Our church followed the tradition of having a presbytery (group of travelling elders and deacons who are the highest in the hierarchy) pray and prophesy over people. This is only done in a group, and only by these men.
It is the voice of God giving direction to individuals. Usually they say encouraging things and reveal the “gifts of the Holy Spirit” to the person.
I was prayed over twice. Once as a teenager hungry for direction and desiring to stay in God’s will. The other as a sleep-deprived young mom because they wanted to pray over my husband and almost always do couples together.
The first time they said that I needed to prophesy in the church services. All of them said that. But I never could. I could speak with inspiration, but I was so aware that I had control over what I said that I could never preface it with the “Thus Saith the Lord…” that was standard.
I was to live a long time, bring joy to people, be an example (to lead from the middle, not from the front) and my ministry was to be among those my own age. My peers and babies were the age groups I was most terrified of.
They also said that I had healing in my hands. I liked that one 🙂
And they said that I should consult my elders before making decisions. Which I did, constantly. I was looking for someone to just tell me what to do, since it was obvious to me that they knew better than I.
The rest was a King James version of “you’ve been a good girl and you have a good heart so keep it up or else”.
The second time they all started out with a heavy-handed warning to follow the headship/submission teaching. “Take your headship, young man. Submit to your husband, my daughter.” By that point neither of us agreed with that teaching but it scared me as coming directly from God.
They told me that I had the heart of a mother. I nearly laughed at that one. Babies still scared me and I liked kids because they were people, not because they were kids.
Then they said “you” would have great insights and write for the people. I wanted that to be for me or at least include me.
I am sure that they felt inspired. Where did that inspiration come from? I am also sure a great deal of what they said came directly from their own personal interpretation of the bible.
It is a relief not to feel bound by what they said as God’s words. How was that experience different from someone reading tarot cards?