What We’re Reading: Living Waters Guidebook

Living Waters:  Restoring Relational Integrity through the Broken Body of Christ by Andrew Comiskey

Living Waters is a 20-session program for any Christian seeking healing for sexual and relational brokenness. Local churches all over the world host Living Waters groups, led by lay people helping others become whole gifts to each other through the body of Christ. For the first time, the Living Waters guidebook is available to the public, offering a map toward wholeness for those who don’t have access to a group in their local community. Andrew Comiskey and the Desert Stream staff have also created a professionally-produced series of teaching videos to accompany the workbook. They’re currently offering a free guidebook when you sign up for an annual video subscription. I share Andrew’s hope that folks will use this book on their own or with prayer partners and then be inspired to attend a Living Waters leadership training. Imagine how radiant the Church would be if there was a Living Waters program in every community!

When people reach out to MPC for help in finding someone who can pray with them in the ways they read about in Leanne Payne’s books, we always encourage them to check if there is a Living Waters group in their town. I personally have benefited greatly from the Living Waters program, and can sum up what I’ve gained by quoting from the guidebook:  “Jesus urges us onward, always believing in us, always hoping for the best, never failing to fight for the fruit we can bear” [1]. This year I brought several MPC board members along to the special training session they held at the Theology of the Body institute, and we were blessed beyond expectation. I’m grateful that God has inspired them to make the guidebook widely available, for it offers divine sanity and real hope in the places where our world seems most lost today.

In addition to Leanne Payne’s teachings, the Living Waters materials are enriched by the theology of the body of St. John Paul II, and Karl Barth’s recognition that we are social and relational bearers of God’s image. Each chapter presents a key principle of brokenness-to-wholeness, suggests a specific prayer, and offers personal stories of redemption. This twenty-week progression builds a beautiful theological anthropology that speaks the healing word for our most imprisoning sexual and relational wounds. Those who are able to attend a Living Waters program in their community will also experience the healing power of Christ’s Body through the group. Andrew writes about how he needed to work out “real sexual and relational problems with other men and women who were also seeking to be true to God in the whole of their lives” [2]. Counteracting the crushing weight of shame, the wisely facilitated Living Waters small groups become a powerful channel of healing and freedom. 

[1]  Andrew Comiskey, Living Waters:  Restoring Relational Integrity Through the Broken Body of Christ (Grandview, MO, Living Waters International, 2020), 2.
[2]  ibid, 3.