Recently my pastor gave an excellent teaching, reminding the Body of Christ to be filled with oil, the Spirit of Christ. It was an admonition to be near to God’s heart, to wait with expectation on God, and to press in and spiritually prepare for God to “show up”. See Matthew 25:1-13. Be ready!
In many ways Into the Waters Ministry has been formed as a witness of the Holy Spirit. It is a whisper God has continued in my heart. He wants the Body of Christ to embrace the fullness of the 3rd person of the Trinity. He wants us living a Spirit filled life, not one of the flesh.
Recently the Holy Spirit has been giving me prayer images that are meant to strengthen, encourage, and comfort people, as stated in 1 Corinthians 14:1 and 3. I detail some towards the end of the post.
Before I share some of them, I should preface to say that the LORD has prepared me to know how to handle what I receive. He wants us to know how to handle and share what we receive, 2 Timothy 2:15. You should make sure that your learning experiences are rooted in God’s Word with teachers who have evidence of surrender to the LORD as King. We are not expected to be perfect. But without fail, any gift of the Spirit is nothing but obnoxious noise without love, 1 Corinthians 13:1-2.
My main growing experience and exposure to the gift of prophecy was during my time in Southern CA while attending Calvary Chapel in Capo Beach CA. (I had previous experience witnessing prophecy at Jubilee Christian center in San Jose CA and Word of Grace church in Mesa AZ.)
What many people don't realize about the spiritual gift of prophecy, is that it is not some pie in the sky "predict the future" gift. If Paul encourages to eagerly desire it, it is a gift delivered through the earnest seeker.
1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue love and be eager for the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.
2 For the one speaking in a tongue does not speak to people but to God, for no one understands; he is speaking mysteries by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouragement, and consolation.
God had healed me in many ways through people who operated in the gifts of prophecy and prayer at the 2 former churches of which I was a member. He did further healing and began to raise me up in the gift while at Capo Beach Calvary.
On Sunday evenings at Capo Beach, one of the pastors led an inductive bible study. It was held in a café setting opposite the sanctuary. Before starting he would always announce we would spend time in worship and give time for others to pray out loud and say out loud what God was impressing on their hearts. He always gave warning that whatever was spoken would be evaluated by the elders present in the room; and that if the elders felt it was not of God, that person would be addressed in love during or after. No one was to speak divisively and it all had to be scripturally sound, meant to build up not tear down. After that special time of worship and prayer and prophecy, he taught from scripture.
I remember one woman in particular (Roma) who clearly had a special gift to speak what the Spirit of the Lord was saying. Countless, countless times what she said deeply ministered to broken places within me. Because of Roma, I was beginning to trust the whispers of God and the creative ways that God speaks. Her words were closely matching the loving words I was beginning to hear in my spirit. Roma was a true gift and mentor. She was the first person who encouraged me to speak out loud what God was impressing on my heart. Praying out loud is one of the most critical aspects of growing in courage in prayer. Don't be silent when praying in a group! Challenge yourself to pray aloud! Agree with what you hear as it witnesses to you. Agreeing in prayer carries tremendous powerful spiritual promise, Matthew 18:18-19.
Through all prayer experiences He has taught me to test the spirits; and at the same time not to grieve the spirit through unbelief or disobedience.
1 Thessalonians 5: 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.
Speaking to others for their strengthening, encouragement, and comfort is a realease of the Spirit that is often manifested in extended times of prayer.
When I came to New York, friends and prayer warriors like Mike and Phyllis Dewhirst and Liza Agresta exposed me to God speaking in prayer images. We spent hours in prayer often. The gift was edifying and strengthening.
In any gift it should be evident you’ve spent time with God. You must be grounded in scripture to discern or interpret. If you don’t know the Word of God or operate from love and childlike faith, asking for gifts is not what you should do. First, know the Word of God and have no personal agenda for your glory. Love sincerely and from a humble stance. You test spirits through the Word of God and seek confirmations. He will use you to speak life to weary souls.
A healthy fear of God is required as is time in His presence. Jesus spent extended time with His father in prayer. Time equals intimacy of knowing. I’ve heard people say Jesus’ public prayers were short so ours can be short too. This is a wrong standard for our prayer closets. Jesus may have prayed short prayers; but this was a result of prevailing in prayer on the mountains, in the temple, in the wilderness, in the garden, of being in Heaven with the Father in eternity before praying on earth. Sweet childlike prayers can move mountains, but there is an expectation to wean off milk and grow.
“The short prevailing prayer cannot be prayed by one who has not prevailed with God in a mightier struggle of long continuance.”- E M Bounds
That all being said, here are some examples of strengthening, encouragement, and comfort the Spirit has been giving in images. May they encourage you of the awesome Sovereignty of our Mighty God! Note how the interpretations are tied to biblical truth and an inner knowing the Spirit reveals about God's child receiving the message. Let it be evidence that He sees you too; and is acutely aware of every detail and thought in your life. He knows your frame!
- Not long ago, I became aware of a prayer request about severe panic attacks someone was experiencing. After praying at home, God gave me an image of this person in an anorexic state. I did not get an idea it was physical; but spiritual. It took us awhile to connect via email and we kept missing each others phone calls. I reached out recently via email as she came to mind again. She shared an update. I had not yet shared the image but she described an anorexic state regarding a recent relationship conflict. She reminded me that she needed to hear about the image I never shared. Now I had interpretation so could put it in the context of her recent experience. She felt affirmed by the image and in the steps she had already been taking for healing.
- Also not long ago, a good friend of mine gave an image for me to share with someone else. She received it while interceding for a meditation I was holding in February. It was a difficult image and message that neither of us understood. So I held on to it. After the person it was meant for began to share some spiritual struggles, the interpretation became clear. I am glad I held on to the message because the person was probably not in a state to process it in a healthy way. It would have fed more fear. By waiting for us to meet in prayer, and for time to pass for this person to settle more and be comforted in different ways by God, I finally shared. Having interpretation I was able to speak words of life to this saint and receive root issues while we prayed together. God wanted this person to connect deeper with God as Father. This deeply ministered to him and was just one part of a very important time of healing. But the image my friend Liza received was DEAD ON TARGET for the spiritual attack this person was under. To praise Liza even more, there were another 20 something images she received while faithfully interceding for the meditation sessions in February! People were blessed by her accuracy! (Note: If anyone feels called to intercede during meditation sessions, let me know. The prayer coverage would be a divine weapon of warfare I would welcome!)
- In line with intercession during ministry activity, over 10+ years ago the LORD showed me words falling to the ground in the sanctuary setting I worship in. I asked what it was and He said words fell to the ground because no intercession was happening while the sermon was being preached. He then took me to Exodus 17:8-16 as biblical support for what He was trying to teach. Whenever the Word of God is being taught, a spiritual war is happening. Moses was to lift up hands in prayer and worship to God while Joshua was on the field. Aaron and Hur were additional intercession help needed so arms could remain lifted during battle. They prevailed. Whatever church you attend, if you feel burdened for this truth, gather a few others and intercede while the Word is being preached. God will honor your humble service and you will grow in supernatural ways!
- Before a recent meeting, I received a picture of a man holding an ancient spear, the kind that is taller than the warrior. He was steady on his feet, with a strong stance, body language in a resolved state of assurance and knowing. I shared it with interpretation that he was grounded as a man of God, aware of surroundings, a calm and a seasoned warrior whom God has established to war on his behalf and represent him in difficult situations. It ministered to him.
- While asking God for wisdom on whether or not I should talk to someone, I received a picture of that man on the ice in a hockey rink. He was swift and sure on his feet with a hockey stick in hand, moving a puck with great accuracy down the ice. The interpretation being he was a man who is on solid ground of the Word of God, clear headed, steady and sure on his feet, knowing a path, receptive to coaching, and executing his life with godly skill and training. Being in a very calm state on the ice, he has gentleness of heart. Yes I was to talk to him. Yes I was to share how God perceives him. I did.
- God gave a picture of a woman I know working underneath a car, but her feet were sticking out from the side door indicating she wasn’t working where she should have been, i.e. under the engine. I got a vague sense of her having skill to work on a project but didn’t understand why her legs were sticking out from the side of the car. It wasn’t until I spoke to her a couple hours later that I understood how to interpret. Just that morning, she was left out of a meeting she should have attended for her expertise. This is why she was misplaced under the car in the image. She later found out it was a mistake she was left out of the meeting, so the image was just a reminder God was sending to her that He is absolutely in tune with every waking moment she experiences. Nothing escapes his notice with His children.
- I got an image of a person sweeping the floor before I met with him recently. The LORD put on my heart that his heart was like that of the psalmist in Psalm 84, preferring to be a doorkeeper in the house of God versus dwelling in the tents of wickedness. I held on to it before I shared because I wanted to hear what he might say in our conversation. He told me he wanted to hear God’s "voice" better. He wanted a passion that he had in an earlier career situation. He wanted to have impact for God. I was able to tell him that not hearing God’s whisper voice can sometimes be a protection against the snare of pride. He hears Him through the Word. God also can seasons a man and builds spiritual hunger through seasons of silence, like He did with God’s servant Joseph. I assured him I’ve heard the Lord’s voice speak through him many times, that he has a clear gift to mentor and speak testimony for God. I told him not be discouraged because God has used him mightily many times without him realizing it and will continue to do so. I encouraged him not to seek another project passion, but to seek the LORD. I see him as a free flowing evidence of the Holy Spirit not tied to a project but to people God sends in his path, John 3:8. After I shared, he told me he was speaking to a group that morning, giving testimony of God’s grace in his life. He is exactly where God wants him! Finally I shared the image and it touched him deeply. He is seen by God.
- Awhile ago I got an image of a little girl eating a bag of candy. She was alone resting against a door. Suddenly the door swings open and Jesus is there with a bright smile on his face, arms flung open to receive her. She throws the bag aside and jumps into his arms. After sharing this with her, she told me that as a little girl she would eat bags of candy to calm her anxiety over feeling disappointment from a parent. At that particular time, God was working on her to see show her a tie to sugar as a way to calm herself when she felt heaviness of condemnation. He wanted her to come to Him first in her anxiety, not sugar. He wants her to see He always approaches her arms open to love her unconditionally. This ministered to her deeply, clear that God was speaking to her about an area He wanted to heal from childhood. God is so sweet!
- I got an image of someone with their hands over their eyes, suddenly flinging them open and exclaiming “I can see!” I was standing behind the person which confused me so I left out that detail when I shared the image. But since the Lord has reminded me that according to Hebrew thought, what is behind you (a past situation) is actually in front of you. i.e. hindsight is 20/20 vision. God's faithfulness in the past and what you learned, gives clarity to go forward with faith and confidence in God. This image for this person is meant to help them see with clarity a way forward based on what their eyes were opened to see. They are to draw on that past experience for boldness and steps of faith.
I hope these have ministered to you! The Spirit is given for the building up of the Body! I hope they encourage you to stir up your gifts! God wants to use you to minister His love and truth! I pray they open your mind to the creative ministry and sweetness of the Holy Spirit of Christ our Savior.
The Holy Spirit is testing receptivity right now. Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart in unbelief. If we love him, we obey. We listen and test and trust the Spirit, not following after flesh, not quenching Him.
Be filled with oil in your lamps! Ask for more of the Holy Spirit, Luke 11:13! Attend our first open prayer and worship session that I will post on the calendar page by Friday July 22nd. It will be a setting to extend your time in His presence!
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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!