“Our youth group needs shaking up! I want you to come and teach our youth how to hear the voice of God and then I want you to take them out in public to prophecy over strangers!” so said my pastor friend from Houston. To be honest, I was a little intimidated. I had never done a field trip like this before. At the same time, I was excited, so I said yes. Friday night and Saturday morning, I taught the youth how to “hear” God’s communication to us [which will be the subject of later chapters – you are going to love it!]. 

Saturday afternoon was the field test.

I always stay with the same family on these trips to this particular church. I had become part of the family, sort of the “Uncle Buck” of the household. The teenage daughter and I got along very well. She had no trouble sharing her doubts about her family’s faith. She was also not excited about coming to my prophetic workshop. It seems she had said yes to a babysitting gig which provided the perfect excuse not to come, “Sorry, but I am making money and so obviously that must take precedence over learning to hear God’s voice!”

I could not argue with her logic, so I decided to buy her attendance. I told her that I would match her babysitting income, if she would come to the workshop and field trip. She said yes and came. She was skeptical throughout the training, telling me that God would never use her because her doubts were just too high. I suggested to her that God loves a challenge and she presented the perfect challenge – a real doubting Thomas!

Our battle plan was simple.

We go to the Food Court of the local mall and we walk around and look at people. When our gaze lands on someone and a thought pops into our heads we come back to Mark and decide what to do with it. My skeptical “niece” was the first to report back. She said she looked at a man sitting eating at a table and the word “divorce” popped into her mind. What do we do with this one word that might be from God?

I walked over to the man and said, “I am training some young people to hear messages from God for total strangers. That girl over there thinks she heard something from God for you. Would you be willing to help us determine if it really was God that she heard?” He said yes. She came over and said, “I think God told me that you just got divorced.”

He started to cry. Immediately I “heard” God say to him, “You see yourself as a failure, damaged forever and no longer fit to be married. But God says to you that you are not doomed to be lonely. Can we pray for you?” He said yes and we prayed for God’s comfort for him. He wept through the whole prayer time. He thanked us profusely. He was full of peace by the time we finished.

Another teen got a similar word for another person with similar results. In total, our two-person teams prayed over strangers for more than an hour. The accuracy of the words was amazing. My pastor friend reported weeks later that the youth group had completely changed, “The kids are different – they are on fire for God.”

Questions for discussion: Let’s talk about this…

  1. What was I thinking to believe that I could take teenagers to a Mall to prophesy over strangers? Where does this belief come from?
  2. Is one word, like “divorce” sufficient reason to risk embarrassing yourself with a total stranger? How clear a message would it take for you to risk sharing it with a total stranger?
  3. How do you think an experience like this would change your life with God?
  4. What would it take for you to try something like this?

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