Author Archives: Sarah Colyn

  1. Leanne Payne’s Biography

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    Leanne Payne, made an extraordinary contribution to the ministry of healing prayer through over forty years of service and leadership. Called a “great soldier for Christ” by the philosopher Dallas Willard, she founded Pastoral Care Ministries, dedicated to teaching, healing, and growth in Christian maturity. She wrote seven books that continue in print in English and in 12 other language translations.

    Leanne PayneLeanne Payne was born during the Great Depression on June 26, 1932, in Omaha, Nebraska, the elder daughter of Robert and Forrest Mabrey. Times were hard and became even more difficult when her father died when she was three years old. Her mother moved with Leanne and her younger sister to Little Rock, Arkansas, to live with family.

    Leanne’s early adult life was shaped by several impulsive and painful choices that ultimately brought her to a place of deep repentance. At the end of herself by her mid-twenties, she underwent a full and lasting conversion to Christ, stepping firmly onto the path of obedience to God.

    In 1963 Mrs. Payne became the dorm mother at Wheaton Academy, beginning her forty-plus-year association with Wheaton, Illinois, and its legacy of great evangelical leaders such as R. A. Torrey, F. B. Meyer, and Dwight Moody. A year later she joined the prayer circle of Fr. Richard Winkler, considered the grandfather of the charismatic renewal movement. In 1965 while working for Wheaton College, she enrolled as a student and thus began her formal education. From 1965 to 1974 she studied at both Wheaton and University of Arkansas, earning a BA and two MA degrees.

    During the next several years she wrote her first book, Real Presence: The Christian Worldview of C. S. Lewis as Incarnational Reality, taught at Wheaton College, and assisted Dr. Clyde Kilby, the visionary who established the C. S. Lewis literary collection at Wheaton College (today’s Marion E. Wade Center). She catalogued the letters of C. S. Lewis while sitting at his desk and benefitted richly from Lewis and the mentoring by Dr. Kilby.

    Fr. Winkler introduced her to the healing-prayer ministry of Agnes Sanford in 1973, and Leanne was soon serving with Mrs. Sanford in her Schools of Pastoral Care. By 1976 she was ministering full time through writing and healing prayer. She moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1978 and served as a research fellow under Henri Nouwen at Yale Divinity School in 1981. This year also saw the much-celebrated publication of The Broken Image.

    In 1982 she incorporated Pastoral Care Ministries with the guidance of friends experienced in business matters. The establishment of this ministry structure brought order, and Leanne flourished in generative creativity. From this time onward, she provided pastoral care through prayer and counselling mainly at the week-long PCM schools conducted throughout North America, Europe, Hawaii, and Australia. She published five more books in the years that followed: Crisis in Masculinity, The Healing Presence, Restoring the Christian Soul, Listening Prayer, and finally in 2008 her spiritual autobiography. Dr. Donald Bloesch said of Heaven’s Calling, “It poignantly shows how the author has been mightily used by the Spirit of God to spearhead a ministry of renewal and celebration.” In 2009, Ministries of Pastoral Care was founded with Leanne’s blessing, which has allowed pastoral care schools to continue beyond her retirement and to this day.

    Leanne was known for her deep devotion to God, her profound thought, her writing about “incarnational reality” – how God dwells in his people – and for the way the triune God would respond mightily to her prayer, “Come, Holy Spirit.” She shared the winsome character of her mentors Dr. Kilby and Agnes Sanford, the “eternal child,” delighting always in creation whether it be a squirrel, a perfectly formed flower, or a man or woman made in the image of God.

  2. Notes for God’s Creative Love: Being and Well-being

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    presented by Sarah Colyn

    This teaching considers the foundations of our existence, what Leanne Payne calls sense of being and well-being. These notes outline the basic flow of the teaching and contain the full text and reference for each scripture and quotation shared. At the bottom of the notes are resources for further exploration of this topic.

    God’s creative power

          …the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him! from Psa 33:5 – 9

    In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  Gen 1:1-3

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:1-4, 9-14

    God’s created norms for how we become persons

    Dynamic Cycle of Being:

    1.  Acceptance (dynamic input of existence)

    2.  Sustenance (dynamic input of essence)

    3.  Status (dynamic output of personal selfhood)

    4.  Achievement (dynamic output of work)

    In God’s design, our experiences in infancy set into us a solid sense of being and well-being; these inner resources can then carry us through the challenges of adult life.

    Disruptions of God’s ways

    Sources of disruption of the dynamic cycle include:  prolonged physical separation from mother/primary caregiver; emotionally shut out from her presence; rough or insufficient care.

    Reactions to disruption include:  

    Desperate and clingy orientation in relationship

    Remain disconnected and withdrawn 

    Core-level persistent depression or anxiety

    Enemies to the ‘womb of the spirit’ include:  physical or emotional illness of mother; hostility or breakdown between the parents; family life harmed by poverty, war, racism; medical issues for baby that causes prolonged separation from mother; misogyny (hatred of the feminine) that militates against the mother-baby pair.

    Healing and rebirth in Christ

    God has come down to us, taken on our flesh, and entered into our infantile experiences of suffering, abandonment, and rejection. He bore what we cannot so that we might have life.

    Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us that we might receive the gift of life.

    God is able to heal us:

    1. To take the unendurable edge off our mental suffering, always. What remains we shall bear with joy, finding our strength in the Lord.
    2. To the point that we shall be fruitful. Out of our inner being will flow living water for others.
    3. To the degree that we shall fully enter into our identities as children of God and heirs of Christ.

    Resources on this topic:

    Chapter 2, “The Understanding of Depressed, Melancholy, or Accidious Persons,” Clinical Theology by Frank Lake

    Chapter 4, “The Search for Sexual Identity,” The Broken Image, by Leanne Payne

    Chapter 9, “The Imagery Really Matters,” The Healing Presence, both by Leanne Payne

    God’s Creative Power: Sense of Being and Well-Being” live audio recording of lecture and prayer from an MPC school held in Wheaton, IL in 2019.

  3. Notes for The presence of God within us: Incarnational reality and the true self

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    presented by Sarah Colyn

    This teaching considers the maturity of soul that must be chosen and developed in those who take up their cross to follow Christ. These notes outline the basic flow of the teaching and contain the full text and reference for each scripture and quotation shared. At the bottom of the notes are resources for further exploration of this topic.

    True Center

    And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezekiel 36:27, Today’s NIV

    I pray that out of his glorious riches the Father may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Ephesians 3:16-17, NIV

    The “home within” is the center in which we abide in Christ and Christ abides in us.

    The Illusory Self

    A false, mis-created center:  Living in the constellation of feelings and attitudes that belong to the old self holds us in immaturity and causes dis-ease.

    The illusory nature of evil:  “All that is evil and untrue has an illusory character to it… Sin has to do, in a very real sense, with rebelliously demanding to experience what is not – what God did not create and can never look upon, much less bless” (Payne, Healing Presence, 85). 

    The construction of the illusory self:  built on the flawed foundation, “I will be my own;” supported by pillars of pride & shame, defensiveness, and bentness; a prison cell in which accusation and condemnation echo; aligned with other false selves through projection and co-dependency.

    Transformation:  Death, Life, & Spiritual Battle

    “Only the real ‘I,’ shedding its illusory selves, can draw near to God. In His Presence, my masks fall off, my false selves are revealed. I stand stripped and naked before Him. To continually abide in His Presence is to have one face only – the true one. To draw near to God, therefore, is to find the real ‘I’ as well as its true home, my true Center” (Payne, Healing Presence, 83).

    Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  John 12:24

    Resources on this topic:

    Chapter 5, “The Identity Crisis According to the Scriptures, in The Broken Image, by Leanne Payne

    Part 2, “Incarnational Reality:  The Presence of God Within Us,” in The Healing Presence, by Leanne Payne“God Within Us: Incarnational Reality and the True Self,” live audio recording of lecture and prayer from an MPC school held in Wheaton, IL in 2019.