Life After Death Shared Experience – Husband and Wife ❤
Many people describe near death experiences – this is the first one I’ve read that had a husband and wife who died together, but one of them came back. Can you imagine what that must be like?
Jeff Olsen: The accident happened while we were driving back to our home in Bountiful, Utah, from a visit to relatives in the southern part of the state. My wife, Tamara, was asleep beside me. Our seven-year-old son, Spencer, was in the back seat, playing with his toys. Our toddler, Griffin, slept in his car seat. The road stretched out ahead, and my eyes grew heavy. It felt as if I’d blinked for just a second.
That was all it took.
I lost control. The car rolled, windows exploding, gravel flying, as we spun over and over until I lost consciousness. I woke only for a second after we stopped. I felt horrible pain and heard Spencer crying in the backseat. Everything went black again. I was terrified. Where is my family? Are they safe?
Then, suddenly, I was calm. The pain was gone. I looked around. I was floating above our car accident. Before I could react, I felt a presence near me. It was Tamara. We were encircled in a bubble of light that was emanating complete peace. I knew then she was gone, but it was as if my grief were suspended. All I could feel was serenity. I wondered if we were on our way to heaven.
Tamara looked at me, her face serious. “Jeff, you cannot be here,” she said. “You have to go back.” How could I? She was here. Then I remembered Spencer’s cries. He was still alive. He needed me. I knew I had to make a choice. I pulled Tamara close to me. “Goodbye,” I said. I let go. Then I felt myself drifting away from Tamara and the comforting light.
Suddenly, I was in a hospital. I was not yet back in my body—I was still weightless, without pain. I moved freely through the halls, observing the people around me. Somehow, I was able to see their whole lives as I looked at them. Their stories, their fears, their experiences. I felt no judgment toward any of them. I was filled with the most incredible love and oneness with each of them.
I finally reached a room and stopped. The patient was in terrible shape, and doctors were rushing around him. Wait, I thought. Is that me? I recognized my own face now. I was horrified. I couldn’t go back to that! Then I remembered what Tamara had said. I thought of Spencer. I couldn’t leave him alone.
I let go and chose to move toward the body. The heaviness was the first thing I noticed, then came the horrific pain. But the worst part was the guilt. It hit me like a tidal wave. Tamara and Griffin were gone. Even as I sensed the doctors over me, working furiously to save my life, the only thing I could think was: This was my fault.
Dr. Jeff O’Driscoll was finishing his rounds at the hospital when Rachel, an ER nurse, grabbed his arm. “Come see this,” she said. “His wife is…here.”
Dr. O’Driscoll: Rachel and I stood in the doorway. The room was loud. A team of doctors worked to stabilize the patient. As I watched, the sounds around me faded out. I sensed a divine presence in the room. And then I noticed a light. In it was the form of a woman, floating above the patient’s bed. She had flowing, curly blonde hair and was dressed in various shades of white. Her form was almost transparent, and the look on her face was serene. She looked vibrant, otherworldly—I knew innately that this was the man’s wife. The divine presence in the room was allowing me to view her eternal soul.
She smiled at me, as if she’d known me forever. I sensed her immense gratitude toward the doctors who were working to save her husband. She looked directly at me and back at her husband, then back at me. Her eyes were intent.
Then everything slowly returned to normal. I could hear the doctors speaking, and I could hear Rachel again. “Did you see her too?” she asked. I looked again. The patient’s wife was gone. The trauma surgeon took the man to surgery.
Olsen: After a few months and 18 surgeries, I finally moved to the rehab wing. One night, just days before my release, I fell into a deep sleep and had a dream that was more powerful than any I’d ever had. I was standing in a big field. The serenity I’d felt in the bubble of light on the day of the accident returned. My body was healed, and I could walk freely. I felt light and started running. I noticed a corridor appear on my left. I entered and followed it to the end. I found Griffin there, asleep in his crib. He looked perfect. Tears filled my eyes as I picked him up and held him close. I could feel his breath on my neck as I rocked him. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive myself, I thought.
Then I felt a divine presence behind me. It exuded pure love. It felt like the love I’d experienced for the people in the hospital the day of the accident, free of judgment. I now understood that I’d been shown a glimpse of the kind of complete love that God had for me. I felt two arms wrap around Griffin and me, enveloping us. A reassuring voice said, “There’s nothing to forgive.”
This is an excerpt of a story that appeared in Mysterious Ways magazine – click here for the full story
For more information, I highly recommend the book Imagine Heaven by John Burke. It really encouraged me after someone close to me unexpectedly passed away. It is full of stories like this and it examines the details of these experiences in light of what the Scriptures say. Click on the book cover below to see the description on Amazon.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Being baptized in the Spirit of God is beyond wonderful! If you have never experienced it, you are really missing out. 🙂
John the Baptist said, “I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:8) He was referring to Jesus Christ. John’s baptism by water was a sign of someone willing to repent and make a change in their life to follow the Lord.
The baptism with the Holy Spirit is a sign of surrender to the Lord – to be willing to be completely filled to overflowing or “immersed” in His Spirit (baptism means immersed). For most people this is a separate experience from their initial decision to follow the Lord. They want all that God has for them – they want more of Him so they ask to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
I was a follower of Jesus Christ for 5 years before I even heard of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I was very surprised that no one had told me about it before – especially after I experienced it and saw what a HUGE difference in made in my walk with the Lord. It opened up a whole new realm of exquisite experience with Jesus. I could feel His presence – like right there in the room! I could pray for someone who was sick and they actually got better. Before that experience, if I told someone “I’ll pray for you”, I didn’t have a lot of confidence that anything would change for them. After being baptized in the Spirit, I could literally feel the power of God in my hands. It’s an absolutely wonderful experience and it doesn’t stop. You can ask God to baptize you with His Spirit and He will do it over and over at different times in your life. You can begin to live “full” of His Spirit – full of joy, peace, love, patience, etc. (Galatians 5 – the fruit of the Spirit)
In the book of Acts, Paul went to a city called Ephesus. There he found some believers. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” (see – just like me!)
And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”
So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:2-6)
This shows you that you can change your life and and be water baptized in Christ and still not be baptized in the Spirit. It’s something that happens afterwards. It’s not just having the Holy Spirit inside of you, it’s being immersed, filled to overflowing with God’s Spirit.
So how do I get it?
You just ask for it.
“If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:11-13)
Jesus also told his disciples that receiving the Holy Spirit would give them power.
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:4,5 & 8a)
So even though they were already followers of Jesus, He told them to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That it would empower them to do what He was leading them to do.
Jesus had already told them in John 14:12,
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”
Jesus did some AMAZING things and we get to do them too – by following His Spirit’s leading.
When I experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it really opened me up. It was like a brand new journey in learning how to walk with Jesus. I learned how to speak in tongues in prayer and worship – that was completely new to me. I learned how to hear the voice of the Lord and tell others what He was saying (called prophecy in the Bible). I learned how to pray for someone who was sick and I saw them recover – maybe not every time, but much more frequently that ever before. I learned how to protect myself from supernatural evil – like spirits of heaviness or fear that would trouble me at night. I learned A LOT – and I still am. I rely on the Holy Spirit to teach me whatever I need to know.
So if you’d like to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, just say, “Jesus, I’d like to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. I open my heart to you – fill me up please!” Some people have an immediate experience – they feel something or they start speaking in an unknown language (which the Bible calls “tongues”). Some people don’t experience anything right away but it comes later. You can pray and the Lord to fill you up as many times as you want. There’s no limit!
Some people ask for another person to pray for them to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Like in the book of Acts, Paul “laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” You can do that too, if you wish. It can help to increase your faith to have someone else pray for you who is already baptized in the Spirit. It is a beautiful experience to share with others.
If you follow Jesus, you already have the Holy Spirit inside of you – in your spirit. That’s where you are one with God. This is just a deeper experience of being immersed in the Spirit and it’s awesome!! 🙂
If you have any questions about this, feel free to post it below. There’s some great books on this topic if you want to learn more – here’s one to start with: Baptized in the Spirit: God’s Presence Resting Upon You With Power by Randy Clark
Deep Healing So You Can Rest
Many times we experience spiritual attacks because of wounds we have inside (emotional or spiritual). We are often unconscious that we have these wounds. We tend to move on with life without dealing with them, usually because we simply don’t know how. These wounds often bring curses or “open doors” to the realm of darkness.
A friend sent me this wonderful video that helps to deal with those hidden wounds. Jim Banks talks for a few minutes and then he does a “prayer process”, as he calls it. He covers several things in his prayer and you will be surprised by how many seem to impact you directly. Many people say listening to this helped them sleep better than they have in years!
He also does some specific things during this prayer that can help with spiritual attacks – he breaks curses and disconnects you from things that may be harassing or influencing you. He helps your body release anxiety and stress that you may not know you are carrying.
I recommend listening to it at a time that you can pay attention without distraction, just before bedtime. The video is a just under an hour. Listening to the prayer makes you very relaxed and sleepy (hence the suggestion to listen before bed).
Once you’ve listened to the whole thing, you can go back the next day and listen to just the prayer process. I’ve listened to it several times and I always get something new. He says on his blog that some people make it part of their “getting ready for bed” ritual, to help them relax and sleep peacefully. 🙂
The video is on YouTube – it’s called Effective Trauma Release — [deeper healing in the spirit]. Here it is:
There’s a copy of this “prayer process” in his book, The Effects of Trauma and How to Deal with It.
If you want more in-depth help, Jim and his wife offer individual prayer counseling sessions by phone, skype or Facebook messenger video call. They also offer 1-3 days intensives if you want to meet with them in person. They are currently located near Nashville, Tennessee. Here’s the details of how to make an appointment: https://jimandpatbanks.com/personal-ministry/
After you listen to the video, please come back to this blog and let me know how it helped you. Your testimony may encourage someone else!
God Loves You As You Are
There is an AWESOME video of Graham Cooke sharing a word from God’s heart about His Love for you. It will deeply touch your heart, if you let it. Listen to it over and over until it really sinks in. I’ve written some of the words he says (but not all), but there’s nothing like listening to them so they get down into your soul. ❤
The Lord says that there is nothing that you can do that would make Him love you more,
there is also nothing you can do that will make Him love you less.
He loves you
because He loves you,
because He loves you,
because He loves you,
because He loves you,
because He loves you,
because He loves you,
because He loves you,
because that is what He is like.
It is His nature to love and you will always be the beloved.
What will change, says the Lord, is your ability to receive My Love.
I challenge you to open your heart to Me,
and you will receive
more of My Love than you have ever experienced before.
I dare you – give Me your heart, give Me whatever your obstacle is.
I love you as you are.
You are the beloved.
It is your job, says the Lord, to be loved outrageously.
I AM He that loves you outrageously!
My love comes to set you free from rejection, and from shame,
and from low self esteem, and from despair, and from abuse.
My love will fight fear. It will fight fear in you,
it will fight fear around you.
Beloved, you are My beloved.
So be loved!
Unexpected KEY to Intimacy with God
I’ve been seeking the Lord for over 35 years. I’ve been in thousands of church meetings and Bible studies – I can’t recall a single time this was ever mentioned as a key to being close to God.
I was amazed when I discovered it. I wish I’d known this sooner. I could have enjoyed the Lord’s love and presence so much more over the years.
It all started one day when the Holy Spirit whispered into my heart, “You can be as free as you want to be.” I was shocked. I had been carrying a lot of emotional baggage all my life – fear, insecurity, low self-esteem, etc. I’d tried all kinds of methods to get free, but it seemed like such a slow, hard process. I was so discouraged – then I heard His whisper.
It gave me such HOPE!
I desperately wanted to be at peace, to be confident and to be a woman of faith that trusted God. I did not want to be this insecure girl full of fear who was always wondering what was wrong with me. Can you relate? (Maybe a little?)
So I started pursuing emotional healing with all my heart AND I finally found a method that worked for me. I was amazed how fast I was getting free of lifelong fears and insecurities. It was like going through an extreme makeover emotionally. I could hardly believe how much I was changing into the woman I wanted to be.
The key was: The more healed I was inside, the more open and trusting I was able to be with God.
As I was healed from emotional pain from my past, it opened me up to trust God deeply in ways I had struggled to trust Him before. I discovered so many lies I believed subconsciously about myself, about God and about how life works. As the lies came to light, one by one, I was able to let them go and receive the truth.
It was so incredibly liberating – I had no idea what a shift it would make in my perspective. I got healed of things I didn’t even know were broken! Words feel so inadequate in trying to explain to you how BIG this was – emotional healing not only set ME free, it opened up a whole new WORLD in my relationship with God!!
Would you like to know what method worked for me? I tried so many different things, but very few seemed to have lasting effects. I finally found a very simple method and wrote it down. When I shared it with friends, they also had big breakthroughs in their own healing. I started carrying around photocopies of my notes because every time someone was helped, they asked for a copy so they could share it with someone else.
I finally put them in a little book. It’s not very long – the main point is to DO the method, not just read about it. I purposely made it short so people could just jump right in and start getting healed.
Thanks for listening to my story. I have so much peace now. I feel utterly secure – confident in who God made me to be. I wish I had words to describe how much better my life is now – it’s blessing upon blessing with no fear of the future. Yes, I still have a rough day once in awhile, but NOTHING compared to what it was like before.
If you are interested in the book, here’s the link.
Can you relate to my story at all? If so, I’d love to hear from you.
P.S. I’d love to support you in your journey to a more intimate relationship with God. I offer books, an online course and one-on-one mentoring. Let me know how I can help you today ❤
Get Your Fire Back!
What do you do when you know you should have a desire to seek the Lord, but you just don’t have it?
I recall when I first “fell in love” with Jesus. It was so powerful! I couldn’t believe how good I felt and how much I could feel His love for me. It was like falling in love, except it wasn’t with a natural man – it was with Jesus!
I remember trying to explain this to my friends – they didn’t get it. But Jesus was SO REAL to me and I KNEW for the first time in my life, really knew I was loved by Him.
But then the drudgery of daily life took over.
I wanted to keep my passion and fire for Jesus, but it was disappearing and I didn’t know what to do. I was also afraid to tell anyone because they might judge me.
Have you ever felt that way? LIke you wanted to be close to God but the desire to seek Him just was not there?
I have great news! I figured out what to do and it has worked for me many, many times since then. And it’s super easy!
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33
How to Get Your Fire for God back
First, just admit it. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize that you are losing your fire – it happens very slowly and quietly. If you are not around other people who are passionate about Jesus, it can be even harder to recognize – there’s no one to stir you up! But eventually you will realize it. It’s important to admit it – that’s the first step. Admit it to yourself – “I don’t feel like seeking God. My heart is cold.” This is humbling – it kills your pride.
Then, tell Jesus that you feel cold toward Him. I know you probably don’t want to, but this is important. Acknowledge that you WISH you had a desire to seek Him and His ways, but you just don’t. Ask Him to forgive you for the lack of desire to seek Him.
Lastly, ask Jesus to give you a desire to seek Him. I know that doesn’t make sense, but honestly – where do you think you got the desire to seek God in the first place? From Him! We are dependent on Him even for the desire to seek Him.
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” John 6:44
You may not have an “instant” experience of suddenly being passionate about God again. What I’ve noticed when I’ve prayed this prayer is that it takes about 24-48 hours to take effect. I often forget about the prayer and then a couple of days later I notice I suddenly have a desire to seek the Lord. It happens spontaneously, at least for me.
So – try it! I encourage you to choose to seek the Lord. He is worthy and you won’t regret it. Life with Him is AWESOME!
Here’s an example of a prayer you can pray:
Jesus, I’m sorry. I have no desire to seek You right now. I don’t know why. I feel cold in my heart and I want to be different inside. Please restore the desire to seek You in my heart. Thank you. Amen.
Let me know in the comments below what happened after you prayed that prayer. I love to hear how God changes lives. He’s changed mine over and over again. He’ll do it for you too!
Intimate Relationship with God – Free book!
I wrote an ebook to help you develop an intimate relationship with God. It’s free! You can download it by clicking on the link below. I hope it helps you get closer to God. That’s my heart for each one of you who finds this blog – that you might KNOW HIM. ❤
Free Ebook: Intimate Relationship with God by Sandy Walker
This short ebook will help you draw closer to God, to know Him more intimately than you ever thought possible. In this book I share what I’ve learned from walking with Him for over 35 years – things like how to pray and hear from God, how to cultivate an intimate friendship with Him, how to experience God’s presence in your daily life as well as how to receive the Love of God in a tangible way. I also include simple, practical exercises that will help you to be more aware of God’s presence, His direction and Love throughout the day. If you’re looking for a deeper walk with God, I encourage you to check out this little book – it’s free! 🙂
When I was younger it was so hard to find anyone who knew God like I wanted to know Him – so I wrote this little ebook as a candle to light their way. 🙂
Feel free to share it with your friends and family. ❤
Presence Based Worship Songs
There are some songs that just seem to draw us closer to the Lord, aren’t there? We all have our favorite songs we like to sing to God. But it seems like some songs just open up heaven and His presence fills the room.
I love the songs that talk about His presence. It reminds us that He is literally right here, right now, with us. It makes us more aware of His presence. Songs about the Holy Spirit also seem to have that effect.
Here are some presence based worship songs that I never want to forget. So I’m saving them right here.
What’s your favorite presence based worship song? Feel free to share the link in the comments or post the name of the song and the person who sings it (if you know who it is).
Looking for more? This article appears in a free ebook called Intimate Relationship with God – you can download it here. 🙂
How to Host a God Gathering
It has been on my heart recently to host a “God Gathering” – a place where people can gather to seek the Lord. In the old days, people referred to this as “tarrying in the presence of the Lord”. It’s not exactly a prayer meeting – I’m not sure what to call it so I call it a “God Gathering”. 🙂
I have hosted many of these over the years and it occurred to me last night that there may be someone who doesn’t know how to do this so here’s how I do it – in case it might inspire someone else to host a God Gathering of their own!
- Make sure you are hosting the God Gathering for the right reasons. The Holy Spirit is usually the one who initiates the invitation by putting it on my heart to host one. You do not want to do this just because you feel like it – it won’t work. I had a friend call me one time and ask me to host one for her. I had a feeling she was motivated by emotion more than by the Spirit because she seemed upset and hosting the meeting was a reaction to her emotional turmoil. She contacted a bunch of people and twelve of them said they would come. I prepared for it, but I had this sense that this was an empty endeavor. Sure enough, the day for the meeting arrived and she was the only one who showed up. We sat together, quietly talking. When it became obvious that no one else was coming (not even other spiritual leaders, pastors, etc. that had promised to come), I told her I had a sense that it just wasn’t the right time. She agreed and went home. This was a clear object lesson for me – don’t be tempted to do this on your own. Wait for His timing.
- Prepare the environment. I usually do this by cleaning the room where we will be meeting and playing some soaking music softly in the background. I often do this a few days before and just let the music keep playing. My brother used to tell me he could tell the angels liked it when he left the soaking music on. I’m not aware of that but it does help your mind to focus on the Lord every time you hear the music. Some suggestions for soaking music are here.
- Send out an invitation and make sure people are clear on why you are hosting this meeting. You want to make sure that the people who are coming are sincerely wanting to connect with the Lord. This is not just a social gathering. If parents ask, I don’t usually include young children because it’s hard for them to sit still (though I have seen some children who really like these kinds of meetings, but it is rare). You want an environment with no distractions.
- Prepare the spiritual environment. Once the people have gathered and greeted each other, I turn down the lighting to signal that it’s time to begin. Then I pray some specific prayers to prepare the spiritual environment and our hearts for an encounter with Jesus.
- Pray over the room, asking the Lord to wash it and commanding everything else to leave. For example, “Lord, thank You for meeting with us. We are here for You. Would You please wash off this room and remove anything that does not belong here? No spirits of the enemy are allowed to stay here – leave now, in Jesus’ name.”
- Pray over the people, asking the Lord to wash us off and remove any distractions from hindering our time with Him. For example, “Lord, I ask that You wash us off from all that we’ve picked up today. Would You please draw us close to You? Open our hearts and minds to hear from You. Please remove any distracting influences during our time together.”
- Invite the Holy Spirit to come. Yes, the Lord is already there, but there’s something about this step that prepares YOU to hear from Him. For example, “Holy Spirit, we invite You to come. You are welcome in this place. Please increase our awareness of Your presence.” There’s a difference between the omnipresence of God and the tangible manifest presence of God. We are seeking His manifest presence.
- Invite Wisdom and Revelation. For example, “Wisdom and Revelation, come. We welcome you. We invite you to speak to us and show us God’s glory and goodness.” I don’t know how this works, but I know that when I do this it shifts the atmosphere. Some say these are specific angels that are released to minister – others say these are aspects of the Spirit of the Lord. Either way, you are welcoming them to reveal the Lord’s goodness and glory. I don’t have to understand it for it to work (like electricity, right?). Childlike faith is simple and powerful.
- Wait expectantly. At this point, I often turn the music up just a little bit so we can hear it and drown out any other sounds. It helps us to focus without distraction. Often the presence of the Lord has been building with each prayer of invitation spoken so now we just enjoy Him. I often find a smile bursting on my face because He’s HERE in such a tangible way – I am so happy to be with Him. Sometimes I whisper my love and worship to Him – trying not to distract anyone, but at the same time honoring who He is to me. Others may also whisper their love and worship. 🙂 Some people sit, some lay down on the floor, some kneel – each one is free to do whatever feels comfortable for them. (I have tile floors so when I host these, I often put big cushions on the floor and some fluffy throw rugs for people to lay on, if they want to.) Sometimes people pace at the end of the room – that’s okay too. It’s important for each person to be free to be themselves. I also make sure there is paper and pens on the coffee tables in case anyone needs to write what the Lord is saying to them, especially if they wish to give it to someone else.
- Receive from His presence. Just being together in God’s presence is incredibly refreshing and healing. We often just sit quietly and soak up His presence. No one is moving or talking – just being together. Letting God be God.
- Ask people to share. After a time of waiting on God, I will often feel prompted to lower the music a little bit and then I ask, “Would anyone like to share what the Lord is showing them?” One by one people share what the Lord shared with them – it could be a Scripture verse, a new insight into His goodness and care, a word, a song or a vision. Scripture says, “When you gather for worship, each one of you be prepared with something that will be useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight. Take your turn, no one person taking over. Then each speaker gets a chance to say something special from God, and you all learn from each other.” I Corinthians 14 The Message.
- Respond to each thing that is shared. This is really important and some people miss this. Pay attention to what the Lord is saying through each person who shares. Acknowledge what has been shared (thank the person) and then ask the Lord if there’s anything that needs to be done. I am often doing this internally while the person shares, asking the Lord to direct us. Sometimes it is obvious – perhaps something the person shares relates to a current event that needs to be prayed for. Ask that person to lead in prayer, others can join in after they pray. Usually the person who gets the insight or revelation has the authority to pray it out. If someone gets a word of knowledge or word of wisdom for an individual in the meeting, they should offer to minister to that person. Maybe they need prayer – but don’t force it. Ask them first. Sometimes it is not obvious right away what the Lord is saying but after 2-3 people share, you might see a theme emerging that guides you. Ask the Holy Spirit – in fact, I often just stop everything and say out loud, “Holy Spirit, what do You want us to do with this?” and we all just wait. If you don’t hear or sense anything, then just move to the next person who wants to share.
- Pray for each other. After everyone has had a chance to share what the Lord showed them, ask if anyone needs prayer. If there are many needs and time is running out, break up into pairs or groups of three and pray for each other. This is so important – we have no idea how much the people around us are in need until we ask. Asking for prayer requests tends to open people up like nothing else does – this is often the most precious part of these gatherings as people feel safe enough to be vulnerable and transparent about their pain and struggles. This is the body of Christ loving on one another – first we love God and receive His love, then we love one another. ❤
- Close in prayer. You’d think you could skip this step since so much prayer has been going on all night, right? But there’s something about “closing” that feels right. For example, “Lord, thank You so much for meeting with us tonight. We enjoy Your presence so much! Thank You for all You did tonight. We ask that You seal these prayers and all that happened here. We love You.”
I have not encountered too many church meetings that follow this format. But every time I follow it, the Lord comes powerfully and everyone leaves very happy, refreshed and blessed.
I wonder if you could do this virtually. Could you have an online God Gathering using video chat? What do you think? Would it work?
Is there anything you do that helps you and your friends connect with God? Please feel free to share it. I love new ideas!