Safe Place Prayer

Practice notes and advice

The following are suggestions from multiple sources (see the references at the bottom of the page) to help with this particular practice; ignore whatever isn’t helpful or doesn’t work for you. There is no ‘formula’ to do it correctly. Don’t let the language or word choice distract you; make the process your own, with the only really essential ingredient being a desire to encounter God personally.

Results can vary from person to person and from one experience to another. Sometimes even people experienced with the practice will feel like nothing happens. That’s completely fine; it may be that there is something else going on in your life that is getting in the way of the experience. Sometimes the best thing to do is try a different spiritual formation practice; maybe a favorite tried-and-true method with which you are more comfortable.

Never assume God is upset or angry or ignoring you because a practice doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped. Often when we can’t hear something from God, it has something to do with our current mood, stress, ability to focus, or something else that is getting in our way. Try something else, read a passage of Scripture, or just have a moment of silence and solitude knowing God’s grace and love are never in question.

Summary Procedure

  1. Exercise deep breathing to create an environment of openness and peace.
  2. Ask the Holy Spirit to create a picture in your imagination of a safe place.
  3. Relax and experience the surroundings that you see in your mind’s eye. (Pay attention to feelings & sensations in this place).
  4. Invite Jesus to join you in your safe place. Notice his position in relationship to you.
  5. Pay attention to emotions and to feelings. What are you seeing, hearing, sensing (experiencing through mindfulness, feeling, presence, taste, touch, smell)
  6. Be open to where the Lord leads for healing, affirmation, encouragement.
  7. Thank and praise the Lord for his love for you, and for his goodness, love, mercy and grace to you.

Detailed Procedure

  1. Get into a comfortable position, relax your body and open yourself to the
    presence of the Holy Spirit. It is often helpful to light a candle and put on soft, inspirational music. Be patient and still.
  2. Begin to breathe in slowly and deeply, inviting the Holy Spirit to fill you with His presence and to sanctify your imagination.
  3. Ask the Holy Spirit to create a picture in your imagination of a safe place. It might be a place you fondly remember or a special spot along a stream, or a mountainside, or a beach. Or it may be an imaginary place where you feel perfectly safe and secure.
  4. As you relax there enjoying that environment, allow yourself to experience it through your senses. Look around and be aware of all the things that you see, hear, feel, smell, perhaps even taste.
  5. If you sense any intrusions or disruptions to your enjoyment and safety, let them go as if they were floating away down a river or up into a cloud.
  6. Turn your attention specifically to this safe place.
  7. Allow yourself to experience the safety and security of this place.
  8. Invite Jesus to join you in your safe place.
  9. Open your spiritual senses to the light and warmth that He brings.
  10. Hear Him calling your name.
  11. Allow yourself to sense the love that radiates from Him.
  12. Feel his love filling you and bringing you great peace and comfort.
  13. Allow yourself to rest in his presence. You were created for this intimate embrace. Be safe there because you are.
  14. If you wish, ask the Lord to reveal an area of your life that needs affirmation, healing, forgiveness. Ask Him to give you a word from his heart to yours. Savor the moment.
  15. Choose one word or phrase that sums up your response to Christ. Begin to say it over and again as an offering of your love to Him. Give Him thanks for his loving presence.

Notes for guiding someone through it as a spiritual companion

  1. Talk about the reason for the steps
  2. Ask how the person encountered Jesus, or invite them into dialogue with him and help guide their questions if necessary
  3. Accept that God is present; it’s only a matter of how open we are. Ask God for confirmation if you’re not sure about something.

References

  1. Strond Winds and Crashing Waves by Terry Wardle, p. 84
  2. Journey to Wholeness in Jesus” seminar guide by Lawrence Hinkle

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