As a part of the spiritual formation program application, you are asked to share significant events both positive and negative from childhood. The sexual abuse I experienced as a ten-year-old profoundly shaped me. During the first spiritual formation retreats for my program, a group of 7 of us were placed in a small group. Wasting no time, after we had barely shared our names and where we were from we were asked to share one of our negative experiences from childhood.
As Ray (LCPC), our fearless small group leader is a licensed clinical professional counselor he went for the Achilles of our pain. After briefly sharing my experience, I appreciated being validated in my feelings. Then Ray said close your eyes and see if you can picture Jesus there with you in the midst of the pain. I could not picture him there with me. Ray went on to say he is sure that Jesus is sad and upset about what happened to you.
Two days later, on the last day of our first retreat, I met with Nancy our cohort leader who is also an LCPC. I went in expecting a spiritual direction session and what I experienced firsthand was interacting with the living, loving, tangible presence of Jesus Christ. I saw Him there in the room when I was abused. He was angry and sad. However, I also experienced His protection from further harm. He was my shield absorbing the lies and pain when we confronted my abuser and he denied it. All these years Jesus has been holding my tender, heart of stone. Then as I put my faith and trust in Him, He transformed it into a heart of flesh that could feel love, protection, and longing. My heart is learning how to receive and give life. Jesus transformed and began to heal through Immanuel Prayer.
As someone who considers herself a prayer warrior, I couldn't wait to learn more. After my program ended, I found a basic Immanuel Prayer Facilitator training. I completed this 6 week training and a small group of us decided to continue to meet weekly to practice facilitating and receiving Immanuel Prayer.
We have been meeting for 3 years now and Christ has brought a tremendous amount of healing through this wonderful tool.
Immanuel Prayer is a specific type of prayer where you start from a place of gratitude and the goal is to experience the living, loving, interactive presence of Christ.
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