Listen, Love and Pray
An Occasional Newsletter of the Prayer Ministry of All Saints Church
What? A newsletter?
Barbara, Keith and I have been thinking about ways to do the following:
- Improve communication within the prayer ministry.
- Improve communication of what is going on in our ministry with the leadership of All Saints Church (clergy, vestry and staff) as well as with friends of our ministry — people in the community who have benefitted from our ministry, ministry “alumni” who have moved on to other churches, and others who might like to know what is going on with us at All Saints.
- Share the good news of Jesus’ healing and transforming love, particularly as we experience it in the prayer ministry at All Saints.
So, yes, a newsletter. We are going to give this a try this fall and see how it goes. Who knows how this will turn out!
Something I’ve Been Learning Lately: The Gentleness of Jesus
Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” — John 8:2-11
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. — Matthew 11:28-30
I have been learning lately about how gentle Jesus is. I’ve experienced Jesus’ gentleness first-hand, and I’ve watched Jesus gently heal and restore the folks who I’ve had the privilege to pray with. Because the details of our prayer appointments are confidential, I can’t say too much about how gently Jesus has dealt with those folks, so let me say a word or two about how gently Jesus has dealt with me. I served as a guinea pig at a prayer conference last November and again a couple of months ago in June. I case you don’t know what I mean by “guinea pig”, at prayer ministry training conferences the leaders always demonstrate what they are teaching, and so they need volunteers to sit in front of the group and receive prayer ministry from one of the conference leaders.
Now I’m not the kind of person who likes to bare his soul in front of perfect strangers. I’ve been very hesitant to volunteer to be a guinea pig in the past, but I felt God was calling me to volunteer last November, so I screwed up my courage and did it at the beginning of the conference. Throughout the 5-day event I didn’t hear anything from anyone about my being a guinea pig, so I began to think that I had successfully run the gauntlet. However, right before lunch on the last day of the conference the leader grabbed me and said that he wanted to pray with me after lunch. I was terrified. What if all my junk came out? What if all my sin and brokenness was exposed? What would people think? How could I face anyone afterwards? How could I face Barbara, who was attending the conference with me? What if Sarah heard about it? What would she think? How about my pastor Steve? Would he kick me off the prayer ministry?
Over lunch Barbara and some kind folks who I had met at the conference gave me lots of encouragement, so I didn’t run out of the joint but rather went through with it. And what happened? Jesus showed up in all his power and love and gentleness. Even though I was in front of everyone, wired for sound so that everyone could hear as well as see what was going on, Jesus protected me even as he bound up my brokenness, forgave me my sin, and filled me with his Spirit. He did not expose me. He did not embarrass me. He did not shame me. He loved me. Sweetly, gently, he loved me.
I was a guinea pig again in June, and the same thing happened. Jesus showed up, did a mighty work in me, and didn’t violate me or belittle me in any way. Among other things, he dealt with something that I thought was long healed, long over and done with–I was abused one time by a priest when I was in junior high. Clearly, Jesus knew better. He gave me the opportunity to give him all the pain from that incident that I had buried deep within me. He gave me the opportunity to receive a genuine apology from a true, Godly priest. He brought me to a place when I could forgive the priest standing before me as well as the priest from my past. He even gave me a chance to offer Christ’s peace to both of them. And he did all this without forcing me to relive the past, to discuss any of the details in front of a room full of strangers. Again, no exposure, no embarrassment, no shame. Just love. Sweet, gentle love.
As I’ve reflected on these experiences, I’ve been reminded of the story in John 8 about the woman caught in adultery. Pretty much since the ink has dried on John’s parchment, folks have been arguing about why Jesus bent over and doodled in the dust rather than directly engaging the charges leveled against the woman. I wonder if he wasn’t trying to safeguard whatever was left of the woman’s dignity. He was not interested in any further condemnation. He could see her heart. She didn’t need any more exposure, embarrassment or shame. She desperately needed to be loved, and he did exactly that. He scattered her accusers, and he forgave her. Truly, Jesus is gentle and lowly in heart. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. His great desire is to give us rest. Praise be to Him. Amen.
Paul B. Marvin
Some Upcoming Prayer Ministry Events
Sunday, 9/25 Prayer and Praise Service — 7:00 PM — At All Saints Church — Everyone is invited!
Fri-Sat, 10/7-8 and Fri-Sat, 10/14-15 Prayer Ministry Training: see announcement below
Sunday, 11/20 Prayer and Praise Service — 7:00 PM –At All Saints Church — Everyone is invited!
Fall Prayer Training
Holy Spirit Weekend
Friday the 7th, 7:00-9:30 PM and Saturday the 8th, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
This workshop is for three groups of folks:
- –Anyone interested in prayer ministry at All Saints.
- –Anyone who would like to know more about who the Holy Spirit is and what he does for us as disciples of Jesus.
- –Anyone who would like a fresh filling of the Spirit in their lives.
Eucharistic Prayer Ministry Training
Friday the 14th, 7:00-9:30 PM and Saturday the 15th, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
This training is for people who would like to serve as a Eucharistic Prayer Minister at All Saints.
Another Great Training Opportunity — The Immanuel Approach
Dr. Scott Flanagan, from Tallahassee Healing Prayer Ministries in Tallahassee, Florida is offering a ten week study at Aqueduct Conference Center in Chapel Hill exploring the Immanuel Approach. Here is a bit of the blurb from the flyer describing this training:
The Immanuel Approach:
Learning to Connect with Jesus for Healing and Discipleship
The Immanuel Approach is a new model of inner healing developed by Dr. Karl Lehman. In this ten week training we will learn the principles of the Immanuel Approach, view and analyze a condensed live session each week and practice the principles in small group exercises and ministry. As Lehman teaches, from the Lord’s perspective the primary purpose of all inner healing approaches is to remove the things that separate our hearts from His. …the Immanuel Approach focuses on the Lord’s goal by training us to connect with the Lord, perceive His presence, spend time in His presence and learn from Him.
This training is appropriate for someone who is involved in or would like to become involved in inner healing ministry… This training is also appropriate for anyone who wants to develop a more intimate relationship with Jesus… The study begins Monday, September 12, 7PM-9PM, and runs for 10 consecutive Mondays. The cost is $75. You can register by calling Aqueduct at 919.933.5557 or by going online at www.aqueductcc.com. Please register by September 1.
If you have any questions about this, please talk with Paul.
- Barbara has a blog where she posts her devotional reflections. You will find it at http://christsownforever.blogspot.com/.
- You will find an archive of helpful articles from Christian Healing Ministry’s newsletter The Healing Line at http://www.christianhealingmin.org/newsletter/.
- Paul produces a monthly calendar with the readings from the Book of Common Prayer daily lectionary and the Revised Common Lectionary Sunday and feast day readings. If you would like to receive this each month by email, please ask Paul (919.477.6974, firstname.lastname@example.org) to add you to his distribution list.
If you would like to contribute something to this newsletter — a reflection or devotional, a testimony, something you have learned lately about prayer ministry, a book review, a report from a conference you recently attended, a report from a recent ministry event, etc., etc., etc., please talk with Paul. If you have any suggestions about what could or should appear in this newsletter, please talk with Paul.And, especially, if you would like to help producing this newsletter, please do talk with Paul!
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About this Newsletter
Listen, Love and Pray is an occasional newsletter of the prayer ministry of All Saints Church, Durham, North Carolina. Its purpose is to share the good news of Jesus’ healing and transforming love, particularly as that love is incarnated and experienced in the prayer ministry of All Saints Church. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the clergy, vestry or staff of All Saints Church. Any questions or comments about this newsletter should be directed to the leadership of the prayer ministry.
Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer Ministry Leadership Team
Paul B. Marvin, Prayer Ministry Leader
Barbara Beasley, Director of Eucharistic Prayer Ministry
Keith Clement, Director of Prayer Appointments Ministry