Inner Healing Prayer. God’s loving presence is invited to bring healing to a place where we are emotionally wounded or stuck in an imaginative encounter with him in prayer. How is it different from “normal” prayer?. Mostly it isn’t – it’s just a more specific way of praying
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Inner Healing Prayer
God’s loving presence is invited to bring healing to a place where we are emotionally wounded or stuck in an imaginative encounter with him in prayer.
How is it different from “normal” prayer?
Mostly it isn’t – it’s just a more specific way of praying
it isn’t “prayer for” – it is a prayer encounter
usually takes longer and is entered more intentionally
the focus is usually on memories, emotions, relational patterns, etc.
How is it different from counselling?
it is not talking about problems, it’s a shift in experience
the focus of experience is what happens during prayer
counselling is often the “process” that surrounds the “crisis” or “event” that is IHP
Three Assumptions about God
God’s loving presence is with us always
God is always inviting and waiting to reveal himself to us more clearly
Awareness of God’s loving presence transforms and heals our hurts
Ephesians 3. 14-19
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Three Assumptions about Hurts
the hurts that do the most damage are the ones we can’t process or integrate into our lives
especially those that “blew a fuse”; i.e. they were beyond our capacities at the time to handle alone
safety and support (loving presence) enable us to re-visit places of hurt and complete the processing/integration (healing)
Do I Need Inner Healing?
Short answer – Yes (everyone can benefit)
Can I tell the story of my life (including difficult experiences) in a way that makes sense and with appropriate emotion – staying “present” while I tell it?
Am I confident that God has been acceptingly and lovingly present with me through all my life or do I leave parts out?
1. Creating Safety
relationship with someone emotionally/ spiritually mature, confident and responsive
person’s story has been listened to well
person’s readiness (somewhat dependent on experience/training of person praying)
a supportive community context
inviting the guidance of the Spirit
free of unhealthy expectations (suggestion)
confidentiality and freedom from blame
2. Engaging the Wounded/Stuck Place
choosing the memory or metaphorical scene
emotionally related to the present experience of “stuckness”
enter scene (imagine) richly – lots of detail, acceptance of emotion (not discouraged in any way)
don’t talk “about” and analyse - experience
identify beliefs related to what makes the scene painful
3. Perceiving the Presence of Jesus
Pray-er invites Jesus to reveal himself while person continues to remain present to scene
open to a balance of ordinary and “higher” imagination (active and receptive)
encouragement to be open to any way in which s/he can perceive Jesus and any difference he makes
allow a few minutes of silence
invite sharing about what’s been happening
share your own words/pictures with discretion
consciously accepting what is felt/offered
renunciation (choosing to relinquish vows/ attachments)
“rituals” (symbolic enactment of what is being offered/invited)
5. Blessing and Follow-up
assess emotional response to initial scene
pray a blessing prayer
discuss briefly how the person feels about what happened and if they would like some kind of follow-up
refer immediately if a person seems more deeply exposed and not resolved to trauma
Fearful, Unconfident, Immature Praying
Not Biblically/Theologically Grounded