In the sermon on March 11, Pastor Angela provided some steps for a different way to approach Intercessory Prayers for Healing. Here is the excerpt from the sermon so that you can continue to practice at home.
Step 1. The first person you want to focus on is not the person you’re praying for, but you.
Breathe into a place of peace.
You’re trying to direct energy that is both within you, and beyond you, on behalf of another person. Therefore you want to be in touch with your inner self and open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction.
Pray that your own anxiety or fear over the situation be replaced with God’s comfort and peace. Spend some time on this.
Next – Welcome God’s vital energy into yourself.
This is similar to visualizing the positive. Rather than focusing on the illness, or negative situation, pray instead that God would strengthen the healthy cells so that they can overcome any illness or weakness.
Imagine God’s life-energy flowing into your own body, fortifying it with vitality.
After several minutes, you may start to feel both physical and emotional sensations. Physically, your body may start to feel tingly, or warm, or “energetic,” or even “fuller.” Emotionally, you may experience a sense of euphoria, of grace, of joy, or of wonder.
Then – Direct God’s vital energy to the recipient of your prayer.
Once you begin to sense that your own body is responding vitally to God, start picturing the person you’re praying for in your mind. Envision the same energy that is swirling around in your body doing the same in theirs.
This is, in essence, quantum entanglement. I know it sounds odd to our very “practical ears”, but recently I prayed with someone in this way, and we could both feel the heat in the part of her body we were praying over.
Finally – Give thanks.
After several minutes, gently pull away from thoughts about the person you’re praying for and simply direct your thoughts to God. Thank God for the privilege of praying for him or her, and for anything else you are grateful for at the time.
Sometimes, I have seen a specific answer to my prayers. Other prayers have not been answered in the way I would have hoped. But one thing is certain: Every prayer I’ve ever prayed for someone else has had an effect on me.
In the sermon on March 4, Pastor Angela walked us through the spiritual discipline of Lectio Divina as a means of “Listening to the Text”. Here is the excerpt from the sermon so that you can continue to practice at home.
Choose a passage in Scripture. We used Psalm 34 or Psalm 46.
I want to encourage you that insights may or may not occur during your formal time of meditation. The practice of Lectio Divina opens you to hearing God’s “voice” over the course of the whole day, not simply during time spent in meditation.
The first step is called Lectio, which is basically reading and listening. Read the passage through twice. The idea is to find a word or two, or a phrase, that sticks in your mind for whatever reason. At home, you may want to write these words down.
Next, Meditatio involves ruminating on the passage or one of its words/phrases. The image a cow quietly chewing her cud was used in antiquity as a symbol of the Christian pondering the Word of God, believe it or not.
Roll the passage, word, or phrase round in your mind. Free associate with it—let images, feelings, memories, and other words arise. Don’t worry if your thoughts or feelings seem “irreverent.” The key is to engage authentically, trusting that being authentic is more important than being pious.
Third is Oratio or prayer. Oratio is a dialogue with God. This is a time for prayer focused both on the passage and on your personal life. Many people take the word or phrase upon which they have been ruminating and hold it next to a life experience or question they are exploring or struggling with, allowing that word or phrase to have a conversation with that question.
And fourth is Contemplatio (contemplation): This is a time for simply enjoying God’s presence without particular words or thoughts, strategies or questions. It is also time for making decisions about what to do with any insights received in the previous stages. Offer thanks and gratitude to God. Breathe!
We are working to make videos of our Sunday sermons available online. Stay tuned for that exciting development.