Dates: We have run this workshop series in the past, but it is not currently scheduled.
Facilitator: Andy Ross
Basic Description: This group is designed to encourage your personal practices for establishing and maintaining an awareness of God’s presence in all kinds of settings including while you are facilitating someone else’s prayer ministry session, during your personal prayer times, and during your daily routine. Pretty much every practitioner will tell you that it is much easier to perceive God’s presence and guidance in prayer with someone else than alone because the parts of our brain that are involved in recognizing the importance of spontaneous thoughts that come to us simply seem to work better in community. Finding practices that make it easier to perceive God’s presence and guidance even when alone is an ongoing area of discovery in the Immanuel community (as well as in all of church history.) Participants will learn simple practices based on the same principles that seem to make the Immanuel Approach effective – practices that help quiet our racing thoughts, center our attention towards what God wants to make us aware of, and increase our ability to recognize, feel, and experience God’s presence and guidance with our more emotional/relational faculties.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn and practice Immanuel Approach informed exercises that help connect with God through our emotional and relational capacities. Group members will also have space to share what practices they are finding most beneficial in maintaining an awareness of God’s presence and activity in their daily lives whether subtle or dramatic. If they want people will also have space to share in small and full group settings the things that God may be showing them in their personal prayer times in order to get increased clarity, discernment, and additional revelation. Difficulties with connection are welcome as well and likely various aspects of this group will be helpful in understanding these blockages more fully and getting God and other people’s help with caring for them. We will incorporate practices and concepts from the Immanuel Approach as well as from the Joyful Journey Prayer journaling model and some additional sources. We will meet both as a full group of 7-9 people and in smaller break out groups of 3 during the gatherings. This group will draw on a combination of experiential exercises, reflection, teaching, debriefing, sharing, and incorporating practices between groups. Space is limited in order to promote a sense of safety and community in the group.
Format: Training will combine
Large group sharing and exercises
Small break out group sharing and exercises
Practice suggestions between groups
Reflection and debrief of practice experiences.
Group Cost: Standard 6 Week Group Rates
$250 Full Rate
$290 Generosity Rate: Pays the extra for one person on the subsidized rate.
Frequency: Weekly for 6 Weeks
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The development of the Immanuel Approach for emotional healing and for life by Dr Karl Lehman, Dr Jim Wilder and others who have been incorporating the model has contributed a great deal to our understanding of how to strengthen and maintain an interactive connection with God as well as how to understand and address things that seem to be hindering this interactive connection. As the model develops, it seems to be getting more clear that God’s primary goal for this interactive connection is to help people deepen their friendship and intimacy with God and out of this friendship and engagement secondary goals emerge which include healing, personal growth, clearer discernment, a better understanding of God’s heart and many other things. The Immanuel Approach seems to be unique (at least to my knowledge) in the way that it combines multiple practices/ingredients seen in other prayer/healing models into one comprehensive model. The practices which seem to help the Immanuel Approach work as well as it does include but are not limited to:
Beginning with helping people feel/be safe, peaceful, and open to connecting with God and others. (Dr Lehman describes this primarily in terms of getting a person’s relational circuits online)
Explicitly inviting God’s presence and guidance.
Sharing with another person what is coming to one’s awareness.
Maintaining the interactive connection with God over an extended period of time.
Welcoming God’s help and drawing on various interventions to address blockages to perceiving God’s presence as they arise.
Including these practices used in Immanuel Approach sessions into one’s personal prayer times seems to be proving quite helpful for many people in deepening their interactive awareness of God’s presence. However, the absence of having a person to share what is coming to one’s awareness can make the other practices significantly more difficult to incorporate. This six week training group will help you identify ways that thoughtful people have been addressing this challenge with positive effect as seen in the Joyful Journey prayer journaling model. It will also explore additional possible ways of drawing on Immanuel Approach practices in our personal prayer life and invite conversation and participation among the participants to further our understanding of what works for them and what could be incorporated to deepen our interactive connection with God. This group will structured more heavily towards right brained experiential learning than towards left brained logical explanation. All who feel inspired to join are welcome.
If you are interested in developing your ability to practice the Immanuel Approach with others both as a facilitator and a receiver you may want to join one of our 6 week Immanuel Approach Basic Skills Training Group which are lead primarily by Michael Schaefer.