The Immanuel Approach, also known as Immanuel prayer is a form of interactive prayer that tends to work well for helping people get connected to God, stay connected to God, and resolve blockages to a deeper connection with God. The approach was originally created for use in the context of emotional healing. However, over time the basic elements of the approach have been simplified and can be integrated much more broadly in all kinds of settings from small groups to regular conversations. The goal of this workshop series is to highlight for people how the most basic pieces of the Immanuel Approach can be simpler than they may initially think, often taking five minutes or less. We will teach and practice multiple ways to help people get connected with God’s presence even for a brief moment. After this series those who want to go further with the Immanuel Approach will already be quite comfortable the basics of helping a person establish an interactive connection with God and can proceed to other workshops and training opportunities to go deeper with the Immanuel Approach. Participants in this series will leave with concrete ways of integrating the Immanuel Approach into ordinary settings from conversations with friends to small group settings and more. Please see bottom of page for additional description.
Cost: Voluntary Contributions Encouraged but Payment is Not Required.
Note: People are welcome to attend just one or all of the events in the series. Workshops will combine both large group teaching times and break out groups of three to six for practice and debrief. All exercises are optional. Teaching and debrief elements of the session will be recorded so that we can use them as training resources for others who are wanting to learn. Break out practice times will not be recorded.
Facilitators: Andy Ross with Michael Schaefer
Workshop 1: Introduction to the Immanuel Approach
Date: Feb 27, 2020 3:00-4:30 pm US Central Time
This workshop offers a basic introduction to the history of the Immanuel Approach. The group will meet both as a large group and break into smaller groups of three to meet one another and share about a time you felt peaceful (Note all exercises are optional). We will also incorporate a brief time of welcoming anything else God would want us to know to give us more peace in the moment. The goal of this workshop is to offer an experiential taste of a very basic version of the Immanuel Approach. The intention is to help people realize how simple the model can be.
Workshop 2: Passing the Peace: The Simplest Version of the Immanuel Approach to Date.
Date: March 12, 2020 3:00-4:30 pm US Central Daylight Time
Passing the Peace developed by Dr James Wilder is arguably the simplest version of the Immanuel Approach. Dr Wilder has boiled this version down to two main steps which are 1) Sharing a time when you felt peaceful and 2) Asking what God would like you to know right now that will give you more peace. To my knowledge passing the peace has been used safely with large groups in multiple diverse cultures and countries around the world. We have also found that incorporating Passing the Peace in individual and group settings has been working well. This workshop will offer an opportunity for people to experience a simple introduction and practice with the Passing the Peace version of the Immanuel Approach.
Workshop 3: Approaching Immanuel: How the Connection With Immanuel is Flowing as We Connect With Others
Date: March 26, 2020 3:00-4:30 pm US Central Daylight Time
The Immanuel Approach typically starts with focusing on a positive memory and deliberate appreciation by the person who is remembering the positive experience. Michael Schaefer has been experimenting with the Immanuel Approach for a number of years and has discovered that if someone else thanks God for our positive memory the feeling of appreciation can often grow even stronger. This workshop will offer simple modeling and practice of how to combine appreciaton, attunement, and prayer to help get a person’s relational circuits strongly online. We find that simultaneous with this way of praying for each other an interactive connection with God is already beginning to flow.
Workshop 4: Where to From Here: Ways to Keep Immanuel Prayer Safe and Simple and What to Do When It is Not.
Date: April 9, 2020 3:00-4:30 pm US Central Daylight Time
Description: This workshop will solidify learnings from the training series and offer both some additional teaching and additional time for practice. In my assessment the Immanuel Approach for Emotional Healing is really good at accomplishing at least three goals: 1) Helping a person get connected to God and 2) Helping a person stay connected to God 3) Addressing blocks to a deeper connection with God. People have often felt overwhelmed to get started with the Immanuel Approach because they implicitly feel that they have to accomplish all three of these things every session. This workshop series will hopefully have clarified that it is enough to meet just the first of these goals of helping a person get connected to God and this can often be accomplished in as little as 5 minutes and can be worked into all kinds of settings from a small group to a regular conversation.
There will be many times when it is fitting to continue with the second goal and maintain the connection for a little or a lot longer. This can often be done with little to no trouble by simply asking what else God has for the person today and sharing what comes. However, there will be times when blockages arise either right away or during the course of connecting with God and this is when it is helpful to know more about how to address blocks and limits to connecting with God. Our 6 week training groups are a great place to learn the skills of maintaining an interactive connection. In the near future we also hope to offer more workshop series to provide additional help for people to maintain the connection more easily and to deal with blocks to an interactive connection with God.
Additional Description and Details
The Immanuel Approach, also known as Immanuel Prayer was developed originally by Dr Karl Lehman, Dr James Wilder, and others in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s as a model for resolving painful memories through helping a person establish an interactive connection with God’s presence. Immanuel means God with us and the whole model is based on God’s promise to always be with us seen throughout scripture in verses such as Matthew 28:20. As time has progressed Dr Lehman and others realized that as people developed a stronger ability to recognize and engage with God’s ongoing presence, God seemed to be interested in going way beyond just healing memories. Thus Dr Lehman coined the term Immanuel Approach for Life to describe a way of drawing upon everything learned in the Immanuel Approach to deepen our daily ongoing awareness of God’s presence. As time has gone on that the Immanuel Approach has gotten steadily simpler and more easy to use with Dr Jim Wilder’s Passing the Peace Model as arguably the simplest iteration which is down to two main steps of sharing a time when you felt peaceful and asking what God would like you to know right now that will give you more peace.
Often when people think of doing Immanuel Prayer they still think of an extended emotional healing session and they are not sure if they have time or skills to get into it. This is often the way Immanuel Approach healing sessions go (and the result is often really amazing/cool healing) but extended healing sessions is just one use for the Immanuel Approach model. If instead you think of the Immanuel Approach as a simple way of helping someone become more aware of God’s presence and just getting even one or two thoughts or images from God then it feels much more doable. This can often be accomplished in one to five minutes. From there you can either stop or you can stay and talk a bit longer with God. I have done this five minute version of Immanuel Prayer many times with people in settings from discernment meetings to small groups, to just hanging out with a friend and pausing to pray briefly.
The goal of this workshop series is to highlight for people how to begin using this much simpler version of the Immanuel Approach that involves simply helping people to get connected with God’s presence even for a brief moment. After this series those who want to go further with the Immanuel Approach will already be quite comfortable the basics of helping a person get connected with God and can proceed with learning more ways to help a person stay connected with God and help a person address limits to a deeper connection with God. Please see bottom of page for additional description.