(If you haven’t already, please read Part 1, The 5 Steps of Spiritual Coaching. This post is Part 2. Part 3 is available here.)
In a pleasant dream, a woman happens upon a man eating a bowl of delightful blueberries. She asks him to share them with her. “I’ll give you a few,” he responds kindly, “but then you need to go and pick your own.”
She thanks him for the tasty samples and trots off in the direction of the blueberry patch. To her dismay, the berries there aren’t ready for picking. She awakens from her dream with a new realization. She will need to tend her prayer garden just a little longer in order to harvest this patch of her fruit of the Spirit.
WHO’S GOT YOUR BACK?
Church is wherever we’re assembled, even by phone. Find a daily prayer partner and know that someone’s fighting for you!
Watch how her dream is echoed in the words of the shepherd’s bride:
“They made me the keeper of the vineyards; But mine own vineyard have I not kept.
Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, Where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: For why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?” -Song of Songs 1:6b-7
Lord, why would I want to be shepherded by your friends when I can come rest and feed with you?
Pastors can preach all that they want from of their own treasured breakthroughs with God. And they should. But they’re just dropping the flock a few berries.
A good “keeper of the vineyards” will get in there and coach people in the tending of their private vineyards. Prayer is everything. Fruit and obedience flow from dialoguing with God.
In our last post, we looked at a diagram of the spiritual coaching process. I explained the first hand on the sketch, labeled G.R.A.C.E. I told you that we would talk about the other hand, P.R.I.S.M., in this post. PRISM is a prayer journaling routine.
The diagram below shows that we need both action strategies and prayer strategies in order to help someone get to spiritual breakthrough:
Can I pause and say two things before we jump into PRISM?
Ok, #1: When I say “help someone get to spiritual breakthrough,” I’m not talking about people who are unsaved. If your friend has not been born again, this is the first breakthrough that must happen before you can help them to go any further. Here’s a walkthrough of being born again.
And now for #2: There are many believers that you will not be able to help. As much as Job’s friends tried to help him, they couldn’t. Here’s why:
- They weren’t in conversation with God while they were trying to coach Job. It is essential to wait for the Holy Spirit to direct you as you coach. If he is silent, you should be quiet too. Just stop coaching. Listen to your friend and pray until God starts directing you again.
- They had nothing to give Job. He did not need to learn anything from them. He needed to encounter God and be quiet until his breakthrough came.
What can you learn from this? If your friend is in a winter season of deep pruning, they may want to simply let go of human wisdom and be still before God. That’s just the season that they’re in right now. Help them to retreat to Him, and don’t make it harder for them by piling on your own wisdom.
Now, to get on with things. If your friend is not retreating from battle and the Holy Spirit is moving you to help them, consider starting with P.R.I.S.M:
The 5 Battle Planning Strategies
- P: How to pause my life and worship God.
- R: How to know what God wants to give me and ask him for it.
- I: How to visualize where God is bringing me.
- S: How to partner with him to get there.
- M: How to plan my battles so that I’ll be sure to end up there.
Here’s what you need to know: your prayer garden is your secret place with God that bears fruit in your life. The sweetness of your love, joy and peace is meant to entice others into their own secret place with Him.
That’s really the essence of spiritual coaching. You share your berries by showing them how to use the G.R.A.C.E strategies (in the last post). Then, you show them how to grow their own spiritual fruit with P.R.I.S.M.
All the while that you’re coaching them, you’re seeing something under the surface. In your mind’s eye, you’re already watching them coach their friends. If you teach them the right way to grow fruit, this fruit will have seeds that could reproduce exponentially in the future.
In order for you to know whether or not you’re truly making a difference in this person’s life, then, think about how you’d feel if they coached you the way you’re coaching them. Would you feel empowered to run to God?
You can help them because you’ve struggled too. You can relate. If you can’t relate to their struggles, consider sending them to someone who can. (If you catch yourself talking down to them, try putting yourself in their shoes.)
Think about what spiritual breakthrough feels like. Do you know what it takes to get there? Here are the five basic steps that we’re all still practicing:
Step 1: How to pause my life and worship God. Make time daily to sit alone with the Lord. During this time, direct your thoughts to the love that God is feeling toward you right now. Ask him what he’s thinking about the things that are on your heart. Then, listen to his still, small voice as he speaks to you and directs you.
Step 2: How to know what God wants to give me and ask him for it. God is going to give you answers. This is his specialty. He does this through the Bible and through other people. Has he given you answers through someone’s counsel, or through something that you’ve watched or read? Let these answers lead you to search the Bible for more guidance. Now, you have the confidence to really ask him for what you know he wants you to have.
Step 3: How to visualize where God is bringing me. God loves to answer our heart’s cries. But, sometimes it’s important for him to withhold the solutions that we’re asking for. When we find out where he is going with our struggles, we can trust that even better solutions are coming. This means we need to ask for big-picture scriptural vision and then a step-by-step scriptural action plan (with breakthrough verses).
Step 4: How to partner with him to get there. Action plans are inspiring when we know that God will coach and energize us every step of the way. Plan to overcome distraction, discouragement and distress by writing your breakthrough verses on index cards. When Satan’s lies try to stop you from following your scriptural plan, simply go to God for his voice of truth. Read your cards and ask God for his breakthrough.
Step 5: How to plan my battles so that I’ll be sure to end up there. What’s going to make the difference between ignoring our action plans and following through? Accountability. You’re going to write your battle plan and share it with a prayer partner. It will include the following: your next action step, your breakthrough verses, the lies that are holding you back, and boxes to check off when you use your verses to request breakthrough. Meet weekly with your partner to pray over your battle until you are living in the breakthrough that you’re asking for.
And that’s how to coach spiritual breakthrough. Start by practicing these 5 steps until you get your own breakthrough. Then, show other people how to do it.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I’ve got a “Battle Plan” printable stashed away for you in our Freebie Library. Yes, I do.
Actually, I’ve got a fantastic guide to the entire PRISM Routine waiting for you there! Our treasured Worship Notebook includes worksheets for each of the five PRISM steps to keep you constantly moving toward YOUR next breakthrough.
To get our step-by-step guide to finding a prayer partner, sign up for The Worship Course here (it’s free). Then, scroll down to the Bonus section at the bottom and click “Prayer & Accountability Partnerships.” Click the link “Prayer Partnerships.PDF” under the preview box.
You know, praying with my morning prayer partner helped to bring the immense breakthrough that launched this blog. (That’s why you’re reading this!) Why wait to find someone to pray with about your next breakthrough? Grab the free “Prayer Partnerships” PDF and jump on it!
As a matter of fact, the lady who dreamt of blueberries in the beginning of this post was my very own prayer partner, Carole Ann. As she shared this dream with me over the phone, early one morning last week, she was walking down a lane and munching on berries.
Here is a shot of those berries that she sent me:
And here was her profound caption: “Speak to the one that is ready… the others will come.”
I speak now to the one reading this post. You are God’s forerunner of cultural transformation.
Carole Ann and I pray that you will see the one who needs breakthrough and help them with it.
So here’s the recap:
1. To really coach a spiritual breakthrough, you have to teach your friend to take responsibility for their spiritual condition. Share your fruit of the Spirit by teaching them the five GRACE strategies from our last post (Part 1). If they catch on, show them how to write up a battle plan.
2. For this, provide them with their own Worship Notebook where they can learn the PRISM Routine.
3. Make sure that they have someone to check in with for prayer and accountability. Once they’ve mastered these skills, they will be ready to start coaching their own friends and family.
Lord, make us keepers of our own vineyards. Remind your shepherds to get right in there and coach the sheep to victory, not just drop them handouts.-Sophiculture
Our final post in this mini-series will put all ten coaching steps together. This will allow you to resolve tense situations in your home and ministry. Find out how to lead your team to breakthrough by finishing this series on spiritual coaching. (Click here.)
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