Simply put, it is about hearing the Holy Spirit! We believe the Spirit has a lot to say and there is much that He speaks to us through the scriptures.
Some people call this meditation group. Before that, it was known as “soaking groups.” As a matter of cultural and missional value, the term meditate carries ideas that are not Holy Spirit but Eastern religion in nature. Meditating in the scriptures is very biblical but to not confuse people with Hinduism, a major religion in the Fiji Islands; we use Pneuma Groups.
The purpose of these groups is not to empty you of “bad energy” but it is to fill yourself with the presence of God, the Holy Spirit. Paul told several churches with all types of different issues the same thing, “Be filled with the Spirit.” It is not possible to have too much of Him. There is always room for more. He wants to give you more faith, more vision, more wisdom, more revelation, and more, more, and more.
The leader of one prophetic ministry that does mediation groups has pointed out that Joshua was told to mediate in the law of God (scriptures) over 800 years before Eastern religion even knew what it was. The idea of it is not concerning but the use of the title in cultures with other religions is something to consider!
How Pneuma Groups work?
The Bible gives us five clear ways to focus on the scriptures. Hearing the Spirit often comes from focusing on the biblical narrative and letting it come alive. Holy Spirit is not limited to biblical understanding but it is a great place to assume He will speak to us.
The five ways to handle scriptural revelation found in the Bible are:
- Read it.
- Write it.
- Say it.
- Sing it.
- Pray it.
Each of these are tools that should not be seen as a checklist. For some, they became all important. However, you might find you engage with one of them more than the other. A friend of mine often finds that she steps into a revelatory flow when she says the verse out loud. I have other friends that it is when they turn the verse into a prayer that the spirit of revelation comes to them.
Some other tools for getting into the Spirit while focusing on scripture verses are to ask questions, draw what you are getting from Holy Spirit and pray in tongues. None of these tools are sacred so you can use them as you need to open the scriptures to you.
Personally, I often read the verse and then pray it. Normally, the waterfall of revelation became to come down on me quickly. That is not all the time but it is more often than not. However, that is what works for me and it might not work for you.
Biblical Basis for Pneuma Groups
In Luke 24, there is a story about two men on the road with Jesus. The risen Lord appears to them and discusses the things about Himself to them and they did not realize it was Jesus among them. Like many of us, they had hope!
Once they understood whose presence they were in, the scripture was opened to them, and their hearts burned within them. In the encounter, they were changed by their understanding of the scriptures. That’s the goal of Pneuma groups: let the Bible change you as you have the scriptures open up to you by the Spirit until your heart burns for Jesus more.
Like the men on the road to Emmaus, we are not trying to create something that is not there but rather growing in knowledge and discernment of what is understood by the person writing it and the people reading it. It is actually good hermeneutics (biblical interpretation) to seek to understand the cultural, historical, grammar, spiritual, canonical, and communal understanding of what is being said in a passage of scripture. There are normally many levels to any verse we read that we don’t see without stopping to read it, write, say it, sing it, and pray it.
It is important to remember that, like the men, we are not trying to get smarter from reflection but get closer to the Spirit and away from our sinful natures by seeking Him to encounter us in the scriptures.
What if it doesn’t work?
Some people just get stopped and they have a veil between them and the Spirit. A friend of mine calls this the veil of boredom. If this happens, there is three tools above that help break the back of that boredom.
Sing it. If you can’t get anywhere, try to just sing the verse quietly over and over. This is normally something that causes you to rethink what is happening and lets the Spirit break through the mental process to speak to you.
Ask questions. If you are trying to understand Colossians 1:27 and you are stuck; try asking questions like why is it a mystery? Why Christ and not Jesus as language? Why is Christ in us and not Holy Spirit? What is the hope of glory? How does glory have hope?
The final tool that I use to get past the boredom is praying in tongues. If I am just not having it one day, I will pray in the Spirit until the waterfall of revelation is flowing. There are days that everything else fails but praying in tongues. It is a secret weapon of sorts.
The key to Pnauma Groups is to find what works for you and use it. It seems that hearing the Holy Spirit is custom-made for every believer. There is no “one size fits all.” Embrace the spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him better.