THE PROMISED LAND
In this article I would like to focus specifically on prayer for emotional healing. I call it “prayer counselling”.
You are body, soul and spirit as we can read in:
May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When you are born again, the Holy Spirit comes to reside within your human spirit and you become new creations within the part of you that is your spirit according to
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.
However, your soul, which contains your mind, will and emotions, needs to undergo a process, called the renewing of the mind, as we can know from:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.
This takes place through the study of God’s Word and prayer and as a result you will be more Christ-like in our behaviour. However, many of you may well have blockages in your soul, which hinder you from maturing in your faith.
The Apostle Paul writes in:
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.
It is this “forgetting” I would like to look at, for it is not always as easy to do as you might like it to be. It may take some work. I am going to show some steps to take so you can indeed learn to forget what lies behind.
We can compare the soul with our “Promised Land”.
Just as God told the Israelites to spy out the Promised Land so they would know the enemies they would have to deal with, as we read in:
The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” So at the Lord’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites.
Similarly, God wants you to spy out your “Promised Land.” You do this by asking the Lord what blockages are there in your life that might hinder you from being all God intends for us to be in Him. These blockages are places of hurt, grief, woundedness in your soul because of sins you have committed, or because of sins committed against you. You are to write down everything the Lord reveals to you. Some of these things may be of a long time ago, other issues may be very recent.
Going back to the Israelites, the Lord showed them which particular city they were to attack first of all, and gave them a specific strategy for it, as we can read in:
Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city and once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.”
Likewise, after the Lord has shown you the areas which are in need of prayer, you are then to ask Him, which particular area He would like to bring before Him first of all. God is very faithful and He will show you. When you begin to pray through the issue the Lord has brought to your attention, it is very important to be aware of the emotions, which are no doubt attached to this particular event. It is very good to share with the Lord not just the facts but to release the emotions to Him in prayer as well, asking Him to replace these emotions with His Peace, for He is our Peace according to:
For He Himself is our Peace…
God Himself shows emotions as we can see in:
“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave Me alone so that My anger may burn against them.”
Jesus, too, showed emotions as we can read in:
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts He found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So He made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves, He said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn My Father’s House into a market.”
And in Matthew 23:37
O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gather her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
And in John 11:35
A very important part of our prayer work is to speak out forgiveness towards those who have hurt us. This is for our sake, not for their sake. Moreover, we will need to ask the Lord to forgive us for the unforgiveness we have held in our heart towards those who have hurt us.
Let’s look at Matthew 6:12
Forgive us our debt, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men, when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
And Matthew 18:21-35
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man, who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. “Be patient with me,” he begged, “and I will pay back everything. The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. “Pay back what you owe me!” he demanded. The fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, “Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.”
But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant. “You wicked servant,” he said, “I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how My heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
This unforgiveness may have given the enemy room to attack us in your life according to:
In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. And do not give the devil a foothold.
Forgiving those who have wronged you as well as having been forgiven for your unforgiveness will close the door to the enemy so he will no longer be able to attack you in that particular area in your soul. You need to make certain that you forgive fully, regardless if the person will ever ask for forgiveness.That is what Jesus did when He hung on the cross as we can read in:
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing....
You are to bless those who have wronged you as we can read in:
But I tell you who hear Me: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you. Even “sinners” love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” lend to “sinners,” expecting to be re-paid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
You need to remember that it takes time to bring God’s healing into the soul. After all, these wounds did not get there overnight. Moreover, God wants to do a thorough work as He did in the case of the Israelites, as we can read in:
The Lord Your God will drive out those nations before you, LITTLE BY LITTLE. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you.
Therefore, God will deal with each issue one by one; otherwise it will be too overwhelming for you. Furthermore, God wants to make sure that the enemy will not have opportunity to ensnare or entangle you again in that particular place in your soul. Peter describes such situations in:
II Peter 2:20
If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Saviour and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.
This prayer work can be done by yourselves. However, it may be advisable to pray things through with someone you trust, who is a mature believer, in the case of, for instance, physical or sexual abuse.
In closing let me mention the above points in brief:
Ask the Lord in prayer what areas in your soul need to be healed.
Ask which issue needs to be prayed for.
Share the facts of the event with Him.
Release all your emotions related to the event to Him.
Ask Him to replace your painful emotions with His peace.
Forgive those who have wronged you.
Ask God to forgive you for holding on to unforgiveness.
Bless those who have wronged you.
Make sure you pray through each issue throroughly.
Realise it will take time to receive God’s healing in each area of your soul.