👆 🎧 (Click image above to listen.). Today's podcast was a spontaneous prayer prayed over you.
When is the last time you asked someone to pray for you? When is the last time you were covered in a prayer?
This should be something you experience regularly.
Very often lately in social media prayer requests, requests are prefaced this way, "I don't ever ask for prayer but..." This is evidence of someone carrying something for too long and now the pressure of the situation is too much, and they are breaking and finally asking for prayer.
Asking for prayer should be a habit we develop. It revitalizes us. It comforts us. It encourages us. The Spirit is present to do what only God can do. It is a blessing to be prayed for.
And did you know that for relational issues, answered prayers are often obtained through prayers of agreement? Read Matthew 18:15-20.
We are to share our burdens with Christ and carry each other's burdens. The Apostle Paul shared one of his prayer requests this way:
Romans 15: 30 I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31 Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, 32 so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed.
He says, "Join me in my struggle..."
Are you asking anyone to join you in your struggle? Do you believe in the power of prayer? Do you believe as Paul did that prayers of others and the Spirit of Christ is your way of deliverance?
Philippians 1:19- for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.
God has a way for you. He has victory. He has answers. He has supernatural assist. Ask for prayer.
These are days to be pressing in. These are days to be covered in prayer. Many Friend Fridays are episodes where I cover you in prayer.
Make it a habit to want to be prayed for, to want to be covered in prayer. Go to church on Sunday and ask someone to pray for you. Listen to the podcast and receive the prayers often prayed over you in the sessions. Click on the image above to be connected to today's Friend Friday prayer over you!
And read the review below for encouragement on the power of prayer! And if you didn't see Doug's letter from the last email I sent out, he has a very encouraging message on persevering and pressing in to the gift of prayer!
This ministry is part of fulfilling the Great Commission. Please consider a donation so that we can disciple more! Blessings!
A handful of months before C19 changed our lives, the LORD transitioned the ministry from being mostly in person group sessions to instead being online ministry. I started using Zoom in September of 2019 and started holding group prayer and meditation sessions that way. Then in the Spring of 2020, after we were instructed to lock down, I felt urgency to reach people on a more day-to-day basis. I felt very burdened about the emotional and mental state of believers and how to offer an easily accessible prayer resource people could do on their own time. The result was the Monday through Friday podcast that offers interactive prayer exercises in less than 10 minutes per day.
It's been about 2 years of online ministry. And it's easy to wonder what difference I really make. The whispers of God come to turn my thoughts away from needing to know and remind me of the simple call, "Feed my lambs. Tend my sheep."
I've always felt that I've needed to be fed and tended to by God before I can pour out something that ministers to others. So for each day, I'm first spending time with God in the Word and in prayer. Then based upon inspiration from that time with God, I'm writing up the podcast session, and then recording and editing it for daily upload. One of my least favorite activities is recording video messages for various social media sites. It still feels so awkward for me to talk a little camera hole on my laptop or cell phone 😆. I also type replies to prayer requests or posts, but am often limited to number of words for response. So basically there is limited knowledge and interaction I have of what God is doing for the person on the other side of the screen or phone. And as the days have turned into years, I have moments where ministry can get pretty lonely. I often wonder who is listening, watching, reading, engaging, and what the Spirit is doing. I really miss being face-to-face with people, hearing their voices, connecting before and after sessions, praying in person with people, getting in-person reaction. But God has called me to surrender to the change, so I have learned to release the outcomes to Him and just keep obeying to the call, "Feed my lambs. Tend to my sheep."
He knows just when to sustain me in weariness with a word, as Isaiah 50:4 prophesied that He would do! He's sent words to encourage me over the last couple of weeks!
Recently, a few people have taken extra effort to give me feedback, which has meant so much to me! I want to share it because it is for God's glory, and maybe their messages are meant to sustain you too!
At the end of April, I got an email from a man named Doug. He's been listening to the podcasts for awhile. It was so kind and generous of him to encourage me! He has pressed in to know Jesus during his long and painful trial; and as a result, the LORD has strengthened him physically, mentally, and spiritually through regular listening of Peace Be Still! You can read his words for yourself in the screenshot capture below! ⬇
Isn't his testimony so encouraging?! I am so honored to be one small way God has reached in with His healing hands! I believe God to do deeper levels of healing in Doug and to continue to give life to his mortal body through the Spirit of God who lives in him, Romans 8:11!
In addition to Doug's email, recently a podcast listener by the name of Peggy took extra steps to leave a comment on the blog.
What a gift to know that people are experiencing God's joy because of the prayer times in the podcast!
And another podcast listener named Stacy searched me out recently on Instagram. She says she looks forward to the podcast every day and that she loves being prayed over in the sessions!
Despite our interactions becoming increasingly digital, our relational needs still must be met! We need to know we are not alone! We are healed and helped through the prayers of the saints! Hearing prayer, practicing prayer, receiving prayer, proclaiming God's Word as true, and agreeing in prayer are all part of experiencing spiritual breakthrough!
Are you practicing? Are you receiving the prayers being prayed over you in the podcasts? Are you agreeing? Are you meditating on the promises of God? Are you proclaiming His Word as true in your prayer language?
Listen to the podcast! Let me know how they are helping you!
And for those who take the time to come back around to thank God for the ministry, I believe they shall receive extra blessing! With the measure you use, it will be measured back to you! A good measure pressed down and running over shall be poured into your lap, Luke 6:38! So thank you again for any of you who would write a podcast review, send an email, leave a blog comment, or engage with me on social media!
And if any of you want to let us know you appreciate this ministry by making a donation, that would also be warmly received! The podcast has enough volume now that we could monetize, but the LORD has told me not to do so at this point. I don't know if that would every change. But for now, the podcast is a listening experience that is not interrupted or disturbed by commercials. Being commercial free protects your listening experience and your time with God.
Help us keep the podcast commercial free!
Your donations go towards ever increasing costs of ministry. We have monthly software costs for podcast, music use, website, images, equipment upgrades, advertising, etc. Last year one generous donor invested in our podcast technology so you could experience a more professional sound and pleasant listener experience. It is only through your donations that we can reach more and continue improving the prayer resources we offer! Thank you for considering it! Be blessed in His presence!
Over the last many months I have started doing some prayer coaching. These are prayer appointments I set with people I know or who are personally referred to me.
During these sessions, the Spirit of God impresses things upon me, and often times they are words of affirmation and words of knowledge. The Spirit speaks and reveals things for the purpose of setting people free and deeper levels of healing. He does it in a way that honors privacy and deepens their trust in His perfect knowledge of them. So during a recent session, He revealed the person receiving prayer had misperceptions about God as Father.
The first 15 to 20 minutes of a session includes talking about what is burdening, so I have an idea of how to begin in prayer and what to cover in prayer. What's interesting is the LORD often takes the time in a direction that reveals a root issue that was either not mentioned in the beginning or something the person was not aware of. During the time of intercession, the LORD brought a word to my mind, which I didn’t understand, so I shared it, and it led to this confession coming out, “Nothing’s happening because I’m being punished.” It shocked her that she said it, realizing right after that she didn’t know she believed her life frustrations were because she thought God was punishing her. It was truly a moment of revelation for her!
But you see, God saw that in her, and reached in during our session, and drew it out through giving a Spirit led word for us to talk about. This then it steered her heart to make an honest confession that was a unspoken belief causing her lots of distress. It was the answer to her prayer request, to understand why she just recently started struggling with feeling lost, anxious, and carrying a gnawing and continual undercurrent of anxiety. After God spoke what He spoke, it all made sense to her!
This is a critical example of why we are not to search ourselves. When we do it, leads to burden and lies. This is why we come into God’s presence and ask for his insight.
Proverbs 20:5- The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.
The things brewing within us are indeed deep and dark waters. We aren't to plumb the depths. It overwhelms us. Instead, we are to turn to the One who has insight, the One who knows our thoughts (1 Chronicles 28:9). The Spirit of Christ has insight because the Father knows the mind of the Spirit and intercedes for us according to His will. He reveals and is Wonderful Counselor, Isaiah 9:6.
When he does the searching, it leads to breakthrough and peace. In the prayer appointments God often goes further with people, to reveal root issues. In the session I'm referencing today, God went further to show his little one that her self-talk was a form of self-torture, taking herself through endless questions. “What am I doing wrong?” “What have I missed?” “What do I need to do?” “I must not be getting something.” “I must be missing what God is saying.”
This type of continual self-talk is creating confusion, fueling a feeling of being lost, creating a continual undercurrent of anxiety, and exhausting her. But God was present to call it out and speak tenderly to her in terms to validate her as his child, invite her closer, remind her to enjoy his presence, deepen in trust, and use the season of waiting to prepare for His timing of promotion!
Jesus too had to wait on God’s perfect timing. He had a season of waiting. The Son of God was not released into ministry until 30 years old. Think about the fact that He was not BAPTIZED with the Spirit until he was baptized by John, Mark 1:9-11.
Certainly prior to this, He carried the Spirit (Luke 1:35), but there was a BAPTISM of the Spirit to drive Him forward in greater power from then on. We are told in the moment of his baptism, the Heavens opened; the Spirit descended upon him; and the Father affirmed him, “You are my beloved Son, in you I am well pleased.” Immediately after this, the Spirit drove him into the wilderness to face and overcome temptation, Mark 1:12.
The Spirit is also to drive you. He is your power to overcome all forces against you and reveal the life of Christ through you.
John's baptism was unto repentance, but Jesus came to baptize you with the Holy Spirit, Mark 1:8.
Romans 8:16 tells us the Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. Through the Spirit of God in you, HE TESTIFIES TO YOU. He leads you to life and peace, not confusion and disorder and death. The Spirit is the voice who speaks the words of the Father to your spirit to affirm you. Do you hear God in this way, or are you torturing yourself with endless questions and thinking God is punishing you? If you have never had affirmation within that you are a child of God, that is a red flag for an area of healing desperately needed.
Have you been baptized? At the end of the Gospel of Mark Jesus says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
Remember, Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit. This is not a religious requirement of water baptism. It is a spirit requirement poured out upon those who profess the name of Jesus, Acts 1:8. Today, I invite you to meditate upon Jesus’ baptism and let it uncover longing. Do you want more? Do you want greater revelation, encounter, a closer walk with God?
Be bold! By faith, ask for more of the Spirit! By faith, ask for baptism! Don't reason it through!
I was already filled with the Spirit, but a time came where God challenged me to ask for more! Read that blog HERE- ARE BELIEVERS FILLED MORE THAN ONCE?
"God, with help from the Holy Spirit, help this one envision the moment of Jesus' baptism. Give them eyes to see the Heavens open, give them sight to see the Spirit descend on Jesus. Give them ears to hear the Father’s words of affirmation speaking from Heaven, "You are my Son, with you I am well-pleased" Stir them within to long for Spirit-filled encounter. What are they longing for? What thoughts and unspoken beliefs block the work of the Spirit in them? Lord, you have perfect insight to what is happening within them. God show them what is blocking their freedom, preventing deeper healing, and standing in the way of joy filled time with you. Baptize them afresh with power from on high. Move in them to ask for more of the Spirit! ASK FOR MORE OF THE SPIRIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amen!
Hi folks! Things have been very busy with ministry! Still producing a daily prayer podcast, have begun a new private Facebook group, and have held some private meditation sessions! Had a men's group a couple of weeks ago. Also have an upcoming group session this week. God is good!
The video above is a welcome video I shared in the group to welcome new members. We have over 225 members for the first week! It's very encouraging! I think it is a sign that people are making more time for prayer and obviously are being driven to engage online because of current circumstances with social distancing.
In the video I share a welcome to new members as well as personal testimony of God supernaturally healing me of depression. I hope you listen in.
For the Facebook group, Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download is a private group and requires an invite for you or you can request to join. I hope you consider it, there have been good engagement so far. There is a link at the end of the video to find the group on Facebook. Otherwise just search for "Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download" on Facebook.
Now related to current situation of the virus, during times of intercession, here are some scriptures that God has been putting on my heart over the last month:
It would be interesting for you to read through those scriptures and see what the LORD speaks to you. It's an excellent time to develop a deeper walk with the LORD. I wonder how He has been speaking to you during this time? If you are willing, let me know in the comments!
Here is the content of Podcast 15 if you want to review it first and then listen.
Episode 15- “she judged him faithful… he gave glory to God”
Hello my name is Gina, your prayer partner from Into the Waters. Our promise that brings peace today comes from Philippians 4:13- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Let’s pray as we begin. “Lord Jesus, I humbly ask for your power to rest on each one as they listen. Open their ears to hear, open their eyes to see, give them the ability to understand what the Spirit of the LORD wants to say to them today. Position them by faith to believe and judge you as faithful.”
Yesterday’s episode shared that for God to be your strength means he is a PLACE of strength. As your place of strength, he is a hiding place for you, and one who pours out his strength by dispatching supernatural forces to surround you and deliver you. If you haven’t yet listened, please listen to yesterday. But for today, instead of the focus of him surrounding us with his power, the focus is his miraculous strength pouring out through you."
Listen to these scriptures- You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Cor 4:7
Though you are merely a clay vessel which is fragile and powerless, yet the excellence of his power and strength is to be shown through you… as being from God, not yourself.
Who really believes this? Who really believes the miraculous power of God will be poured out through their frailty? A woman named Sarah did.
Hebrews 11:11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
By faith… big words. She judged God faithful, more really big words.
If we are honest, they are so challenging.
Write down this question. What is the state of my faith? How am I judging God right now, as faithful or unfaithful?
Some seasons our faith is great with full faith in God. In others, we waver.
We are in a difficult season right now due to the virus. God wants us to position by faith, and judge him faithful.
How are you judging God right now, as faithful or unfaithful? Make a note to talk to God about that. Unburden and ask for revelation so that you judge Him correctly.
Because when you judge God as faithful and by faith believe, God will do amazing things through you. Scripture says that Abraham (Sarah’s husband and known as the father of our faith) grew strong in His faith as He gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised.
Abraham had excellent opinion of God and his faith grew strong as He gave God glory.
The promise of God’s miracle working power being poured out through you is only activated by faith and good opinion of God. Abraham and Sarah had a clear vision and promise from God. So for this kind of miraculous experience, you have to have a promise from God. It has to be personal to you. Sarah had a promise from God. She would give birth at a time in her life when her womb was dead. She judged God faithful to deliver. She laughed at first; then she tried to make it happen on her own power; but somewhere along the way, she stopped reasoning and she believed. So, He poured his miraculous strength into Sarah and supernaturally enabled her to give birth to a promised son at the ripe old age of 90 years old.
Many of us also laugh at the absurd thought God could do something miraculous through us. Often we may grab a promise; but then attempt receive it by striving in our own power. Somewhere along the way we need to stop reasoning and believe in the supernatural strength of God manifesting in us.
Write down this question. What promise has God given you that requires His power?
Here are some promises that are yours by faith in Jesus- You are adopted and heir to the kingdom of God. You are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. Do you see yourself there? Do you see yourself seated with Christ? You have been given the authority of Christ Jesus, the maker of Heaven and earth. He is King of kings. You are part of his royal lineage. Do you see a crown on your head? He has promised to give you a crown of beauty instead of ashes. Are you holding ashes of death or do you see yourself as crowned in beauty? You are charged by Christ to do greater works than he did. He will do whatever you ask in His name so that Jesus can continue to bring glory to the Father. You are his masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good works that he planned long ago for you to do. Do you believe you will do greater works than Jesus? Boy is that a challenging one. Yet he said it. Do you believe it? You are Jesus’ friend. You have been made whole in Jesus Christ. With God as your shepherd, you lack nothing, not one thing. You are more than a conqueror through him who loves you. Since God is for you, who can be against you? You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are the apple of his eye. You are forgiven. You are chosen by God, holy and dearly loved. Your soul is sealed by the Holy Spirit he has deposited in you. Your life is now hidden with Christ in God. You are precious in His sight. Your life is not your own, you’ve been bought with a price. Have you surrendered? Not your will, but his will? It is key to receiving supernatural strength.
As an exercise for deeper meditation, which of those promises I just read struck you? Find your promise. There are over 3K promises in the bible. After you find your promise, position by faith!
That gives you a sense of an episode if you haven't listened yet! God rewards those who earnestly seek Him. He provides for those who seek first the Kingdom of God. Seek God first! Blessings on any who take that time with God. Hope some of the prayer inspiration we are offering is a blessing also!
Since Fall of last year, Into the Waters' prayer and meditation sessions have been held in an online format. They have been going very well, with every survey revealing 100% would recommend the session to others! It is precious time with God.
Here is one comment from a participant in the January 25th session-
"I liked the ability to do this online in my own space. Great job in guiding us through the exercises."
It was an early morning start at 8am EST, with the majority connecting from the East Coast, a couple others connecting from CST, and a couple more from the PST (a 5am start!) This the very cool thing of gathering for a session online. You connect from the comfort of your own space and time zone! God will bless those early birds!
I started the session by sharing a few personal examples of difficult moments of mental battle, confusion, and burden that have happened since the start of the year. For the most part I started the year pretty positive; but it didn't take long until battle ensued. I've learned God leads me in a process, taking me through lessons that are not just for me; but for others. As I share, I see that my experience comforts and encourages others, 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. We are in this together! God wants us to know we are not alone in our trials. You will experience that if you participate in a session.
Related to the lessons God took me through, I was able to share how God led me to victory in 3 different ways; the lesson being there is no formula with God. We need to hone our skill set in spiritual terms and tune to the leading of the Spirit. Do you know how to do that? He wants us to be aware of the variety of weapons at our disposal to gain victory in our troubles. Do you know what some spiritual weapons might be?
Most Christians are very limited in knowing how to battle through. So as I got closer to the session, I realized that the WORD of GOD session was to partly be about how we overcome. I shared 4 ways the enemy of our souls attacks us. Participants were led through prayerful reflection time with God to meditate and ponder how the enemy might be tempting them. 50% of participants noted they received revelation from God on an area that needed healing. PRAISE GOD!
"My joy of the Lord was restored in realizing I was allowing it to be stolen." - Jan 25th participant
Also the sessions always include a good portion of time to still ourselves before Him and invite His presence. 70% of participants particularly enjoyed being able to still and quiet themselves in His presence. In the hustle and bustle of our attention deprived lives, it is more critical than ever to make hard stops, to be vigilant in protecting quiet time with the LORD. Many of us need to be hyper-vigilant in an aggressive way, especially if we are exhausted, depleted, burdened, complaining, and anxious. We say we don't have time, but Jesus was very clear with Martha telling her that only one thing was truly necessary. He stood in defense of her sister Mary who chose time at the Lord's feet. He made it clear IT WOULD NOT BE TAKEN AWAY FROM HER, Luke 10:42. God's defense of your time with Him is already there, are you letting Him defend your time with Him?
"I really sense a need to be more mindful of listening better this year. I tend to want to do all the talking. This process was very helpful to me in practicing that." - January 25th participant
That feedback makes me so happy and thankful! It's testimony of one who is being self-reflective and wanting to "practice"! We can talk, talk, talk to God; but do we stop and listen? Each session always includes time to ask God for things, for vision of the unseen, and then wait on what is impressed, to make note of what comes to mind as we meditate on His truths. In the last session, we asked God to do something new! Something supernatural and of the Spirit! ASK.
"God insists that we ask, not because He needs to know our situation, but because we need the spiritual discipline of asking."- Catherine Marshall, author (1914-1983)
To close this post out, I want to point out the word "mindful" that was used in the participant's quote above. It has become a real buzzword in our culture. And Christians are being led astray related to it. I want to share more about mindfulness; but won't be sharing about it in this blog. I will in the next. It will be about a session I attended recently that was hosted by a national Christian denomination. I signed up hopeful to learn from the PHD who lead it. Unfortunately, I came away very disappointed and concerned. It didn't calm me or benefit my spirit. Will share more next week.
These blogs are sent to those who sign up for our blog email. Please sign up to get announcements of events and resources. Sign up here. Blessings!
As the year comes to an end, did you experience the change you hoped for? What is the current reading on your hope, joy, and peace meter? Are you continually experiencing peace like a river within? Do you need a recharge? Do you need a supernatural gift this season that takes you into the new year with anticipation? Really consider it, do you need some deep rest in heart, mind, and soul? Close your eyes and ask yourself that question.
In the beginning God created... In the beginning, God's power was executed through His spoken Word and the Holy Spirit. He hasn't changed. The Word and the Holy Spirit of Jesus are still His agents of change. The biggest question for us is, "Do we want that change?" Will we open ourselves up to linger in His presence for the supernatural newness He offers?
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.- James 1:17
Last Friday I did another "Lingering with the God of Hope" online session for a private group of leaders and their team. It was a group of 12 made up of men and women with ages that ranged from young adult to seasoned adult. We had a chance to debrief together at the end of the session. The things they shared, and the breakthroughs they experienced, were the same as in every other group. They received personal revelation and love relevant to their deepest needs within. Without disclosing too much, the bottom line is they heard from the heart of a good Father who affirmed them, comforted them, gently revealed truth, drew near to them, and deposited supernatural hope. The majority shed tears. Not tears of sorrow, but tears of joy and relief at the loving and supernatural touch of God! God was not dramatic with them. He didn't force himself on anyone or expose anyone. He led them like a Good Shepherd leads his sheep to lie down and rest, leading them beside quiet waters. The God of hope deposited joy and peace for an overflow of hope by the power of the Holy Spirit!
Experiencing this type of rest and quiet under the protective presence of God is a good and perfect gift sent from above. It is experienced by lingering in His presence, a discipline that needs to be practiced. It does require that we choose to schedule that kind of time. But it's not easy on our own to linger for a long time in prayer and meditation. Most people really struggle for spending some extended quiet, reflective time with God. That is why Into the Waters is offering these online sessions! We want to help you flow through the time, prompting you along in simple prayer and meditation exercises. God's Word and His Spirit do what He did in the beginning, hovers over our deep, sheds light and brings new life! In the hustle and bustle of your life, in the flurry of your unending thoughts, do you need those types of gifts this season?
If so you have an opportunity to join us on December 15th at 8pm EST. See button below to sign up! We are praying that you say yes. If you need more encouragement to do so, consider even more outcomes...
Over the last couple of weeks I have been meeting with a few of the folks who attended the November 2nd online session. I have already posted the survey results which can be found by clicking this link- NOV 2nd SURVEY RESULTS. However, there are more detailed accounts with powerful testimonies of real strongholds that were broken in attendees. A few shared those stories with me in detail. It so touched me that I have asked a couple to share their testimonies in a more public way. They agreed. So in the coming couple of months, we are finding a way to record those testimonies to be shared for the encouragement of others. Stay tuned!
Until then, ask yourself if you need a good and perfect gift from above this season. God makes it simple for us. His is a simple invitation, "Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest." Say "Yes!" His Word and His Spirit will be present to do the rest! This season, be filled to overflow with HOPE!
Curious about what happened at last Saturday's online prayer and meditation session? Listen to the video to hear the highlights or read below for a deeper dive into the participants' survey answers!
Click the link to register for Sunday December 15th at 8pm EST! Click here- Lingering with the God of Hope
"Setting time apart and waiting in anticipation to hear from God was exciting. Allowing my heart to receive from, as well as being still in his praise, healed deep brokenness".
Similar sentiment to the quote above came to me awhile ago from someone who has attended multiple events. Her name is Marty and I adore her heart in pursuit of God. She has continued to invest in pursuing time alone with God through these sessions. She is serious about earnestly seeking the healing and renewal God promises. She said to me after one session, that attending the event was like getting a massage. She meant it in the most complimentary way, likening it to how relaxed she felt after, experiencing a release of tension, and wanting to be quiet for the rest of the day so she could get all the benefit from the experience.
Just like after getting a massage, "I so needed that!" is a common response from attendees. This is the reason Into the Waters exists. We believe people SO VERY MUCH need extended time in God's presence for rest, renewal, and relieving their hearts and minds of tension.
And that is what survey after survey proves with November 2nd's online session being no different. It was our first online session, where people could engage in the prayer and meditation exercises from the comfort of their own home. The session lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You might be like, "Whoa, that is a long time to spend in prayer!" And I would agree with you that yes, if you attempt that on your own, it may be quite a challenge. But the beauty of Into the Waters' sessions is that you aren't attempting it on your own. The session is moderated in such a way that you are gently led through a series of biblically grounded exercises so you are not thinking of "what do I say or do next?" Instruction is clear. Exercises are easy. God helps you. Most people think the time flies by. So with that being said, here are the full results of the survey that almost 90% of last Saturday's participants took.
Highlighted at the beginning of the blog is a parting comment in the survey by one participant that perfectly summarizes the reason for investing in this time with God. She wrote, "Setting time apart and waiting in anticipation to hear from God was exciting. Allowing my heart to receive from, as well as being still in his praise, healed deep brokenness". Yes! The God of supernatural hope showed up! Thank you Lord!
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.- Psalm 130:5
Our sessions are FREE! It is a ministry by faith, so free-will donations thankfully accepted. Don't hesitate, invest in this time to linger longer with the God of Hope! Sign up for the December 15th session at 8pm EST. Here is the link again to register- Click here.
The quote of "I just can't take it anymore" is what I am hearing from people without hope, the other is a testimony full of renewed hope after an Into the Waters led meditation session done for a private group. As you read, evaluate if you lean more towards not being able to take it anymore or more towards, “This is the breakthrough I’ve needed for awhile.”
Regarding the first quote, a couple of days a week I talk with many, many people about what they are dealing with emotionally, mentally, and physically. It is a secular setting, not a ministry setting. I am not allowed to openly talk about God in this setting, which is very limiting and frustrating to me. There have been times however, where I broke protocol in gentle ways, out of intense burden. I simply share in some way, "I will be praying for you." It has always been well received. However for the 99.9% of distressing situations I hear about, I have to just do the best I can to offer words that comfort and acknowledge their pain. Would have to say of late, the words I offer are momentary, split seconds of kindness that don't take them beyond our call. Over the last 2 weeks have been deeply burdened by talking to a parent after their young child was raped, people whose sleeplessness is taking their sanity, anxiety and depression so severe people are going on disability, violent behaviors of family members seemingly possessed by "something" not of themselves, I am newly hearing and regularly hearing, "I just can't take it anymore." Their tone, their tears, their anger, their shaky voice says it all.
They need hope. And they are reaching out to medicine and doctors as they search.
What is hope exactly? Can it be trusted? In our dictionaries, hope is defined as "a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen". If that is as far as it goes, in my opinion, hope in and of itself as a concept is pretty shaky. Feelings are fleeting. We can have a feeling of hope to live a long life; but die at an early age. We can have a feeling of hope for a relationship to be "the one"; but end in rejection. Same for a hope for a good marriage; yet to end in divorce. We can have a feeling of hope for our children to prosper; but see them make bad decision after bad decision. We can hope for peace of mind; yet have crippling anxiety. Hope, in order for it to be true and life saving MUST have a cord of attachment to a source capable of manifesting the thing hoped for. But we don't see this qualification in our secular dictionaries. Yet, this is in fact how God defines hope in biblical dictionaries. It is defined as a literal cord of attachment that brings expectancy.
HOPE- Strongs 8615 tiqvâh, tik-vaw'; from H6960; (compare H6961) literally a cord (as an attachment); figuratively, expectancy:—expectation(-ted), hope, live, thing that I long for.
The word hope (tikvah) comes from the word kavah which means to wait by binding together, gathering for strength. The more cords are bound together, the stronger a rope is. The more weight it can hold, the more tension it can endure. These are pictures behind the strength that comes in waiting in God’s presence, attaching your hope to Him, having expectancy. Practical questions to examine would be:
Reviewing our hope through these questions takes courage, but is worth it. It is very hard when our hopes do not come to pass. Some of you are in a lot of pain right now because hopes have been dashed. However, these can be opportunities to ground ourselves anew in hope that alone comes from God. He is the God of hope. And regarding hope, if we are willing to strengthen our cords to Him, He will resurrect hope within us. it is His divine design that we overflow with hope by the Power of the Holy Spirit.
NIV- Romans 15:13- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
OVERFLOW OF HOPE>>>>>> Trusting God is key to being filled to joy and peace. Isn't that really the bottom-line request of all prayer... joy and peace? Your bank account can be overflowing; but if joy and peace elude you, what have you gained? You can be model skinny and have beauty that stops traffic; but if self scrutiny and continual dissatisfaction plague you, what have you gained? You can have a very successful career; but if loneliness and stress are your constant companions what is the point? We see the recent outcome of celebrities whose hope was in their children attending the best schools; but at what cost? The bottomline truth is that joy and peace come from the power of the Holy Spirit as you trust in God, not yourself or empty promises from the world.
So how is God-trust being developed in you? Are you experiencing an overflow of hope that comes from God? We all can be challenged by this question. It's a gentle reminder to invest in time before God's throne, to receive the joy and peace that He alone promises and delivers.
Here is a quote from someone who recently invested in lingering with God through an Into the Waters prayer and meditation session. See if you can see hope that came as a result.
"Thank you SO much for leading us on Thursday! It was a beautiful experience for me personally, and it was a breakthrough I have needed for awhile now. The revelation about (xxxxxx) was totally unexpected, but it continues to resonate so strongly with me. I have somehow put a limit on what God will do, and it definitely stems back to that season of my journey. I believe He will do those impossible, wonderful things for others, but not for me. I have dealt with this issue on so many levels and have felt peace along the way, but God not answering my prayers as I wanted at the time, has definitely affected how much I trust Him, I mean that deep, deep level of trust. Thank you for starting the process of tearing that false belief down in me and beginning another layer of healing."
God will tear down our false beliefs in order to bring another layer of healing and hope founded in His faithfulness, love, mercy, goodness, provision, etc. The power of the Holy Spirit deposits His life in those who trust! We are strengthened after waiting in His presence. Hope is renewed as our cord of attachment to God flows with new life from Him!
Do you need a fresh deposit of supernatural joy and peace, to overflow with hope from the Holy Spirit? In the Fall, Into the Waters will be holding some online group sessions on HOPE. These will be small groups of up to 10 at a time. Stay tuned for more announcements and sign up opportunities!
But for now meditate on the truth from Romans 15:13! Seed it into your heart by reading it in many translations. Reading it in many translations will do a couple of things.
NIV- Romans 15:13- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
NLT- I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
ESV- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Berean Study Bible- Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
KJV- Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
GNT- May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
Psalm 25:5 NIV
Vlog with personal testimony, importance of Holy Spirit, and Pentecost explanation. Plus, interactive prayer exercise.
Today’s blog I guess is really a Vlog, a video blog. Contains an encouragement to linger longer with God through a testimony I share. It was during a difficult time in my life. At this time, the Lord was developing in me a spiritual discipline of spending extended time with Him for healing. My sharing is meant to encourage you to linger with Him and to be open to the Holy Spirit for supernatural comfort, help, and truth that sets you free! And a brief mention is made of tomorrow being Pentecost. Learn what it is and how relevant it is for believers 2k+ years later. Reflect and ask for the promise given on Pentecost. The video ends with me praying for you!
Also, below is an interactive prayer session to inspire you to linger longer. Pray through part of Psalm 116 and wait in the presence of God for renewal! Blessings! (Note-Two videos on this post caused a delay in play, so the video exercise has been moved. It will be uploaded as a separate video on 6/9/19. Thank you.)
Yesterday, I asked a question on a public forum, "What is a tormenting thought you want God to take away?" I've gotten two answers that are heaven and earth apart. Both answers are from men. This was the first one I got-
Man #1- "Here is one of the damages wrought by religion. A life long dependence upon a placebo parent phantasm. Atheists, they put their grown up pants on every day, and sort out their own issues. Atheism, it requires strength and maturity. It may not be for you."
Here is the 2nd answer-
Man #2 -" I used to be tormented by the thought of going through life alone. I prayed and asked God to take this away from me. Instead, He sent me my wife. Turns out God knew what was best for me better than I did, and the years I spent single and celibate were setting me up to meet my wife and to love her... Now when I have difficulties in life, I ask God to help me see the purpose behind them. God is not a cosmological vending machine to pop a 25-cent prayer into and get whatever you want out of it. He's a real, living, thinking, feeling being with unlimited power, resources, and knowledge and a real, vested interest in our well-being..."
The 2nd half of his answer was giving an example of he and his wife taking their son to get his first shots. He recalls their little boy knowing they were holding him down so a strange man could poke a needle in him. His point is that their little boy did not understand what was happening to him, but as his daddy, he did. And that it is the same with God. He went on to say, "God's knowledge and wisdom far surpasses our own." And then he quoted the apostle Paul and affirmed his trust in God's knowledge. "The foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom. So I put my trust in His purpose and plan for me, even and perhaps especially when it causes me pain, because though it hurts me now, I know that this is nothing compared to the joy that is coming (such as meeting my wife)..."
Pretty radical in terms of the chasm separating the perspective of each man isn't it?
Before I got that first answer, I was meditating and praying through some verses in Psalm 32. And I see the radical difference of each man in those verses. Psalm 32 talks about a man who talks openly with God which it appears man #2 does. He admitted loneliness and trusts in God. It sounds like he knows Jesus pretty well based upon his references of Christ's foolishness referenced in 1 Corinthians 1:18-25. So my bet is that he also openly talks to God about big issues referenced like transgression, sin, and iniquity. Big and often intimidating words, but good news for those unafraid of God. The author of Psalm 32 uses those 3 words repeatedly in Psalm 32, the New King James Version. What are the differences? Let's explore them, the blessing that comes through them, and do a prayer exercise at the end.
According to biblical concordances, transgression is rooted in rebellion, sin is a crime or offense, and iniquity is a bent or warped nature (perverse, depraved). So to describe it to another, it would be in context to say, that each is born rebellious, so each commits offenses/crimes that are perverse and depraved. How in the world does God bless us as a result of these?
Wildly, the psalmist claims there is blessing for those! It's conditional of course. But radical none-the-less! So think of man #1 above. There is blessing awaiting him. Radical blessing! IF man #1 would see God as good, not as a fantasy made up in imagination. Please stop and pray for him to intersect with the love of God, to go in the way of blessing.
What kind of blessing? Blessing in biblical Hebrew terms has a literal picture of one kneeling down to offer an undeserved gift that brings joy, that satisfies the receiver. I have blogged about blessing God in this way a couple of times prior. But, in God's highest terms, blessing is His supernatural offering. He reaches down. He bends down and offers undeserved gifts that wholly satisfy in ways no other gift can. Man #2 wanted strength to endure loneliness and celibacy. Yet God knew better and sent him a gift of help in a wife, Genesis 2:18-25.
God is always wanting to send undeserved help. But far too often, we are like man #1. Maybe not in the same degree, but like him none-the-less. Maybe we are stubborn like the horse or mule referenced in Psalm 32. Maybe we steel ourselves, and talk to ourselves saying something along the lines of, "Today is another day, man up, be strong, you can do this." Or, "Don't be such a baby. Grow up. God has bigger issues and doesn't care about all your little problems. You screw up anyways, so why should He bother with you?" Or we ignore God's assist. We prefer to ignore the whispers. Assess yourself. What is your self-talk telling you? Is it your voice or God's? If it has any form of condemnation it is not from God. Is it a voice from your past? A disapproving parent? Yourself as a rebellious teenager? Pay attention to your self-talk. Does it push you to rely on self or God? We are not to carry burden alone. That takes us totally off the path of blessing.
The most radical blessing God can offer is forgiveness. Each time we talk to God we have opportunity to acknowledge our rebellion, our crimes of offense in thought and deed, and openly share our perverse and imperfect nature to God. All without rebuke, to receive mercy in our time of deep need! Psalm 32 promises that approaching God this way, without deceit, confessing our offenses brings supernatural assist in big ways. Great flood waters that destroy do not come near! There is a perpetual hiding place that preserves from trouble! There is a supernatural surrounding of song, songs of deliverance! He promises to instruct and teach the way to go, to guide you with his loving eye you! As you trust in God and not rebel against His guidance, mercy surrounds you! You are glad and rejoice! This is the blessing of those receiving undeserved forgiveness. You shout for joy, for you know that when God looks upon you, despite yourself, you are upright in heart because of Jesus!
Forgiveness is the center of all blessing from God. Forgiveness is lifting up, carrying away, taking the burden, bearing the cost. The only one who is strong enough to take away the twisted nature of the heart is Jesus. Contrary to man #1 who thinks he has to put on his grown up pants on and be strong and mature. Man #2 gets it, the foolishness of God is wiser than any man's wisdom. He has received the undeserved gift and approaches God not as a vending machine, but as a Holy and Sovereign good God who knows better than he does and trusts Him.
Who do you have more in common with today, man #1 or man #2? Take some time with God and unburden.
Below is a prayer of confession for followers of Christ. It will help you put to memory and pray through the differences of transgression, sin, and iniquity. It expounds on each word as it appears in verses 1 and 2 of Psalm 32 NKJV. Getting the definitions clear inside your heart and mind, will help you be able to talk about human nature to another. It will also help you work with God as you pray and confess, to position to receive the multitude of blessings and healing He promises! Blessings!
PRAYER EXERCISE (expound on definition): Read through Psalm 32 first.
Ways to stay connected to ministry offerings:
1- Sign up to receive blog and email announcements
2- Search on Facebook and join our private Facebook group> Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download
Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!