Where's Your Garden?

Where's Your Garden?

Brian Heasley |

Breakthrough happens when we start to understand who we are in God, His gaze towards us, and how we spend time with Him.

Where’s Your Garden? •Message 1
Brian Heasley • International Prayer Director • 24-7 Prayer
January 14, 2024 • 11:00 am

Wheres your garden?

Genesis 3:8-9 (NIV)

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, Where are you?”


We sometimes see what we want to see.

I don’t know what you see when it comes to prayer, but here’s what Notice:

“God’s primary expression towards you is a smile.”


Breakthrough happens when we start to understand who we are in God, His gaze towards us and also how we spend time with Him.


John Wesley

Wesley continues to be the primary theological influence on Methodists and Methodist-heritage groups the world over; the Methodist movement numbers 75 million adherents in more than 130 countries

Numerous schools, colleges, hospitals and other institutions are named after Wesley


A: Prayer is you and I encountering the smile of God.

   The word encounter means: to meet with someone, to contend with,

: To encounter a new situation.

: We encounter so many problems in our work.

: We will encounter the enemy at dawn.

: To meet

My Encounters

When I first encountered my wife.

An encounter that changed me.

Our Encounters

We all encounter people or situations that have a profound impact on our lives.

Encounters that change us!




Near death

Unemployment/New job

Tragedy/ New life



My encounter with God changed me,

I guess if you are sitting here as a Christian today it must be because at some point you encountered God, you came to realization that He was real and He had sent His son to die for you and you encountered Him and received your salvation.

My hope is that it was more than a one off encounter.

I didn’t just encounter God at the moment of salvation but I want regular encounters with Him.

Encounter began in a garden.

The Bible began with a regular encounter, God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day.

Genesis 3:8-9 (NIV)

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, Where are you?”


(Where art thou?)


God as the owner of this paradise is taking His daily walk, when you look at the Hebrew verb in it’s reflexive conjugation it means walking for pleasure”, there is also implication that this was regular occurrence, not a one off!

Then we try and pin the cool of the day this was after the work was done, normally in a hot climate when the evening breeze sets in.

The text implies “heard the sound of the Lord God” they heard Him walking, they heard the sound of His footsteps.

We have this beautiful picture, of rested man walking with Creator God.

Psalm 46:10 (NIV) … “Be still and know that I am God!” …

Man encountering God, Man living in close communion with God.

The original plan was one of regular encounter. A set aside time of walking and talking.

Where art thou?

Do you think when God called out to Adam “where art thou?” He didn’t know were Adam was.

Why did He call out?

Some commentators would say God was not calling out to find out what place Adam was in but what condition he was in.

Almost a modern day where are you at?”


This enquiry of where art thou must be looked upon as a gracious pursuit, a kindness to Adam in order that he would recover.

This was the plan, God walking with man.

This is still the plan, God walking with man.

Yes I understand the immutable omnipresence of God, He doesn’t change and He is always there.

We need to create space in our lives for regular encounter.


A Garden!

Hebrew gannah, literally, "a covered or hidden place," denotes in the mind of the dweller in the East something more than the ordinary garden. Gardens in biblical times, such as are frequently referred to in Semitic literature, were usually walled enclosures, as the name indicates (Lamentations 2:6 the American Revised Version, margin), in which there were paths winding in and out among shade and fruit trees, canals of running water, fountains, sweet-smelling herbs, aromatic blossoms and convenient arbors in which to sit and enjoy the effect. 

We need to find our Garden, our place of encounter!


Where is your garden?


For me it is my chair,

where is your chair?

My chair, my rhythm

Prayer beads

The Bibles (children, grandchildren)

The gym

The car

The dog

Where is your garden?


Location, Location, Location!

Jesus’ life was marked with intimacy, the flow of His life and ministry was prayerful.

He withdrew regularly to pray, to His garden.


Matthew 6:6 (NIV) tells us the Jesus said: "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

And with these simple words, He gives us some advice on how we can pursue a quiet time. The word 'room' used in this text originates from the Greek word 'tameion' which translates as ‘storeroom’. The word is used several times throughout the Bible, mainly with a sense of a secret place or a secret hiding place. Bible scholar R.T France elaborates, "This was an inner room, secluded, probably windowless and possibly with the only lockable door in the house; it is thus proverbial for a secret place."

Jesus was not saying that there was no place for public or communal prayer or forbidding us to pray with others; He was guiding us to a deeper place of personal prayer that would go on to enhance our public and communal prayer.

If we are to follow Jesus' instruction well, we need to be intentional.

  • He tells us, When you pray, go...” Go is a simple word that implies intent; it's a command to position oneself somewhere
  • else, in this case go into your room, seek out an Intentional location.
  • Next we are told to ‘close the door’. Again there is intent; not just moving into a different space but making the physical effort to close the door, to take Intentional action.
  • Then you pray. Having gone to a specific place and taken action to remove distraction you can give attention to ‘pray to your Father’, an Intentional interaction.

Not only did our Lord teach on prayer but He also modelled it.

  1. Breakthrough. (When life is going well!)

He withdrew to encounter God in breakthrough

(Mark 1:35, The desert place-breakthrough)

Mark 1:35 (NIV) Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.

In the midst of success and breakthrough He prays.

Mark 1:33 (NIV) The whole town gathered at the door

In our eyes this is a breakthrough!

The disciples come and say in Mark 1:37 (NIV) Everyone is looking for You!


Really what they are saying is We have to build on the breakthrough”

But Jesus didn’t go back He went forward to preach in other places

Mark 1:38 (NIV) Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”

We start to operate out of self, out of intellect, out of previous experience, out of someone elses model and before you know God is not in it!

Moses Exodus 17

Exodus 17:5-7 (NIV)

[5] The LORD answered Moses, Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. [6] I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. [7] And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, Is the LORD among us or not?” …

and Numbers 20

Numbers 20:6-12 (NIV)

[6] Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. [7] The LORD said to Moses, [8] Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” [9] So Moses took the staff from the LORDS presence, just as He commanded him. [10] He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” [11] Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. [12] But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, Because you did not trust in Me enough to honor Me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them …

He hits the rock the first time and the second time he was to speak to the rock!

He put what worked before over current revelation!

Maybe we can become a bit like Mary and Joseph of whom it says Luke 2:43 (NIV)  After the festival was over, while His parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.


Or Samson in Judges 16 “I’ll go out as before…”


Or Joshua with the Gibeonites They did not enquire of the LORD”

The Dove on your shoulder!

Find space for encounter in breakthrough, when things are going well.


Wheres your garden?

  1. Busy-ness.


Mark 6:31-34 (NIV) (The mountaintop and busyness)

[31] Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”  So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. [33] But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. [34] When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So He began teaching them many things. …


Crowded Gardens!

Sometimes our solitary place gets crowded. Crowded by life

He attends to the crowd but then He dismisses the crowd.

Sometimes the solitary place is not enough, sometimes we have to go higher

Sometimes need to climb higher, work harder to get stiller.


  • Mark 6:45-46 (NIV) (The mountain top - busy-ness) Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to Bethsaida, while He dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, He went up on a mountainside to pray.

Success was behind Him, the storm was in front of Him and in the middle He prays.

He knew who He was, He prayed and knew who He was.

We need to keep praying to know who we are!

Jesus never stepped back from who He was.

Mark 6:48 (NIV) … He was about to pass them by…

Exodus 33:21 (NIV) Then the LORD said, There is a place near Me where you may stand on a rock.22 When My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.”

1 Kings 19:11 (NIV) The LORD said, Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.


 Verse 50 (Mark 6:50 NIV) because they all saw Him and were terrified. Immediately He spoke to them and said, Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” It is I!!!!!

(eimí) is aptly used in Christ's great "I am" (ego eimi  . . . ) that also include His eternality (self-existent life) as our life, bread, light," etc. See John 7:34, 8:58, etc.

He prays and then embarks on fresh adventures of faith.

Lord teach us how to pray so that we are resourced from heaven for fresh adventures of faith.

Lord give us fresh nerve from Heaven.


  1. Crisis.

Mark 14:32–36 (NIV) (The Garden - crisis) (Intimacy)

They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to His disciples, Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with Him, and He began to be deeply distressed and troubled. My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” He said to them. Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from Him. Abba, Father,” He said, everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.”

What a moment of grace and intimacy

Before the action came prayer

Strength to face the day and the night

Conclusion: Where is your garden?

Are you in breakthrough

Are you busy

Are you in crisis




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