A young woman came to me for prayer during a prayer ministry session. As she approached, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness and a deep darkness. She was a beautiful teenager whose countenance showed signs of defeat and despair. For a moment, the thought entered my mind that she was struggling with suicidal thoughts. I knew I couldn’t just blurt it out and yet I knew I needed to speak truth and life over her. But how did I do this in love? I began to pray quietly. In my prayers I pleaded with the Lord to give me His words of encouragement to share with her.
Sometimes when God speaks to us about individuals, it isn’t so we can speak it out, it’s so we can pray it through. I knew I couldn’t ask her, “Are you suicidal?” nor could I ask, “You’re contemplating suicide, aren’t you?” Instead, I asked God what His heart for her was. I asked if there was something specific, she needed to know or what He would have me share with her. Immediately, I saw a flash of a picture in my mind of a beautiful, intricate puzzle, with thousands of pieces. The puzzle was complete, except for one missing piece.
I immediately knew what God was saying. He was telling me; she was the missing piece. I shared the picture with her and the message that went with it. She was a part of a beautiful intricate design and if she wasn’t here, the picture wouldn’t be complete … could never be complete. The same applies to us. If even one life is missing, the picture isn’t a whole picture as it ought to have been.
I shared the picture and interpretation with her and as I did so, she began to cry and said, “You have no idea. I don’t feel like I belong anywhere, and no one cares.” I reached down and gently placed my hand under her chin and tilted her head up so she was looking me in the eye. I said, “Yes, I do know. And I can tell you God wants you to know that you are an important piece to the puzzle. If you weren’t here, this world and the people around you would be missing what you bring to the tapestry of this thing we call life.”
I prayed for her and, with her permission, connected her with someone local to check in with her, encourage her, build her up, and speak truth to her. She needed more help than I could give her since I was only a visiting minister. But God knew her, and He knew what she needed in that moment. He needed someone to speak life to her and not call out death. God needed someone to pull out the gold that was inside her and show her His love. God needed someone to make her feel valued and cared for.
There are people around us today that long to have someone speak the truth in love. They may not know it, but they are desperate for encouragement and hope. They need us to share God’s heart. They need us to speak truth. They need us to breathe words of hope and life into their dry and lonely soul. They need an encounter with the authentic Jesus, not the world’s idea of Jesus.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV)
God is calling each of us to be agents of encouragement. It’s His desire for the church to step up, fill in the gaps, and be His hands, feet, and mouthpiece. We are to #BeTheGift! He is calling us and sending us out into the world to minister in our spheres of influence. We may not know what people need, but He does. If we take the time to make ourselves available and listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, who knows how many lives will be saved or how many will be transformed and changed forever. We all have the opportunity to #BeTheGift of encouragement others need today.
The above article is an excerpt from Debbie Kitterman’s newest book, The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement Bible Study.
The Bible study is great as a stand-alone group or individual study, and also a good companion to Debbie’s 2018 release with Chosen Books, the Gift of Prophetic Encouragement.
Debbie Kitterman is an author, a speaker and the founder of Dare 2 Hear, a ministry that trains individuals to hear the voice of God. Debbie is also the host of the popular podcast, Dare@Hear that features interviews with leading Christian authors and speakers, as well as her own teaching. She travels to churches internationally and is the founder and teacher of d2htraining.com, an online course designed to equip the believer in releasing God’s heart. She is also an ordained Foursquare pastor, currently serving with her husband, John, as senior pastor of Restoration Church in Lacey, Washington. Please feel free to connect with Debbie online at the following places: