I recently read 5 Voices by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram. The 5 Voices are: Nurturer, Creative, Pioneer, Connector and Guardian. All five of the ‘voices,’ in their perfection, are aspects of the multifaceted voice [and nature] of our loving God.
I asked God, “How does this book relate to my healing and transforming journey, past and present?” The short answer is: the nature and nurture I grew up with (in home and church)—negatively impacted my nurturing gift and created poor patterns of belief and behavior.
Following the Holy Spirit of Christ into a transforming journey that began in 2007, I began to see things that prevented me from being who God created me to be and were caused by one of these things: mistakes made in ignorance (usually based in lies or fear], woundedness [not receiving what is needed, or receiving what is not needed) or sin (my choice). By the time I was 50, I had a constant knot in my stomach. I woke anxiously every morning. I was on anti-depressants and had contemplated suicide. I entered into unhealthy relationships with people in positions of religious authority—giving them the power to dictate my abusive behavior toward my children. Constant anxiety prevented my normal breathing. The fear-of-God I had been taught as a child, along with both physical and spiritual abuse all taught me to operate out of fear—making me spiritually and emotionally sick. Looking back, I married, worked, attended college and raised children with fear as the framework for all of it. I married out of the fear of being alone. I stayed in an unhealthy relationship out of fear of disobeying God. I was not prepared for healthy relationship with God or others. Unfortunately, even Christian counselors metaphorically treated my (spiritual) burn wounds with heat packs!
By the grace of God in 2007, after a season in a spiritual wasteland, a friend told me of a (different) God who was her loyal and loving friend. She taught me to contemplate/meditate on the Word of grace in a way that would initially cause me great consternation but eventually healed my erroneous image of God’s nature. She prayed with me—not like anyone had ever prayed with me before. She led me into the safety and Presence of Jesus. She called it, Safe Place prayer. It rocked my world—unlike the hours I had spent on my knees for decades! I was profoundly healed. Today, I know I am Christ’s ambassador, and in Him, I am reconciled to and am, “the righteousness of God,” (2 Corinthians 5:21). In Jesus’ patient and loving arms, healing is without end. Prayer can simply be the act of letting God love you.
The Safe Place Prayer term was coined by Dr. Terry Wardle, author and professor at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio. Safe Place Prayer is a great way to help others position themselves before the Lord to receive the healing and renewing of the mind and heart that only he can bring. Below are some of the ways that I personally experience it and which may be helpful for you as well. Asking the Lord to take me to a safe-place in my mind and heart where I can feel totally safe, I wait for a sense of his presence through the following:
- Worship Music: Reminding me of God’s loving character.
- Thanksgiving and Praise: Resting in God’s Presence via praise and thanksgiving . . . receiving peace, love, joy, promises and acceptance in it.
- Surrender: Asking God to increase my faith (Proverbs 3:5).
- Dwelling on the Word: Allowing contemplation of the Word of God to transform my mind (Isaiah 41:9-13).
- Meditating: Surrendering to God’s loving Presence positions me to receive healing, blessing, encouragement, revelation and always fills me with gratitude.
- Revelation: Allowing myself to be observant, listening and watching for God’s hand in my life—ways in which he is at work in me (Ephesians 1:17).
- Receiving: Giving myself permission to be open to the comfort, understanding, joy and power of the Light of the World—my source.
- Gratitude: Ongoing praise and more worship, allowing for times marked with tears of joy and thanksgiving.
If you are interested in learning more about Safe Place prayer, you may consider attending an Odyssey in Christ Transforming Prayer retreat or participating in an online workshop on this topic.
Lorilee is an Odyssey in Christ spiritual director, currently pursuing her doctorate in Formational Counseling at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio.