Sunday, February 5, 2012

Post #20: THE BIBLICAL BASIS of INNER-HEALING PRAYER

As Jesus began His ministry on earth, it’s not surprising that He read from the ancient scroll of Isaiah 61.1 (NKJV):
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound.

All Jewish scholars of Jesus’ day believed this passage referred to the promised Messiah. It’s clear that an integral part of the Messiah’s mission was to bring healing to the broken places of the heart. This inner brokenness leads to the captivity and oppression all of us struggle with.

Throughout Scripture, men and women of God benefited from God communicating to them in intensely personal and supernatural ways. God spoke to Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, David, Solomon, all of the prophets, John the Baptist, Mary, Joseph, Peter, John, Paul, and Barnabas — to name a few. The pattern we see is God calling an individual to a special task or comforting a person by speaking in personal and supernatural ways aside from reading or studying the Scriptures. It is also important to note that these special revelations are never intended to replace the reading, studying, and memorization of God’s Word. Instead, they supplement and enrich it.

As the Good Shepherd, Jesus declared that His sheep would know and recognize His voice (see John 10:27) and that this faculty would be a key component of following Him as we see in Galatians 4:6-7:
You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, "Papa! Father!" Doesn't that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? (MSG)

The resurrection of Jesus opened a whole new dimension of incarnational reality, as the Holy Spirit would now indwell all believers and speak to them:
I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you John 16:12-14 (NASB).

The indwelling Spirit also gives us access to the mind of Christ so, as we walk in the Spirit, Jesus can think His thoughts deep within us (see 1 Corinthians 2:16).

Proverbs 4:23 advises, “Watch over your heart with all diligence” because the character, abundance, and quality of our lives flow out of the heart. This passage encourages us to take deliberate action to protect, keep, preserve, and guard the heart from danger. Inner healing is a process in which someone seeks to do exactly this.

Childhood hurts and abuses wound the heart deeply. In Matthew 18:5-6, Jesus gave a stern warning to those who hurt, mistreat, and cause little children to sin. He knows how vulnerable we are in that season of life. He also understands that childhood hurts shape our concept of God, truth, relationships, and sexuality, often twisting how we perceive the most important issues of life.

Hebrews 12:15 cautions us to look carefully and diligently to assure that no root of bitterness springs up to defile us. Bitterness is to the soul as cancer is to the body: deadly. Like cancer, it also has a root — we aren’t born with a bitter heart. In the midst of hurtful events, we come to believe a lie or lies that open us to bitterness. Since these lies distort the truth and hinder us from surrendering our whole hearts to God, they are sin. They rob us of the abundant life Jesus came to give us:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly John 10:10 (NASB).

In a reflection and prayer written thousands of years ago, we see King David practicing the very essence of inner-healing prayer when he prayed:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way (Psalm 139:23-24).
He asked God to search, try, know, discern, perceive, and distinguish what was going on deep inside him. In particular, he wanted God to examine his anxious and disquieting thoughts.

David also asked God to search for any hurtful ways of sorrow and pain. He wanted God to enable him to live in accordance with the everlasting way. Instead of letting the world around him squeeze him into its mold (see Romans 12:1-2), he yearned to live, think, and act in consistency with the truth of God. Aware of the dangers of being twisted by dysfunctional, fleeting, and temporal, he chose to let the unseen Eternal direct his heart, mind, and affections (see 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Inner healing isn’t some fad of the New Age movement. It’s as old as the Holy Scriptures. Isaiah promised that the Messiah would heal broken hearts and set captives free 600 years before the birth of Christ. God has had this restoration on His heart since before the creation of the world, and He made it abundantly available to us through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Paul expressed God’s desire that every believer would experience the richness of Christ’s love in Ephesians 3:17-19:
And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God (MSG).

Inner-healing prayer is a ministry that empowers believers to live the abundant life Jesus promised, to experience the fullness of God, and to engage in the mission of the Messiah in multiplying inner-healing not only to the uttermost part of the world, but also to the very depths of the human heart!

Are you desiring inner-healing for the broken places in your heart? Or, would you like to be able to help a friend of loved-one to make real progress in their inner-healing? If so, A Guide for Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer is the book you’ve been waiting for. The book is available on most major book sites, for your iPad via iTunes, and for your Kindle via Amazon. You can also purchase discounted copies of the book signed by the author.

This posting was adapted from Appendix A of A Guide for Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer – Meeting God in the Broken Places. Pp 207-208. Want to study the Bible on your own to be sure that inner-healing prayer is biblical. Download an exhaustive study by clicking on the “Tools” bar of this blog.

If you haven’t seen the five-minute testimony of inner-healing, please click on this link: Inner-Healing Testimony.

As always, I'd love to hear your comments, questions, and feedback. 

7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Deanna - thanks for your affirming comment. I appreciate you and your blog. Rusty

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  2. Hi Rusty - I met you in Ohio a few years back when you did a healing prayer seminar. I am now reading your book and I have to say that Chapter 3 'The Wellness of Spiritual Life' is the best summary I have ever read of why I felt so stuck and joyless for much of my Christian life. Fortunately, God has shown up in major ways in my life over the past several years and I have experienced a lot of healing. But as I read this chapter, I felt intense anger of how Christian leaders in my life had taught and modeled 'head faith' and how full of guilt and shame I came to be. As I read, I also felt anger towards myself that I believed so much of what I was taught. I know that I need to move past the anger but I am glad to feel and acknowledge it. Getting some understanding of my heart over the past several years has changed everything! Thanks for the part you are playing in my life and in the Christian community. Joy

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    1. Joy - I appreciate your feedback on Chapter 3 "The Wellspring of Spiritual Life." There's a book from the Shepherd's House entitled The Life Model: Living from the Heart that Jesus Gave You." Just the title of the book says it all ... God wants us to live from our hearts. I'm glad that in God's amazing grace He's allowing the book and I to minister to your heart. It's Psalm 113:7-8 in action!

      Would other readers like to comment on the wellspring of spiritual life?

      Rusty

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  3. Tom Toomer thinks the title on the top of page 43 of The Wellspring of Spiritual Life chapter ought to read "Dangers of a Damaged and Disconnected Heart." What do you think?

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  4. I have also read The Life Model and found it to be a really great summary of the path to healing and maturity. Also, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero put words to so much of my faith-experience. I highly recommend both, along with Listening and Inner Healing Prayer of course, for those wanting to continue on the journey to greater intimacy with Jesus. But the longer I walk with Jesus the more I see that the wellspring of life, just as scripture says, is found in the health and life of the heart. And in learning how to meet Jesus there. This isn't always easy in our 'head faith' Christian culture, but isn't it is amazing how Jesus has never been bound by the limits we try to put on Him? He is always found by those who seek Him.
    Deanna

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  5. Thanks Deanna for recommending Peter Scazerro's ground breaking book "The Emotional Healthy Church." For a blog that really does an excellent job in bringing the heart to life, check out Deanna' blog: http://deannadavis.wordpress.com.

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