayer meeting.  I imaging you could ask anyone, “Has your father ever told you he is proud of you?” and the response would probably be no and it would be comforting to say, “God’s saying He is proud of you.”  I am not suggesting this person made anything up, but I felt it was pretty generic.  The people at Pihop are very humble, acknowledge that they get things wrong and pray that whatever is not from God would just fall flat to the floor. Maybe this word was just not for me or maybe it was just confirming what I had already heard in inner healing prayer.

In the middle of the week following this prayer session I went through another inner healing prayer session.  In this God communicated to me that my healing was done, and His healing work was completed. I reconnected with myself and God that night in a powerful way.  I was inspired to write a sermon and stayed up with Him laughing and smiling till 2:00am, two things that had not happened since I came down to Fuller.  That week I entered a season of incredible rest and, well, the turmoil was over.

The next Saturday night I sat and joined in the worship as I waited to be prayed over. And that is when it hit.

I really felt that the love God has for me set in. This prompted the Facebook photo I uploaded, which was just a picture I took from where I was sitting.  During this time I experienced an overwhelming sense of love towards God, myself and others.  Once in high school a friend had described to me the effects of taking Ecstasy, and that seems to be an apt description of what I was experiencing. (I’ll share more about this later.)

Some things to keep in mind after you listen to the third week…

  • I had been learning a lot more about prayer and had very recently begun to pray expecting help from God.  Most of my life I have not prayed to God or have not prayed expecting any real help. This all came from the fact that years of praying for healing that had never come true. This had seeded a doubt in me that God did not answer prayers or at least did not answer my prayers.
  • My life had turned upside down in the last season.  I had obeyed the will of God and in doing so I had pursued a relationship and started attending seminary.  In a very short amount of time the woman I was dating broke up with me, and I broke up with the M Div program. Obeying God had cost me a lot and my life was completely flipped upside down from where I thought I was going to be.
  • I had been taking a class on spiritual traditions and become to take care of myself more spiritually as I attended Pihop, worshiped, prayed and studied the Bible on the first regular basis in years.
  • That previous week I had been feeling finally free of a lot of things I had been struggling with for this last year (and many years before that) and felt like a great weight had been lifted.
  • In considering what my future I began to wonder if I would be part of a worshipping community somewhere as a lay person. That worshipping community would be my “home-base” but my ministry would be mostly outside of it, as I traveled, wrote and spoke beyond its walls.

Then this is what I heard… (They had forgotten to start  my recording which is why the first part starts out weird.  You can hear me say “I love you” which was definitely part of the “hit” of God’s love I was just whacked with.)

What do you make of all this?

A professor once asked our class, “Do you think that God inspired the Bible and then stopped speaking to us?”  Clearly for me the answer was no.  This question then begged a second one though.  If I do not believe God has stopped speaking to His people, what does it look like for Him to speak to us today?  How do you know it is Him and not your own thoughts or your thoughts of others?

It is a bold statement to claim that some of the words in these recordings have come to me from God through other Christians. But this something I have become convinced of.

However, as one of my prayers closed with, I am indeed learning a new langauge.  I am learning a lot about prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit.  Because this is such a new thing for me, I know I need to grow in my ability to discern what is from God and what is from people. I again invite your comments, insight, and discernment to what you have heard was spoken over me and welcome your opinions whatever they are.

I would also like to ask my readers to answer these two questions:

  • Do you believe God stopped speaking to His people after inspiring the Bible?
  • If you do think He is still speaking, what does this look like and how do you verify it?
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About Speakfaithfully

I am figuring out life and faith and taking other people along with me on my journey. Sometimes as fellow travelers, sometimes as hostages.
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7 Responses to Prophetic words from Pihop

  1. Dear Kevin –

    Let me preface my comments with this: in no way do I intend to divert you or discourage you from seeking understanding of the Holy Spirit and of His work. Please don’t read any of my comments in that light. I too am on a journey towards understanding better the Holy Spirit’s role in my life and His work in our midst.

    First question, do I believe God stopped speaking to His people after inspiring the Bible? No.

    Second, since I do think He is still speaking, what does this look like and how do I verify it?

    1. I believe God speaks through the expository preaching of Scripture. When this happens, the preacher is used to clarify, explain, and generally make a passage more easy to understand and apply. I believe the Holy Spirit is intimately involved in this in many ways. First, He gives the preacher discernment while studying Scripture, allowing him to understand it (i.e. something gets absorbed). Second, He empowers the preacher to convey His message in spite of his own deficiencies (i.e. something gets conveyed). Third, He is at work in the hearts of those who hear the Word preached, helping them understand the truth and applying it to their own lives, experiences, and situations, using this to conform them to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29 – i.e. something gets understood and applied). This doesn’t mean everything the preacher says comes from God, it means that God can and does convey His Word to people’s hearts through preaching, and that the Holy Spirit is an essential component of this process.

    2. I believe that God speaks through exhortation and encouragement from brothers and sisters in Christ. The Holy Spirit moves us to love one another and this involves communion (and not just the Lord’s Supper, I mean koinonia here), exhortation, encouragement, and of course, confrontation. As church families we usually tend to lean towards one or two of the poles in this multi-faceted relationship, and often go overboard in one or two of those aspects (just think a second about the churches you know and you’ll quickly be able to plot them in a square where each corner is one of these poles). A truly healthy family of faith which listens to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and is mature in the knowledge of, understanding of, and insight into Scripture will exhibit all of these aspects and ground them all firmly in Scripture itself, thus pre-filtering a lot of things that they might have felt they should say.

    3. The common thread in both of these is that I believe God speaks His Word through people when they are speaking based on His Word.

    This is why a healthy understanding of the role of Scripture is imperative if we are to have a healthy understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit. If Scripture is just going to be one more method of communication, and is going to be as valid as whatever someone says to me on any given day, then there is no way to resolve what is true and what isn’t.

    Why does Acts 17:11 praise the Bereans as more “noble” than others? For examining the Scriptures to see if what Paul and Silas preached were true. Keep in mind that this already deals with the most common objection about applying Scripture to contemporary prophecy: “But Scripture only tells us what God has said before, and prophecy tells us what God is saying now, so they don’t necessarily overlap.” Paul and Silas were announcing a New Covenant and referring to the Scriptures that people already had in hand (they were preaching at a Synagogue). And they could appeal to the Scriptures of the time because the fingerprints of God’s plan for redemption through Christ are all over the Old Testament.

    If we are to take Scripture as authoritative at all, then we must listen to what it reveals its own role to be: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Scripture claims for itself the authority for teaching, reproving, correcting, and training, and claims that if it is used for those things, it will be sufficient to make a man competent and equipped for what God wants him to do. Then John 16:13 claims the role of the Holy Spirit is to guide us into all truth, and John 14:26 says His role is to teach us all things, bringing whatever Christ said to our remembrance. See how I might come to think that the role of the Holy Spirit is intimately entwined with the role of Scripture? 🙂

    Given all that, you might (correctly) infer that I have a hard time getting entirely behind prayer sessions where the Holy Spirit is leading a girl to interpret her vision of Cheerios and orange juice as having something to say about who you are, about your life and about your future. There are two things that I have learned from my experience of interacting with Pentecostals and Charismatics: 1. The older and wiser they are, the more grounded their “words from the Spirit” are in actual Scripture, and the less likely they are to say something that isn’t an application thereof. 2. The older and wiser they are, the more careful they are about saying “this is the Word of the Lord” and the more often they characterize their messages with “I have a feeling I should share this” or “I believe God wants me to say this to you”.

    You see, I believe that when God communicates, He does so effectively. God makes Himself understood when He wants to. And at the very very least, He makes it absolutely clear that He is doing the talking. This happens throughout the story of the revelation of Scripture. Even when the Jews didn’t understand a certain prophecy from God, they wrote it down and kept it around because they sure as heck did understand that it was a prophecy from God. So I look at that and compare it to the sort of “shotgun prophecy” that seems to go on in so many places, i.e. “I’m going to say whatever is coming to my mind now and hope some of it is being said by the Lord” and I have a hard time putting the two together in the same revelatory basket, so to speak. This difficulty is compounded when that type of prophecy is mixed in with other encouragements that are clearly based on Scripture and attempt to apply it to your life. It is even further compounded when even these Scripture-based attempts are made “in the blind” (i.e. without knowledge of who you are and what your life is like), since they become so watered-down and generic that, with all due respect, they almost sound like Christian horoscopes (and I mean no offense here to the sincerity or belief of those who are doing it, I’m just expressing how it sounds to me).

    Kevin, we come from VERY different backgrounds with VERY different experiences, and when I listened to the prayers a second time and tried to think how I would feel if they were being prayed over me, I felt like I could identify with almost everything they were saying! I’m not saying that what they said wasn’t a powerful experience for you and that it didn’t jive with what you were thinking, feeling, or living. But I am saying that were I in that state of mind, nearly everything they said would have jived with my life and my experience and even things that are going on right now. If these words, generic and non-specific as they may be, can have this effect, think of the much deeper effect that words of encouragement, exhortation, comfortation, or communion, based on Scripture and following the understanding and leading of the Holy Spirit, could have in the mouths of a family of faith who sees you regularly, has fellowship with you, and knows you deeply as a person.

    Finally, I leave you with two questions of my own:
    1. Given all of the above, don’t you feel you could be underrating the Holy Spirit’s role by encapsulating its voice in the context of a “blind” prayer session where everyone’s voice (or at least some of what they are equipped to share) is assumed to have the same Divine authority, whether what they say is rooted in Scripture or whether they even refer to it? How do you reconcile the revelatory nature of the Holy Spirit’s work in and through the reading/preaching/understanding of Scripture and the revelatory nature that is being claimed in this context?
    2. If it is the Holy Spirit communicating, how come we only see the encouragement and communion aspects here? He certainly knows what you struggle with (not just talking about what you’ve shared, but all your struggles), so it would seem to me that there should also be words of confrontation and loving calls to accountability. Perhaps these have in fact happened and you just haven’t shared them, and if that’s the case, then disconsider this point. However I have been in several similar sessions such as this, and never once did someone come to me (even in private afterwards) and tell me the Holy Spirit wanted me to leave behind my sin of _______ and that the blood of Christ was more than sufficient to make me innocent of that sin, too. This omission of one of the major roles the Holy Spirit plays in our lives (sanctification and calling to accountability), at the very least, gives me pause. Doesn’t it puzzle you as well?

    =================
    An aside (abottom?) that I almost didn’t include because I don’t want to take away from the main discussion, but which we can discuss later/elsewhere (FB maybe): I’ve noticed your continued use of the female pronoun for the Holy Spirit and that I think I understand why you’re doing it, since you yourself said you like to stir things up and shock people out of their previous modes of thought. However, if I do understand why you’re doing it, then to be consistent you’ll be OK with my use of “Him” and “His” throughout, since I believe you think that what’s important is an understanding of the personhood of the Holy Spirit, and I subscribe to that understanding. As far as my studies lead me to understand, in the NT there are references to the Sprit in both a neutral form [Romans 8 pneuma references for example] and in a masculine form [several references in the Gospel of John by Jesus Himself]. Since I subscribe to the practice of using whatever form is prevalent in the Scriptures to address God, I stick with the neutral or masculine when speaking of the Spirit, with the understanding that both male and female are created to reflect the image of God and than neither can reflect Him completely on their own, and that the use of a pronoun to address God is primarily concerned with acknowledging His personhood. I don’t intend to paint God with a male face by calling Him “Him”, yet I don’t ignore the language He himself used when communicating Scripture.

    • Kevin says:

      David,

      Hey brother I appreciate you taking the time to listen to these messages and giving your feedback. Since you were so thorough and asked some questions of your own I’ll respond in another post instead of a comment.

      -Kevin

    • Alley says:

      Where is the love button to your reply! I know I am late to the party and I just stumbled upon this blog because I was trying to figure out what an old Christian friend was involved in. All I can say as I completely agree with you! David. You make your point so clearly. I grew up in a Pentecostal church and looked forward to hearing words from other people. Little did I know that these words were merely words of man and not words from The Lord. A lot of times as I reflect back, these words seemed to stroke my spiritual ego. Yes, I want to hear how powerful I am, I want to hear about how dangerous I am to the enemy. But all these words are empty, words. Yes, they make you feel good emotionally but in the end they lead to nothing. The truth is The Lord does speak to us through the Holy Spirit, and His words, the only words we need to hear are found in the Bible, the truth. A lot of times I believe these groups are used as a tool by the enemy to take our focus off of God and place it on self. No you are not powerful the Great I Am is. Test the spirits like scriptures say. God bless.

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  4. janie says:

    Hey, I’ll answer your questions, too. :]

    I believe He stills speaks. I believe that He speaks all the time. It’s just that I think we’ve lost the ability to hear His voice. I think that His voice becomes unfamiliar to us the less we listen and obey His leading. Sometimes to the point that we deny ever hearing Him at all.

    I mean this in all aspects of God speaking to us.

    Thanks for sharing your pihop experience, Kevin!

  5. Pingback: Meeting Jesus at The Well. « Speak Faithfully

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