Thursday, May 24, 2012

What is Inner Healing?

When Karen and I along with a gaggle of young students and a few other adults became involved in the Jesus Movement in 1969, we opened our home to all who were interested in God's love. Steve Sjogren did the same some 15 years later. He called it "Servant Evangelism" at the small Vineyard Church here in Cincinnati but so many showed up for the love of God they stayed for His healing, training and ministry.

It was not long before we saw how powerful God's love is when applied practical ways to the lives of hurting people, especially the young people. I had been invited to leave one church because we did home groups for students with love, prayer and Bible study and it upset the elders. We wandered for awhile but had no real church with a steeple to attend.  In excitement and some desperation we opened up our home on Jefferson Ave across the street from U. C. to whomever wanted to come. As Sjogren says, "They all showed up".

the "they' consisted of dozens of young people who were hungry for Jesus and His love. they stayed for healing, deliverance, food, mothering and fathering and hope. We were overwhelmed with the variety, difficulty and depth of the problems that came into our home every day and night.  Drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, abuse, violence, and mood disorders were the common problems and we discovered there were many more needing help. We were desperate for finding better ways to help these folks get better.

One day we heard from Tom, an Episcopal Priest in our ministry, that his Priest friend from Atlanta was coming to teach on inner healing. It was said that he had been trained by Agnes Sandford and others how to carry out the call of Jesus in Luke 4 to "Heal the broken hearted and set the captives free".  We were very eager to learn how to do that. We were in a "ZAP Phase" of ministry where we emphasized power healing as the answer to all the problems we saw in people. After discovering the reality of the Third Person of the Trinity we became obsessed with spiritual warfare and Holy Spirit power. This Episcopal Priest sounded like the answer to our prayers.

The Priest came to town, met with our little band and taught us how to do inner healing. It was, as I remember, a focus on dealing with all the inner issues of life as opposed to outer healing that focuses on the body. He had studied under John Kilpatrick who studied under Mrs. Sanford the wife of an Episcopal Priest and the most famous early teacher on inner healing.  

From our new friend we learned to distinguish among all the possible causes of emotional, relational, mental, physical and generational sicknesses. there was no one thing that caused a problem nor one tool we could use to solve every problem. We soon saw that "if the only tool we have in the tool box is a hammer, every problem will be seen as a nail". It became apparent that until he spoke, we had only one tool: prayer power to heal and deliver. This assumes that every problem is a sickness or bondage of some sort.

We learned that some issues came from a guilty conscience that requires confession. Or, an issue can arise from bad choices that require repentance. Some issues arise from ignorance and stinking thinking that require renewal of the mind. We did not have a full understanding about the theology underlying his ideas but this fellow made a lot of sense.

A few years later I enrolled in a school with a group who taught the Priest but they refused to allow me to attend. The reason was the fact that I had degrees in counseling and would not renounce my studies and swear to use only their model. However, Karen and I went to Florida and stayed with John Kilpatrick and his team for a week and learned their approach and theology in more depth.

Thus, I learned from the founders that inner healing is all about healing the whole person, body, mind, will, emotions, relationships, family tree and so forth. However, the process begins with the inner life not the outer life. It is traditionally called, soul care. In modern times it is known as pastoral care and pastoral counseling and has been practiced in the churches of God for 2,000 years.

Read my books found at the Sweeten life web page bookstore for an in depth understanding.

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