Three Minutes In His Presence – Immanuel Prayer Process - Purity 930
Purity 930 01/02/2023 Purity 930 Podcast
Purity 930 on YouTube: Coming Soon!
Today’s photo of a blazing sunset sandwiched between a stand of trees on the horizon and a thick canopy of clouds to the right of a transmission tower comes to us from yours truly as I was fortunate to have the presence of mind and my iphone handy to capture this last notable sunset of 2022 while out walking my canine friend, Harley, on Waite Rd on December 30th. During that walk, as we set out the afternoon was pleasant but I didn’t have an expectations for anything spectacular but as we passed the forest areas for the farmland I took pleasure in the cloud formations that were pleasantly illuminated by the fading sun and decided to take some pics, thinking that what I was seeing was going to be as good as it gets because as time progresses, the sun fades further into the horizon, right?
But as we went down road the opposite seemed to take place as our place on Waite Rd changed the Sun seemed to rise, instead of fall so I took a couple of more shots. I rejoiced at the first three shots from 4:07 to 4:08pm – shared on the blog here:
But then as we turned to head back home – I captured “today’s” photo – where the sun seemed to positively explode over the trees at 409pm, rejoicing and thanking the Lord for the opportunity to see this, before I took a couple of departing shots at 410pm, also on the blog, here:
As I was walking the dog and as I was capturing these photos I was “walking and talking with God” too. Before this “sunset lightshow”, I was thanking the Lord for the cool cloud formations that were over those trees, which started the “photo session”, and if I recall it correctly, I inquired of the Lord something like: “What else do you have for us Lord?”
And then the sun rises over the trees and just as I am ready to just rejoice and thank the Lord for the scenes at 408pm, I turn back home and look up to see – whammo – this sunset flash at 409 to 410pm.
At that point, I am thanking God for brining me to this place and then I realize that “this place, at this time” is just another part of the ongoing miracle and blessing of my relationship and marriage with TammyLyn. Without God TammyLyn isn’t in my life, Without TammyLyn I’m not in Easton to see this sunset.
And then hilariously, I thanked God for Harley! Because if it wasn’t for him it would be doubtful that I would be out walking along Waite Rd, because if he wasn’t our compulsory houseguest for the next 3 years, I wouldn’t have been there to see it either.
At that point I got a tiny glimpse of just how good our God is at shaping our lives and at blessing our moments when we make the decision to follow Him.
It was just three minutes out of my day, but in those three minutes I know that I was connecting with the Lord in conversation and something beautiful happened. I’m not sure how many people may have enjoyed those three minutes of sunset glory (even though it “feels” like this “sunset was for me”, I can’t claim that) But I can tell you that before it happened, I was talking to the Lord and after it happened I had a mini-revelation of God’s goodness and sovereign hand and a small idea of how God works all things together for good.
Well, it’s the 2nd day of a new year, New year’s day observed, for many of us, and it is ,my prayer that anyone reading this or hearing this message will endeavor to spend more time in God’s presence and following His lead in 2023.
Although, its Monday because of the “observed” holiday, I am still on vacation at my countryside home in Easton this morning but will be returning to my place “down by the River” in Stuyvesant later this afternoon.
Although TammyLyn is the ideal Christian wife for me – I am humbled and amazed at the love we have for one another -, the technological and logistical accommodations at our place in Easton are not ideal and if I am to be completely honest, which I try to be, it feels like I have been “roughing it” for the past week because of the internet’s penchant for testing my patience and because I have been off the rails in terms of my health goals.
While I have been painfully faithful to my workout regiment, as in the bed here at Countryside or my vacation lethargy has done a number on my back – so it hurts, and have been taking the dog for walks, my resolve to be mindful of what I have been eating has been sacrificed on the altar of compromise in the spirit of the holidays and in the name of vacation itself. I have gotten quite a bit of rest since December 23rd but unfortunately I gave “self-control” a rest too. So like many others, I will be instituting a new year’s resolution to repent and “get healthy” going forward.
Besides returning to sanity in terms of my diet, I also started to look ahead to the training I will receive as part of Deeper Walk International’s school of Prayer Ministry this year. Before the ball dropped on Saturday night, I spent the day looking at the student portal for the classes I will be taking and had the opportunity to meet some of my fellow students on the portal’s discussion boards and was pleased and somewhat intimidated by their acquaintance.
As a way to get to know one another the course instructors invited/assigned us to introduce ourselves, telling every one what we like to be addressed as and to share one thing we were thankful for. Another preliminary assignment was to describe what we would say, in our own words, what a “Prayer Minister” is and what a prayer minster does?
Only a few early birds had responded to these assignments but from their introductions and responses I already have a sense that this program will definitely give me the opportunity to grow and develop as a Christian Counselor as their vernacular seems almost other worldly because it is grounded in the concepts and language of pray ministry, mindfulness, and pastoral counseling. As someone who is seeking to transition to a career of full time ministry, I might be the low man on the totem pole in this group because I admittedly had to get out my “Christian Counseling decoder ring” to interpret exactly what it is what some of their words were trying to express, lol! But with my education and a couple quick google searches, I grasped what they were saying but was introduced to a term I hadn’t heard before.
One of the responses used the term “Immanuel Prayer” to describe what a prayer minister does, and it caused me some mild trepidation because I didn’t know what that was and obviously had zero experience with it.
As much as I thought I might be in over my head with this program already, I decided to dive on in and see what this “Immanuel Prayer” was all about.
My research told me that:
“Immanuel means “God with us” and this promise is the foundation for the whole ministry of Immanuel Prayer. Immanuel Prayer is a one to one prayer process of connecting deeply and personally with Jesus and removing barriers to an intimate, interactive lifestyle of connection with Him. Jesus loves to bring his healing and peace and help us to see ourselves, our circumstances and others as He does.” (https://www.severnvineyard.org/immanuelprayer#:~:text=Immanuel%20Prayer%20is%20a%20one,and%20others%20as%20He%20does.)
My Christian Counseling master’s education indicated to me that Immanuel Prayer was a form of Theophositc Counseling, where a counselor basically leads a client through a process of prayerfully recalling trauma or areas of concern in which they invite God or Jesus to reveal to them the lies that the trauma caused them to believe, to reveal the truth that God wants them to know, and to assure them of God’s presence then and now. Theophositc Prayer Ministry has been indicated to be helpful but like any therapy that involves human beings it’s history is not without its controversies or concerns and when I reviewed it in my studies I was hesitant in considering whether or not I would incorporate its techniques if I should begin practicing professionally.
But that’s what this training and this life is all about: investigating the truth and seeing what is “out there” in terms of what God can and will do. With my increasing experience, through leading men through the Steps to Freedom in Christ, I am a lot less skeptical than I once was and decided to give Immanuel Prayer a try for myself.
I found a PDF list of instructions in the Immanuel process (https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55e5c3c7e4b0123f9453cd3a/t/58f4b494c534a59e93371a8a/1492432020709/Immanuel+Prayer+Session+Worksheet+Final+080216.pdf) in my research and decided to jump right in. I’m not a stranger to the Lord and prayer and I decided to see where Immanuel prayer would bring me.
I won’t get into specifics but I would encourage anyone curious to “go and see” for yourself.
The instructions guide you to pray a prayer of protection, to invite the Holy Spirit into your presence and to rest. Participants are then instructed to recall positive memories of either a close time with the Lord or of joy where you can appreciate and “locate” the Lord’s presence and it directs to draw closer and enjoy your time with the Lord. That’s session one.
Session two invites the participant to repeat the steps from session one to draw into the Lord’s presence but then to recall a painful memory and ask the Lord to show His presence in that memory and to reveal what He would like us to know or learn from that experience. A successful session would result in revelations of truth and a possible resolution of one’s problem.
So obviously this process demands faith, focused prayer, and a willingness to “go there” in terms of being open, honest, and vulnerable to the Lord.
In my sessions, I brought three separate instances of experiencing the Lord’s closeness and joy during my life and was quite taken by an experience of peace and well-being. Having established that I invited the Lord into some dark places, one from my childhood and one from a particularly tragic event, and asked Him to reveal Himself in those places and to reveal to me what I needed to know.
So did He show up? Yeah, He did. Did He show me anything? Yes, He did. Am I forever changed by the experience? I think so. The Lord basically revealed to me that He has been with me every step of the way in my life and He was giving me or has already given me the healing that I need for those dark places and was inviting me to simply experience and to take it with me all the days of my life.
So there you go. Follow the link and see what happens to you.
Was this prayer session merely a “guide meditation”, my imagination, a delusion, a deception, or a supernatural manifestation of the Lord in my life? Depending on your perspective you could explain it as anyone of these things I suppose, but as someone who knows the power of the Lord and the lay of the land when you walk in the Spirit, I know that the results we have are often subject to faith.
I always point to John 11, when Christ asked Martha “Do you believe this?” And I know that when we say “Yes” to that question, we can be lead from death to life, from pain to healing, and from darkness to light.
I had a short “Immanuel Prayer” session in my little office at my countryside home on December 31st. In the natural you could say it was just me and a PDF of written instructions. But was I all by myself? Did anything “actually happen”? Was “God with me”? “Do I believe this?”
I do. I can’t explain it and I can’t give you my experience. I suppose I could doubt it and explain it away as something other than an encounter with the Lord. But I won’t. The things I learned in this session could be said to be things that “I already knew”, but I didn’t know quite them in those “specific places” and I feel blessed and challenged to live in the truth of them going forward. Those dark moments in the past have been bathed in light, so whatever remnants of that baggage has been lifted and I would say I have an increased sense of freedom and peace from those traumas. But I also know that I wasn’t given this experience just to feel better about the past but have been given this gift to propel me into the future, to take these truths and to use them to go forward with confidence.
So, let’s get it! I encourage you to keep walking and talking with God because if only knew that the Lord has been with you all the days of your life and is walking with you now, you wouldn’t fear future and you wouldn’t look back. Let me echo, the Apostle Peter’s encouragement from:
Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV)
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
If I keep writing like this I don’t know if I will be sharing the Bible Verse of the Day in 2023 or not, I guess we will see tomorrow and the next day. For today, I feel like I’ve written enough but encourage you to get in the word yourself.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
By ARTHUR W. PINK
GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY DEFINED
“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as Head above all” (1 Chron. 29:11).
The Sovereignty of God is an expression that once was generally understood. It was a phrase commonly used in religious literature. It was a theme frequently expounded in the pulpit. It was a truth which brought comfort to many hearts, and gave virility and stability to Christian character. But, today, to make mention of God’s sovereignty is, in many quarters, to speak in an unknown tongue. Were we to announce from the average pulpit that the subject of our discourse would be the sovereignty of God, it would sound very much as though we had borrowed a phrase from one of the dead languages. Alas! that it should be so. Alas! that the doctrine which is the key to history, the interpreter of Providence, the warp and woof of Scripture, and the foundation of Christian theology should be so sadly neglected and so little understood.
The sovereignty of God. What do we mean by this expression? We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the godhood of God. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him what doest Thou? (Dan. 4:35). To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will (Psa. 115:3). To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is “The Governor among the nations” (Psa. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the “Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible.
How different is the God of the Bible from the God of modern Christendom! The conception of Deity which prevails most widely today, even among those who profess to give heed to the Scriptures, is a miserable caricature, a blasphemous travesty of the Truth. The God of the twentieth century is a helpless, effeminate being who commands the respect of no really thoughtful man. The God of the popular mind is the creation of maudlin sentimentality. The God of many a present-day pulpit is an object of pity rather than of awe-inspiring reverence. To say that God the Father has purposed the salvation of all mankind, that God the Son died with the express intention of saving the whole human race, and that God the Holy Spirit is now seeking to win the world to Christ; when, as a matter of common observation, it is apparent that the great majority of our fellowmen are dying in sin, and passing into a hopeless eternity; is to say that God the Father is disappointed, that God the Son is dissatisfied, and that God the Holy Spirit is defeated. We have stated the issue baldly, but there is no escaping the conclusion. To argue that God is “trying His best” to save all mankind, but that the majority of men will not let Him save them, is to insist that the will of the Creator is impotent, and that the will of the creature is omnipotent. To throw the blame, as many do, upon the Devil, does not remove the difficulty, for if Satan is defeating the purpose of God, then, Satan is Almighty and God is no longer the Supreme Being.
To declare that the Creator’s original plan has been frustrated by sin, is to dethrone God. To suggest that God was taken by surprise in Eden and that He is now attempting to remedy an unforeseen calamity, is to degrade the Most High to the level of a finite, erring mortal. To argue that man is a free moral agent and the determiner of his own destiny, and that therefore he has the power to checkmate his Maker, is to strip God of the attribute of Omnipotence. To say that the creature has burst the bounds assigned by his Creator, and that God is now practically a helpless Spectator before the sin and suffering entailed by Adam’s fall, is to repudiate the express declaration of Holy Writ, namely, “Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain” (Psa. 76:10). In a word, to deny the sovereignty of God is to enter upon a path which, if followed to its logical terminus, is to arrive at blank atheism.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts
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Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.
My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship