Having a Meeting Place when seeking inner healing

Three-way conversational prayer is helpful in seeking inner healing for someone.

In this model, you ask a question, Jesus gives the answer to the person you’re praying for, and he or she reports Jesus’ answer back to you.

Rather than sort out ourselves which ‘window’ of a person’s soul we must enter in order to invite Jesus, much better to just find Jesus first and ask Him to lead us there.  Everyone, even the most wounded soul, has a safe place in his or her heart in which to meet Jesus.  It might be any of the Meeting Places we studies earlier.  It’s like the ‘hallway’, a place of safety where Jesus will meet us and lead us into the healing work that he deems necessary for that session.

A meeting place enables you to find Jesus in a safe place rather than searching frantically for Him in the middle of a traumatic memory.  It becomes a safe ‘square one’ base for all forays into healing.

In the meeting place, Jesus prepares us to enter painful memories.  He provides, comfort, courage, reassurance and promises before we enter the scary places.  If things in a memory get a little ‘hairy’, you can always retreat to the ‘hallway’ for more clarification or courage.

A meeting place establishes Jesus as the leader of every prayer ministry time.  Whenever you feel lost, you can simply ask, ‘What needs to happen next?’  As Trevor Walters, an Anglican priest, once told me,

‘The less you think you know, the more authority you’ll have.’

That’s because you leave more space for Jesus to work rather than assuming you know how to sort the problem.

From Can You Hear Me? Chapter 13.   Brad-Jersak-Can-you-hear-me-201x300

Listening Prayer and outreach (3)

When Manda first came to our youth group, she didn’t know Jesus, but she was desperately thirsty.  She struggled with her self-image and an eating disorder that was rooted in an abuse memory.  She heard testimonies of other girls who had experienced healing of memories, so she asked for some prayer.  I knew she did not know Jesus yet, but I could see no reason why He wouldn’t turn up for her.

Manda began to walk through the memory as a little girl and, sure enough, Jesus turned up.  He held out His hand and beckoned her to take it and follow Him.  Manda hesitated a little, so I asked the Lord whether He would take and hold her.  But He continued to just stand there looking at her and waiting for her to take His hand.  When she finally did so, He scooped her up in His arms immediately and washed the stain of shame from her body.  Then He put on her a perfectly white, little dress and she was filled with His love.

Then the Lord gave me a question to ask her:  ‘Manda, what do you think of Jesus now that you’ve met Him?’

‘I love Him!’ she responded.

‘And how does it feel to have that stain removed?’ I asked.

‘Wonderful!’ she said, her eyes brimming with tears.

‘Would you be willing to let Jesus wash all the stains of sin and shame from your heart?  And would you like to be friends with Him always?’

It was a no-brainer.  Not only did she commit her life to Him that day, so did her friend who had come with her for moral support!  Later, the Lord also delivered her from anorexia.  Today, she is happily married and still holding Jesus’ hand.

Can You Hear Me?  Chapter 11.

Brad-Jersak-Can-you-hear-me-201x300

Converting bedtime prayers into Listening prayer

We have been using Listening Prayer with the children at Explore for many years.  Children hear the Lord easier than anyone else.  It’s normal.  Children who can’t hear the Lord anymore (yes, anymore) have usually been inadvertently shut down by an adult.

Many parents are used to walking their children through some standard prayers at bedtime.  It’s not difficult to convert these rituals into three-way prayers between you, your child and Jesus.   Continue reading “Converting bedtime prayers into Listening prayer”

Listening Prayer and Church

 

 

Before our Church began, we dreamed of a Church where the pursuit of Jesus Himself was more important than any other agenda.  Most of our ‘business meetings’ still involve extended times of worship, silence and listening prayer.  We listen together, compare notes and act only when we’ve reached a consensus about what God has said.

Before each Church service, the leadership meet with up to a dozen intercessors who arrive early to pray.   Continue reading “Listening Prayer and Church”

Henri Nouwen on leaders and listening prayer

‘It is not enough for the leaders of the future to be moral people, well trained, eager to help their fellow human beings, and able to respond creatively to the burning issues of the their time.  All of that is very valuable and important, but it is not the heart of Christian leadership.  The central question is,

‘Are the leaders of the future truly women and men of God, people with an ardent desire to dwell in God’s presence, to listen to God’s voice, to look at God’s beauty, to touch God’s incarnate word and to taste fully God’s goodness?’

‘Christian leaders cannot simply be persons who have well-informed opinions about the burning issues of our time.  Their leadership must be rooted in the permanent, intimate relationship with the incarnate Word, Jesus and they need to find there the source for their words, advice and guidance.  Through the discipline of contemplative prayer, Christian leaders have to learn to listen again and again to the voice of love and to find there the wisdom and courage to address whatever issue presents itself to them.’

Henri Nouwen, “In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership” 31-32.

Thinking as if we’re poor

When a prince thinks like a pauper, he lives like a powerful survivalist.

A prince who does not see himself as a benefactor will punish others with his power, but he who hates gain by controlling others will build a lasting legacy.

Proverbs 28 v 16 paraphrased.

The pauper learns one powerful lesson in life, and that is how to stay alive.  Give that person a winning lottery ticket and they have great resources, but they use them to protect themselves rather than to benefit others.

As believers, we are in danger of being princes who think and live like paupers.  Unless we are renewed in our thinking, we not only will be abusing the power and responsibility that we’ve been given;  we won’t even be aware that we are doing so.

We are all constrained by the class view that we received as we grew up.  We need to identify both how we think and how we should think.  We must ‘leave our father’s house’ and align ourselves with our new ‘Father’s house’.

 

HonourDanny Silk, Culture of Honour, Chapter 5.

Invite Jesus into children’s nightmares

Nightmares

Nightmares can often be explained as either,

  • genuine spiritual oppression (Children seem to be born with their spiritual windows wide open)
  • imaginary projections from real fears
  • annoying bedtime stalling tactics

Rather than rebuking children for believing in something that is not real, I find it much more helpful to invite Jesus into the room to deal with the ‘monsters’.   Continue reading “Invite Jesus into children’s nightmares”

How do we react when somebody sins? Part 2

When people sin, or break the rules, it is offensive to human nature.  The newspapers are full of stories of people who have broken rules and we love this stuff, we love to judge them.

As Christians living within this wider culture, we have to be aware of how natural it is to be offended and that it justifies us withholding our love.  I get to withhold my love from you when you have broken the rules, because people who fail are unworthy of love, and they deserve to be punished.  In fact, what punishment looks like most often is withholding love.  Continue reading “How do we react when somebody sins? Part 2”