A Walk On the Beach…With the Lord

Imagine you’re walking down the beach hand-in-hand with your father or spouse. It’s a beautiful day. It’s very possible this beach is one you know well, maybe you grew up going there as a child. Your companion releases your hand and says, “go!” You know exactly what that means so you take off into the water to splash around with all of the joy in the world, the joy you had as a kid. And your father or spouse looks on from the beach, watching in delight over you and your energy and joy and fullness of life. Doesn’t it feel good? What if that companion were Jesus?

On May 3-4, COK hosted a healing prayer class taught by John and Sonia Roper of ONE (formerly Christ Healing Center) in San Antonio where our sister, Kelly Dolezal, had that experience. Over 20 members showed up to learn about Connection Prayer, a type of prayer that emphasizes a “beloved’s” connection with the Lord, learning to hear Him in order to receive His healing.

Kelly attended with little expectation. She’s a member of the prayer ministry at COK and has been told since becoming a follower of Jesus that she is gifted in prayer. Her decision to attend the prayer class stemmed from this. Though coming to receive knowledge for ministry to others, Kelly knows that it is hard to use such knowledge without first experiencing the ministry. And that, Kelly did.

Sitting in the narthex after church on Sunday, she described with an energetic and joyful smile how the Lord spoke to her and ministered to her through the Connection Prayer exercises.

“She asked us to close our eyes and ask Jesus to take us to a place that was peaceful, where we could be at rest,” Kelly described of a prayer tool called “Presenting Jesus.” Immediately, Kelly was taken to the beach which was meaningful to her because she grew up going to the beach on an island off the coast in South Carolina. When asked if it was that beach she said, “it’s very possible.”

Once in a peaceful place, the group was led to ask Jesus to reveal Himself in that place.

Kelly had an immediate response. “I don’t see visions of Jesus very often, but as soon as she said that, there He was.

“He was walking beside me and took my hand,” she said as she described walking down the beach with her Lord.

Anyone who has had these kinds of visions/experiences with the Lord knows how real they are. They’re not fabrications and they really are more than visions, they’re encounters.

Kelly was so caught up in these moments with Jesus that she lost attention to the physical room she was in, she was fully at the beach. “I don’t remember what the leader said after that.”

But she does remember what Jesus said: “I let go of Jesus’s hand and ran toward the water, to jump and splash in the waves.” As Jesus watched on and delighted in her joy and childlike play, she felt Him speak to her spirit, “Jesus told me to go play!” He also told her that she is a “precious jewel.”

For Kelly, who has a playful, energetic spirit that is often criticized, especially as an adult, in our culture, the Lord’s word to her brings freedom. He wants her to be herself and know that He delights in her joy!

(And, guess what! He really wants the same for you!)

Eventually, Kelly “returned” back to the group, but the Lord had more to say to Kelly that night.

In another exercise, the group was asked to again close their eyes. This time, the encounter was with the Father.

“I was taken to this great, big oak tree in my front yard,” she said. The oak tree is one her horses lay under to seek shade in the heat of summer. For them, it’s a place of relief. But Kelly doesn’t usually sit under that tree, so it was especially unusual that the Father wanted to meet her there.

“It was definitely not anything I could have orchestrated,” she said, describing that this was truly a work of the Lord and not her imagination or own thoughts.

“We were asked what God wanted to say to us about Himself in this setting. The leader then told us what the Lord was speaking to us was what we need most from Him right now.” But Kelly didn’t realize in that moment just how true that was.

In her encounter with the Lord, He showed her that – even more than that oak tree – He is big and majestic and full of life. 

Just a few weeks later, Kelly would lose her earthly father. Having heard her Heavenly Father’s words to her – that He brings life and He is big and majestic – Kelly could find peace in that hard time. She truly believes the Lord had been tilling her heart, preparing her and loving her through that difficulty before it even came.

Likewise, Christ’s delight in her joy and playfulness gave her the freedom to respond to the pain with joy, regardless of what the world expects from her.

On top of all of that, Kelly expressed her gratitude for the COK prayer chain, the final piece of this testimony. When her father passed, she called the church office to have a prayer request sent out to the congregation. Though the Lord had clearly been at work in her to help her through this time before she even knew it was coming, she said, “I can’t even put into words how present and powerful it was to have that support.”

Keep praying, Saints. The Lord is at work in us and through us!

If you’ve never encountered the Lord in this way and want to, maybe you don’t know how, contact us. We can connect you to those who can lead you in Connection prayer. Or, you can visit our friends at ONE in San Antonio.

Come and see!
If you missed last month’s testimony, read it here.