Intro. to Immanuel Approach

December 28, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The “Immanuel Approach” is a process with a primary purpose of greater intimacy with God and can also be used the help the deeply wounded heal. Immanuel sessions for healing are often lead by a “Facilitator” experienced in the Immanuel Approach, but can also be done by one alone while journaling. 

The Immanuel Approach promotes increasing intimacy with God and His children with three processes: Deliberate Appreciation, Positive Memories, and Attunement. Additionally, these three processes are part of healing prayer by increasing ease, effectiveness and transferability. Taken together they provide a “Safety Net” to return to if there is a difficulty during healing prayer such as extremely strong emotions, losing Perceptible Connection with The LORD, or running out of session time. 

1. “Deliberate Appreciation” of God or His children increases intimacy. When we express appreciation to God or others there are changes in our body, mind, heart and spirit to open ourselves to greater intimacy. Deliberate Appreciation is part of thanksgiving in Philippians 4:6.

Examples of Deliberate Appreciation:

Appreciative expressions to God:

Praise, worship, thanksgiving.

Identifying characteristics of God:

Almighty, all loving, redeemer. 

Personal experience with The LORD:

Comforter, healer, guide, friend.

Appreciation toward a person:

For loving things given, done, or said.

Their personal characteristics:

Caring, empathetic, available.

2. Recalling “Positive Memories” of God or His children also promotes greater intimacy in the body, mind, hear and spirit. It is similar to all the times God told the children of Israel to remember His faithfulness to His people.

Examples of Positive Memories.

Those with God may include:

When God with His Holy Spirit comes more powerfully within or upon during worship.

When God has been palpably present during time of crisis.

When God has clearly highlighted a part of His Word. 

When God has spoken truth during a time of prayer. 

When God unexpectedly speaks in an image, word or song.

When God expresses His love and desire to be with us.

Those with His children may include:

When they say a word of encouragement to lift us up. 

When they were silent, but present when words are not enough. 

When they express caring through works of service. 

When they have heard, seen, empathized, understood and genuinely wanted to be with us.

3. Receiving “Attunement” from God or His children increases intimacy. 

Attunement is described as the experience of being seen, heard, empathetic, validated, accepted by one who genuinely is happy to be with us. In the Psalms Attunement was experienced by David, a man after God’s own heart.  

Attunement may be experienced from God when deep feelings are expressed in prayer and we know in our knower God sees, hears loves and wants to be with us. 

Attunement may be experienced from a parent, loved one, friend or counselor who is truly with us in crisis. Sometimes affectionately called someone who is “Jesus with skin on.”

Deliberate Appreciation, Positive Memories, and Attunement are all processes that increase intimacy. 

It is during these times of increased intimacy we are most open to healing of current hurts or traumatic memories. Utilizing these processes before healing ministry increases the ease, effectiveness and transferability.

Before going into more detail about healing ministry it is helpful to understand why one over-reacts to some events in the present. Briefly they are echoesfrom our past.

It is helpful to understand how 

Stress and “Triggering” 

Can make it difficult 

To relate to others going into

“Non-relational mode.” 

Whereas, Deliberate Appreciation

and Attunement 

Can make it easier to once again 

Relate to others going back to 

“Relational Mode.” 


Often times when something 

Stressful happens. 

A car back fires

A slight burn on the stove.

There is a brief stress response. 

Muscles tense and heart races.

If the stressor is non-threatening 

Within twenty minutes 

The body returns to relaxed. 

When the stressor is perceived as 

threatening, rejecting or shaming.

The physical stress response 

Alters every system in the body

To fight, flee, or freeze.

The emotional stress response 

Mirrors the physical 

Altering the emotions 

With anger, anxiety or numbing.

Expressed socially

As aggressive, defensive, withdrawn.

Viewing others 

As rejecting, shaming. and unhelpful. 

Stressed distancing responses are

“Non-relational Mode”

In contrast, the relaxation response 

Is physical relaxation 

Relaxing every system in the body.

Preparing the body 

To rest, digest and be intimate. 

Relaxed emotions are 

Peace, joy and love. 

Viewing others 

As safe for intimacy and love.

Relaxed increased intimacy is

“Relational Mode”

Deliberate Appreciation, 

Positive Memories, and 

Attunements are all processes 

that promotes returning from

Non-relational Mode 

Back to relaxation and intimacy into 

Relational Mode.

Being “Triggered” is more complex.

When the stressor in the present is

Actually mild threat, rejection, shame;

However, it is miss-perceived as an

Extreme threat, rejection, shame,

Because it echoes or reminds one of 

Events in the past which were an 

Extreme threat, rejection, shame.

A history of experiences that were

Traumatic and extremely 

Threatening, rejecting, shaming.

Predisposes one to over-perceive 

Threat, rejection, shame 

In the present. 

Often called an

Over-reaction, overly-sensitive. 

But when Triggered it is 

Not felt by one to be 

Over-reaction or over-sensitive. 

It is genuinely experienced as 

extremely upsetting now. 

Sometimes when one is 

Returned to relaxed Relational Mode

Recalling the experience it appears

To the person that they were

Over-reacting or overly-sensitive.

Other times even when one is

Returned to relaxed Relational Mode

Recalling the experience it continues 

To be miss-perceived to be extremely 

Threatening, rejecting and shaming. 

Immanuel Approach to healing

During Immanuel prayer a Facilitator experienced The LORD saying,

“The most important purpose of emotional healing is to remove the blockages that hinder your heart from coming to Me.”

Often when triggered by rejection 

We also experience The LORD 

As rejecting, shaming. and unhelpful.

Thus, we are in Non-relational Mode

With The LORD. 

It is then threatening to approach 

The LORD when we are wounded. 

This is when the processes 

Deliberate Appreciation, 

Positive Memories, and 


ease the session of healing prayer.

Even when in Non-relational Mode,

Beginning a healing prayer session

With Deliberate Appreciation of God

Recalling Positive Memories of Him.

Receiving Attunement from Him

In the Positive Memory

Restores one to Relational Mode 

Increasing intimacy with The LORD.

During this increased intimacy 

We can ask for a “Perceptible 

Connection” ‘with The LORD.

This Perceptible Connection is

Experienced in many various ways

Unique to the individual or session. 

For some it may be seeing Jesus 

In the Positive Memory

Receiving Attunement from Him.

For others it may be a felt sense 

Of the Holy Spirit

In the Positive Memory 

Receiving His comfort and guidance. 

For others it may be awareness 

Of The Father 

In the Positive Memory 

Receiving His protection and love. 

It seems important to experience 

The Perceptible Connection 

In whatever way The LORD leads. 

Following The LORD’s leading

Is the essential feature of the 

Immanuel Approach to healing.

During the Perceptible Connection 

We can ask The LORD where He 

Wants us to go today. 

We can ask The LORD what He

Wants us to experience today. 

For some it may be

“I want you to stay in this Positive Memory and experience My unending love for you.”

For others He may lead to a recent triggering event to experience receiving Attunement from Him. 

For others He may lead to a past deeply hurtful event to experience His healing so it doesn’t cause Triggering ever again. 

Following The LORD’s leading

Is the essential feature of the 

Immanuel Approach to healing. 

It is easy for the recipient or the Facilitator to have a preconceived notion of which memory needs to experience healing in that session. Or they may have a preconceived idea of what The LORD wants the recipient to see, hear or experience in a given memory. 

For example, one of my first experiences with healing prayer I decided it was important to go back to one of my earliest most traumatic memories: when 2.5 years old I was sent away to strangers’ home for six weeks while my mother was caregiver of my terminally ill father. Although The LORD blessed me with a measure of comfort in the memory, it didn’t feel completed and I tried the same thing during several other prayer times with the same incompleteness. When I let The LORD lead He has taken me to more recent less traumatic memories for His Attunement and healing there. He has not yet taken me where I thought I ought to go. Sometimes following The LORD’s leading is an exercise in patience. 

Another more general example, as a psychologist I have had years of experience dispensing insightful, Biblically based, psychologically sound interpretations of experiences and memories. I have been reinforced by the client’s expressed appreciation of the new insight. I am not speaking of words of knowledge or words of wisdom which are gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are my own thoughts. Now, as the Facilitator of an Immanuel Approach session waiting in silence is the most difficult thing. When the recipient asks The LORD for a Perceptible Connection and asks what He would like them to experience. Or when the recipient is in a memory and loses the Perceptible Connection or there is a long silence when they outwardly appear to be hearing nothing. Silence is a challenge for me. Most fascinating is the way The LORD surprises me with leading the recipient to experiences and wisdom I could never have imagined. Immanuel Approach is my journey into sovereign serendipity: God’s providential joy filled experiences. 

In the Immanuel Approach the Facilitator’s primary role is reminding the recipient to ask for and maintain the Perceptible Connection with The LORD. Beginning in the Positive Memory and following The LORD’s leading to other memories the Facilitator’s role is to ask, “Do you still experience the Perceptible Connection with The LORD? Or “Do you still see Jesus?” Observing for any nonverbal changes that may signal a lost connection.

Staying in Perceptible Connection with Him throughout the session allows The LORD to have the recipient experience whatever He has for them. It is helpful for the recipient to share any subtle experiences with in the memory. Every one uniquely experiences The LORD in a memory. Some do hear a voice, others are given an image or series of images almost like a dream, or others may be reminded of a verse or lyrics. The LORD is very creative in the ways He leads and communicates. Paying attention to and reporting subtle changes in experience allows for full attention to what He wants to share. 

While in a memory the recipient may experience so much stress they become Triggered, go into Non-relational Mood and lose the Perceptible Connection with The LORD. In order to restore this intimate connection the recipient may need to return to the Positive Memory as a Safety Net. Once again they can increase intimacy in the Positive Memory with The LORD. They return to Relational Mode and restore the Perceptible Connection with The LORD. Then The LORD may lead them back into the painful memory for more healing. 

It is important to not end a session with the client still Triggered in the midst of a painful memory. If time is limited always prompt the recipient to return to the Safety Net and Positive Memory and receive Attunement from The LORD so they can complete the session in Relational Mode. 


When listening for guidance from The LORD we could be misled by our own human desires or deceived by the enemy’s lies. These are guidelines for discernment to test if what is heard or experienced during prayer is from The LORD. 

1. Does it glorify Jesus Christ? 

2. Is consistent with what God has already said in the Bible?

3. Is it confirmed by mature Christians? 

4. Does it bring forth Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Does it produce good fruit in the future?

5. Is it consistent with the character of God? God will not say something in prayer that is condemning. God is LORD, faithful, merciful, and most of all love. Condemnation is from the accuser. It is judgement about the past angrily shaming our character. Conviction is from the Holy Spirit. It is guidance for the future lovingly encouraging us to become more like Christ.


The Immanuel Approach increases the ease, effectiveness and transferability of healing prayer. Deliberate Appreciation, Attunement and Positive Memory each increase intimacy with The LORD. In this place of intimacy the recipient is in Relational Mode with The LORD and more able to establish a Perceptible Connection with Him. Then, The LORD can lead them to experience Him in the memory of His choosing. If the stress within the memory is so high they become so Triggered they lose connection or if session time is running out; then the recipient can be prompted to return to the Safety Net of the Positive Memory. These processes have made the Immanuel Approach more effective and safer. Guidelines for discernment assist in ensuring what is experienced are of God. 

The Immanuel Approach was developed by

Karl Lehman for more information go to 

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