(Written to honour my 90 year old spiritual mentor, May 2022.)
The first time I met Edna, she came to my office door when I was first hired on as a pastor. I don’t believe she even said, “Hi, my name is Edna.” She came to the door and took up 1/10 of the door frame and out of her mouth came, “If you need someone to pray for you – I’m your woman.”
It was absolute seriousness. She meant business. She was ready to go to war alongside me. She knew better than me the fire I would later walk through as a leader.
So began years of prayer partnering together. She would listen to the Lord and at times share specific words and verses. I remember her giving me Psalm 27. “Wait patiently on the Lord.” It was timely. She had no idea the difficult decision I was trying to make when she sent it.
Edna helped me understand the spiritual realm.
She had served in Indonesia and Philippines where things were in your face including head hunting. Her stories were incredible. She was 43 years older than me and full of wisdom.
It was from her that I think I really learned how to effectively pray. She helped put language to the things I was experiencing and felt in the spiritual realm. We would prayer walk laps around the church building – every Monday morning. The front office staff would cheer us on and remark to us with wonder if the walls were going to fall down.
There was one season I remember deeply. The church was going through a difficult time. We sensed the Lord invite us to pray for repentance on behalf of the church; it’s people and it’s history.
I remember in one month; 13 people came forward to me personally, not knowing what we were doing. They confessed sin or shared deep wounds. I would pray with them and refer many of them to a local counsellor. It got such that the counsellor emailed me. “Who are you and what are you doing over there?”
We prayer walked for families. We prayed for the Kids Soccer Camps we ran and we saw incredible things happen.
She was my spiritual mom for years.
One day she asked me, “Do you know how to fight a bull?” Again, she said this in absolute seriousness. Her dad had a bull in the field growing up. She said to me: “When you come face to face with a bull, you take that ring in its nose and you twist.” At first, I thought she had lost her mind. But, I felt like the Lord said to me, “Take note of this.” I realize I have used that lesson so often, not in the natural but in the supernatural.
Today, I minister to missionaries, pastors, and various ministry leaders all over the world. They are often on the verge of burnout or in deep spiritual oppression. I enjoy walking with them to lead them through it and take the enemy to task.
Yes, Edna was probably the first person who effectively taught me about the spiritual realm. We are seated in the heavenlies. In Christ, we have authority over the evil one. But, we give away our authority when we live in fear.
Because of her, I have multiplied what she has taught me. Her impact is far reaching today as I coach people on the mission field, often in countries like she was once in.
Our friendship was such that we would often joke; if we had grown up together, we would have gotten in so much trouble.
Years ago, she was told she was dying already back then. The news hit me hard. I went to a local retreat centre and spent a day weeping. She asked me to do her funeral back then. She was always a huge supporter of me and my leadership.
We met and prayed and looked forward to riding a motorcycle together in the airstrip of heaven. In her earlier years she had often hopped on a motorcycle after her kids were in bed, and road it up and down the local airstrip for stress relief and prayer. She was my kind of woman. When I pastored, I rode a Honda Ruckus myself and found it great therapy.
Together, we prayed for Edna. Lo and behold, she was healed. The funeral plans were off.
Edna and I enjoyed years of visiting together after that. I would go to her home and ask her what the Lord was telling her and hear her reflections on the Word or her stories. When I would phone her and she’d answer, I would greet her with: “Hello, my friend!” Her response was always so life giving.
Edna passed quietly in her sleep at 90 years of age. She was singing about heaven in the weeks leading up to it. She knew she was getting ready for heaven. I write this having recently experienced her celebration of life. She was a woman ahead of her time. Stories of her life were shared of hiding fugitives in a dangerous country, chasing away thieves, guarding women in the local prison, leading women through 12 step recovery programs, preaching sermons in a day before women really did, hosting the local police for meals in order to minister to them, and speaking at the Bible Camp that I have spoken at for years myself. This is only some of what she did and reminds me why we hit it off.
I miss her deeply as I write this. I lost contact with her in the final years due to my own health crash in 2016-2017, then her Parkinson’s making it hard for long emotional visits and then Covid 19.
I hope we will be riding some kind of joy ride vehicle together up in heaven. I’m sure it’s going to be far beyond all of our dreams.
Edna has left a huge legacy and impact on my life and I can see how what I do in coaching ministry leaders is flavoured by her.
I pray that my life will impact at least 1/10 of what her life has on her family, friends, and those she cared for.
We had incredible breakthroughs in women around the world!
Recently, we had over 80 women from Alaska to Texas, Canada, Britain, Australia, and Germany! We gathered together for 5 days back to back to kick start women in hearing Jesus in the midst of our current noise.
(Here’s one screenshot of one panel view! So much energy!)
One woman on my tech team had inner healing in front of all the women LIVE! She was thrilled!
One woman had breakthrough over something she’s been carrying for 30 years. Thank you Jesus!!!
I’m told we apparently broke online event records with engagement. Women weren’t wanting each day to end!
What happened in the private Facebook group between sessions was unreal! Women were so encouraging and vulnerable.
Oh man… more miracle stories were pouring in and we are seeing things fulfilled that were once spoken over us in this season. Jesus was having fun! 💕
The very next day women were asking for more! So, we are planning the next event!
Spread the News and Invite Your Female Friends for 5 MORE Unforgettable Days…
I’ve been coaching a group now for many months and recently we have been focusing on radical prayer walking. Here’s a glimpse…
The format of church has been shifting for a very long time and 2020 put it into high gear. A bunch of us have gathered and scattered for prayer walking and gathering for Disciplemaking including over zoom. I recently gathered this week with 35 people all over the world. INTERACTIVELY that is.
*To me, online church is not watching some guy talk for 45 minutes. Church is family and interactive.
We’ve even enjoyed communion over zoom when we gather. And then, we scatter!
Back to prayer walking…
Just the other day, there were 10 moms with strollers going out through their neighborhood locally!
Radical Prayer Walking (Shifting Atmospheres)
What is prayer-walking?
One simple definition: “Praying on-site with insight.”
The purpose of prayer-walking is to seek God’s guidance, mercy, and transforming power—both for the community and for ourselves as God’s servants in the community.
The key to shifting atmospheres through prayer:
We must first invite Jesus to shift the atmosphere inside of us.
Example: “Search my heart God… Is there anything in my heart you’d like to heal?” (We did a teaching on this in one of my courses.)
When I call for prayer walking and deliverance buddies, I tell them: “Come prayed up, cleaned up, confessed up, and ready to go!”
When we attempt to shift atmospheres, this is key!
Once you have enjoyed time with Jesus – praising Him, thanking Him and then allowing Him to shift the atmosphere within you, you are ready to take His glory to the street!
Here’s another important key I’ve noticed in prayer walking: Do not engage in territorial spiritual warfare lightly. (Without seeking the Lord, it’s just asking for trouble on you and your family.)
Instead, repent for the sins committed in the area (yes – even if they were committed by others. Think of Nehemiah or to be more NT – you can pray: “Lord, have mercy! Forgive.”), and then pray a blessing of the fruit of Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
So, it could look like this… 1. Worship and Delight in the Lord, and Listen to Him…
2. Repentance (or pray: “Lord, have mercy! Forgive.”)
3. Blessing (of Holy Spirit)
These things have shifted atmospheres, neighbourhoods and families in a powerful way! Then, pray for anyone you run into! I have seen people healed of cancer, arthritis, kidney failure, etc. Jesus heals! (We will learn about praying for physical healing in an upcoming session.)
“Jesus, what’s on your heart for this neighbourhood? Why?” “Jesus, what’s the look on your face as you look at them? Why?” “Jesus, how are you praying for them? Why?” “Jesus, how are you inviting ME to pray for them? Why?” “Jesus, what promise and Scripture do you have for them? Why?” “Jesus, if they embraced this promise, what gift would you pour out for them? Why?”
“Jesus, is there anything blocking them from your presence that you’re willing to show me?” (And if He shows you sin, etc – ask Him how He’s inviting you to pray.)
Caution: This discipline of prayer walking is to be entered carefully and especially if you are a burden bearer. (Do not take home burdens. Remember, you are to release the burdens back to Jesus.)
4. ‘Wash off’ after you walk through a neighbourhood. You can simply pray: “Jesus, I pray your shed blood over me to wash me off of all things I’ve come into contact with. Father God, pour your love over me. Holy Spirit, rinse me clean, and fill me up to overflowing! I declare that nothing can come home with me that is not of you Almighty God!”
I shared this video back in April 2020 on how pastors are being forced to pivot and throw all their methods out the window. This video continues to be VERY relevant.
If you are a pastor, here is the current shift happening I see as I coach pastors, missionaries, and congregants. Pastors, you can do this with the help of your elders and ministry co-leaders.
If your people have been mostly relying on your sermons to grow, it’s now a very exciting time to equip your people to feed on God’s Word and His Holy Spirit in greater measure. Praise God! Jesus is drawing His Bride in deeper intimacy!
This casual conversation recorded on a rainy day in November, may challenge you, offend you, or resonate deeply with you.
I remember once judging others for ‘leaving the church’. Sadly, I didn’t get it at the time. These days, I walk multiple people a day through healing from ‘church’ and religious abuse and showing them who Jesus truly is.
I’m learning to make disciples who multiply and make disciples while at the same time walking people through deep inner healing and deliverance sessions, or simply learning how to hear God speak.
My heart is for Jesus and I love Him more than ever before. I lead pastors, elders, missionaries and lay people out of ‘church’ burnout, laying down heavy yokes, and learning what easy yoke living with Jesus truly is.
I see more breakthrough in one day than I did in 10 years as an institutional church pastor. God is calling us back to the basics of BEING the church, sharing the love of Jesus, healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead! He called EVERY believer to know how to do this and to enjoy a fruitful journey with Jesus!
Read: John 15, Matt 11:28; Matt 10:8
These days, I enjoy sharing Jesus on the street and in coaching & spiritual direction sessions for those who desire this. God is calling His Bride to get ready! God is calling His people to draw close to His heart, in order to experience His true nature.
(Sorry for the poor audio. It starts 7 seconds in and you will need to turn up the audio at the start…)
Thank you for taking the time in advance to hear my story…
Audio: My story of freedom from the 4 walls (opens in new tab) – sorry audio file is currently not working. My apologies.
To you listening and reading this today…
I bless you with more of Holy Spirit! To walk forward in what God has for you today! 💕🙏🙌🥰
If you’ve been following this blog or my story, you will know that since 2016 the Lord called me out of the institutional church (I see now he had been warning me of this since 2010) and told me to ‘circle the wagons’ and unlearn a few things before stepping forward. After some healing and resting, the Lord took me back to the basics of church of meeting in homes and being active on the streets.
“Oh my goodness! Did you prophesy the home church movement?”
Interestingly 2,000 years or so ago, church began as an organic house church movement. It wasn’t until a few hundred years later that it became an institution under the Roman Emperor Constantine. It went from the priesthood of ALL believers to professionalization of pastors. Today, you will find that the majority of ‘believers’ do not know how to do what Jesus called us to do.
Matthew 28:18-20 ERV
“So he came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth is given to me. So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have told you to do. You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of time.”
Matthew 10:7-8 ERV
“When you go, tell them this: ‘God’s kingdom is now very near.Heal the sick. Bring the dead back to life. Heal the people who have leprosy. And force demons out of people.”
Then, in 2018, the Lord started partnering me with pastors, missionaries around the world who were needing coaching support. I heard their frustrations and desire for Holy Spirit to lead them. I kept my own journey to myself. When I began to ask them questions, I began to hear their hearts respond with similar statements that sounded familiar. When I shared with them what God was doing through Disciplemaking movements around the world, they were floored. In 2019 in my area, two Lead Pastors of large institutional churches admitted to their congregations that what they were doing was all off.
I continue to get pastors and missionaries asking me my perspective. Recently, a Lead Pastor sent me this:
“Hey Merri Ellen, What do you think the way forward looks like for discipleship and sharing the gospel under Covid restrictions? Just curious about your thoughts as I hear what ‘churches’ are identifying what they think is the way forward.”
It was a great question and I love that pastors are more and more hungry to find an answer in this unique season.
The beautiful thing about Covid restrictions is that it forces us to get back to the small few, the organic. One can easily meet with a few people, or use technology (in an interactive way).
I think the bigger hang up is are we willing to give up our paid pastoral positions and expensive buildings that could be keeping us from fulfilling the Great Commission? (If you’re a paid pastor, be encouraged. There’s some help below…)
Recently, I read this article: The Death of Sunday Morning written from a perspective of what God has been doing far on the other side of my world. It forces us to ask ourselves, “Am I willing to leave an old wine skin behind in order to follow Jesus and share His Good News?”
Here’s one perspective…
“Many people were traveling with Jesus. He said to them, “If you come to me but will not leave your family, you cannot be my follower. You must love me more than your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters—even more than your own life! Whoever will not carry the cross that is given to them when they follow me cannot be my follower.“
“And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.”
What do you do when your church is shut down due to the Corona virus or persecution?
The systems may crash, but…
There is actually new opportunity! I see the church shifting in beautiful ways…
***This link below was originally posted in Feb 2018.
Notice the title of the post?
Since the Corona Virus, this has become even more valuable to use in BEing the Church… (and you can EASILY do this interactively via phone or video chat during quarantine as I have been doing with my fellowship groups.)