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I’ve been coaching a group now since September 2020 and for the month of May 2021 we are 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 over zoom. I just 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.)
As you walk your neighbourhood or an assigned neighbourhood, you can Ask Jesus the questions we’ve learned to ask Him (week 3 of our foundational course).
“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!”
For more of the teaching and helps, visit: www.freedomcoachingcircle.com
Provided by Merri Ellen Giesbrecht, Certified Life Coach & Spiritual Director
It was a delight to interview Kelly Young from Teen Challenge on what happened for her recently in learning to encounter Jesus in a whole new way. We discussed compassion fatigue and church and pastoral ministry and what has shifted. May you be encouraged too…
Learn more about the 5 week FOUNDATIONAL course here: https://www.merriellen.com/intro-course
Learn more about private coaching here: https://www.merriellen.com
#transformation #lifecoaching #spiritualdirection #hearingGod #teenchallenge
“Mr Moody, there must be more prayer. The speaking here is excellent but there is too much of it in proportion to prayer. We do not have time to pray. We get tired when going to meetings, listening to men. We must have more time to speak to God and to listen to Him.” – Andrew Murray to D.L. Moody (founder of Moody Bible Institute)
I just came across this quote above written in a book on prayer in 1915.
I love seeing this shift over and over with more people hungry to hear God and less what others say about God or on behalf of God. This is why I love teaching people how to hear God’s voice.
People ask me, “What do you think? What should I do?”
Let’s ask Jesus.
After we pray together listening to God, we always test it…
Does it line up with Scripture?
Does it line up with the fruit of Holy Spirit? (If I did what He told me, would it produce love, joy, peace…)
More of Him.
Less of me!
(There is a time for a sermon, but when a sermon is your main course meal and only meal, you lack knowing how to go to God to be fed. You miss out on a direct relationship with God and you have put your pastor in His place. Oops. That is idolatry.)
Jesus wants to be in fellowship with us and that is one reason He gives us His Holy Spirit—so we would never have to be alone. One of the things Jesus promised us is that the Holy Spirit would speak to us, so that we could maintain our intimate relationship with Him. (1 John 14:16-21).
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13)
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27 (NIV)
This morning on St Paddy’s day, my family and I gathered for communion and then reflected on a portion of his famously penned prayer…
I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and near.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Then, we did a little reflection together…
What follows is a reflection based on the second half of St Patrick’s Breastplate (Prayer). We may not wear combat gear in our daily lives but this prayer/reflection on St. Patrick’s Breastplate may function as divine armour to protect against the difficulties we may face in life.
Silently, become aware of what is going on around you. Close your eyes and sit in a comfortable upright position in their chair. Become aware of your breathing. Once you are in a prayerful state, keep your eyes closed and listen openly to the reflection.
Christ with me – Invite Christ quietly into your heart.
Christ before me – Think about events or things coming up over the next few days/weeks that you may be worried about. Ask Christ to help you face these challenges that lie ahead.
Christ behind me – Consider moments in your past that you may have found difficult. Spend a few minutes thinking about how Christ was present in these moments.
Christ in me – Do you spend quiet time in the day deepening your relationship with Christ? Make a commitment to set aside some time each day to talk and listen to God who is always with you.
Christ beneath me – All of us need help at points in our lives. It is at the lowest points that Christ is there carrying us through. Ask God now if there is anything you need help with.
Christ above me- Just as an umbrella protects us from the rain, Christ protects all of us. Think about somebodyclose to you that needs God’s protective care at thismoment. Ask God to help them.
Christ on my right hand – Christ uses your hands to helpand comfort others in today’s world. How can you use your hands to further God’s kingdom here on earth?
Christ on my left hand – God is always by your side even though you might not realise it. Thank God for never giving up on you even during those moments when you have turned away from him.
Christ when I lie down – Even when we sleep God is there watching over us and protecting us. Thank God quietly for his loving protective presence in your life.
Christ when I arise – When you wake up in the morning do you notice the beauty of the world around you? Thank God for his beautiful gift of creation.
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me –
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me – If someone who knows you really well were to give an honest answer to the question – What is the best thing about your friend? What do you think their answer would be? Would others say the same about you?
Christ in every eye that sees me – Imagine that somebody took a photograph of you this morning interacting with your family/friends without you realising it. Do you think you would be happy with what the image captured? Did you speak kind or harsh words to a loved one? Did you help your family member/friend or were you angry with them?
Christ in every ear that hears me – Think back over the conversations you have had with others this week. Have you been kind and thoughtful in what you have said or have your words been hurtful or damaging to others?
St. Patrick came to Ireland to help people discover your loving presence. May I take comfort from the fact that whatever challenges I may face in life you will always be there at my side to help and guide me through. Help me to be your witness in the world, showing others your loving presence through my words and actions.
Locating God’s presence this past year.
(The Grand Prayer of Examen)
- Look Back
– Look over the past 6 – 12 months.
– Where has the Lord been present and at work in my life?
– What significant changes have come my way?
– When have I been the most stressed? the most blessed, and full of joy?
– What can I give thanks to God for?
– Where have I been?
– Where am I now?
- Look through
– Identify any patterns, connections or themes that have characterized the past 6-12 months.
– If you can, summarize the past year in a sentence or two.
– Do you notice anything or patterns? specific thought patterns or emotions?
– Ask the Lord about these patterns. How do they line up with the fruit of Holy Spirit?
- Look forward
– Where do you sense God leading you forward?
– What do you sense your spirit needs in this season?
– What are your hopes and dreams for this coming year? Ask the Lord what His hopes and dream are for you!
– Paint a picture of what you envision over the next six months.
– What are you asking the Lord for in the new year? for your community, your family?
- Look around
– What does your community need? How can you pray for them, help them?
– Consider a prayer walk through your neighbourhood to help you see.
– Who are the people you can intentionally walk with?
– What community support do you need in this season of your life?
– Who are the people you need to invite to walk alongside you?
– Who are the people you can intentionally walk with?
– How can others best support you?
God, still my heart and mind.
I am silent in your presence.
You are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are fully here with me.
Father, I look back on my year.
Thank you for… (list off people, provision…)
God, help me to see where you were present and working in and around me…
…I bend my heart to you. Show me where I need to ask for your forgiveness and receive your grace. (If He brings things to mind, take time to do so.)
In humility, and renewed vision, faith and courage, I look toward the new year coming. I commit what I know and not know to you Lord. I ask for your discernment. Help me through your Holy Spirit to know you more deeply, to better love, serve, and lead others with your guidance and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scriptures for Reflection:
Psalm 103:2-5 (NLT)
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
Psalm 139:1-7 (NLT)
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
Psalm 51:10-12 (NLT)
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit[a] from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
I bless you with a new year of greater intimacy with your loving Heavenly Father, rich in Holy Spirit fruit, in the name of Christ Jesus! Amen!
The Prayer Of Examen, Ignatian Spirituality
The Psalms, NLT
The Grand Examen – Locating God’s Presence in 2017 : New Life Fellowship Church – New York
Recently, I had the honour of leading another person to freedom from addiction and depression. (I am a Life Coach and Spiritual Director which often entails an inner healing session.) Then, we talked about what abundant life really is. Full life in Christ doesn’t start when you die and go to heaven. It starts now when you die to self, and live in Christ.
This video from Graham Cooke below is TOTALLY what we discussed. My clients do this powerful exercise which he describes in the video….
There are 2 battles…
One to get free.
One to stay free!
You can even get started and download a similar resource that Graham describes.
This summer I returned to camp speaking after taking a couple years off to rest. I remember telling God that I was ready for whatever He had planned. I was ready for Him to blow out any boxes I had put Him in.
I had no idea what would happen next…
This summer I spoke at two camps for teens.
Here’s the first story of the week at a camp for age 11-13 (130 campers). On Monday, I noticed a junior staff on crutches. He had pain and swelling and didn’t know exactly what happened. The doctors were confused too. He was discouraged. My heart went out to him. I prayed for his ankle while we waited in the food line. The pain diminished but not all the way.
On Tuesday evening, I had planned to speak on something totally different. I kept sensing that Jesus wanted to heal the junior staff on crutches and that I was to speak on how Jesus healed and then sent out the 12 disciples to heal. So I did. I shared a few stories from the Gospels of Jesus healing the sick. Then, I shared a few personal stories of when I have gone out doing street ministry in my city and seeing Jesus do some incredible things after we prayed in His name.
I asked the campers who had physical pain and I was shocked how many hands went up in a crowd of young people.
Then, I saw a bolt of lighting behind the campers as they looked at me. The main staff said I could keep going. I prayed aloud that Jesus would put angels around the camp.
Then, I instructed the campers around those with physical pain to ask for permission if it was appropriate to lay their hands on the injured area. I led them through simple instructions how to pray over those with physical pain or illnesses.
Oh man… what happened next was mind blowing!!! We had some significant injuries healed. Torn ligaments healed, sprained ankles healed, no more crutches or pain for the junior staff member!! Plus, a staff member who had an infected tooth with a clenched jaw who had been finding it difficult to chew her food, became elated with tears rolling down her cheek realizing she had been healed… and on on and on… There were a few people still with pain and so we prayed one more time for them. On ‘Amen’, they were healed!
Almost on cue, the wind started blowing loudly, we heard a crack of thunder closer to us, along with lighting. We had to shut down the campfire, so I said, “Let’s holler – thank you Jesus on 3!” Oh man, the excitement and tears of joy and celebration!!! I felt like we were at a Hockey game and our team won Gold.
The next morning we saw evidence of how God kept the camp completely dry! Outside the boundaries of the camp were flooded but inside were completely dry. I remembered I had prayed for Jesus to put His angels all around the camp. We heard the stories of all the kids that experienced healing. Kids were in awe of God! All week there was such a buzz! Campers who previously weren’t into prayer or even God, were eager to pray for others for anything. One girl had lost her retainer and for days the cabin had all searched for it. After the healings happened, they were motivated to pray to find the retainer and went to bed. When they woke up, it was in the middle of the cabin. Jesus even cares about a retainer. 🙂
The junior staff who had been on crutches was running the rest of the week doing camp games with the campers with the biggest smile on his face. He was no longer discouraged. Thank you Jesus!
We prayed again in Thursday morning chapel after some more people had sprained ankles, since Tuesday night. In total, God chose to heal about 50 people throughout the week- both campers and staff of physical pain or injuries!
Early that week, I had also sensed a ton of attack and discouragement around the staff. I took 7 female staff through deliverance/freedom prayers and trained 3 others to take several more staff through deliverance. I trained the camp director to take all the male staff through cutting off lies from the enemy, while I took all the female staff through cutting off lies. There was significant breakthrough. And you could see it in their faces!
Never have I experienced such a week of camp.
When the parents showed up, there was such a buzz of the stories! Kids who didn’t believe in God were in awe! At the Last campfire, kids shared over and over of how they never knew God was so real and powerful!
Hallelujah!!! God was on the move… I LOVED how the faith of children brought such powerful healing and experience of God’s presence!
One male staff, son of a pastor, even rededicated his life. God is sooo good! He said, for the first time God became real to Him. His faith became now not just ‘cause of his pastor dad. Oh God so blessed my heart.
Honestly, it was 32 degree heat on average but I kept having goose bumps all week. I went to bed on Tuesday night giggling with Jesus and woke up Wednesday morning giggling with Jesus! I still get goose bumps thinking about the week!
Jesus gives full life. I think He is hungry to pour more of Himself out…
Here’s the 2nd week of camp…
I went to another teen camp (10-13 year olds) for 80 campers, this time for a great deal of kids who are not apart of a church. I said to God: “If you want to heal like you did and show how real you are to these campers, I’m game!” I read again of a few stories of Jesus loving the sick and healing them. I gave the invite for campers to raise their hands if they had any kind of pain. I taught kids to pray for other kids. And then… eyes were wide open. One boy healed of pain due to scoliosis. One girl had 6 years of neck pain – gone! One boy’s ulcer pain diminished and he received Christ! Crying and weeping everywhere. We had about 20 healings! Several campers received Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. We kept singing for Jesus for another hour after and we missed the evening game time! Campers were in awe once again of a loving God with healing power. One camper who had been complaining of chapel times was reading her Bible intently the next day.
Jesus was amazing!
Jesus, thank you for revealing how powerful and loving you are to teens this summer. I’m ready for more adventures with you…! 🙂
Friends recently asked me what changed in my life this past year that brought on so much blessing, healing, and crazy adventures of delight and joy in Jesus.
I’ve been pondering this…
“God, why have you shown such grace and mercy?”
I have seen God do some INCREDIBLE things.
(This summer, I watched God bring on 70 physical healings (from torn ligaments, clenched jaws, scoliosis, injured necks, sprained ankles…) in teenagers I was sent to lead, along with hearts surrendered to a new full life in Jesus!)
…On top of this, I have the joy of leading people through inner healing sessions with Jesus and getting a front row seat to Him doing mighty things! Adults and teens in depression, anxiety, and addiction are experiencing deep healing by hearing God’s voice.
Every day I come home from work, I feel like I just saw Jesus perform another miracle.
How did this all begin to happen?
I look back…
Less than a year ago, I had the unfortunate job of confronting a man who’s behaviours negatively impacted multiple families including his own. Jesus helped me realize that his patterns of behaviour towards me and others were out of fear (which leads to manipulation and control, and in this case emotional and spiritual abuse). Yet, in order to break this cycle of fear, I chose to confront him in love. Jesus strongly put it on my heart that I was to pray over the man for him to know that God’s love is greater than our fear. (Yes, this sounds humanly impossible to pray over a such a person. Only by the power of God can you do such a thing for someone who hurt others. I take no credit.)
The man wept, but only in sorrow. (Read: “5 Languages of Apology” by Dr Chapman to learn the difference between sorrow and repentance) I left in peace with a strong boundary, and I moved on… ‘dusting off my feet’.
I had no idea what would come next…
God is SO good.
For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit gives you mighty power, love, and sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7
There are basically 2 motives in our lives for why we do what we do…
Since that day, my health (in all aspects) improved like crazy. LIKE CRAZY. Could it be that walking in boldness brought on more of God’s power? …and more of His love and sound mind (and authority).
It appears the act of confronting someone in love and peace, seemed to immediately cut off the word curses once spoken over me and released healing and power flowing out to others like a bottle uncorked. (Confronting an abuser took lots of guided help. Do not try this on your own.)
Would you like God’s power, love and self-control to become ‘uncorked’?
Questions for you:
Is there someone in your life who has hurt you?
Invite Holy Spirit to come… and then…
Ask Jesus: “How do you see this person? How do you feel about this person?”
What He will show you will blow your mind! God wants to loan us His perspective on people and situations in our lives.
Ask Jesus: “What are you calling me to do, if anything for this situation/person?”
What Jesus shows you can transform the place you are in.
Share it with trusted advisors to pray with you.
Whether you are called to confront someone, or simply pray a release over them…,
Jesus waits for us to be ready to step into His resting place in order to blow us away with what He wants to do next…
Like I said to the teens I was ministering to this summer… “Are you ready to get wrecked by God’s mind blowing love?!” 😀
Check this out…
Paul Prays for Love to Overflow
14 …I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, 15 the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth. 16 And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.
17 Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.
18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!
20 Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.
Ephesians 3:14-20 (TPT)
Jesus invites you to lay down your burdens at Jesus’ feet for Him to handle.
Then, walk forward in freedom and get ready to watch God do some mighty things!
(And if you have burdens that won’t go… and you need a life coach/spiritual director, feel free to contact me directly. I would delight in walking with you to Jesus’ freedom gift for you too.)
Recommended Reading: “5 Languages of Apology” by Dr Chapman
I love that Randy Friesen wrote this article below… giving thought that in order to fulfill the Great Commission, we need to think differently…
I love the story he uses of Alex Honnold who broke a mountain climbing record (a climb that once took 47 days, he did in less than 4 hours)… a man on a mountain with less baggage and tools and more faith than ever before…
The Great Commission may seem like a huge mountain… and yes it is… and it requires new listening, new wine skins…
“New vision requires new wineskins… God is doing a new thing…. Wherever the Church is calling out to the Father in prayer, he is present with them and transforming lives. Citywide prayer for a citywide harvest is still God’s mission plan.”
“He (Jesus) has strategies to reach every nation, people group and city. He is calling us to radical surrender, to concerted prayer, and to risk-taking obedience. Rather than asking Jesus to fund our strategies and structures, will we listen for his voice and embrace his ways? Will we humble ourselves as leaders and think differently about strategic planning?”
Enjoy the full article…
And here’s Alex climbing the mountain without rope…