Saturday, June 16th was a GOOD day, filled with gentle breezes in the park and of the LORD! Souls were gathered, refreshed, filled, and renewed! For those who are curious and might consider attending in the future, this blog will explain how the time was used and include reactions from attendees. There was a good range of ages that participated from early 20's up to 60 "ish". Two men after God's own heart attended! Drawing near to God is not just for women!
We started off gathering under the shelter shown above. For the beginning, some introductory messages were given about the format, reason for the ministry, and a beginning teaching with associated meditative exercise. Then each was given an MP3 player that contained 30 minutes of preparatory breathing and prayer meditation to do alone on a walk in the park. The recording was to help participants begin to open up and invite God to search within and give some freedom in preparing alone. Then, upon return, they were ready to connect with current thoughts, feelings, actions, and words causing upset within. A form was handed out and participants took time to consider what was not currently good in these areas and write them down. We then focused on God's meaning of good with visual pictures to help identify God's activity to do good within our souls and satisfy our deepest needs in all areas of our lives.
True "good", as defined by God, is definitive and unchanging. It is not opinion based as we use it. True good is seen and known in the life of Jesus, who qualifies himself as the "Good" Shepherd. A good shepherd MAKES his sheep lie down and rest, Psalm 23:2. How? We looked at 4 areas that create unrest within sheep folds, and saw how these areas perfectly translated to 4 areas of upset in our human lives. These are the areas that a good shepherd has to settle in order for his flock to lie down and rest. Those 4 areas were brought before God in meditative exercises. With the help of the Holy Spirit, participants processed, released, and received fresh revelation and rest from God. During this part, I also included time to pray for the group in each of the 4 areas. If you have never been prayed for, this experience alone can be quite comforting and healing. God intends that we have moments when someone is standing with us to cover us with God's good promises. We need others to stand with us in agreement for renewal and supernatural life, especially when we are weary and heavy burdened. Participants received this covering. This period of time (From the time of return from the walk to completing the meditative exercises) took about 1 hour.
The ending was a transition from the exercises to worship played on a speaker. Worship time helps each one end gently and in their timing, alone with God. Participants were invited to worship for as long as they wanted, or continue journaling, and/or receive personal prayer. Each were free to leave in their own timing. Some stayed for an 10 additional minutes, some stayed another 40 minutes. Some asked for personal prayer for the areas that God brought up to them in the meditative exercises. There was a good amount of release of gentle emotion from most participants because God was good and ministered to deep areas of need.
Overall, it was a wonderful time with the Good Shepherd! But I'll let the remaining input come from some participants who turned in a survey. (Note they chose the roles that are associated with their comments.)
"Amazing!!! The combination of the walk and guided meditation was very helpful and woke me up to areas in marriage and work that I was anxious and controlling. Gina's meditations help me process emotions with better clarity and gain new ways of becoming closer with God." - Youth Ministry leader and Professional Career.
"Really enjoyed MP3 use; but it wasn't long enough. I wanted more." - Adult Ministry leader and Parent
"The meditation was very refreshing and insightful. The park was a perfect setting! I found the images you described (like God's mercy as a womb) very helpful for a fuller understanding of God. I thought the pacing of the meditation was just right. I appreciated how we were able to reflect on our feelings and then progress to meditating on God's provision for these troubling feelings. I especially like the phrase "shameless audacity" and have used it in my prayer life this week." - Parent and professional career
"I really enjoyed the experience. I feel I gained some tools in being able to go deeper in meditation and reflection to grow closer to Jesus. The park is one of my favorites so this helped me also. Nature is one of those places that I really connect with God." - Parent and Business Owner
"Gina is a connector- her gift to help you enter the presence of God, no matter how 'stuck in the mud' you feel- is truly a gift." - Life Coach
"Thank you for this ministry! I appreciated the time to ourselves for reflection. Not often that we are able to slow down and process life events or emotions. Thanks again!" - Professional Career
"The location was perfect. After the meditation I felt so encouraged, loved, and near the Lord. There was a sense of renewed hope. All those troubled thoughts were gone. Got a vision of Jesus wrapping his arms around me and insight of walls built as a hedge of protection from God. The teaching on the shepherd was amazing. He is a good shepherd!" - Parent
"I really appreciate your gentle leadership. You shared wisdom and scripture but very much in a way of drawing in (not talking at)." - Bible teacher, Youth Ministry leader, Parent
"I loved the Into the Water's Experience. Would love to know where to go from here. Often I find I get a little taste, but then back to the 'crazy'. How do I get this muscle to be my go to?" - Bible teacher, Youth Ministry leader, Parent
"This time of meditation provided a much needed respite in a time of turmoil and uncertainty. Through Gina's gentle promptings and interactions and non-judgmental approach we were led into the presence of the "Good Shepherd", basking in His love, reflecting on our own thinking and actions and learning to wait patiently in Him. Draw near to Him! Thank you Gina, you have been a blessing in my life!" - Bible Teacher and Professional Career
"Enjoyed time shared with God in nature, His creation. Refreshed and revived in His Spirit. Felt calmness, soothing release of emotions. It was a time to bring God's good into my soul and then my home." - Seeker
Participants were also asked the following questions with percentages shown of majority answer, from majority of attendees who submitted a survey-
1) Overall, how satisfied were you with your experience at today's meditation?
This is all written to give you a sense of the experience and to encourage you to consider attending an event. Additionally, please leave a comment below if you have interest in learning how to bring this type of session into your small group setting. You can also send an email of inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org. A similar event will be posted for the 1st Saturday in August. Sign up will be posted next week, keep an eye out on the calendar page! Draw near!
Questions to ponder, consider, meditate, and process in God’s presence…
1) What is a destructive root system working within you, that needs to be destroyed? A system that is invasive and damaging to yourself and your relationships? A long-standing root system that is affecting your ability to see and know God’s peace, life, and power?
2) Next week's blog- Are there destructive root systems in those around you? Are their thoughts, behaviors, attitudes, and criticisms destroying the strength of your faith foundation? Is there someone you need to approach because their state-of-heart is damaging your faith walk and obedience to Christ?
For more, read on…
This week a friend of mine sat in with me for a situation that needs resolve. After the situation that she attended with me, we went to her house and asked God to help us process what just took place. We took about 30 minutes to worship and pray and wait on God’s input. She received 2 words for me, “New roots.” For context, she gave a couple of scriptures, one being Jeremiah 17:7-8:
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Roots. The things we can't see growing underground. How important are they?
Did you know that roots can be more vigorous in growth and change than the leaves above? Did you know that new roots form RAPIDLY AFTER INJURY? This was revelation to me. For some reason, I had a picture in my mind that roots would rapidly grow just based upon season. I never factored in DEATH of roots as reason for rapid growth of NEW roots.
From a report called “Tree roots: facts and fallacies”, it states, “injury to and death to roots are frequent…”
Injury and death, commonly referred to in scripture as suffering and dying to self.
In the report I read, the roots referred to as being injured and dying frequently were not the main tree roots; but the feeder roots. Feeder roots are made up of a complex system of network roots that primarily grow out and up. They absorb water and other nutrients to feed the tree. These feeder roots reside much closer to ground level and therefore are more easily damaged by surface level contaminants. They are more easily injured by surrounding plants, insects, animals, chemicals, and human action.
To me this brought great revelation and gave me much to ponder. I’ve been really struggling with what God is doing right now in my life. Why so much injury and pain as this year starts? I’ve been upset about a call to “suffer” not willing to follow God’s lead. It’s been causing a great amount of distress and push-back in me.
But though I have been a reluctant participant in whatever He is doing right now, of late I am turning and obeying, trusting Him to help me face pain. Through a series of “yes'", the new roots God wants formed are beginning to find their way deeper in Him. Its not over yet; but I know I am on the right path. Certainly I have made mistakes, but praise God as I reach for him, there is promise of healing. Do you believe that for yourself?
Luke 6:19-and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
My revelation will not be your revelation; but I believe God wants me to share steps I've taken for revelation because too many travel alone. I haven't gone on the path of healing alone. As I have said yes to God, I have invited people into my pain and had it all laid before God with them. There is healing if we trust and have confidence in God as Jeremiah 17:7-8 listed above promises.
What steps have I taken?
1- Ultimately I have given in, I have surrendered to face the painful situation that God is asking me to face. Our first step is to say, "Yes Lord." - John 14:23
2- I haven’t process my pain alone. In very difficult moments, I've called friends. I've asked them to come over and “be with me”. I’ve been willing to mourn in their presence and be vulnerable, no matter how awkward it has felt to do so. - James 5:16
3- I've let several people pray for me; and have been tuning into what is coming from these “intimates” after they have prayed and sought God on my behalf. There is a common message forming.- Matthew 18:19
4- I have not faced difficult meetings alone. See Matthew 18:16, where 2 or more are gathered, there Christ is with them. I have taken a spirit filled friend with me. for confrontation and to address situations.
5- I’ve not trusted in my own perceptions or other human perceptions after those meetings. I’ve processed my questions at the foot of the cross searching His Word, asking Him to give me and others His wisdom and His thoughts. - Isaiah 55:8-9
6- As this process has continued, I’ve become more willing to face suffering and pain believing it will produce more of Him in me. 2 Corinthians 1:5-7
7- I’ve been more willing to look at my anger. I've cast it on Christ, and have gone "deeper" to feel the pain and confess the fear driving it. - 1 Peter 5:7,
8- I’ve been obeying His call to sing during the pain, despite not feeling like it. -Psalm 63:7, I Thessalonians 5:16.
9- I continue to seek scripture for wisdom. Night and evening, praying continually asking God to speak to me through scripture and give me His wisdom. I want the new roots. I want healing. - 1 Thessalonians 5-17, Psalm 119:10.
10- New roots are forming as I continue to cry out asking for more of the Holy Spirit. “Holy Spirit come, open my eyes that I may see and understand and obey.”- Luke 11:13
What are the new roots he wants forming in you and me? What is the purpose behind the injury?
He says to you, He says to me, “Let your roots go deeper in Me.”
Is there distress in your life? What feeder roots might God be injuring? If you were to picture yourself as a tree, what does your root system look like? Are they thirsty? Are they feeling contaminated, raw and right at the surface, easily damaged? Is something cutting through those surface roots? What do your leaves look like? Are they green and flourishing?
Take time to consider yourself as a tree. Ask God to show you a picture of where you are planted, by His stream or alone in a desert? Pray for God show you your root system. Ask Him where you need to go deeper. Are "Holy Spirit filled-others" prayerfully with you in your injury? Go through the list of 10 things above, are you taking these steps? Ask God to provide intimate others who are surrendered to God, to be with you as you face the pain He wants to heal.
Next week’s blog is about asking him to show you a root system in situations and people around you that might be damaging to your foundation. Until then please try out the 2 meditations offered on the meditation page. Consider becoming a monthly supporter at just $10 per month! If you do, you will exclusively receive future meditations and accompanying resources once a month! I will receive notice that you have signed up as a monthly donor and your name and email will be added to the distribution of each month's prayer meditation resource!
This week, I have created a prayer exercise based upon Psalm 46:10a- "Be still and know that I am God."
Frequently, behind God's Word, He has images to look at, cultural context to understand, and actions to take. This is true of God's command to "be still".
As God's people, we are called to trust and be still. In God's terms it means to slacken. To relax. To let fall, especially the hands. The idea is that we are to leave off our own attempts. It is about letting go, loosing (not losing) control, and trusting God to deliver and rescue.
It's a process to trust God. That's why after the words, "Be still", he then says; and "KNOW that I am God." To know him the way He means, is that we would see AND perceive Him with clarity. He intends that we acquire intimate knowledge of who He is. The more we know Him this way, the more we trust Him to step in, the more we cry out that He intervene and take the reigns. The more we love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, the more we will find rest in storms and have peace that surpasses understanding. We will release and trust Him for deliverance.
God has many names to know Him by. One is Prince of Peace, see Isaiah 9:6. The prayer exercise at the end of the blog invites you into a quiet and restful time with the Prince of Peace. It takes about 5 minutes. Feel free to linger as long as you'd like though, there is no rush. Have your Bible and a pencil and paper near to journal thoughts and reference the Word.
Creating and distributing resources like the video below is one part of this year's goals for Into the Waters. Our mission is to inspire people to linger longer with God in prayer, resourcing the earnest to draw near and know Christ. If you are one of the "earnest", I invite you to receive a biblical prayer meditation resource like the one below, on a monthly basis!
For those who would support this ministry at a minimum of $10 per month, every month you will receive a 5-10 minute biblical meditation for use in your prayer closet! You will receive access to a "locked" page that will contain the meditation resources. Know your monthly support will help fund efforts as we go out and execute small group meditations, pray with people, and create more prayer resources for distribution and individual/group use. Help is needed to go out! The goal is to have 50 supporters at $10 per month or more over the next 6 months. Please pray for the ministry and agree for the provision!
Visit the updated donation page to see detail on how to be a "recurring" monthly donor. Read the testimony page for a refresher of what God does and how people are blessed to spend time with Him!
Would God lead you to be a regular supporter? We are a unique prayer ministry in terms of having a foundation based upon scripture meditation and active listening. The Spirit, the Word of God, and Jesus are the central inspiration! Thank you for considering being a monthly partner! If not, one time donations are always greatly appreciated, no matter how big or small. Blessings! God loves you! Press in for more and enjoy the meditation below!
MEDITATION DESCRIPTION: The "Be Still" meditation is completely silent. It lasts approximately 5 minutes and 45 seconds. It might help to watch it once before entering your prayer time. You will see the slides transition, with some holding for longer periods to give you time to pray and process. You will be prompted with questions and asked to consider what you need to release into God's hands in order to experience the stillness He promises our souls. Be patient with yourself and the process. Let God work in you. Note: For monthly members, future uploads will include some sort of musical chime or sound to keep you in tune with slide transitions. As well you will be given access to complementary resources for deeper levels of processing and life application. Enjoy!
I'm in the process of sending out donation letters for 2016. In them, I am including a summary of ministry fruit and thought I'd include the same content in this week's blog. He deserves the glory!
Know that God worked through you in any financial support, words of encouragement, participation as a reader or in an event, and in any form of prayer for this ministry. These means helped sustain and advance initial ministry activities for which I am truly thankful and humbled! They were also evidence that God is directing the mission of Into the Waters.
The mission of Into the Waters Ministry, Inc. is to inspire people to linger longer with God in prayer, resourcing the earnest to draw near and know Christ.
Towards that mission, in 2016:
Over 87% of attendants stated they were extremely satisfied or very satisfied with their prayer experience! They gave excellent feedback via survey and email responses, making it clear that the Holy Spirit ministered deeply to individuals in the sessions. The Word of God renewed minds with scriptural truth. People heard from God. Many processed and confessed weaknesses, releasing burdens. About 30% asked for personal prayer. Overall it was clear God’s presence was the reason this ministry touched people! All glory to God!
Already in 2017, 3 sessions have been held. Two of the 3 sessions have been private sessions using Psalm 23, with 12 people in attendance within those 2 private groups.
2017’s main focus will be on expanding reach through private small group sessions instead of community sessions. The community sessions were very helpful in introducing the mission of the ministry, testing and revising format, giving people an initial experience of biblical meditation, and opening doors for invitations into private group settings. New people are being reached as group leaders invite Into the Waters into their settings. This shift of going out will also enable the ministry to do some outreach to local organizations as the LORD leads and opens those doors. Visit the "Invite Me In" page to inquire about a private group session for your small group or ministry.
Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you…”
Into the Waters Ministry is going out to make disciples, Matthew 28:18-20. Using the Word of God as inspiration and with the Holy Spirit’s help, people are lingering longer with God in prayer. They are waiting on His presence, listening for His counsel, wrestling with and confessing weaknesses, carrying burdens to Christ, and drawing nearer to renew their minds in Christ. Is that a ministry that you would continue supporting? If so, please consider becoming a regular partner of the ministry and support the LORD’s heart that his house be a house of prayer, that people would humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their own way to His way. If we do, He will hear, forgive, and heal, 2 Chronicles 7:14.
With additional donations, the ministry would like to focus on developing downloadable resources and printable resources for individual’s private prayer closets and for use in small group settings. Thank you for any donation that contributes to our prayer equipping and resourcing mission! Visit the donation page to donate- www.intothewaters.com/donate.
Thank you so much for your readership and support! May 2017 be a year you seek His face like never before! As 2017 begins, consider a fast. Forget what is behind and go forward in His grace and life! Below you will find a document to guide you in fasting from leaven, a symbolic object of flesh life.
Live in the life of His Spirit!
Servant of the Good Shepherd
Into the Waters Ministry, Inc.
"But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will RISE with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture." - Malachi 4:2
Love the visual! God's Word is full of pictures meant to engage the full sensory experience to give depth and breadth of meaning to what He has penned to paper. Watch the video many times and enjoy their joy! Make the connection to the experience God wants us to feel and know. Does your spirit leap in you in this way? Do you express your joy to God with this freedom? Are you set free?
Having a healthy fear of God is good. It's not a fear that cripples, it's a fear that heals and sets free. I love how the Malachi scripture above ties fearing His Name to the title Sun of Righteousness! And then clarifies further that He has healing in his wings! This is not a descriptive of an ominous holy task master full of fire and brimstone, but of a God whose wings span the full breadth of the sky. Like the glorious sun, He rises from the east and spreads his righteousness over anyone who reveres His Holy Name. That is freeing. His righteousness is my righteousness. I don't have it on my own and am not expected to. God has not set us up to fail. He rescues us from our failure.
Psalm 63:7-8- Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
Stay in a state of clinging.
This is where I have been. Especially as I have been somewhat heavy over the last couple of months that my ministry time was slowly being eaten away and I've continued to wonder about finances. Working part-time for 3 days a week has turned into 3 full days a week, this leaves 2 days for ministry. I've done writing for the blog, intercession, been working on the Thursday night prayer line and planning for 2017. Add scrambling and distraction and I've ended up unsure. But God's span of help reaches to where I cannot and to people I do not. He has seen the heaviness and has continued to whisper that I not give up. I've had to stay aware of His whispers of encouragement and follow His lead.
His help came recently as He was calling me to go to a concert at my church a couple of weeks ago. I was resisting somewhat because I had a family member visiting, but I felt His pull so I went. There I ran into 2 women whom I haven't seen in many months. They knew I started a ministry but have not received any letters nor have they been reading or receiving the blog. Long story short, they asked me to meet with them the following week. At that meeting, they told me they have been putting aside something every month for 2 years and that God has impressed upon them to hold it until He showed them what to do with it. They told me when they connected with me at the concert, they knew God was showing them me. They came prepared to give me a very generous gift that relieved some right now burdens. On the envelope they gave me, they penned the words, "God's property". Only God heard my requests. Only God knew my need. He heard and initiated the answer 2 years before my right now need!
This is an example of divine help that releases song! He offers his help to all who fear His name, Acts 22:16, Psalm 145:18, Isaiah 9:6, Romans 10:13. Hallelujah!!!!! The fear that takes away fear!
May you experience divine help that produces leaping and lyrical joy! There is a protected space under Divine wings, a Saving God to cling to, an Almighty God whose strength rules over all! Make Him your everything. There is no greater joy for His love is better than life- Psalm 63:3.
If you connect with this ministry's mission to inspire people to linger longer with God in prayer, to resource those who want to draw near and know Christ, thank you for considering a donation. Your donation can go to the advancement of some projects in the "wings". It also provides for me to only work part-time. I look forward to opportunities you've already offered me to join you in your small group settings in the beginning of 2017! Thank you! For any others, consider inviting me in and experience the biblical meditation of Psalm 23! Draw near and know Jesus Christ!
For this blog, I challenge you to practice not knowing how to pray! (Yaaayyy, an easy exercise!) I suggest Spirit filled believers try this several times over the next week, perhaps making it a prayer habit, doing it every now and again, especially when under pressure.
Romans 8:26-27 says the Holy Spirit is our help in weakness. It says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Here is the Message translation of this same section in the book of Romans 8- 26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
When I pray with people or hear what burdens them, it is often about situations that hurt or grieved them. And it’s not about what the stranger said or did, it’s about the family member, the friend, the co-worker, or the spouse who lashed out, walked away, betrayed, aggravated, accused, heaped shame, argued, humiliated, rejected them, etc. It is these situations that can throw us some serious curve balls inside leaving us in emotional states where we are confused and in shut-down mode emotionally, not knowing how to pray. It’s okay! God knows all about this weakened state and has promised the help of the Holy Spirit!
Many of us need HIS help. It’s a shared need within the Body of Christ. In my small group just this week, by the end, when it came to praying together, I realized that everyone had expressed a hurt that clearly grieved them. It was either a recent hurt or a hurt experienced repeatedly during childhood, but a memory was fresh and came out in our time together. All 7 of us indicated in some way that a loved one’s words or actions penetrated our heart producing sorrow, anger, confusion, dismay, hurt, etc.
Like our Savior, we will carry grief and sorrows. Through them we identify with our Savior. But in them, we are not to bear them alone. We cast our burdens on God because He cares. Christ carried them; and still carries them for us, Isaiah 53:4.
John 14: 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
This is a miracle people!!! Christ’s Spirit within you! Think about it!
Jesus is clear, “I will not leave you comfortless (KJV).” The NIV translates it as not being abandoned by the Father, i.e. “I will not leave you as orphans”.
How often do you say to yourself in prayer, “The Holy One is in me.” How often do you focus on Christ indwelling in you for your prayer time? How often do you take the focus off yourself, and say “Holy Spirit, please pray for me.”
This is a relieving prayer, a simple prayer of release that God offers to us as we grieve and mourn the unexpected attacks and confusion that comes from loved ones and friends, and as we face our own sinful shortcomings. We are given a gift to simply sigh and moan. It is a very simple prayer that brings great comfort.
In some of the meditation sessions, to start us out, I instruct participants to release deep breaths, to openly sigh and moan if they desire. I’ve noticed it’s not done without multiple encouragements from me. Our culture is not used to expressing emotion “outloud”. We should do it. Maybe you’ve noticed scripture from the Old Testament that reveals the Israelites tearing their clothes, weeping out loud to openly express emotion? Maybe you’ve noticed in James 4:9 we are to release emotion? Not releasing is neither good for our spiritual state or our physical one.
In the 1800’s an Army surgeon, William Beaumont was able to see that negative emotion affected the internal workings of the digestive system. He saw this through observing a man who had an open wound called a fistula. Through the fistula he was able to see what happened inside this man’s body when he expressed anger, frustration, fear, etc. The stomach did not release gastric juices the way it was supposed to and upset the digestion process. Whether you realize it or not, your body is containing your stress. Part of truly calming your insides is not a one hour workout or run or chanting a mantra, it comes from the Holy One who resides inside you, assigned to transform by divine power not physical exertion. We are to tune into Him. He is not a temporal solution that calms us like eating ice cream or running 5 miles. He is a forever help, coming alongside us, advocating on our behalf in accordance to the perfect will of the Father.
So in childlike faith, try something new. Walk out the promise by faith. If God says the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groans and sighs, we need not figure it out. Instead, release yourself into His care and trust.
Follow this format in your own way… Enter into prayer with deep breathing, inviting the Holy Spirit to pray for you. Ask Him to take over. Tell Him you want help in prayer right now and ask Him to pray for you. By faith trust it is happening as you begin to sigh deeply and moan if it comes. Just keep breathing deeply, releasing sighs and/or wordless groans. As Romans 8:26-27 says, the Holy Spirit will be praying for you according to the will of the Father, advocating on your behalf. Set a timer for 5 minutes and just enter in with the Holy Spirit this way.
See if at the end, emotion may not bubble up and let go, release it and express it in prayer. See if at the end of the sighing, that His peace that surpasses understanding has not brought life into your body and soul. See if at the end He has helped you hone in on what is really eating at you and why. If something is revealed, now you have words! Take those words to God in prayer and tell him what is on your heart about that situation. In childlike faith believe and hand your prayer time over to His Spirit within you.
Romans 8: 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
I’d love to hear feedback from those who try this exercise. Blessings!
Sunday is Father’s Day, so I am going to return praise by sharing some of what God the Father did in this week’s session. I’m also going to make a plea that you attend the session next Thursday June 23rd at Webster Recreation!
First let's praise Him! Here is one partial comment from this week’s session on Forgiveness with specifics omitted to protect privacy-
“Last night was beautiful. I really felt like I started allowing God to speak to me. When I came into His Presence, I was feeling fear and anger. I have struggled with a sense of worthlessness, shame, and not being loved. I have dealt with this before, but I believe the Lord is trying to take me further in the healing process. I gave some things over during turning memories into ashes. One is my own father’s anger at me as a child… I sensed God taking those words away. I’ve also struggled in some abusive relationships and was able to give those words and memories to the Lord as well. He was telling me that I am worth something and I am loved and that He wants to give me beautiful things.”
"HE WAS TELLING ME THAT I AM WORTH SOMETHING AND I AM LOVED AND THAT HE WANTS TO GIVE ME BEAUTIFUL THINGS.”
Beauty for ashes. This is the good Heavenly Father we are privileged to spend time with!
There are not sweeter words that I could hear for feedback after sessions! I am thankful that she could hear Him that way! Notice that she said she felt like she started allowing God to speak to her. It’s indicative of a relationship that is growing and developing. She is invested. She is connected to her part in the process of hearing from God. She is in a place where she is opening the door of her heart wider. Christ is knocking and she wants to be vulnerable and let him in. This is the reason Into the Waters Ministry, Inc. has been formed! There is no other One who can heal and touch and breathe life like our beautiful God!
It’s clear though that not everyone easily receives His sweet whispers in their own prayer times.
A good number of people I pray with at the end of the sessions are NOT hearing his whispers. They feel His presence; but struggle to feel accepted. It is not because they don’t want to hear. Yes some admit they resist deeper levels of intimacy with God, preferring other people and things. But for most, their lack of hearing correctly is often based upon an internal voice of condemnation. The voice from the liar is louder. There are deeply embedded strongholds in minds. Strongholds impeding spiritual freedom are ALWAYS in direct opposition to the life God intends for us. These are areas where our thoughts need to be held captive in obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
I am always thankful that the people struggling to correctly perceive the Father's thoughts towards them, ask for prayer! You have to bring the lies into the light. God has been quick, QUICK, QUICK, to give me immediate words to counter their lies. Emotion wells up as I review in my mind the sweet whispers He has me share to vaporize the lies. He has done it in EVERY session.
With one I prayed for this week, as she tearfully shared about a situation, I just kept hearing in my spirit, “She’s so beautiful. She’s so beautiful. She’s so beautiful.” After she finished speaking, she asked me something but I didn’t hear it. All I could do was open my mouth and say to her what God was repeating in my head about her. This is exactly what she needed and it helped her break in emotional relief. Life that is truly life came; and I saw His love fill her up. Her body countenance and face reflected it immediately.
For another at this week’s session, who felt fear of the Father's rejection, while praying with her, He showed me a picture of her running around in circles in a field, arms in the air. She was laughing as she ran in circles, her head also lifted. She was saying over and over and over, “Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy.” When she heard this her tears and heart heaviness turned to laughter. I also very literally felt her body strengthen.
Feeling her body strengthen was very cool, because it was one of the promises I emphasized in the beginning of the meditation. Romans 8:11 says, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
When I am praying with people I am listening to what they are saying; but at the same time I am listening to what God might impress upon me or specifically say. I want my input to stay out of the prayer process, because it is highly personal and sacred ground between God the Father and his child. I see that there is no sweeter gift to be given than a Heavenly Father’s love to His child.
Do you need this gift? Do you need time with Him? Please consider coming to next Thursday’s session on the Father’s LOVE. Sign up on the calendar page! Please. If you are anyone who feels broken, discouraged, weak, ashamed, lost, confused, desperate, weary, overwhelmed, afraid, upset, broken, angry, please come. Be willing to be vulnerable.
It is not just for women either. Yes the session attendees are mostly women. But know that God ministers to men too. One man told me God gave him a worship song during a meditation. His face was all lit up, I could tell it deeply touched him. God used the session in another man's heart to lead him to return to Him and recommit his life. These are the simple and sweet touches of our God that gives us strength to continue on, until the day He visits us (1 Peter 2:10-12).
Remember I am willing to come into your group. Invite me! I received an invitation this week to come into a group in July.
He rewards those who earnestly seek Him, Hebrews 11:6. He is not a prescription; He is a God to know. He is Father, Son, Holy Spirit, giving life to your mortal body by His Spirit living in you. I can’t emphasize enough that you should come and spend extended time in His presence. Come and receive prayer. He has something for you that you will not find in any other activity or from any other relationship.
Finally, are any among you willing to sow a seed by buying a session for a weary servant? They are applied to single moms that are coming, young adults who are coming, local servants and anyone God puts on my heart to invite as gift. I don’t want a “session price” to stop people from coming. I am called to serve first and trust God for the provision. I’m to minister freely so if you are willing to buy a session for someone, I am faithful to assign them out.
By next week we should have everything in place to receive tax deductible donations as I start to raise funds to be sponsored as a local missionary. I will be doing some targeted intercession for a limited amount of key sponsors who seed in as monthly support, If you want more information, let me know. There is huge potential to minister in prayer in these meditative sessions, for God to reach in to the deep places and heal people in prayer settings and through targeted intercession. (Note- Individual Session sponsorship will never be tax deductible since it is going towards the “value” of the meditation.) True value far exceeds $20 and the LORD will generously bless givers of the heart. Hope to see you at a session!
The words in the title above come from Isaiah 49. It is a beautiful chapter on the power of God's chosen servant. I want to return praise to Him; to the One described in this chapter, because He is setting captives free. The LORD is soooooooooooo good!
I have not been ministering very long through these meditation sessions, but I have been truly blessed to see and hear how God has been speaking to people and ministering to their deepest needs. Last Saturday, it moved me to tears to see a group of people lost in the presence and comfort of God. I was amazed further seeing hearts refreshed and faces freshly kissed by God, hearing amazing testimony of the secret things He did in their hearts to forgive. Our God releases captives!
I'm not sure how to reach through your screen and get a hold of you in such a way that you will be convinced more time with God is your lifeline to inexplicable joy, peace, comfort, hope, faith, strength, forgiveness, protection, fellowship, supernatural wisdom, LIFE that is truly LIFE! That's a long sentence but I said it to you in one breath. (For emphasis, try reading it out loud in one breath, see if you can.)
Tomorrow I am honored to do a meditation session with all men. Wow. I am super excited and thankful! Pray for these men who will spend extended time with God in prayer! The meditation will be on strong leadership. If you want to see a flyer about this meditation, please go to the Custom Sessions page, a new page with some beginning content. Do you have any interest in holding a meditation for your group? I am looking for other small group settings to lead people in extended time with God. If you have any interest, contact me.
On Saturday, May 14th I will be holding another session on Psalm 23 at Webster Recreation Center at 9am in Room 302. To get a better understanding of this meditation, please go to the Custom Sessions page and download the flyer. Sign up for the session on the calendar page.
I am just a conduit to set prayer appointments. God will show up! Will you?
I've heard your requests for holding another Forgiveness meditation. Next week I will announce a mid week evening session.
I am not sure if I will be writing a brand new session beyond the 3 I've done so far. Over the coming weeks, the Forgiveness session might be the only new one scheduled for now. Why? Because we have formed as a not-for-profit, and some paperwork related things and operational set-up are necessary at this point as we take steps related to 501c3 status. I greatly appreciate those who have seeded into me and what God is doing. Any love offerings are helping me focus my time and energy into the beginnings of this ministry.
If you feel so led, please go to the Ministry offering page and invest in what God is doing. To those who have given gifts for local servants, I have already given out sessions to a couple of local ministering servants. They've already attended a session! One of those attendants was able to fully release and forgive a family member who abused her and her family members in horrific ways. God set a captive FREE! Rejoice with me on her healing! Return praise to God! Your contribution helps me extend and reach out to these precious servants and bless them unexpectedly! Your help funds simple but necessary things like printing, gas, and my time.
Know people are being saved through these sessions; so far, one man and one young woman! The unchurched have come! People are newly connecting or reconnecting in a deep and meaningful way with their Heavenly Father; they are releasing pent up emotion and receiving counsel from the Holy Spirit; they are seeing steps forward to walk out their faith in surrender and in obedience to the God who has engraved them on the palms of His hands- Isaiah 49:16. They are receiving corporate and personal prayer! I pronounce blessings and proclaim God's promises to all who come.
God says, "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!"- Isaiah 49:15. God has not forgotten you!
God says, "Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save..." We have a fierce defender in Heaven, a God that compares to no other! Draw near to Him! He blesses and rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
There is no other people who can claim a God who speaks tenderly and lovingly to His own.
God says, "Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. With whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?"
It's worth repeating, God has called me to be a servant, setting prayer appointments for you to spend extended time with Him. He will show up. Will you?
Who do I think I am to lead people in prayer and just go out into the community and minister? I’ve been challenged by these doubts, on and off over the last 6 months. Challenges have come from a few different angles and conversations. Challenges that have left me asking myself, “What am I doing?”
How has He handled me when I’ve spun like a top in doubt and fear? He redirects and reframes what I am looking at and who I am listening to.
For dealing with arrows of doubt being launched my way, He has given simple responses along the lines of, “Human thought, pay no attention; keep going.” He’s been matter-of-fact; and, I’ve increasingly noticed, He never panders to doubt.
He has grounded me to scripture, reminding me of Peter and John. He has assured me it is fine to be ordinary and unschooled, as long as it stays evident I spend time with Him and reflect Him, Acts 4:13. He has reminded me of Paul and that it's okay to be nervous and fearful and stumble in my words, 1 Corinthians 2:3-5.
This is a simple lesson about the character and love of God to be with us for each stage of our need and growth. He is faithful. He will reframe our reality based upon His perception and power.
REFRAMING is absolutely necessary, because very often WE ARE WRONG. He has to tear down a flawed framework built on an intricate web of lies mixed with truth.
Reframing is how He has gently led me through countless situations requiring I forgive. Reframing is a supernatural shift in thinking. It’s the miraculous gift mentioned in Romans 12:2, Heaven sent with God’s thoughts. Reframing is a key survival skill, as long as it is based upon God’s perspective and Christ’s life. (Note: Reframing and releasing is the model of the meditation on forgiveness on April 30th. We will go through some scripture about forgiveness. We walk through questions to pinpoint issues. We’ll ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to reframe them, and practice exercises to release the issues into His hand. Sign up on the calendar page.)
Last week I was at a point when I had to make a decision about going forward in this ministry call, either I am in, or I am out. I was in prayer lamenting about it when in my spirit I heard, “Get out of the boat.” I was dumbfounded. “I’m not out of the boat yet?!!!” The answer was no.
I thought I was out of the boat already! I WAS WRONG. He reframed; and let me know I was still in the boat. Why was this important? I needed to see as He saw. Up to this point, I’ve found strength through reason and ability to calculate resources. But now I’m approaching the time of calculation, when it will be all God. He wanted to clarify that I’ve been looking with more human perception than I realized. It blew my mind; but redirected me and reframed my key to survival. Christ will not be revealed in greater measure to me or others if I stay grounded in the natural. It's a call to get out of the boat and stand where I don’t have human ability to save myself, Matthew 14:28.
We talk about God doing the impossible. We quote God’s response to Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the LORD…?” We quote Jesus, “… with God all things are possible.” We sing, “Call me out on to the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail…” But when the rubber meets the road in our lives, sometime He shows us the end point of our trust in God. He has to ask multiple times in multiple ways, “Do you love me?” He has to yank out deep roots tied to an intellectual system of processing through logic. “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” (1 Corinthians 1:19)
Christ trusted His Heavenly Father’s power to resurrect him from the grave. He didn’t rely on limits of human ability to execute his call. Can you imagine if He started out this way? Instead of miraculously manifesting 120-180 gallons of wine at the wedding in Cana, perhaps He would have suggested making tea or lemonade. He would have put a compress on the forehead of Peter’s mother-in-law to heal her fever. Of course this is ridiculous. We certainly wouldn’t be following Jesus 2000+ years later if He attempted to reveal himself through limits of human reasoning and accessible resources.
Christ admittedly did nothing on his own, John 8:28. He prioritized time with His Father in prayer. He didn’t operate alone. He was led by instruction from Heaven, Luke 6:12, Mark 1:35. He didn't make his own decisions.
Are you operating alone? Are you filled with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the HOLY SPIRIT gives (Colossians 1:9)? Where are you stuck mentally processing within your own limited reasoning? Are you receiving perspective from God's thoughts that challenge you and fill you with Christ's peace and love?
Where are you fixing your eyes? Are you more like Eve who desired what her eyes saw or are you more like the man who cried out to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Hebrews 12:2- fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Watchman Nee wrote in his book Release of the Spirit, “It takes many breakings in many areas of our lives for us to attain to a place of usefulness… Our spirit is released according to the degree of our brokenness… Spiritual sensitivity comes about only through many dealings. Are we really profited if we preserve ourselves? ‘For whosoever shall save his life shall lose it.’ We must ask the Lord not to withdraw His hand from us. How tragic not to recognize what the Lord is doing…”
This is the power of God reframing our thoughts, feelings, and circumstances. We will recognize more clearly what He is doing and how we are intricately knit into His redemptive work while temporarily trapped in this thing called time. He will continually reassure us that we are not alone. We are comforted by His presence. We will get out of the boat.
Bring your reasoning and emotion to Him in prayer; learn how to tune to His voice. Let him redirect your thoughts and reframe them from His perspective. Please come to either the April 30th meditation on Forgiveness or the May 14th meditation on Psalm 23. Go to the CALENDAR page to sign up! FINAL NOTE: Have these blogs been a blessing to you? There is a new page under the "More" tab called "Ministry Offering". Would you be open to seeding into the ministry? Yes right now, it is a love offering. Steps are going forward to form as a non-profit. Help is needed in the transitional period. If you follow this link, you can see simple ways to keep ministry going and help the Lord reach people beyond my current contacts. I appreciate your help! Blessings upon cheerful givers!
Ways to stay connected to ministry offerings:
1- Sign up to receive blog and email announcements
2- Follow us on Facebook
Prayer is Gift!
Into the Waters Ministry is a 501(C)3 public charity. Our mission is to inspire you to linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. For those willing, it is a place of supernatural hope and healing. I know this first hand. My name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 20+ year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and receiving His life in greater measure! I've experienced radical healing in mind, body, and spirit and believe God for more! I long for others to position themselves for the same! Into the Waters' resources help you spend quality time with God to enter His rest and receive His divine provision. Let us help you experience more of God! Read the blogs, try the exercises, participate in online sessions! His promises for life and wholeness are offered to all! But you have to say "Yes!"