17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
That passage has been sent to me several different times, several different ways over the past couple of months…..especially verse 18….and I’ve quoted it to a friend of mine that I really felt need to hear it. Along with Psalm 147:3 and Isaiah 61:1.
Maybe I need to back up a little.
A few years ago, a friend of mine persuaded a small group of women to read the book Listening Prayer: My Sheep Hear My Voice by Dave and Linda Olson, which outlined a very new concept to me. To talk to Jesus and actually expect Him to answer in a very real way. Imagine that! In fact, this book addressed learning how to listen to Him in our daily lives, a DIALOGUE rather than a monologue, and even emotional healing through listening. We actually had a couple of listening sessions with some of these women, but for a variety of reasons, didn’t pursue it for long. (Maybe the enemy had something to do with that?)
Somewhere along the line, I picked up the book Victory over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ by Neil Anderson that “emphasizes the importance of believing and internalizing the cardinal truths of Scripture as a base from which to renew the mind and fend off Satan’s relentless attempt to convince us that we are less than Christ empowers us to be” ….but never read it. And last year sometime, I had found a free Kindle book on Amazon called A Guide for Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer: Meeting God in the Broken Places by Rusty Rustenbach….I skimmed through a couple of chapters and thought “It would be good to work through this book” and put it aside.
As Psalm 34:17-18 kept popping up, I remembered that a print that I bought from an artist Jonathan Rogers (check out more of his artwork and his statement), who came to our church years ago to talk and exhibit his work, had the reference Psalm 34:18 on it! When I originally saw the print, I was just totally drawn to the image. All these things started to come together. I suggested to the friend mentioned above, that I would be willing to go through a “listening prayer session/sessions” with her, as outlined in the books…so we did one. I felt it was pretty awesome, and I believe she did, too. So we have more sessions in mind.
My next step is a little mini-retreat for myself. Time to delve more into this PERSONALLY….know I have some broken places that need binding up and the healing touch of Jesus’ love so that His love can pour out to others. Learning to Be is still a journey.