Getting rid of the fear of rejection: A journey in inner healing

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“Well that is just who I am!” That is what I would tell myself. Every time I had a meeting with someone there was an uneasiness inside me. I never really thought too much about it. It was part of my personality. My wife would remind me that there was nothing to worry about and she would be correct. I would be worrying for no reason. But that’s just the type of person I was.

Just recently the Holy Spirit began prodding a bit. He brought this tendency for fear into the light. As I spent time listening to the Holy Spirit a pattern began to emerge. It was not that I would get worried about a meeting, it was more a fear that I would be rejected by the people in the meeting.

As I looked back over my life, I could see the same pattern again and again. I would be fearful of rejection after every sermon I preached, I was fearful of being rejected by anyone I was meeting with. Always unsure of any presentation I gave or conversation I had. Even when I knew what I was doing was right or the presentation I gave was good, there was this niggling sense and fear that I would be rejected. Rejected by my spouse, rejected by my children, by friends, co-workers. On one hand I knew it was irrational and that I did not need to worry. But it was still there below the surface.

As this reality was brought to light by the Spirit. I began to ask what the source of the fear was. In inner healing prayer we often see that a traumatic event, which induced a feeling of being fearful of rejection, can wound a person’s spirit and effect their outlook on life. So I began to ask the Holy Spirit to show me what the root cause of this feeling was. I did not get any specific memory but just a general sense that it was very early in life.

I am currently participating in the Advanced Course on Healing and Deliverance from PRMI. This is a year long course with the participants getting together three times. During these on-site meetings there are seminars dealing with various aspects of healing and deliverance along with small group times where the participants have an opportunity to practice and receive healing prayer.

It was during this small group time, that I thought it would be good investigate with the group what the origins of this fear of being rejected could be. We spent some time listening to the Holy Spirit and talking together. I was hoping that He would highlight an event from my childhood which could be an entry point for the wounding and lead to subsequent healing.

The wounding we experience is sometimes the result of our sin and sometimes the result of someone who sins against us. But if we ask Jesus into a hurtful or wounded memory, He, through the Holy Spirit, is able to bring healing. God has used healing prayer many times to help me deal with wounds from the past. But this time, no memory rose to the surface. I shared with the group my feeling that I was very young when this happened and so we decided to ask the Holy Spirit to take me back into the womb to show me if anything happened during those nine months from conception to birth.

Just as wounds we experience after birth can shape our outlook on reality, so can wounding and events while we are in the womb. The psalmist reminds us in Psalm 139 that God knew us when we were knit together in our mothers’ womb. In healing prayer, we go back to conception and work through the three trimesters and stages of a baby’s development to see if the Holy Spirit will shed light onto anything that happened and then we ask Jesus to heal anything the Spirit reveals.

So I asked the Spirit to take me back to conception. As he did that, I was aware of the Spirit bringing something up. It was not clear what it was at first, but I was suddenly teary-eyed and an awareness that in and around my conception there was a certain amount of fear, which as a little embryo I had absorbed. We asked Jesus to heal the hurt and I had a wonderful sense of God’s love and protection.

He reminded me that even in the womb He knew me and had a purpose for me. He reminded me of an encounter I had with Him a few weeks ago. During that encounter he had shared how he saw me by giving me the name of a Biblical character. He had revealed to me that the character traits of this Biblical figure were similar to my own. I had struggled to accept what I had felt at that time. But now as he reminded me of this previous encounter the Lord went deeper. He told me clearly that even in the womb this was how He saw me. This was always how he saw me. That truth melted away any fear which was there, and the deep sense of God’s love, mercy, grace and purpose remained. We did not need to go any further through the development of the child and simply sealed the work the Holy Spirit had done and moved onto the next person in the group.

During that evening, I began to write down in my journal what had happened, when suddenly a thought crossed my mind; “Mum had a miscarriage.” I wondered if this was a word of knowledge from the Lord, because I was not aware of any miscarriage that had happened. But along with the thought came a deep sense that this was right. So much so, that I was tempted to call or text my mother straight away (but realizing the time difference and that it was the middle of the night for her, I chose not to). But I did text the following morning and Mum confirmed that she had a miscarriage right before I came along. It was a confirmation of the fear of rejection which we had dealt with the previous day.

But it also gave me an opportunity to walk the healing out. I had to choose to ask the question from my mother and the subsequent questions of why did you ask that? It also provided the opportunity to explain what prayer ministry all is about, something which some people are not always comfortable with. Normally I would feel apprehensive to discuss these things with my mother, but I did not this time.

At the same time the Lord said blog about this. Again, something that I would be less than eager to do but here it is. It is just the beginning of walking out the healing and that will take time. But already there is a quiet reassurance in my inner being that I am secure, loved and have no reason to fear rejection. Even if I experience it from people around me, I know God will never reject me.

 

What I’ve Learned about Spirit-led Corporate Prayer

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During the last few months I have attended several prayer events where there was no fixed agenda. Instead the event was led by the Holy Spirit. The leadership sought to discern the Spirit’s leading and stay in step with the Spirit throughout the event. As I have been involved in these times of prayer there are some common themes which have emerged as being essential for corporate prayer which is led by the Spirit.

Unity

Praying in unity is foundational for Spirit-led corporate prayer. Jesus talks about the power of agreement in prayer in Mathew’s gospel…

 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:19-20)

In Spirit-led prayer, this need for unity becomes even more important because the group is seeking to stay in step with how the Holy Spirit is leading. This means that instead of the group praying their own thoughts and idea, they are praying what the Spirit wants them to pray.

Getting into a place of unity where this is possible is not easy. It takes work, especially with larger groups. To do this requires time focussed upon God and recognizing our position together with Jesus Christ. It also means staying together in prayer.

Recently, in a group trip I was a part of we were moving as a group from one place to another. Those who walked quickly were soon out in the lead and those who were slower followed behind. I got the privilege of following up behind to make sure no one got left behind. But as we moved along I quickly found myself feeling isolated. The group was so spread out that we had lost any sense of unity.

If we had really wanted to stay together in unity we should have moved at the pace of the slowest person. Staying together in prayer means that we move at the pace of the slowest person. It is important that everyone knows where we are in the prayer and understands what we are doing. Practically, it means making sure that during a time of listening prayer that everyone has long enough to hear from the Lord. For some people, they need time to get quiet and listen to what God has to say. Others hear very quickly. It takes work from everyone. Those who hear quickly need to be patient with those who take longer to hear. Otherwise there is a danger that some of the group can run on ahead without hearing everything that the Lord may be saying to the group. Waiting and allowing everyone the opportunity to participate might mean a slower paced prayer time, but it allows people to remain together in unity. It also requires frequent times of debriefing to make sure that everyone understands what is happening and where the direction of the prayer is going.

Expectations

In seeking to stay in step with the Spirit during corporate prayer it is important to deal with personal expectations. This helps the group to stay in unity. Everyone comes to a prayer meeting with expectations. They may be as simple as dealing with a list of topics which need to be prayed for or it could be expectations about what style of prayer is going to take place. There is nothing wrong with coming with expectations, but it can become problematic if different expectations clash. For example, if one person arrives at the prayer time expecting a time of quiet contemplative type of prayer but another person arrives expecting to have the prayer led “Korean Style” where everyone speaks their prayers out loud at the same time the two don’t really fit well together. One or both of the people will either be frustrated or will have to give up their expectations.

If we want to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we need to surrender our expectations so that we can follow the Spirit. In some ways this is obvious, but it is not always easy. The ideas which we bring into a time of prayer may be great. The prayers may be good prayers, but if it is not where the Spirit wants to go then we will need to give them up. So if we come with a desire to pray for high school teachers and students, but the direction which the Holy Spirit gives is to pray for federal government we need to be willing to give up our idea of praying for high schools so that we can follow what the Holy Spirit wants us to pray for. There is a danger that if we come with a fixed idea like praying for high schools, which is a very good thing to be praying for, we can miss the more important prayer which the Spirit wants to prompt us to pray. The Spirit is the one who knows what’s happening at the current time. Perhaps there is a specific need to be prayed for within the federal government. If we do not surrender our own expectations, or at least hold them loosely, we could cause the group to get out of step with the Spirit.

As we surrender expectations together we move from our own agenda onto the Spirit’s agenda. We move into a greater place of unity and dependence upon the Spirit to guide our prayer time.

Evangelism Prayer

Father God, thank you for the opportunities you give us to share the good news of Jesus with our neighbours. We thank you too for those you have called and equipped to reach others for you. Bless them in their work, enable them to see their harvest fields and equip them to be faithful in bringing that harvest in. Lord, we thank you for those who work as missionaries both here at home and overseas. Give them all they stand in need of. Help us also to see the places in our lives where you are calling us to be your witnesses. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who instructed us to pray, Amen.
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Revelation 5 Prayer

Father God, you deserve our praise simply because you are God. There is no one who is like you, no one as powerful, majestic and awesome. But there is no one who is as just, wise, and loving as you. So we come in worship. We come to say “Yes” to you. We come to say that we want to surrender ourselves again to your Lordship. We declare that you are the sovereign Lord and that you and you alone should be the focus of our praise not just today, but everyday, now and forever. Amen.

 

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