Christian Inner Healing Prayer
Definition of Inner Healing
Inner healing is a ministry that seeks to deal with inner
emotional pain. This inner pain may be present due to negative life experiences. An example of this is someone who was badly
treated by one or both parents during childhood. They may have been sexually abused or perhaps just generally ignored - not
properly valued and loved. In the thoughts of those who practise inner healing ministry, the negative experience is the cause
of emotional pain which the victim carries with them long after the damage occurred. If someone suffered rejection in childhood,
there may be evidence of this in the present. Perhaps that person may find it difficult to love others, or perhaps they may
experience depression or a negative life attitude due to the damage.
The belief that there is value in inner healing ministry is based on Biblical truths. In Psalm
34:18 we read, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit." It is clear from this
and many other scriptures that we can be hurt by others and by circumstances in our lives. It is also clear that God loves
us and cares for us in an active way. He listens to prayer and is able to answer. He is also able to intervene and heal. Isaiah
53:5 prophesies about Jesus and his redemptive work on the cross. It says, "...by his wounds we are healed." This statement
refers to the damage that is done to us through the sin that we commit. This restoration includes healing from the negative
effects of sin committed against us, or from the effects of damaging situations. If we accept that we can carry hurt from
past (and present) experiences, and that God cares about this and is able to heal us, it makes sense to pray and invite the
Spirit to come in healing and help those who are damaged.
It should be made very clear that proper diagnosis of a person's problems requires wisdom and,
sometimes, medical help also. The problems that people experience can be wide in their nature and, furthermore, come out of
a large range of experiences and causes. For example, someone may suffer from evil or obsessive thoughts as a result of either
demonic influence or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. However, both may be the case and, if so, inner healing prayer may not
be appropriate; the treatment of OCD by a medical professional may be sufficient. Later, the demonic problem can be dealt
with because there is no longer a foothold for the enemy to exploit. One example is someone suffering from depression. This
may have no root cause as such, but is due simply to a chemical imbalance in the brain and requiring drug therapy treatment.
However, in our opinion, it is highly conceivable that the onset of such a condition could have roots in negative past experiences.
If the person receives ministry for those past hurts, it is possible that their depression will alleviate.
As has been said, wisdom and an unbiased and balanced approach are needed as we ourselves seek
help, or as we seek to help those who suffer, from emotional and mental problems. Without looking for a complete solution
from any one particular source of help (be that inner healing prayer, medical treatment of depression, or any other approach),
it should be possible to find the right form(s) of treatment. Furthermore, time itself has a healing effect as does our own
relationship with God and contact with His loving presence. Also, strong friendships and relationships with others - which
is important for our wellbeing in any case - can further act to restore the confidence of those with damaged emotions.
How Inner Healing Works
Inner healing ministry would start with conversation and counsel with the person who is suffering
to try to establish the cause of that person's problem. It is advisable to have two people to pray and counsel if possible.
Even if there is only one person available to minister, that person should usually be of the same sex as the counsellee to
prevent any sexual distraction. An exception might be if there is a situation where this would be inadvisable. For example,
the counsellee may have a homosexual inclination and a member of the same sex might cause a distraction to the ministry process.
It should also be noted that, if there are two people counselling and one is of a different sex to the counsellee, this may
inhibit the counsellee from conversing freely about some areas of their experience or problem. A solution to this may be to
have counselling and prayer sessions held separately, or for the other member of the prayer team to arrive at a certain time,
once conversation has taken place, just to pray.
Counsellors should carefully consider the possibility of a mental disorder or condition being
present in the counsellee which may need treatment. If a disorder is present, or is actually diagnosed, this certainly does
not mean that inner healing is therefore unnecessary. Above all, prayer ministry should endeavour to be open to the promptings
of the Holy Spirit and words of knowledge from God which can provide insight into the cause of a person's problem and some
of the ways in which they may be helped. The Holy Spirit is invited to visit the person in the present and take away the pain
and negative effect of hurt from the past. God is able to meet us at our point of need and only He knows in the fullest sense
what we are experiencing and the true causes of our problems. It is important to approach inner healing ministry tentatively
and humbly so as not to inadvertently "place" problems upon people which may not be the true source of their negative emotional
symptoms. An example of this is a counsellor who states outright that a person's current condition, for example depression,
is definitely caused by their mother's lack of love for them in childhood and inner healing ministry should be pursued - however
long it takes.
Practical Implementation in the Church
In any given church, there may be a lot of emotional need and potentially a significant demand
for inner healing ministry. For a church with little knowledge or experience of inner healing, it is likely to be a sizeable
challenge to start to train her members in this ministry. However, if the church does want to help people in this way, it
is important that at least some basic training and guidance be provided by the leadership. Leaders have a responsibility to
ensure that people are helped and not harmed by those ministering. Courses in inner healing ministry are run by some churches
and organisations. You can, hopefully, find information about such courses by running searches related to your country through
some of the major Christian index sites. This is described below under "Web links".
Although prayer ministry made available in a Christian meeting does not have the benefit of
individual discussion and counselling for a person's problems, it can still be very beneficial to people. Furthermore, if
one-to-one ministry is not available in a church due to lack of training or people resources, then prayer ministry which is
regularly available, during or at the end of meetings, does at least provide an opportunity for help. Whatever the type of
needs people have, they can receive help from God in this way. If those responding to an invitation for prayer want to share
with the person praying for them what their need is, this sort of targeted prayer is particularly helpful. Those ministering
should pray with sensitivity and love. It is important and wise to strictly follow a rule that those ministering should pray
for members of the same gender to avoid accidental touch or sexual attraction resulting from close proximity. We are all human
and such rules are essential. An exception to this rule might again be in the context of several people praying for an individual
and there being at least one person of the same gender as the receiving person. This would be coupled with very sensible placement
of touch if the member of the opposite gender praying is laying on hands. For example, touching the shoulder but not the chest
area (this is certainly the case for women!). In conclusion, there are cultural and commonsense considerations which will
influence how a church runs its prayer ministry.
Please click here to see our legal disclaimer page, which explains more about the use of articles. We need your
input! Please send us your articles. Articles can be academic or not in style, and can use personal experience and certainly
Bible references. Just click here to open an e-mail, and put in the subject field ?Inner Healing Article?. For important
information about sending what you write to us, please go now to the ?Contact Us? page; click here
Dealing with Pain and Disappointment
We need your input! Please send us your
testimonies. Testimonies will probably be in an informal style, and can use personal experience and probably Bible references.
Just click here to open an e-mail, and put in the subject field ?Inner Healing Testimony?. Please click
here to see our legal disclaimer page, which explains more about the use of articles. For important
information about sending what you write to us, please go now to the ?Contact Us? page; click here.
None at Present. Send us some!
www.christians-in-recovery.org - comprehensive information and services, some of which is charged for.
www.theranch.org - therapuetic and innovative site with reflections, chat and resources.
www.angelfire.com/in/healingthesoul, (self hurt, and abuse issues, and many links). www2.datasync.com/hearts (Catholic healing and Inner Healing site).
www.heartcryministries.com - heart based ministry to become closer to God.
www.wholeperson-counseling.org - Whole Person Counseling, illustrated articles on depression, addictions, ADD, anxieties, personality
disorders, moral failures, abuses, generational curses, spiritual bondages, social conflicts, emotional hurts, links.
www.recoverychurch.com/ReIs-RecoveryIssues.html - inner healing and other links. Also homepage at www.recoverychurch.com.
www.ellel.org.uk - Ellel Ministries - established in inner healing and deliverance courses and ministry. Teaching
and ministry approach is controversial for some, being considered dangerous because of a focus on deliverance ministry, and
its need in many pastoral situations. However, the ministry does seem to have developed and matured over the past few years.
www.crystal.palace.net/~llama/psych/injury.html - about self injury.
www.crystal.palace.net/~llama/psych/injury.html - chat for above.
Click here for more links on our links page - look under ?Sites similar to this one?. Also check the ?Mental/Addictions?
Mary Pytches, ?Set My People Free: Inner healing in the local Church?, 1987, Hodder and
Mary Pytches, ?A Healing Fellowship: Practical Counselling in the Local Church?, 1988,
Hodder and Stoughton.
Mary Pytches, ?A Child No More?. About moving on in healing and with hope, despite childhood
David Pytches, ?Come Holy Spirit: learning how to minister in power?, 1985, Hodder and
David Seamands, ?Healing for Damaged Emotions?. 1986, Scripture Press.
David Seamands, ?Healing of Memories?. 1986 Scripture Press.