Home > What Is Living Waters?

“Where can I go to share my pain and struggle? Will anyone listen to me? How can I find hope in my struggle? I’m alone and afraid to tell anyone what’s really in my heart.”

Such thoughts and questions plague many Christians. The discipleship and prayer ministry of Living Waters addresses the roots of sexual and relational issues that ensnare Christians into unhealthy living.

Why would someone go to Living Waters? If you are struggling with…

  • Fear
  • Insecurity
  • Marital problems
  • Co-dependency
  • Pornography
  • Effects of abuse
  • Poor boundaries
  • Sexual addiction or promiscuity
  • Isolation
  • Inability to trust
  • Anger or unforgiveness
  • Masturbation
  • Gender identity issues
  • Unwanted same-sex attraction
  • Fantasy
  • Shame and self-hatred

Living Waters provides a thoughtful and safe place to look at the ways we’ve become ensnared. Through weekly times of worship, teaching and small group prayer, our program leaders walk with participants in their struggle so they can live in freedom and truth. We pray for God’s healing to restore broken areas of life so that people can “love well” as God intended.

Living Waters is a 20 week closed group for men and women seeking healing in their lives. It is an intensive and unique small group. Ultimately, we learn how to press into Jesus more deeply, allowing Him to meet our needs and transform us for His Kingdom purposes. With groups all over the world, and with over thirty years of ministering God’s healing love, the Living Waters program is a proven path of healing.

Through the worship, teaching, prayer and small groups of Living Waters we learn about:

•    God’s powerful love for us and how Jesus is central to our hope for wholeness
•    The depth of our brokenness and our profound need for Him.
•    The power of the cross to restore our souls, sexuality and relationships
•    The process of walking out our healing
•    Our place in the church and loving others honorably

How is Living Waters Presented?

Living Waters is a 20-lesson program taught in a closed-group format. The leaders have been trained and a confidentiality policy is in place to help ensure trust and safety.

Each meeting includes:

WORSHIP – We focus our attention and praise on God rather than our problems.

THE WORD – Living Waters’ teachings combine biblical truths and psychological insights that help us to know God and ourselves better.

THE WORKS OF JESUS – Through healing prayer in large and small group settings, we invite the Holy Spirit to heal our various wounds. We bring our sins, and those committed against us, to the Lord who is faithful to set us free.

BOTH GENDERS REPRESENTED – We value men and women working out their healing together. Great healing comes as men and women minister and receive alongside one another in worship, teaching and prayer in the large group(though the small groups are same-sex). This reflects God’s intention and character.  Foundational to Living Waters is the reality that God created us in His image as male and female.


Is Living Waters for Me?

You may want to consider participating in Living Waters if the following statements describe you:

  • A desire to deepen your relationship with Christ
  • A willingness to face the sinfulness of your present state and the painful realities that led you there. This involves exploring hurts from your past specifically related to key people in your life, such as your parents
  • A willingness to be open and honest with others about your brokenness, including sexual feelings and practices, as well as issues of identity and emotional immaturity
  • A desire to grow in the truth that you are God’s gift to others in your gender and sexual self
  • A willingness to receive the healing ministry of the Holy Spirit in these deep areas
  • A desire and willingness to walk out of sinful patterns
  • A desire to grow in your relationship in the body of Christ
  • A desire to become a good gift to your local church

What will I learn?

Living Waters uses a detailed guidebook that includes teachings, questions and additional readings that help us move from brokenness to maturity. Some topics addressed include:

  • Acknowledging our need for God
  • Receiving God’s love
  • Discovering who we are designed to be as relational and sexual beings made in God’s image
  • The power of the cross and confession
  • Renouncing our idols
  • Reconciliation between men and woman
  • How to deal with the pain in your life
  • The power of forgiving others and ourselves
  • Learning how to set healthy boundaries
  • Healing of father, mother and foundational wounds
  • Healing from abuse
  • The roots of gender brokenness
  • Understanding and overcoming addiction
  • Embracing the church as our healing community
  • Building healthy relationships over the course of a lifetime

“God used Living Waters to expose the roots of the broken patterns in my life so I could truly begin to heal for the first time.” – LW Participant

How much does Living Waters cost?

Program costs vary by location. Contact your local leader for the specific cost.

Is Living Waters really a 20 week program? Why?

Yes. Living Waters is indeed a 20 week program. The length of the program allows for participants to deepen trust in God and others.

Does Living Waters has a confidentiality policy?

Living Waters is a closed-group format. A confidentiality policy is enforced to ensure trust and safety in the small groups.

Learn about the history of Desert Stream/Living Waters.

For more information contact the coordinator in your region or contact us at info@desertstream.org or 816.767.1730.

The chapters of the Living Waters Guidebook are:

The Living Waters guidebook is used in Living Waters groups and is only available to the participants in a group.

  1. Living Waters GuidebookIntroduction to Living Waters We begin by identifying the gift that we are, and how Jesus reclaims that gift through His broken Body. We conclude by agreeing upon certain expectations that help make the group safe for all.
  2.  Acknowledging Our Need God gives us what we need, not what we deserve! Sorting through those needs includes an examination of good and bad shame, and how unmet needs for love can tempt us to meet our needs the wrong way.
  3. Becoming Responsive to the Father’s Love The Father initiates His rule and reign in our lives. Such divine initiative requires our response. We explore this rhythm of initiative and response through three women named Mary—from Bethany, the Magdalene, and God’s mother
  4. The Fighting Father At Calvary, both Holy Father and Son fought for our dignity. And won! We consider how the Cross becomes the locus of our restoration.
  5. Revealing Christ through the Gift of Our Bodies Our bodies reveal the mystery of God on earth.  We explore what it means to bear His image in our relationships.
  6. The Cross and Confession: Restoring the True Image of God in Humanity In order to love well, we must turn from our sin. We prepare for confession so that the depth of our sin can be surpassed by the depth of His forgiveness.
  7. Renouncing Idols Loving well means worshipping only One: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We explore the idols tied to sexual and relational sin in our lives.
  8. Overcoming Addiction through the Real Meal God wants to satisfy our desires with good things. We explore the roots of addiction and the loving way God bears with us as we learn to let go of our addictions.
  9. How Wounds Make us More Whole Our hearts bear pain from the past up to the present. In His wounds, Jesus helps us to identify ours. We learn to grieve in hope, and to love unencumbered by past blows.
  10. Identifying Brokenness, Resuming the Journey Facing the sources of our pain is never easy but can yield the fruit of new mercies for self and others.
  11. Restoring Broken Boundaries Abuse comes in many forms and impacts how we offer ourselves to each other. How Jesus begins to restore that boundary and the adult-child’s experience of relational wholeness will be walked out carefully as (s)he grows in trust.
  12. The True Self Forgives United with Christ in His wounds and His resurrection, we can become like Him toward those who have damaged us. We learn how to forgive.
  13. The True Self Aspires to Wholeness, Refuses Despair Raised with Christ, the new creation aspires to great things. We watch for the boundless horizon He has opened for us.
  14. The True Self Unites with God in Weakness, Overcomes Narcissism Our true selves are not perfect selves. Raised with Christ, we place our confidence in His perfection and thus can admit our ongoing weaknesses.
  15. The True Self Loves His/Her Own Gender Hearty and intimate same-sex friendships are the basis for whole gender selves and the freedom to offer ourselves well to the opposite gender.
  16. Offering the Gift We explore the goal of offering ourselves wisely to the opposite–gender. That is based on the good gifts we each are, and the theological mandate to dignify the other with our offering.
  17. Restoring Woman’s Honor Woman’s essential responsiveness is damaged by sin.  Jesus reclaims the true feminine in woman.
  18. Restoring Man’s Honor Man’s focused strength and power is also subject to brokenness. Worldly ways of asserting himself must die in order for Christ to raise up what pleases Him.
  19. For the Bride To know Jesus, we must know them, members of Christ’s Body. Wholeness involves integration in local communities of faith, in light of, not in spite of, our historic weaknesses.
  20. Hope and Wholeness Hope that is realized ceases to be hope. Such is the nature of our journey to relational integrity: we are never finished this side of heaven.