Sunday, May 4, 2014

Developing a Church Healing Prayer Ministry

By Marilyn Hallgren

About a year ago, I sensed that God would have me train people in our church to do listening and healing prayer. By the time someone goes to the pastor or to a professional for counseling, their problem has often grown to gigantic proportions. This makes healing and forgiveness much more difficult. I saw a need for people who could help others with healing prayer and so I decided to start an Inner-Healing Prayer Class.

The class met alternate weeks using "A Guide for Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer” as our primary text. I supplemented the book with teachings I’d found most useful in understanding and helping people. We did the homework at the end of each chapter in the book. Our group consisted of the senior pastor’s wife, two much younger pastor’s wives, the head of our church’s cancer recovery group, and those helping in the junior and senior high ministries. Seven learners in all. I handpicked them, because I knew they would relate well to one another and feel comfortable “taking off the mask” we often hide behind in normal church activities.

When we began, I laid out possible outcomes for those in the study. These ranged from understanding themselves, their family and those in their ministries better, and thus being able to be more of an encourager, to using the ministry approach outlined in the book to help others. (Click here to download a free guide on how to lead an inner-healing study in your church).

All the members of our group definitely succeeded in the first outcome, but with additional transformations I hadn’t expected. Everyone came to know God in a much deeper place than where they’d been when we started. They saw Him as significantly more involved in their lives than they’d previously discerned. One young pastor’s wife said she that before the study she wasn’t sure when God was doing something in her life, but through the study she is now able to recognize more clearly when He about to do something deep within her.

A woman in our group had been unable to figure out why she sometimes reacted to her mother with such intense anger, when it seemed what her mother hadn't done much to trigger her. God revealed the source of her own brokenness in this, as well as in reactions to her sister-in-law. Both of these are now healed. Another woman, after going through the process, found that she reacted totally differently when her grown daughter said something that previously would have set her off.

Many, if not all, of the women began to see truths they’d previously acknowledged in their intellect as being true in their heart as well. This brought unification of thought with God to replace the double-mindedness of opposing beliefs in head and heart.

As for the second outcome, we’ve also seen results. One mom used the method on her seven-year-old who was afraid to go to sleep each night. Tracing this to the death of her grandfather when she was five, with the sense of loss and possibility of losing more, God spoke into this fear. She has not had trouble going to sleep since. It should be noted that this happened toward the beginning of the training where her understanding was of inner-healing prayer was pretty limited. God honored it despite that!

In summary, I think the book makes a great text for developing a listening and healing prayer ministry in one’s church. We plan to go on in the fall to deepen what we learned earlier this year.

April 2014 Isaiah 61 Inner-Healing Storyboard

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