A dangerous concept is that Healing Prayer is simply another form of counseling.
The question, “Is Healing Prayer counseling?” has most often been asked of me by counselors, and that is understandable, however, Healing Prayer is not counseling.
Traditional counseling requires:
Healing Prayer requires none of those disciplines.
Healing Prayer is not about a counselor or facilitator figuring out what has gone wrong in a person that then causes them to fail as a Christian.
If the Healing Prayer facilitator presents the Healing Prayer candidate diagnosis or prescription during the Healing Prayer process, they are, in effect, taking on the role of the Holy Spirit.
That act hijacks the process and moves the candidate down a path that the facilitator controls and believes are correct. In that instant, they would be better off to cease Healing Prayer and begin a traditional counseling session.
It is dangerous for the counselor or facilitator to view Healing Prayer as another form of counseling. That view is dangerous because it allows the counselor the option to engage analysis & diagnosis during the Healing Prayer process. If they do that, they can “short-circuit” the communication between the candidate & the Lord.
Healing Prayer does not require a counselor, analysis, diagnosis or prescriptions
The counseling process mandates that a counselee explain their problems to a counselor. The counselor will employ a battery of disciplines to analyze, diagnose, and deliver a prescribed program of remedy.
The counselee then departs to practice the remedy and hopefully will experience the desired resolution to their problems.
Thus, counseling is a give and take of information between counselor & counselee; it’s more akin to a form of teaching. In the case of Biblical Counseling, prayer, confession, and Biblical instruction are included in the counseling process. The Bible is the counselor’s manual for all “prescriptions.”
The Biblical Counselor will inevitably prescribe the counselee a changed form of thinking and action according to the truth of Scripture.
Traditional counseling alone seldom succeeds with true Healing Prayer candidates. The result is akin to covering a gunshot wound with a bandage; it slows the bleeding, but it does not remedy the wound.
For these people, if they only allow me to work with them through traditional Biblical counseling, here is typically what will happen.
Traditional Biblical Counseling Experience
I “drill” down, reveal what I believe to be their core issue, and tell them the Biblical truth that applies to their issue. They agree with me and go away to implement the truth. They may sincerely try many times, but ultimately they return to their broken ways. Their multiplied failures can then add up to further anxiety, anger, depression & self-loathing, etc. The cycle may continue for weeks, months, even years; until they eventually call for another appointment.
Here is what happens if they then allow me to take them through Healing Prayer.
Healing Prayer Experience
During Healing Prayer they have a sense of the Lord essentially stating to them the same Biblical truth we discussed in our counseling session. Only now they seem to “hear” it more clearly and it has a startling impact. Often I can see it happen on their face and in their body language. They then accept the truth, respond to it appropriately, and go on to overcoming their issue(s) and growing as disciples.
Of course, there are some people who still eventually fail. It’s not a large percentage, but some.
Healing Prayer Failures
Even after successful Healing Prayer, a small percentage of people will return to their broken ways. From what I have seen, the failures occur from what is obvious; the person, for whatever reason, does not continue to abide in Christ. That is to say, they slip from Christian disciplines, i.e. prayer, Bible reading & study, Biblical fellowship, etc.
It’s usually a gradual descent, but if they do not continue to abide in Christ, they will fall back to their broken ways—usually much worse.
Fortunately, some of those who have failed return and we are able to help them get past the failures to success.
Healing Prayer Successes
As to the successes, it may seem unusual to you how Healing Prayer succeeds when traditional Biblical counseling does not. I do not think it has to be unusual.
I think success has everything to do with just spending enough time, still before the Lord, in prayer, meditation, and waiting upon Him. Then, whatever occurs, we compare that to Scripture to make certain we are not acting out of imagination or distorted ideas about God or His Word.
Essentially, during the Healing Prayer process, when the person realizes the lie they have believed and respond with obedience to the Biblical truth that counters the lie, the Lord sets them free. After which the person continues their life with Christian disciplines—we call this discipleship.
How is Healing Prayer Different from Biblical Counseling?
Healing Prayer involves a trained facilitator who does not analyze, diagnose or deliver a remedy.
Instead, the Healing Prayer facilitator is a compassionate soul who humbly & gently helps a broken Christian through a careful process of prayer & meditation.
The desired outcome of Healing Prayer is for the person to encounter the Lord and for the Lord to bring about whatever is needed within the person.
The Healing Prayer process is less a clinical, traditional counseling session and more a profound spiritual experience.
The need for a Healing Prayer minister is only to help pray for and with the broken Christian. We then make certain all that occurs during the Healing Prayer session is Biblically founded. After the session, we may use Scripture and compassion to encourage the person toward greater discipleship in Christ.
Again I say, especially for counselors, Healing Prayer is not counseling. For their sake, I must add this aside.
The people I take through Healing Prayer who have the most difficulty receiving the ministry are usually psychologists, therapists, counselors of some kind, and those gifted with a powerful intellect.
They have difficulty because they are trained to analyze, diagnose & prescribe or they are naturally deep analytical thinkers.
Most of those people have spent many years in the practice of their disciplines. That practice engrains a pattern in their brain that makes it hard to not analyze every step of Healing Prayer. That then leads to difficulty in relaxing with the simplicity and elegance of Healing Prayer. When they do give in, they have a profound encounter with God.
Two Final Thoughts
While Healing Prayer is not counseling, after a Healing Prayer session, I may present from the Bible what I believe relevant to that person’s further growth.
Essentially during Healing Prayer the Lord has set the person free from the lie they have believed. I am then giving them suggestions from a Biblical perspective to continue on from that point. This is nothing less or more than discipleship.
Also, Healing Prayer has been a practical joy for me in my Biblical Counseling practice. During some traditional Biblical counseling sessions, I may see indicators that a person is a candidate for Healing Prayer. I will then explain and offer Healing Prayer to them. If they agree, we set a future date for the ministry to begin.
Healing Prayer is not counseling. Counselors of any type are trained to analyze, diagnose & prescribe. This is true for Biblical counselors, as well.
To aid with analysis, diagnosis & prescription:
- Medical doctors use Medical Diagnosis & Treatment and Physicians Desk Reference.
- Psychiatrists & psychologists use the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual.
- Biblical counselors use the Bible.
Biblical counselors should not regard Healing Prayer as counseling and engage in analysis, diagnosis & prescription.
The Healing Prayer minister aids a person in prayer & meditation. The Healing Prayer minister ensures the process is Biblically sound. After the process has been completed, the Healing Prayer minister may use the Bible to encourage the person toward proper discipleship practices.