Sunday, April 02, 2006
March 27 - April 2, 2006
Pictures: I tried to find funny or interesting pictures we have taken from the last year. I'll let you judge as to my success. This first one speaks for itself. The others follow after my weekly review.
The key event in the week, around which almost everything else happened, was the Undivided Heart Ministry (UHM) training our team received on Tuesday and Wednesday. UHM is one of many names given to the concept of deep healing prayer. One definition given was, "Jesus bringing light to my dark places." Now for some what I am going to describe below may seem a bit strange, but I will go for it anyway hoping that you will be encouraged by the way Jesus met me and ministered to me and our team through this time.
We had a three hour time together Tuesday morning asking questions and discussing hopes and expectations for the training. Then Tuesday evening we divided into men and women and had a prayer time together. In both groups one person facilitated the prayer time and one person received Jesus' healing touch. The others observed. It was a significant time for all involved as Jesus took both individuals in directions they had not expected and healed some painful memories that were still impacting their lives through unwanted behaviours.
The basic concept is that the person facilitating the time asks questions of the person or of Jesus and/or asks the person to ask Jesus certain questions. The whole idea is built on the notion that Jesus still speaks to us, and, if we listen, we can hear Him. As well, the belief is that Jesus wants to heal the dark places in our lives. Many people have found that whereas they cannot "hear" the voice of friends/family, they respond to the voice of Jesus when He reveals things that will bring healing.
So, on Wednesday morning we debriefed Tuesday night and had a group time of prayer in which the leader asked Jesus to speak to us as a group. He asked if anyone was hearing anything from God. A couple of people spoke out, and then one said that Jesus often said, "Do not be afraid", and was now asking us what we were afraid of. This lead to a significant time of almost everyone on the team confessing deep fears and giving them over to Jesus.
After lunch on Wednesday we divided into men and women again, and I was the lucky one to be prayed for. I had something specific on my mind (this is not always the case in these times), but I was a bit reluctant to mention it. We began the time, and I felt that I was supposed to go to that place. I shared that I was really struggling with negative feelings/thoughts about someone in my life. I was not "for" this person and was often disagreeing with them and challenging whatever they said. So the facilitator began the process of asking Jesus to pinpoint what was going on. He asked a number of questions about my feelings and specific instances when I felt this way, and so on, but my mind was blank and I could not really articulate what I was feeling/thinking.
The facilitator then dealt with potential demonic interferance, and we continued. I had been talking about what I did not like about the person and one thing struck me in a new way- I called what they had done bragging or boasting which I had not done before. However, my mind was still blank otherwise, and I was not seeing any deeper reasons for why I felt as I did.
I had felt that my feelings did not make sense and definitely did not reflect Jesus being in me, and, therefore, I wanted to do something about it. I had tried to be different but was unsuccessful. For these reasons I thought that maybe something deeper was going on, something I could not see, but was nonetheless real.
However, at this point I was not getting any answers from Jesus, when all of the sudden the word "Pray" entered my mind. This began a little argument with God that went something like this...
"Pray? That is what we are doing."
"But I am praying. What am I supposed to pray about?"
"What should I say?"
At that point I began praying out loud. I don't really remember what I said, but it had something to do with asking Jesus to reveal this to me and bring healing and wholeness to this relationship.
All of a sudden a very clear memory came into my head of me as a child being with an authority figure and that person talking about a friend of theirs who was a braggart. They were speaking very negatively of the person and of the trait. I could see myself as that child thinking that people who do this are losers and don't have any real friends.
I was amazed at how applicable this was to what I was feeling and how I never would have thought of that event on my own as I have not thought of it since it happened. But it was so clear how I had taken on a certain attitude at that time and Satan had used it to gain a foothold in my life. Among other things it was affecting the way I viewed people who did this.
On top of that as the facilitator asked more questions it became clear that I was guilty of the same thing and more memories flooded my mind of times I had done it and been humiliated or caught or belittled. I saw that I desparately want people to think I am impressive and try to do things to make that happen and so want to say things that sound impressive. Seeing this was not new but seeing how it related to this event was the eye-opener.
The facilitator next took me through a process of repentance and renouncing. We dealt with spiritual strongholds that were there. Jesus spoke peace and truth to the lies I had been believing. One key one was the picture that the boasting was a door leading into a room. The room was one of pain and hurt, insecurity, and loneliness. However, all I was looking at was the door, and I was judging it. I repented of that. We continued in this process for a little while and then closed the time. In all it took about 2 hours.
Now, as I sit here typing a few days later, I find that I am still not perfect in this. The process of breaking the patterns of thought ("taking thoughts captive") still needs to happen, but for the first time I recognize what is really going on and am finding it possible to deal with it by Jesus' grace. I also have new feelings of love and compassion for the person, but still struggle a bit and have more to do. I sense the same for myself. It is not like everything in my life is fine now. Jesus in His kindness of healing one area of my life has also revealed a few more dark areas that He wants to come in and shine His light. At first I was discouraged by this, but then He gently reminded me that this process will not end until heaven and the fact that I recognize that it is happening is proof that He is working in my life. For that I thank my beloved Savior and forever will praise His Name.