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Showing posts with label Immanuel Prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Immanuel Prayer. Show all posts

Monday, January 29, 2024

Immanuel Prayer – Cleansing a Memory and Healing the Heart - Purity 1260

Immanuel Prayer – Cleansing a Memory and Healing the Heart - Purity 1260

Purity 1260 01/29/2024 Purity 1260 podcast

Purity 1260 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of large stones on the shore and in the waters of what I believe to be the Tomhannock Reservoir in Pittstown NY comes to us from yours truly as I reached back in my iPhone’s photo archives this morning to share this Monday, May Day scene from 2015. This photo was taken by my in the 18th of May in 2015 and even though I didn’t intentionally mean to reach back that far I am using it because I find it oddly appropriate as yesterday afternoon’s Immanuel Prayer session with a friend took me years back to remind me that the Lord has always been with me and to clean out my closet and cleanse my heart of some residual grief, sin, and pain.   

Well, it’s Monday and as I have already gotten to work this morning by clearing my drive way of an inch or two of heavy wet snow and prepare myself for a full work day a head, I am giving thanks this morning for the path that the Lord has placed me on and for the work He has been doing in continuing to increase my freedom and peace by removing shadows from my past that I didn’t even know needed to be dealt with.   

It should be no surprise that the Lord will surprise you but even I have to admit that I didn’t realize the depths to which God’s love can go to to unburden our hearts and to lead us into healing and freedom.  

As part of my development plan for certification as a Deeper Walk Prayer minster, the Lord directed my path to make the acquaintance of and become friends with Julaine Kammrath, a certified Immanuel Prayer minister, and over the last three weeks, Julaine has been assisting me in becoming familiar with Immanuel Prayer, which is a guided prayer session that calls on the Lord to bring to mind memories of joy from the participant’s past. Joyful memories are the foundation on which a relational connection to the Lord is established and from which He can do the work that He wants to do in the participant’s life.  Forming a deeper relational connection with God, emotional healing, and spiritual deliverance for demonic spirits are all possible directions for the Lord to take in IP so although the facilitator and the participant may have a sense in where an IP session may go when they meet, the Lord – The Father, Christ the Son – Jesus – or the Holy Spirit is the one driving the bus and although the human parties may have an idea where the journey will start, God is the one who decides on the different places you will stop and when He will bring you home.  

Yesterday’s divinely guided tour took me back to Victoria Falls in Botswana in 2016, to the darkened confines of a movie theater’s projectionist hallway in 2002, and back again as the Lord caused me to remember the joy of seeing one of the seven natural  wonders of the world at the completion of two-week mission trip and how it caused me to silently and joyfully worship the Lord and to come to the realization that God is everywhere and that He has always been with me even in the darkest hours of my life.  

As I recalled the memory of the joy over the rainbow-producing mists of Victoria Falls and invited the Lord to reveal himself to me in the memory I was joined by Jesus who opened us my mind to see that God wasn’t just at Victoria Falls but that He was with me all the days of my life as I recalled a time in my past, a traumatic time of grief where I paradoxically felt all alone but somehow sensed a presence that I couldn’t explain at the time.  Jesus showed me that yes – God was in the light and the glory of his creation at Victoria Falls as I rejoiced and congratulated myself over a job well done and answered the call to go into the mission field, but God was also with me 14 years prior when I had turned my back on my faith and was grieving the death of my infant son.  

My personal tragedy led to a fog of depression, a descent into psychedelic drugs and a false godless religion, and a search for meaning and truth.  From 2002 to 2010, I looked everywhere but in the direction of Jesus for meaning and purpose and actually thought I was wise because of my rejection of Christianity but the Lord proved His faithfulness to never leave or forsake me and woke me up to the truth of the gospel and pulled me out of the darkness to experience that moment of over a year sobriety and a Christian mission trip accomplished on the shores of Victoria falls in 2016, and yesterday afternoon God took me back to remind me of it and to cleanse it, and to use it to heal me even more.  

As holy and righteous and well-intentioned as that mission trip was and even though I was over a year clean and sober, I still had lust in my heart and even though I was faithful to my ex-wife back then in my body, my marriage was pretty miserable because I was following the Lord and she wasn’t.  In so in my loneliness and unhappiness over my marriage, I imagined having another wife – a Christian wife – and during that trip to Africa, I imagined and dwelt on the idea that one of my fellow missionaries – a younger woman – could fulfill that role. So while I was on fire for the Lord during that trip, doing construction projects, and preaching at a variety of churches and schools, part of my attention was divided as I lusted after a different life with a different woman in my heart.  

So as I was recalling the joy over that mission trip and that concluding visit to Victoria Falls, Jesus led me to confess that sin of the heart, to renounce it, to receive his forgiveness, and to be free of the burden of the emotional adultery that I had in the dark confines of my heart.  Its gone now. I have no guilt or shame over those imaginations and Victory Falls is a pure memory undefiled by my secret lust. Its gone.  

The Lord also touch my chest and healed my heart over some of grief over my son, Holden’s death.  Jesus impressed upon me that He was that one that fixes the broken and He is the one who makes all things new and while He was emphatic in claiming me has His, He touched me to bring more healing and more capacity for freedom, growth, and love to my heart and mind.  

To say my IP session yesterday was a trip would an understatement.  I didn’t know had anything to be healed of, those things were water under the bridge I thought but Jesus touched and healed me all the same.  No guilt, no shame, and no pain remain – just pure joy and the peace that comes from knowing that God is with me, has always been with me, and is calling me to more healing, more freedom, more growth to follow Him and to teach others what I have come to know about Him and about the life that comes to us when we keep walking and talking with God.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse come from the section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

Proverbs 15:28 (NASB)
28  The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

Today’s verse is the fourth of five passages of scripture that fall under the fifth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and Lying.

5.     Be quick to listen, slow to speak.

Today’s verse tells us to ponder how we answer and warns us to not let our mouths pour out evil things. 

As Christians, we represent Jesus – the righteous One – and so lets think before we speak and be careful not to represent the world or the devil by pouring our foul language or hateful or unkind things.  

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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 “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

EVENING READING: MATTHEW 20

“Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with
my own things?” – Matthew 20:15

This parable preeminently sets forth the spirit of humility and the sense of unworthiness that should characterize the servant of God. The servant should always remember that even after he has done all, he is unprofitable, for he has only then done his rightful duty.

Moreover, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25). Who is the servant to question His justice?

It is very obvious that the grumbling servants of this parable were more concerned about their pay than about their faithfulness to the landowner who had called them into service, for no other reason than the fact that he was full of grace and kindness. Who am I? Why should I be called – let alone chosen – to serve God, when thousands are not? This must be our spirit.

Lord, I am humbled that You would
call me to serve You.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

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

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  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)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, October 13, 2023

There’s a Demon There! – Choosing Your Battles but Standing in Truth - Purity 1171

There’s a Demon There! – Choosing Your Battles but Standing in Truth - Purity 1171

Purity 1171 10/13/2023 Purity 1171 Podcast

Purity 1171 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun and Chicago City skyline reflected in the stainless steel surface of “The Bean” – Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate” Sculpture – comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene during my visit to Chicago’s Millenium Park during a walking tour of Chicago’s downtown Loop last Saturday.  

Well, It’s Friday, thank God, and even though I am back to work and facing the harsh reality of a shifted work schedule that will have me working on Saturday, I am still thankful because I really needed the day off on Tuesday and even though my life can seem particularly busy at times because I “walk in the Spirit” as close to 24/7 as I can, I have been continually and progressively blessed by the Lord for making the decision to follow and serve Him where called as my purpose for life.

About a year ago the call came to pursue increased training in “freedom” or “inner healing” prayer ministry and since then I have not only learned how to minister to others in new ways, but I have received healing from things rooted in my past from misconceptions and lies I believed about life or myself that I didn’t think I would ever divulge to anyone - ever.   While I won’t be sharing any of the details of the things I have been set free of through the prayer ministry sessions I had with Deeper Walk certified prayer minister, Christy Edge, today, I will give you an example of what I am talking about.  

For instance, a child’s parents' divorce just happens to coincide with a mistake or misbehavior of the child – say they broke something – like a vase- or they didn’t do well in school – had failing grades – and the child internalizes the trauma of the divorce and their misdeed as a cause and effect relationship.  “I know if I never broke that vase, my parents would still be together” or “If I had only done better in school, my parents wouldn’t have divorced.”  Obviously, we can see that one doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the other, but it could “feel true” and because it is somewhat irrational the child may never speak of it, but it can be internalized and create all kinds of misconceptions about life or themselves that could affect their course through life.  The healing in this situation is for someone to validate the person’s feelings of pain and comfort them with the fact that their “belief” wasn’t true and all the vows or beliefs they made internally because of that “false belief” where thus not true either and through care and counsel we could help them recover by living in the “light” of the truth.   Truth dispels the darkness and so we should turn on the light.  

So in my prayer ministry sessions with Christy Edge and with the help, guidance, and presence of the Lord, the light got turned on and some things I had realized long ago weren’t true were finally confessed, released, and healed.  Even though I had grown out of those childish secret beliefs long ago – really I did – the healing wasn't complete until the Lord brought them to my attention so we could expose and renounce them once and for all.  Those sessions removed what I think of as “residual lies” – things that may no longer play a part in our day-to-day existence but were back there in the past and should be “cleaned up” and removed through the Lord’s help and a healthy dose of the truth.  

So now as my certification training for prayer ministry is in its final months, I will practice leading someone else through prayer ministry to help them experience their freedom in Christ and assist them in allowing the Lord to heal traumas of the past.  

Recently, I was in a group where a prayer minister was describing a difficult session of guided prayer that they were leading that was in a word “complicated”.  

While the participant presented no particular issues that needed to be addressed and just wanted to “connect with Jesus”, after the session began all types of traumas and issues were revealed but because it was a “one time” appointment, the prayer minister had to choose which battles to fight and which ones to let go of.  

Don’t get me wrong, in guided prayer the Lord leads the session, and we just follow His lead but when the sessions are limited in scope – by time or other factors – the prayer minister has to decide how far they want to go. Generally, as prayer ministers we don’t want to open up wounds that we don’t have the time to deal with and we don’t want to leave a participant more traumatized than when we found them.   

In this session, the prayer minister led the participant into a particular area of their past and was surprised when the participant, who was actually a trained prayer minister themselves, announced: “We can’t go there! There’s a demon there that won’t let me go there.”   

So what do you do!?

While you might envision the prayer minster breaking out the rites of exorcism or rebuking the devil and casting it out in the name of Jesus at the mention of a demon, because of our commitment to the care of the people we minister to we don’t necessarily jump into the fray at a moment’s notice.   This session was a one time appointment and limited in scope and time and despite the prayer minister’s choice not to take on the demon encountered head-on; the Lord guided the session to move the participant to find healing in some other areas of their life.  

I have to admit that I was shocked to hear it myself, but I saw the wisdom of just dealing with what you can. 

However, I think that this episode just points out the need to lead people through a discipleship process and the Steps to Freedom in Christ as a first step to prayer ministry.  I understand that in this situation there was no time for that, and the Lord still came in and did a wonderful work of healing, but it just goes to show us, to me anyway, that even someone who is trained in healing prayer ministry should not be assumed to have their freedom in Christ.  

People come to faith in different ways, and we have no idea about the instruction and care they have received in the church – nor whether or not they understood, absorbed, and applied it to their life.  I think the worst thing we can do as Christians is to assume “we are all one” in terms of our theological understanding or levels of maturity.  Other Christians may be proven to be that in “name only” and have little or no Biblical education, training, or experience – to the point where they can have a demon!   

So seek the Lord, know His word, know His presence, and if you don’t have it pursue your freedom in Christ – because the gift of God’s grace is priceless but doesn’t inoculate us from demonic oppression if we give ground to the enemy through sin, unforgiveness, or unresolved spiritual or personal conflicts.     

While someone may ask for healing, we should ask them if they know Jesus and have done the work of applying His teaching to their lives in repentance.  If they haven’t we may discover they believed “childish lies” about their faith, life, or themselves that make room for the spiritual forces of darkness to have a place in their lives.   So while time may be a factor, always keep first things first by instructing others in what God’s word says and help them to repent and become free by leading them though the Steps to Freedom in Christ. 

Healing is a priority for sure, but Freedom in Christ should be the first thing we direct people to who need it.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Assurance of Salvation.

1 Peter 1:3-5 (NASB)
3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4  to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5  who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Today’s verses fall under the seventh and final point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Assurance of Salvation.

 7.  A Christian has a living hope through Christ’s resurrection.

 Today’s verse reminds us of our born again status that comes with our faith in Jesus.   When we put our faith in Jesus, we are said to be crucified, die, and raised to life with Him. 

So our hope comes from Jesus’ resurrection – the sign that Jesus was who He said He was – God the Son – and when we place our faith in Him we receive an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away. 

We are protected and saved because of Christ, and it will someday be fully revealed when Jesus comes back to rule and reign.  In His resurrection, we have a living and eternal hope!

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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  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

30 - The Spirit Fructifying

In the Song of Solomon

Far more is said in Scripture upon this aspect of our many-sided subject than is generally supposed—different figures being used, especially in the Old Testament, to express the graces and virtues which the Spirit imparts to and develops in the elect. A considerable variety of emblems are employed to set them forth. They are frequently referred to as flowers and gardens of them, to beds of spices, and unto trees and orchards. For example, in Solomon’s Song we hear Christ saying to His Spouse: “A garden enclosed is My sister, My Spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphor, with spikenard. Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon” (Song. 4:12–15).

The figures used in the above passage are very beautiful and call for careful consideration. A “garden” is a piece of ground distinguished and separated from others, for the owner’s use and delight; so the Church of Christ is distinguished and separated from all other people by electing, redeeming, and regenerating grace. In a garden is a great variety of plants, herbs, and flowers—so in the Church there are members differing much from each other, yet in all there is that which is delightful to their Lord. In a garden the plants and flowers do not grow up naturally of themselves, they do not spring forth spontaneously from its soil, but have to be set or sown, for nothing but weeds grow up of themselves; so in Christ’s Church, those excellencies which are found in its members are not natural to them, but are the direct product of the Spirit’s operations, for by nature nothing grows in their hearts but the weeds of sin and corruption.

The commentators are not agreed as to whether Christ is speaking to His Spouse in verse 15, or whether She is there heard replying to what He had said in verses 12–14. Personally, we strongly incline to the latter: that Christ having commended His Church as a fruitful garden, She now ascribes it all to Him: “A Fountain of gardens, a Well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.” Yet, if we accept the former interpretation, it amounts to much the same thing, for He would there be explaining what it was that made His Garden so fertile. To be healthy and productive a garden must be well watered, otherwise its delicate plants will quickly wilt and wither; the same being true of trees and all vegetation: a plentiful supply of water is indispensable. Consequently, in keeping with the fact that believers are likened unto plants and trees, and their graces to flowers and fruits, the quickening, renewing, reviving, and fructifying operations of the Spirit are spoken of as “dew,” as “showers,” as “streams in the desert,” etc.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

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

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  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)  

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).

 

Monday, January 2, 2023

Three Minutes In His Presence – Immanuel Prayer Process - Purity 930


Three Minutes In His Presence – Immanuel Prayer Process -   Purity 930

Purity 930 01/02/2023  Purity 930 Podcast

Purity 930 on YouTube: Coming Soon!

Good morning,

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:

2 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.

Our grace and peace are multiplied when we know the Lord Jesus Christ and His power gives us all we need for life and godliness. We have and will inherit those precious promises of God and increasingly experience His divine nature in our lives and escape the corruption of this world when we seek His will for our lives and follow Him.  

 

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.   

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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

CHAPTER ONE

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.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 25–27.