How to pray for others for the healing of the heart

Healing of the heart is a central practice in Christfulness – may be even the basic for any other practice. Often our heart is divided and not at rest, because we are haunted by judgements – judgement from others, or self condemnation. We are not in contact with our inner child. The prayer for the healing of the heart opens us to experience God’s love and appreciation, so that we know: I am a child of God, I am loved, I am appreciated. It helps us to be who we are in any relationship and under all circumstances. Below you find a way to pray for others to receive this wonderful gift.

  • We ask the Holy Spirit to reveal how love streams from God through the heart of Jesus into the client’s heart, and that he/she will open his/her heart, so that his/her heart may be filled like a cup being filled with water.
  • We pray that God will heal the heart as he/she receives God’s love in his/her heart – as God is speaking to him/her in the heart calling him/her his child, showing him how precious he/she is. None of the treasures of the world compare to what he/she means to God, who do not want to lose him/her for any prize. In this part of the prayer, we use any image that can invigorate the imagination of the client and help him/her to experience God’s love.
  • When we have prayed this through, and when we have faith that the client has grasped this love, we ask that N.N. may rest in a healed heart in the sure knowledge of being a child of God, of being appreciated, and of being a loved one.
  • We pray that this sure knowledge will overflow into the soul, into thoughts, feelings and memories, and thus become a source of healing for wounds in the mind, even healing memories that threaten the inner wellbeing, the self-worth, and the zest for life. In this part of the prayer the client may come across deep wounds in the soul, but the prayer for healing of the heart is the beginning of a process of inner healing. Also the relations to others may be influenced, giving a new freedom, because the client now knows his/her worth and is not dependent on the judgements, opinions, and attitudes of other persons toward him/herself.
  • May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding keep your heart, mind, soul and body in the love of Christ Jesus.

You’ll get an idea of how this prayer runs, if you listen to the guided meditation at YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r9pEn0Fh58&t=28s

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From the Christfulness retreat in November 2

Slået op af Dorte Kobbeltvedt Madsen i Fredag den 2. november 2018

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Diakonia

Diakonia is essential to Christfulness; it’s the marking practice of the Christ-in-you-aspect of Christfulness, because we meet others looking for God’s image in them, looking for Christ in them. Diakonia is the common mark of being a follower or disciple of Christ:

“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28).

Diakonia was reinvented in the European churches in the 19th century mainly as the social work of the Church, care for the sick and humanitarian aid. But seen from a New Testament and Early Church perspective diakonia is more than that. Deacons had administrative tasks, and as a part of that the distribution of money to the poor and the widows. In the early Church deacons were understood as the eyes, ears, mouths, and hands of the bishop. They were like the angels caring messages between God and the congregation and vice versa, as they proclaimed the Gospel og conducted the prayers of the Church for the world. As those who had a deep knowledge of the lives of the members in the congregation they were also mediators helping members to become reconciled.

Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement (WWC Publications, Geneva 2002, p. 305) defines diakonia as “responsible service of the Gospel by deeds and by words performed by Christians in response to the needs of people.” Thus, Diakonia is faith in practice and attentive presence with people, yet never without the Gospel. Diakonia is the responsibility and duty of every Christian:

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” (1 John 3:16-17).

Diakonia results in life change, reconciliation and empowerment (helping the other to taking care of his/her life and situation, and to develop the ability and finding the power/ energy to do so) in the given context.

All diakonia starts as seeing or listening. We’ll have to be challenged from the needs we meet with individuals, groups of people, society and environment.

We may listen to the situation of marginalized people, those who suffer from the increasing gap between the richest and the poorest in society. Our eyes may be opened to mentally ill and people with special needs. Or minority groups. Or we may on our way find people who are searching for the right orientation in life, for wholeness and healing. Or we see the foreigners in our society: migrants, refugees, foreign students.

When we have seen and heard the needs in the context where we live, the next step of Diakonia is reflecting. We’ll have to consider what the needs of this milieu really is, how these needs may be met, and if the Church or Community has the resources to meet the needs. We may use the insights and methods well-known from the long history of diakonia and faith practice, but it’s also about human resources, experience, education and economy. Reflecting on the needs of the milieu in question we’ll also have to ask if there are areas in which Christians will have to learn new skills and develop new insights. We also need to consider how the worldview, tradition, culture and spiritual practices in the given milieu challenge or should be challenged by the Gospel and the Christian faith.

To see and to hear and to reflect aims at practice. Thus, diakonia is action. Diakonia is about sharing the Gospel with others, so that they receive faith, and so that those in need gains a new life and have their human dignity restored. Diakonia is walking with people in a common learning process, so that they get help in helping themselves. Diakonia is caring for the sick and the ill and helping people to taking care of their own health. Diakonia includes active listening, soul care (pastoral care and spiritual guidance), listening to confessions, praying for inner healing and for the sick, exorcism, building self supporting communities, organizing workers and groups of needy. Diakoni is supported through the intercessions of the Christian community.

Diakonia may be part of the diapractice of more religious communities and faiths, in peace and reconciliation efforts, concerning ecology, climate and environment, or active social engagement in the local or national milieu.

Diaconia may have a profetic dimension. Diakonia embodies the norms of God’s kingdom in a world that too often has forgotten the dignity of creation and humankind. Diakonia expresses another measure for a whole and succesful life. Servant love is the norm and measure. Diakonia challenges power structures, serves the week and needy and make the disciples their spokesmen and -women. Diakonia is about justice for the marginalized, and creates a space for every human being irrespective of faith, race, sex, or age.

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Relationships

This talk is from a radio talk:

Good morning. I’m Ole Skjerbæk Madsen. I’m a Danish pastor working at Tao Fong Shan Christian Center.

To-day is Sunday. This may be your day of relaxing  –  of feeling free. Tomorrow it’s work, and a week full of work is lying ahead of you.

How do you feel about that? Do you look forward to it? Or are you dreading it?

A big part of how we view our work is our relationships with colleagues. When relationships are smooth, it can make life full of joy. When work relationships are strained, it can make life miserable.

Some of your colleagues may have hurt you. Some of them don’t appreciate what you do and who you are. They may slander you, meeting you with nasty and degrading remarks. Sometimes they are like enemies.

But, you may say, there’s nothing we can do about it.

From my experience, there is something we can do. And it starts with seeing ourselves through God’s eyes. I don’t know how you think God looks at you, but it’s been a great help to me that Jesus talks in such a trusting way of God. He calls God Father in a very intimate way. He makes me see, that we can be like children in relation to their caring parents in our relation to God. I have found a good help in this affirmation:

I am a child of God

I am loved

And I am appreciated.

God, I thank you!

Through this simple affirmation of faith, I also remind myself of my worth. And thus I’m not so much influenced by someone else’s judgment of me – what they think concerning me, – how they act towards me. They can’t make me less than I am, because [PAUSE] I’m a child of God, loved and appreciated.

From this position, it may be possible to see my colleagues with new eyes too. Even those I considered to be my enemies.  I’m not the only child of God in the world; others are also created in God’s image as God’s children. Therefore, my attitude to them can change. Often my changed attitude will also change the relationship with them.

To remind myself and to proclaim it as my faith, this is my daily prayer:

God, You who are “I AM”!

I recognise the working of Your Spirit in the longing of humans for the peace of Your Kingdom, and in their longing for Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

I recognise the presence of Your servant love in men and women of good will and in all who dedicate themselves to walk the way of discipleship. May the power of Your Holy Spirit flow in us and guide us to the recognition of all Truth and into practical service.

May Your Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, inspire us to servant love

As co-workers of the Kingdom of God.

May I find my place in Your one work for the restoration of the Earth and the human race – in a humble spirit, in purity, truth, and love.

May God bless your day.

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Wonder or frustration?

Psalm 139: 13-16:

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Our existence was no accident; we were in God’s thought before we came into being. This fills us with wonder and praise (verse 14)

God is always near and knows our thoughts: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” (verse 6); even our days are known by God.

But we are not only filled by praise; wonder may change into fear and resentment. It raises questions, as I do in this prayer:

If a human was known even before birth, why are some born with severe handicaps? If God knows my future sins and shortcomings my mishap, why could this not be prevented?

Answer:

My child! Your first feeling face to face with me should be a sense of wonder, because your existence is willed by me. I have loved you from before conception. But my knowledge of your life does not support a prearranged destiny which you cannot escape. Rather it is an assurance of my benevolent and gracious presence in your life whatever your conditions are, whatever you’ve made from your life.

Truly I have a plan for your life which corresponds to the original nature of humans. But much human life is not in accordance with this original nature. This has resulted in a milieu of alienation from me and between human persons and between humans and nature.

You live according to a paradigm of sin.

Couldn’t I intervene? Couldn’t I change your condition of life? How could I do this without disrespecting your integrity? Could I force you to love – to love me, your fellow humans and nature?

However, I did intervene, but without forcing you. My Son, the eternal Dao or Logos, became one of you. In him I am present to you in your sufferings, your pain – in the midst of the milieu of abuse and evil doing. In my Son, Jesus Christy, I am present when the only thing left for you is to cry: My God, my God, why have you left me, forsaken me?

This is wondrous. You meet me in my vulnerable Son, Jesus Christ, and now in your daily life you’ll meet him and me in every suffering person or created being.

In Jesus Christ you’ll find your original nature, and I’ll breathe his and my Holy Spirit into you so that you’ll have the strength to serve others in love with the sure knowledge of being my child together with Jesus Christ, of being loved and highly appreciated.

Praise:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful – and even the darkness of my life will not be dark to you.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

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Christfulness Retreats

Experience the Fullness of Life in Christ: “Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13

Upcoming events:

1st September (Sat) – Theme:Growing into the fullness of Christ

6th October (Sat) – Theme: Created for Paradise

3rd November (Sat) – Theme: Communion of Saints

 About Christfulness

“Christfulness” is spirituality, practicing a faith relationship with Christ.

Christfulness points to the fullness of Christ and God’s love in Christ. When we experience the revelation of this mystery and encounter God’s love in Christ with, around and in us as a penetrating and saturating experience, we are made whole. A process of becoming whole begins. This helps us see other humans and our fellow creatures in a new way, as we relate to the image of God within them, and it opens a vision of a redeemed humanity and Earth, which is the body of Christ.

Content: Spirituality Exercises, Prayers, Silent and Reflection, Communion Service Meditation, Individual Counselling

Time: 10am – 8:30pm

Venue: Tao Fong Shan Christina Centre

Facilitator:  Rev. Ole Skjerbæk Madsen (A Danish, Founder of Christfulness)

Quota: 15 pax/ session

Fee: HKD  350 (Including lunch, dinner and  one- way Tao Fong Shan to Tai Wai transfer)

Enquiry: 2386 3220 / bd@tfscc.org

Online Enrolment:  goo.gl/fjecJ4

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領受聖靈的指引- Receiving the Holy Spirit

若你想領受聖靈,以及經驗聖靈的工作,直接的方法就是透過所學習的基督教信仰認識上帝,並以禱告祈求聖靈充滿。若你並未接受洗禮,經過學習後你可以接受洗禮成為耶穌門徒的一分子。用水洗禮後的按手祈禱正是祈求聖靈。

然而,你也可以自己祈求聖靈的恩賜:

親愛的上帝,我渴望一個有你居住其中的新生命。我渴望按照你的旨意生活。我渴望有新的力量服事他人及眾生。潔淨我,脫離一切有違那我從主耶穌生命所得知的、並不使我在你的神聖中發旺生長的事情。

[你可以向上帝提及那些對你與上帝、他人及你自己本性之間關係有害的事情。]

上帝,我向你、耶穌和聖靈打開我心。願你賜下聖靈,是我充滿你的靈。奉耶穌基督的名禱告。

當其他信徒在場藉著禱告輔助你,他們可以按手在你頭上,並祈求你能領受聖靈。門徒最初為人禱告的時候,他們也是這樣做,然後聖靈顯示了自己。

緊隨基督徒初次經驗聖靈大能的顯示的,正是這種祈禱。很多人用方言祈禱,即是他們領受了聖靈在他們裡面創造出的一種禱告聲音的語言,即使你不能理解那些聲音或「字詞」,他們誠然感受正在與上帝溝通。其他人經驗從上帝領受信息;若你閱讀上文聆聽主的聲音,你就知道這是甚麼意思。 但即使你沒有經驗大能的顯示,你也應放心自己的禱告已蒙垂聽。祈求聖靈的第一個果效就是內心平安與安慰,你能逐漸以新的眼光看待自己和週遭的世界。但這也可以發生於聖靈顯現的時候,那時你不應壓抑,就容讓你的唇舌溢出奇怪的聲音,就正於從你靈魂深出溢出的禱告,聖靈那說不出的歎息。

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找到自己恩賜的指引- Finding your gifts of Grace

找一個好的姿勢,幫助你專注和自在地呼吸。

為聖靈臨在禱告:

奉耶穌基督的名,聖靈,請來!打開我的心思、意念、情感歸向你。潔淨我,抹去一切阻礙上帝恩典在我裡面作工的事情,並賜我純全的心。讓我能分一點你的智慧,幫助我認識自己,正如你認識我一樣;幫助我認識上帝的愛,正如上帝在我主耶穌裏愛我一般。

安歇在你的呼吸裏,無需用力。你正在上帝的呼吸裏呼吸著。你生活、呼吸、存留都在上帝之內。當你在上帝臨在中安歇,禱告說:

上帝,助我回看今天或過去一週,指示我為他人帶來的改變。

想像你曾遇見或相處的人們。他們的需要是什麼?你曾否在他們的情況中有所啟發,或有能力滿足他們的需求……現在如此禱告說:

上帝,我覺得我對某某所說的話,給了他新的信心。或:我想你曾在某某的情況中給我啟發,我與他分享這些的時候,他充滿了盼望。或:我覺得我以我的能力如此這般影響了某某的生命。我的經驗是否來自你、有關我恩賜的提示?主,請讓我確認!願你的聖靈常與我同在,並在我與他人的相遇之中引導我。奉耶穌基督的名,多謝你!

保持靜謐。願上帝與你分享一個影像、一個字詞、一個想法或一個應許或平安,使你確認你的事工和你的恩賜。或你只有內在的平安,並在你與他人相遇之際得著新的體察──忽然你會再一次處身於為他人帶來改變的情況。

若你想找到自己的恩賜,可以加入一個仿傚基督、活出服事的愛的團契。你能在很多信徒群體中得著幫助,在服事他人和了解自己恩賜方面得以成長。很多人在得著屬靈恩賜之前先要有基督信仰的簡介。也有很多人認為在一個較小的群體中,更容易熟習並健康地使用自己的恩賜,因為成員能互相幫助。找一個提供小組團契(細胞小組),或啟發課程的群體。

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Instruction in receiving the Holy Spirit

If you want to receive the Holy Spirit, and to experience the working of the Spirit, the direct way is to get to know God through being taught Christian faith and praying for the infilling of the Spirit. If you are not already baptized, you after being taught may be baptized to become a part of the fellowship of Jesus’ disciples. The laying on of hands just after baptism with the water is a prayer for the Holy Spirit.

However, you may yourself pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit

Dear God. I’m longing after a new life which is indwelled by you. I long to live according to your will. I long for a new power and energy to serve other persons and my fellow creatures. Cleanse me from everything that will not prosper and thrive in concert with your sanctity that I know from the life of my Master Jesus.

[You may mention to God some of that of which you know that it harms your relationship with God, your neighbour and your own true nature].

God, I open my heart to you, to Jesus, and to your Holy Spirit. May your Holy Spirit be lavished upon me and fill me with your Spirit. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. 

When other disciples of Jesus is present and assist you in prayer, they may lay their hands on your head and praying for you to receive the Spirit. When the first disciples prayed for people, they did it this way, and the Holy Spirit made His presence manifest.

The first Christians experiences powerful manifestations of the Holy Spirit following this kind of prayer. Many prayed in tongues, i.e. they received a kind of prayer language of sounds that the Holy Spirit created in them, and even though you can’t understand the sounds or ”words”, they nevertheless are felt to be a communication with God. Other experienced to receive messages from God; you have an idea of what this means, if you read Listening to the voice of God above. But even if you don’t experience powerful manifestations, you should be assured that your prayer is heard. The first fruit of the prayer for the Holy Spirit is an inner peace and comfort, and little by little you look upon yourself and the surrounding world with new eyes. But it may also happen that the Spirit manifests and then you shouldn’t repress what comes, but just let the strange sounds come over your lips as a prayer from the depth of your soul, a sighing or even groaning with God’s Spirit.

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Instruction in finding your gifts of grace

God will pour out His spirit – Pentecost is coming

Find a good position which helps you to breathe freely and to be focused.

Pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit:

Come, Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ! Open my heart, my thoughts, and my feelings to you. Cleanse me from everything that blocks the working of God’s grace in me, and give me a pure and whole heart. Grant me a share in your wisdom, and help to know myself as God knows me, and to know God’s love as God has loved me in my master, Jesus.

Rest in your breathing, without forcing it. You are breathing in the breath of God. You live and breathe and have your being in God. When you rest in God’s presence, you pray:

God, help me to looking back on this day or on the last week, and show me where I made a difference to other people.

Imagine the people you’ve met or spent some time with. What were their needs? Where did you have an insight in their situation or an ability to meet their needs… Now pray like this:

God, I feel that the words I said to NN, gave her a new confidence. Or: I think that you gave me an insight in NN’s situation, And that sharing this with him he was filled with hope. Or: I feel that I used my abilities in such a way as to make a difference in the life of NN. Was my experience a hint from you concerning my gifts of grace, and of how I may serve or minister to other people? I ask you, Lord, to confirm it to me! May your Holy Spirit always stay with me and guide me in meeting other people. Thank you, in the name of Jesus Christ!

Remain silent. Maybe God will share an image, a word, a thought or an assurance or a peace with you that will confirm your ministry and your gifts of grace. Or you may just have an inner peace and find a new awareness in meeting people on your way – and suddenly you’ll once more find yourself in a situation, in which your presence makes a difference.

If you want to find your gifts of grace, it’s helpful to become part of a fellowship of people who themselves want to live in serving love in the imitation of Christ. In many Christian congregations you’ll find a help to grow in serving others and in knowing your spiritual gifts. Many people need an introduction to Christian faith before they find and receive their spiritual gifts. And many people find that it is easier to practice their gifts of grace and to grow in a healthy use of the gifts when they are in a smaller group, because the members of the group help each other. Look for a congregation that offers small group fellowships (cell groups), or offers Alpha-courses.

 

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