Q&A with Jennifer LeClaire
Jennifer LeClaire is a prophetic voice, author and teacher. She directs Awakening House of Prayer and serves as the senior editor at Charisma magazine. Click here to read my official bio, or get to know me a little better with the Q&A below:
Q: How did you become a Christian?
A: In a Florida jail. My great grandmother was a Free Will Baptist and helped plant several churches. My grandparents were Southern Baptists. But I wasn’t raised in the church. In fact, I have only a few isolated memories of church from my childhood. There are pros and cons to that, I suppose. (My daughter, by contrast, has grown up in the church.)
When I was 30, I was arrested on a bogus charge and the prosecutor’s plan was to send me to state prison for five years. (Click here to read my testimony.) My daughter was almost three year old at the time. While I was there, the Bill Glass Champions for Life prison ministry came through the facility in which I was incarcerated. One of my best friends at the time was a heroin addict, so when a woman stood up and testified about how the power of God delivered her from heroin addiction it demanded my attention.
When the minister made a call for salvation, I stood up in my orange jailhouse jumpsuit and surrendered my heart to Christ. They handed me a paperback fine print Bible and I immediately started a correspondence Bible study.
Q: How did you get involved in prophetic ministry?
A: It was strange, really. When I was in jail I stayed in the Christian dorm. One of the jail ministers was a prophet. He came every week or so to hold a Bible study with the women and would often prophesy about who was going to be released during the following week. He was amazingly accurate. That opened my eyes to modern-day prophetic ministry.
After I was vindicated and released from jail, the only advice I had was to go to a Pentecostal church. The only one I could find near me was a small black church with a very dynamic preacher. I remember he invited an itinerant minister to speak who preached a fiery message. People were running around the church and dancing in the aisles. It was awesome.
Unfortunately, the service soon shifted. This itinerant minister made an altar call for anyone who would sow $100 into his ministry. He handed out “anointed” handkerchiefs with pictures of $100 bills all over them to everyone in the line. Boy, did he make some grand promises for that $100! That was my first exposure to a false prophet.
Some years later, I received a prophetic word in a prayer line that I was a “voice of governing authority.” I didn’t know what that meant, so I didn’t say much. Over time, the Lord made it abundantly clear that I was called into prophetic ministry. The leaders of my local church recognized the call before I did and released me as a “house prophet.”
Q: Tell us more about your family.
A: My ex-husband abandoned me with a two-year-old baby in 1999. My daughter, is a wonderful teenager with a strong musical gift. She keeps me young in many ways and helps me understand the struggles of today’s youth. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for her presence in my life.
Q: Are you affiliated with any particular Christian denomination?
A: No, not really. I’ve attended Spirit-filled churches of various backgrounds over the years, including Assemblies of God and Word of Faith. But I’m largely non-denominational, though very much charismatic. I do have strong Christian leaders around me who provide spiritual accountability and counsel. You can also read my endorsements here.
Q: How did you get your start in writing?
A: When I was in kindergarten, the teacher told my mother I would be a writer one day. But I always hated writing. I joined the college newspaper just to make friends in a new town and discovered I had a gift. I served as news editor and managing editor of my college paper.
My first professional piece of writing was published in Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul under a pen name to protect the identities of the subjects of my story. I went on from there to build a professional career in journalism and marketing copywriting before publishing my first Christian book, The Heart of the Prophetic, in 2007. I’ve written many books since then, about one a year, and it is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my ministry.
The Korea House of Prayer has published two of my books in Korean. Some of my materials have been published in Spanish. I’ve been included in several Charisma House Books: The Spiritual Warfare Bible, Understanding the Five-Fold Ministry, which offers a biblical study to uncover the true purpose for the fivefold ministry, and Satan, You Can't Have My Miracle: A Spiritual Warfare Guide to Restore What the Enemy has Stolen. I also have a weekly column at Charisma magazine called The Plumb Line. And some of my work has been archived in the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Museum.
Q: Where do you get your story ideas?
A: Either from direct revelation from the Word of God or from personal experience or a combination of both. I tend to lean heavily on my personal experiences as illustrations of biblical truths or Christian struggles. I don’t mind being transparent because I believe people can relate more when they know you are talking to them and not at them. I write a Charisma column every week called The Plumb Line. It’s been a great exercise in the discipline of writing.
Q: What advice would you give to people who want to write Christian books?
A: First, have something to say. Get a revelation from God or make your former mess into a ministry by sharing something you’ve overcome. Then start writing. It’s great to organize an outline, but I rarely do that anymore unless it’s for a book proposal. The key is just to let it flow. You can go back and revise, revise, revise later.
Q: Why did you decide to launch IHOP-Fort Lauderdale Missions Base?
A: I was actually involved in a church plant, but something wasn’t right in my sprit. All the programs and bubble machines to attract kids just wasn’t in my DNA. I slowed everything down and prayed for about 30 days and the Holy Sprit gave me a clear prophetic word while visiting IHOP-Miami. We launched International House of Prayer-Fort Lauderdale Missions Base on Pentecost Sunday 2012, which was also the Global Day of Prayer.
Q: What have you learned during your time at Charisma magazine?
A: Many things, including the joy of working with Christians. There is a real culture of honor at Charisma and I’ve enjoyed playing my role in bringing news from a Spirit-filled perspective to our readers. The spiritual warfare against us is intense, but we stand together. I’ve also learned that there are many flows even within the charismatic movement. It grieves me to see how nasty people get arguing with one another in the comment boxes on the site.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your ministry?
A: Reformation. Revival. Awakening. Deliverance from deception. I sound the alarm quite a bit and offer strong warnings. Not because I delight in it—because the Lord has given me that mandate. It’s not always fun or popular to offer strong exhortations against various forms of deception but it’s the flavor of ministry the Lord has given me and I’m responsible to be that watchman and sound that alarm so the blood won’t be on my hands. Of course, warnings are not the extent of my ministry, but most of what I do has a strong prophetic, deliverance or warfare edge.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: I’m an avid exerciser, though I can’t say that’s fun. I do like to play H-O-R-S-E, put-put golf and go bike riding. I love to read books and watch movies, though I rarely do the latter. More than anything, I enjoy teaching and writing. My work is not work. My work is fun. Everything else is gravy.