Services : Inner Healing
Inner Healing including Theophostic Prayer Ministry
Every feeling … every emotion we feel… is based on a real life-experience somewhere in our background… most of which, we are unlikely to be consciously aware of. When we react in a negative way to other people or circumstances we are being "triggered" or literally connecting to our past hurt, woundedness … past lie-based emotional pain which is stored in our brain. If we base our current feelings and emotions on how others "trigger" us …we have just empowered them to be responsible for our current feelings… therefore it follows that we can never be different until they change. This means that others around us control how we feel moment to moment…this is bondage …this is lie-based emotions. God desires us to be free of lies and bondage and be at peace in His rest no matter what is happening around us.
Counselling based on behavioral or logic and reason approaches are slow and most often do not result in a complete release of the pain from historical woundedness. These approaches require you to exert continuous self-effort toward freedom with less than perfect or lasting results. Traditional counselling methods may allow you to "take up your bed and limp" but after Theophostic Prayer ® ministry, you will experience Christ's release and "take up your bed and walk"!
This release comes when Christ personalizes His Word for you. Once He takes you to the lie-based memory and the lie is exposed and removed, there is no need to ever go back..the memory remains but He takes the stored hurtful emotions. This is maintenance-free therapy! The counsellor moves aside and allows the Spirit of Christ to expose the past negative emotion and darkness with His light. It is the revealing of His Truth that frees an individual of the lies which dominate his/her thinking, emotions and behaviour. Christ can set you free from lifelong lies of abandonment, shame, fear, powerlessness, uncleanness, invalidation, hopelessness and confusion.
I look forward to meeting you and facilitating your Christ led healing experience.
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In my more than 30 year journey of ministering to the hurting with Christ in Inner Healing I have gleaned knowledge and experience from many ministries including: Joan James, Chester and Betsy Kylstra, John and Paula Sandford (Elijah House), Mark Virkler, Leanne Payne, Neil Anderson, Charles Kraft, Ed Murphy, Alfred C.W. Davies (Christian Counselling & Narrative Therapy, Christ-Centred Inner Healing) Arthur Zeilstra (Prayer Counselling), Aiko Hormann, and many many others. DRay called his ministry model "Christ-Led Inner Healing". In the past 15 years DRay has received training in both Basic and Advanced Theophostic Prayer Ministry and has chosen to follow the guidelines and procedures when ministering same.
PLEASE NOTE CAREFULLY:
DRay and the ICCA-IRM Group support and adhere to the Theophostic Prayer Ministry Guidelineswhen facilitating Theophostic Prayer Ministry.
Theophostic© Prayer Ministry and all Theophostic© information on this web site are copyright © 2007-11 by Dr. Ed Smith and Alathia Ministries, Inc. PO Box 489, Campbellsville, KY 42719, Phone: 1-270-467-3757. All Rights Reserved. Used With Permission. For further information contact the official Theophostic© Ministries web site at: www.theophostic.com
Theophostic Prayer Ministry is being used to minister to:
The International Christian Counselling Association and DRay use the name Theophostic Ministry with written permission, but they are not endorsed by or affiliated with any entity, corporation, or aspect of Theophostic Ministry. Theophostic® Ministry is a trade mark of Dr. Ed Smith and Alathia Ministries Inc. of Campbellsville, Kentucky 42719. DRay and the ICCA-IRM Group fully support and strictly adhere to the Theophostic Prayer Ministry Guidelines when facilitating Theophostic Prayer Ministry.
The following information is directly quoted by permission from the official Theophostic© website:
What is Theophostic Prayer Ministry?
Important disclaimer: DO NOT attempt this ministry process based upon the limited information you read on this website. This limited information is only provided to give you an overview, not to equip you to do this ministry. Everything that is discussed on this page is provided in greater detail in the TPM Basic Seminar Manual and other supplemental materials. Please know that what follows is a truncated version of a much greater body of information and what is listed here will not answer all of your questions.
TPM is Christ Centered Prayer
The TPM Basic Training Seminar Manual defines TPM as, "Intentional and focused prayer with the desired outcome of an authentic encounter with the presence of Christ, resulting in mind renewal and subsequent transformed life."
Theo (God) Phostic (light) is a ministry of prayer that is Christ centered and God reliant for its direction and outcome. Simply stated, it is encouraging a person to discover and expose what he believes that is a falsehood; and then encouraging him to have an encounter with Jesus Christ through prayer, thus allowing the Lord to reveal His truth to the wounded person's heart and mind. It is not about advice giving, diagnosing problems, or sharing opinions or insight. It is about allowing a person to have a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus in the midst of the person's emotional pain.
Feelings Match Belief
Theophostic Prayer Ministry believes a person's present emotional pain is often rooted in misinterpretations (lies) embraced during life experiences. This is not to say that some emotional pain is due to what is happening in the present, but there are often historical roots as well. Our emotions tend to match what we believe. If I am feeling something then I probably believe something. For example, if I believe that a robber is in my house I will probably feel some measure of fear. If I discover what I thought was a robber was only my cat making a fuss, then my fear changes to relief because my belief changed. If an adult feels shame when he thinks about a sexual abuse memory, the shame is not because he was abused, but because of what he believes about the abuse. For example, he may believe the abuse made him dirty or was his fault (lies).
When I have a negative emotional response in the present, it can almost always be traced back to a belief harbored in an earlier event. In this earlier event a belief was established that is generating a negative emotion in the present. My present feelings are generally indicative of what I believe. If a person will focus on the emotion he is feeling during a present tense situation and allow his mind to connect him with its source, he will usually find himself remembering an earlier event that carries the same emotion. This is due to the belief that was harbored in the earlier event is transposing its emotion into the present where the same belief is being applied. A common accusation heard during a marital conflict is "You are just like my father, mother, brother, school teacher, etc..." What is happening here is the lie(s) that were embraced in earlier times are surfacing in the current relationship. When life happens around us we may become emotionally stirred by what occurs. For example, a man might come home from work and ask his wife in innocent curiosity, what she had done all day and be met with defensive hostility. In this moment the wife is feeling and acting upon what she believes in that moment. Theophostic Prayer Ministry seeks to identify any lie-based thinking that is causing emotional pain in a person's present life and encourage the person to bring this thinking to Christ for His truth perspective.
Struggles Come from Conflicting Beliefs.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry understands our behavior to result from choices we make based both upon what we logically believe to be true and what we experientially believe to be true. If these beliefs are in agreement, we experience peace and calm as we go about everyday life, we find it easy to be led by the Spirit, and we experience the fruit of the Spirit called self-control. If, however, these beliefs are in conflict, we will experience unrest and struggle. The Bible calls this being double-minded (James 1:8) or holding opposing beliefs at the same time. Struggling to act according to what we logically believe and against what we experientially believe is not functioning in Spirit-led self-control but "trying to climb up some other way." Theophostic Prayer Ministry's focus is to come to the Lord to be rescued from this struggle.
Failure to act according to logical truth happens because a person is often strongly motivated by the way the person feels in any given moment. For example, if I feel very anxious or worried I tend to act this out. TPM believes that strong emotion primarily comes from experiential knowledge (mental information derived from what we have actually experienced) and not from logical truth (data believed as truth but never realized through experience). This experiential knowledge can be lie-based, and when it is, it produces painful emotions such as fear, worry, anxiety, and depression to name a few. Theophostic Prayer Ministry's focus is the renewal of the mind at the experiential level of consciousness. Theophostic Prayer Ministry seeks to expose and dispel the lies producing this pain so people will no longer be double-minded and can walk in the truth more easily.
Emotional Pain is Rooted in Lies Harbored in Experience.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry recognizes that the emotional pain one experiences in the present is often coming from a lie contained in an earlier experiential source. If the emotional pain is being generated by a lie rooted in earlier faulty thinking, true release of the emotional pain in the present will not likely occur unless the person is able to identify this falsehood and receive God's perspective.
Can we really put our past behind us?
The truth is, our past is behind us. It is called memory. The question is what we will do with the memory that we have no option but carry. Some choose to suppress it, deny it, block it out and refuse to allow it to creep into conscious awareness. The problem is, no matter how deep we bury it and even should we forget where it is hidden, it knows where we live and revisits us in our dysfunctions, marital rifts, and through other relational sabotage. All of our present behavior is linked to our thinking. All thought is connected to what we know and have learned. Everything we know we received in experience. All experience is in the past and therefore a memory. This makes cleaning up our memories of lie-based thought a crucial part of what we do if we are to be "transformed (changed) by the renewing of our minds" (Rom. 12:2)
We sometimes hear people say you should "put the past behind you" misusing the Philippians 3 passage to support this thinking. (The Apostle was referring to putting his past efforts in self righteousness behind him not painful memory). We are told to do this by not thinking about it any longer and by pressing forward to what lies ahead. It would be great if this was actually possible, but practically and neurologically it cannot be done. If what they mean is just choose to not be influenced by your past and block out any troubling painful memory, then this is simply suppression and denial and not anything spiritual. Every thought in our mind comes from our history. God designed our minds to draw from the historical information stored in our minds. It is designed to work well unless the information is flawed with lies. This is why the mind needs to be renewed. To just not think about it is to live in suppression and denial and to keep the lies we harbor hidden. There is a more profitable solution and that is to own our past, identify the lies that are at the root of the pain and find truth from the Word of God and by listening to the communication of the Holy Spirit.
The past is a wealth of knowledge that has great benefit when it is lie-free. The truth is, all that I have is my past and a tiny moment in time we call the present. Everything that I have in my mind is memory, and every emotion that I feel is connected to some aspect of my thinking, which is based on memory (unless the emotion is due to a bio-chemical problem). To "put my past behind me" in the sense of trying not to think about the past is to fight against how God has created my mind to operate. Putting my past behind me is a program of controlled behavior that is self-reliant and dependent upon my efforts in maintaining it. Anytime self-effort is the power source, defeat is often just around the corner.
Self-effort was never God's solution for overcoming sin that is motivated by lie-based thinking nor is His solution to lie-based thought denial of its existence. Genuine renewal does not come from building strong logical defenses against the lies, or from embarking on a program of suppressing behavior motivated by lie-based emotions. Just choosing not to think about our past does not provide any long-term solution to our lie-based pain. This emotional pain is coming from the lies in our history, not the history itself. Rather than not think about the memory event, we can choose to identify what it is in the event (the lie) that is causing the problem and find His truth. It is this lie harbored in the memory that is in need of renewal. True release comes from being set free from the lies that motivate sinful behavior. This is why Theophostic Prayer Ministry can be helpful for emotionally wounded people—the process opens the way for the Holy Spirit to replace their lies and pain with truth and peace.
Does the Bible teach we should put our past behind us?
Biblically speaking, the Apostle Paul was not referring to painful past memories when he said, "forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead" (Phil. 3:13), but rather he was referring to his former acts of self-righteousness. He called his past efforts in self-righteousness a pile of dung. It was these ways of acting that he was putting behind him because he had come to see them as worthless acts of self-righteousness. People who quote this verse to get us to deny what we feel and "forget" our painful past are not allowing it to be interpreted in its proper context. Re-read this passage in its context to see what the Apostle was describing. Let the passage say what it says and nothing more.
In Romans 12:2 we are told to "be transformed by the renewal of our minds." This means that there are things that we believe that need to be replaced with truth. We cannot have a change of heart about the lies we believe and embrace the truth He has for us, if we are unwilling to look back to what we believe. And everything that we believe is located in the context of experience. Throwing more truth on top of lies will not resolve the problem. We must identify the lies we believe before we can find freedom from them. If what a person means when he says "put your past behind you" is for us not to be self-absorbed with the events of the past while there is no resolution from the lies we have harbored, then I agree. If all I do is think about how bad I have had it and do not find resolution of the pain in my past then I accomplish nothing and have succumbed to a victim status. Conversely, if what I do is bury the past and never attend to the lies that permeate my thinking, then I am as bad off as the other. God desires that we own our past, identify what we believe and seek Him for the truth. Herein lies true victory.
Not All Negative Emotion is Lie-based; Some is Truth-Based.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry recognizes that there are some negative emotions that are not lie-based but actually truth-based. Such feelings as disappointment, grief, sadness, regret and anger are often rooted in truth. If you were to ask a survivor of sexual abuse why they may be angry, they might respond with, "Because what he did was wrong!" This would be the truth. However, if what I feel is fear, shame, abandonment, etc., this is lie-based. Theophostic Prayer Ministry sees it as important for a person to find freedom from both lie-based and truth-based emotional pain since we are commanded by the Word of God to "cast all of our burdens on Him" (1 Peter 5:7). However, truth-based emotions are biblically righteous, whereas emotions such as anxiety, worry, fear, and feelings of abandonment are not, since we are told to "Be anxious for nothing" (Phil. 4:6), "fear not" (Matt. 10:31), and to know that He is with us always so we cannot be abandoned (Matt. 28:20), etc. The TPM facilitator is trained to know the difference between lie-based and truth-based emotion and how to deal with each accordingly.
Unless a person encounters Christ his life will not change.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry recognizes the futility of trying to talk a person out of his experiential false belief and talking him into a new belief system, and acknowledges that apart from a realization of truth from the Holy Spirit through prayer, nothing significant will ever happen. (What occurs in a Theophostic prayer session is the same thing that occurs in one's private prayer and meditation on the Word of God. The Holy Spirit moves the truth from the head to the heart.) Unless a person encounters Christ, his life will not change. This does not invalidate the necessity of discipleship, Bible study or biblical instruction but rather points out the need for balance between this and having experiential moments with God. Knowledge of God with the absence of "knowing" God is meaningless.
Transformation Follows Mind Renewal.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry recognizes that behavior is greatly influenced by the knowledge stored in the mind. The Apostle Paul declares that transformation is an outcome of the mind being renewed (Rom. 12:2). Therefore, in order to act differently, we must be "renewed in our minds." This renewal should include, but not be limited to the cognitive passing of information from the minister to the one receiving ministry, personal bible study and meditation, but should include experiential "knowing" that comes from the presence of Christ through prayer. Only the Spirit of the Living Lord Jesus can set us free from the lies we experientially believe as we take our requests for truth to Him in prayer. The facilitator can play a vital part in this prayer process, but it is the Spirit of God who imparts experiential truth (making what we know logically known experientially) and it is the written Word of God which is the source and standard of all truth. Theophostic Prayer Ministry is a way to accomplish this, but is not the only means through which God operates.
Theophostic (God's Light) is all about the Lord Jesus.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry acknowledges that Jesus is the only one who can truly release the wounded person from their emotional/mental bondage. This does not invalidate the role of the minister but acknowledges that apart from Christ we are ineffective in accomplishing God's desire for the wounded soul. Theophostic (God's Light) is all about the Lord Jesus.
Basic Principles of Theophostic Prayer Ministry
What follows is a concise, but truncated summary of the basic principles of Theophostic Prayer Ministry. For a fuller version either read Healing Life's Hurt's. These principles are the overriding concepts on which the ministry process rests. These principles are NOT the "how to" for applying the process, but rather the foundational stones that support what is done in a ministry session.
Principle One: Our present situation is rarely the true cause of our ongoing emotional pain.
Emotional pain in ones day-to-day life is seldom solely caused by what is happening in the present situation. Instead, our circumstances "trigger" painful lie-based thinking, which is rooted in the past. Lie-based thinking is the false beliefs learned during a specific life event. If we blame the present situation for the emotional pain that is coming from the earlier memory event, we will be trapped in an irresolvable cycle of emotional pain and defeat. To believe that other persons or circumstances are the cause of our emotional upheaval is to empower them to control us emotionally until they change. When we find freedom from the lie-based thinking held in memory, we will no longer be triggered by it and can walk in peace, content in whatever circumstance we find ourselves (Phil. 4:11) even if our world stays the same in which we live. When we are in pain, it is easier to point the finger of blame than it is to follow our painful emotions to their true source, where we can find the mind renewal we need from Christ. Even in the case where the spouse has acted inappropriately, our emotional response is often out of proportion to the offense because the offense triggers lie-based pain. If what we are feeling is rooted in our own lie-based thinking and we blame another, then we are doomed to suffer in this pain until the other person changes.
Principle Two: Everything we presently know, feel, or are mentally aware of has its roots in a first-time experience.
Everything in my mind got there at some point in time. Therefore, anything that I access in the present tense from my thinking had an earlier point of entry. When I react negatively to a present situation I do so because of prior experience. I will interpret every new experience from the beliefs I have acquired from earlier moments. I have no choice but do this since this is how my mind is designed to operate. My mind is automatically transferring the negative feelings stored in the memory of an original experience to this present moment. This is a natural neurological process of association. We do this all of the time. Our minds provide input as to how to respond to a current situation based upon how we have responded to similar situations in the past. This automatic superimposing of past emotional responses onto later similar situations will have great bearing on what behaviors we choose to act out, because we tend to act out the way we feel. If we act out our present pain, we will likely manifest sinful behavior. Of course, some people will deny the pain and choose to act rightly as opposed to acting out their pain, but many people, much of the time, tend to act out the pain in some way that has surfaced. For those who choose rightly, they often still feel bad while doing the right thing. Both places feel pretty miserable.
Principle Three: If we try to resolve our present conflicts without resolving our historical lie-based woundedness, we will find only temporary relief. At some point the lie-based pain will be triggered again and the pain will resurface. However, if we find renewing truth for our past lie-based thinking, we can redeem our present.
My former methods of helping emotionally distraught people were focused on changing the present behavior of the persons by providing new insight and steps of action they were to carry out. This is often only a stopgap measure, and will not result in true and lasting victory if the underlying lies are not addressed. This is not to say that discipleship and teaching are not important, for they are. However, some have been led to believe that controlled behavior is equated with spiritual maturity, when in fact many nonbelievers are doing a good job of performing in this same arena. True victory is a work of Christ "in me." It is not based on my effort, determination, or willpower, but rather the indwelling presence of Christ. Successful Christian living is an exchanged life process. "It is no longer I who live but Christ living in and through me" (Gal. 2:20 paraphrase). This does not negate obedience, repentance, discipline, or effort on the part of the believer, but rather puts all of these practices in a divine perspective. Salvation is by faith and grace, and so is the "walking it out." The apostle Paul declared that we should walk in Christ in the same manner that we have received Him (Col. 2:6). The Apostle asked the Galatians believers, "Having begun ?by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" (Gal. 3:3).
Principle Four: Since many of the negative emotions we currently feel are reflections of the past, they provide opportunities for the lie-infested wounds of our lives to be exposed, and thus for mind renewal to occur.
No one remembers all aspects of his or her life. However, if I have painful emotion that is connected to a past event, then I do remember it even if I cannot initially recall it at will. The very fact that I feel the emotional duress is evidence that I remember. The emotion is rooted upon what I believed in the event. This lie-based pain can cause me to associate back to its source if I am willing to go there. I may not recall every detail of the event and may event not remember it accurately, but the emotion I feel is rooted in the lie contained in what I remember. It is the lie that must be identified and exposed not the content of the memory itself. The lies we believe are not usually that difficult to identify even when we are not able to recall the memory clearly. God either allows or orchestrates our surroundings to bring us under current duress and testing, which will expose our true core belief system. It requires little effort to perform at a high level of "spirituality" when things are going well with us. However, when the fire comes, our impurities are made evident, and whatever is on the inside comes out. These impurities and falsehoods that we believe will express themselves through our emotional state and consequential behavior. As stated earlier, we will feel what we believe. If we choose to follow the "smoke trail" of our stirred-up emotions back to their original memory source, we can usually discover the lie-based belief causing the emotional pain. It is here we can find freedom from the emotional pain produced by these lies, as we receive truth from the Spirit of Christ. We may never know exactly what happened but we can usually identify the lie-based belief that is causing us our pain.
Principle Five: To facilitate emotional renewal and restoration, we need to identify the four basic elements in the renewal process: (1) identifying the present emotional pain, (2) discovering the original memory container, (3) exposing the original lie(s) implanted in the memory container, (4) receiving truth from the Holy Spirit.
The present emotional pain is the feeling that surfaces in our current situation when a lie-based memory is triggered. The original memory container is the original event in which the lie-based pain was implanted and stored. The original lie is the belief that was implanted in the original painful memory, causing the present pain. Receiving the truth from the Holy Spirit is the connection the person makes with Christ. Each of these four elements plays an integral part in our thinking, feeling, and behavioral responses to life. The present emotional pain is an indicator that a lie-based belief is being exposed. All lies have their original root in a memory source. When the lies contained in these memory sources are identified and exposed to the light of Christ, freedom can follow. These four elements will be fleshed out in detail in the chapters to follow.
Principle Six: People are in emotional bondage due to two basic factors: belief and choice.
This is a very important concept. Belief and choice are foundational to everything about us and everything we do. Our experiential beliefs will dictate our emotional response and status in any given moment, and thus hold powerful influence over the choices we make. If we believe something, we will feel corresponding emotion, and will tend to make choices based on this condition. These choices can maintain a perpetual cycle of bondage, giving the enemy a foothold in our lives. Struggle in the Christian life tends to be rooted in the conflict we experience when our experiential belief conflicts with our learned truth-based cognitive belief. For example, I may have memorized the verse that declares that I am a Child of God, love of Him and perfectly accepted in Christ. However, I may walk around doubting my salvation and feeling like I have to do something to keep God happy with me. This conflict has everything to do with my duality of belief. My negative reactions to life are flowing from the experiential side of my belief even though I can quote the bible verse that stand in contrast to what I feel. It is from my belief that I make my choices or exercise my will. The problem is, my experiential side tends to have a greater influence in my decisions since it also tends to dictate my emotional status. In a sense I am held in bondage by the emotional pain that is rooted in my faulty belief. At the same time, freedom also involves belief and choice. As we come to know God's truth (belief), we are more prone to make different choices. Freedom occurs as we receive the truth from the Lord and then choose to walk in it. The one additional element in this truth process is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. For it is God who grants us new thoughts, leading to the knowledge of His truth, which allows us to come to our senses and escape the snare of the devil (2 Tim. 2:25–26). I will take an entire chapter later to discuss this very important principle.
Principle Seven: If we believe a lie, it might as well be the truth because the consequences will be much the same.
If we believe a lie to be true, it will play itself out in our lives as though it were true. This gives lies enormous power in our lives. Our beliefs dictate much of our present reality. Therefore, as my thinking changes, so does my reality. When the Spirit of Christ brings truth into my thinking, He replaces the lie with truth, and I find genuine release and peace where I once only knew pain. The Apostle Paul makes the connection between belief and choice and subsequent transformation when he said, "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind…" (Rom. 12:2). It is common for a person to hold opposing beliefs at the same time. I can believe that I am forgiven for a sin in my life (logical truth) and still feel shameful when I think about what I have done (experiential knowledge). In this case, I am unable to experience the peace with God that His forgiveness was intended to bring, because I believe the lie that I am still covered with blame. The belief producing the shame has the real power in my life and is also that which will produce the most consequences. My emotional state will point you to my true belief system. It does not matter that what I believe is false, since it will have much the same outcome as would occur if it were true.
Principle Eight: To be free of the lies we believe, we must identify and own the lies rather than suppress or deny that we believe them.
Our natural inclination is to deny that we believe lies and to bury the apparent pain they are producing. If we do this, however, we will maintain a cycle of perpetual defeat in our lives. As long as lies remain embedded in our minds, they will continue to surface as pain every time they are triggered by situations similar to their original implantation. Freedom requires that we acknowledge and take responsibility for what we believe and feel its corresponding emotional pain. We must choose to lay down our feeble defenses and attempts to project the pain onto others or onto life circumstances. In this honest context, God is willing to release us of what has held us bound. God does not reward pretension. God rewards honesty and humility, by making His strength perfect in our weakness. A common solution to not dealing with the lie-based pain in our past is simply to try to "put the past behind us." The problem with this is, it is impossible to do. We can refuse to think about it, attempt to block it out, suppress it, deny it and choose to think about other things, but when we least expect it our past will rare up its ugly head. Our past is everything contained in our minds. We need our past to function in life. It is our past that contains all we know. We do not need to put our past behind us, but we do need to have the lies we harbor in our past exposed and removed.
Principle Nine: In the midst of our "darkness," we must come to realize how utterly bound we are to lies, and how helpless we are to overcome their debilitating grip on our lives apart from God's divine intervention.
As we experience the emotional pain in the memories, we realize that we are helpless, trapped in our emotional bondage, and we cannot make the pain go away. It is common during a session for people to struggle with owning their emotions and acknowledging the lies they believe. I once ministered to a woman who appeared to be self-confident, strong in personality, but also difficult to get close to. However, with all this self-assurance she also reported that she was plagued by continual feelings of depression. After much struggle, she was willing to look at what was hidden behind her confident presentation. Here she found what she described as a needy, whimpering little child who was weak and despicable. She was appalled by this discovery and wanted to reject this part of herself perception that she had buried and hidden. As she was willing to own and acknowledge this part of her self-perception and allow the Lord to minister truth to that which was false, she entered into peace and genuine freedom. Her depression lifted and a new self-presentation of grace and humility replaced the protective outward covering. This is the same place people in the New Testament were when Jesus healed them physically: needy and helpless. It is the same place Paul found himself when Jesus spoke truth into his painful circumstance: "'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me" (2 Cor. 12:9). When we try to live in victory through self-effort and hard work, we will eventually fail. As I said earlier, we have no more ability in ourselves to overcome the sin and lies in our lives today than we did prior to the cross. Christ in us, not self-effort, is our power to overcome. Freedom is not a "you and me, God" process, but an "I am weak, but He is strong" realization.
Principle Ten: No person, including we, ourselves, is capable of talking us out of the lies we believe. We will be free only when we receive the truth from the One who is Truth (John 16:12).
When I was preaching regularly from the pulpit, I never ceased to be amazed how I could deliver what I thought was a life-changing message and yet see no one changed. However, on one of my bad days when the sermon seemed to fall flat, people would sometimes respond and experience true transformation. My conclusion was that when the Holy Spirit is speaking to people who are listening, glorious things always happen. My best sermons may not move people, but when the Lord speaks, hearts are revived. Theophostic Prayer Ministry simply encourages people to listen as the Lord reveals His truth to their hearts and minds. I am not invalidating the necessity of bible study, teaching and preaching or the Holy Spirit operating in these modalities. I am only saying that apart from the intervention of the Holy Spirit we cannot know truth. The Bible is clear that when "the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth" (Jo. 16:13). There is a vast difference between learning about God (cognitive) and encountering God (relationally). Both are important but one without the other will fall short. God is not limited in the ways he chooses to deliver His truth to us. Theophostic Prayer Ministry is but one method He uses. However, much of the training seminars and self-help books being written are based on the idea that if a person can be helped to see what is wrong in his thinking and be provided with truth, he can then choose to replace his false thinking with the truth and change his life. The principle here seems to be, "More truth equals more freedom." This is simply not so. More truth may mean becoming "smarter" but, freedom is from the Lord. Cognitively receiving truth may have little or no impact on releasing a person from the lie-based emotional pain in his life unless the Holy Spirit delivers it to the heart. It is incorrect to assume that people can walk in victory by making right choices and trying hard. Such thinking is the basis for many other world religions. The truth is, many people already logically know why they are in pain and hold the logical truth they need to be free. Yet they are still in emotional misery and cannot find their way to freedom.
Principle Eleven: When we know the truth experientially, having received truth from God in our memory experience, we can walk in genuine maintenance-free victory in these areas of our lives.
This principle is sometimes misunderstood. I am not saying that if we have a session or two of TPM we will suddenly be free of all struggles in life. I am not suggesting that the Christian life is without struggle for it is filled with such. I am not saying that we will reach sinless perfection in behavior for we will only know this in eternity. What I am saying is that when we know His truth experientially where lies were harbored, the pain that these lies produced can be completely eradicated. When the pain that these lies produce is resolved, then any behavior that this pain motivated can also cease. The areas of our minds that are renewed with truth will no longer be stirred up with lie-based pain. Since our emotional pain is a primary motivator for our inappropriate behavior, we should be able to walk in a more consistent and maintenance-free victory in these specific places. Experiencing the truth frees us to walk in "newness of life," (Rom. 6:4) so that we might experientially agree with the apostle Paul who declared, "Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness [which I tend to do when I am emotionally stirred and in pain]; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God [which is effortless when I am walking in the truth and peace of the Holy Spirit]."(Rom. 6:12–13, comments in brackets mine) For clarification, I know that we will struggle with sin until the grave, but I also know that there are areas in my life where sin use to reign that I no longer give second thought about. I know there where places where I held guaranteed "triggers" that these same triggers no longer exist. I am having maintenance free victory in many places that use to require attention and consequent battle. Glory to the indwelling presence of Christ!
Principle Twelve: In times of crisis or in emotionally-charged life situations, our experiential knowledge tends to override our logical truth.
The power that experiential knowledge holds over logical truth is in the painful emotion that is often attached to the experience. We can know logically that God loves us and has forgiven us of for our sins, yet be unable to shake the feelings of worthlessness, rejection, self hate, or shame that are attached to the lie-based thinking from the experiential knowledge held in memory. When these lies are triggered, we have no choice but to feel their pain. Some suggest that we should just deny these feelings and "walk in victory." Although some practice this, many would confess that this approach lacks the joy and fulfillment that should be a part of the Christian life. It is in these times of being "triggered" that we are holding two opposing beliefs at the same time. This is a state of double-mindedness that causes us to be "unstable in all our ways…" (James 1:8).
Principle Thirteen: The only cure for sin is the cross.
When a person sins he should feel bad because God has designed us to feel this way. This created innate negative reaction to the stain of sin is compounded by the convicting presence of the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit was sent in part to convict the world of sin (John 16:8). In a general sense all people innately know right and wrong whether they have the knowledge of the Bible or not. This is why all persons fall under judgment whether they have ever heard the Biblical revelation or not. "That which is known about God is evident within them… for they are without excuse…" (Rom. 1:19-20). In cases where a person seemingly has the ability to sin and not feel bad about it, there is good reason to assume that he has hardened his heart to the convicting feelings that God has designed him to feel. However, for those of us who sin and then regret doing so, there is still nothing we can personally do to remove the shame, guilt other consequential blotch that stains our soul apart from Christ. The only remedy of a sin stained life is the Cross of Jesus. Only His shed blood can "cleanse us from all unrighteousness…" (1 John 1:9). In comparison, lie-based pain is resolved as the lies causing the pain are replaced with truth. If I believe a lie and this belief is causing me emotional turmoil, but then discover truth, the emotional pain will dissipate since its cause is removed. When I came to Christ over 35 years ago I entered into His grace by faith (Rom. 5:1) and became a new creation taking on a new self. However, at that time not much changed in my thinking. My mind was not significantly renewed in that moment even though there was much radical transformation occurring in my heart and inner man. There was some mind renewal that occurred as my thinking about self-sufficiency changed to the awareness of my need for a Savior. But much more lie-based belief remained untouched in that moment and still much remains even 35 years later of walking with the Lord. Mind renewal is not salvation, nor does a lack of mind renewal impact my eternal destiny. I do believe that mind renewal will have something to do with the quality of my eternal existence, otherwise it is all for naught if when I die it has no carry over. However, to the degree that I experientially know His truth I will walk in more consistent victory. Nevertheless, it is possible that I can be saved and then experience little mind renewal throughout life. I am saved because of what Christ accomplished for me on the Cross and my willful choosing to accept this gift by faith. Mind renewal follows my regeneration as I progressively come into the knowledge of Him day-by-day.
Principle Fourteen: Mind renewal is a lifelong process.
People cannot be released of all their lie-based pain in a single session of Theophostic Prayer Ministry or a single session of anything else. In reality, total release would not even be possible within a lifetime. All of us have an abundance of lies that are harbored in our minds and even pick up additional lies along the way. If we choose not to cooperate with what God is doing through exposing our false beliefs and seeking His truth, we can remain in bondage when God's desire was our freedom. I have often said that the finish line in the renewal process is at one of two places; either when we die or when the Lord returns. However, I do believe it is very possible for people to find complete and lasting victory and residing peace in specific areas as lies in specific memories are replaced with the Lord's truth. There are specific places where I once harbored lie-based thinking that I no longer have falsehood. In these specific places the emotional pain is no longer present.
Additional General Thoughts about TPM
Martin Luther in his writing "A Simple Way to Pray," written in 1535, identifies the necessity of listening to the Holy Spirit who still speaks to His own when he says, "If such an abundance of good thoughts comes to us (when praying) we ought to disregard the other petitions, make room for such thoughts, listen in silence, and under no circumstances obstruct them. The Holy Spirit himself preaches here, and one word of his sermon is far better than a thousand of our prayers. Many times I have learned more from one prayer than I might have learned from much reading and speculation... if in the midst of such thoughts the Holy Spirit begins to preach in your heart with rich, enlightening thoughts, honor him by letting go of this written scheme; be still and listen to him who can do better than you can. Remember what he says and note it well and you will behold wondrous things in the law of God ..." The facilitator plays a vital part in this prayer process, but it is the Spirit of God who provides truth. This is not to say that truth from the Holy Spirit requires a minister or facilitator or is limited to the approach taken by Theophostic Prayer Ministry. The Holy Spirit is free to lead us "into all truth" in whatever manner He chooses. The Holy Spirit often illuminates the written Word to a person privately seeking to be taught by Him.
There is a vast difference between "self control" which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Holy Spirit accomplished) and "controlled behavior" (that which I do on my own through discipline, hard work and determination).
Theophostic Prayer Ministry recognizes that a common source of the emotional pain one may experience in the present has an experiential source and beginning which is lie-based. If the emotional pain is coming from this original historical faulty thinking, true release of the emotional pain in the present will not likely occur unless the person is able to review the memory event where the lie was first embedded. It is acknowledged that it is possible for some people to succeed in choosing to walk in truth through controlled behavior and discipline in the face of their emotional pain (which has value in context) but it is believed that many fail at this juncture. There is a vast difference between "self control" which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Holy Spirit accomplished) and "controlled behavior" that which I do on my own through discipline, hard work, and determination. One is spiritual and of Christ, while the other is the foundation stone upon which all other world religions are built.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry is about refinement in faith.
"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance" (James 1:2-3). This verse is but one of many examples found in the letters of the apostles where we read of the inevitable testing of our faith. The word that is commonly translated faith is the Greek word pistos, which in its basic meaning is simply belief. The fact that the writer says our faith needs to be tested or refined says that something is not right about our faith; that is, what we believe. Not everything we hold in our belief system is truth. Some of what is at the foundational core of our belief is falsehood. It is this falsehood that needs to be refined with fire. The purpose of testing is refinement, like a metal smith who refines gold with fire. The focus of the testing is the faith or belief of the believer. When I am placed in the fire of testing, whatever I believe will be exposed. The dross will come to the surface when the gold is placed in the fire. During this exposure my lies are brought to the surface so I can make a decision as to what I will do with them. In the Theophostic Prayer Ministry process we are taught to confess what it is we believe (lie-based thinking) and offer this exposure up to God seeking His perspective and truth.
There are various interpretations of this idea of testing.
Biblical Principles for Theophostic Prayer Ministry
Theophostic Prayer Ministry is built upon many biblical concepts and principles. Below are a few passages upon which this form of ministry rests and operates. These verses are not intended to proof-text TPM or to "find TPM in the Scriptures", but rather present various principles of God's Word and how TPM relates to these principles.
It is fully understood and acknowledged that all Scripture must be interpreted in its proper context and first be understood by its literal meaning. It is also understood that though Scripture has only one true contextual interpretation it may have many applications that can be drawn from the principles found therein.
This does not mean that we can take the liberty to make the Bible say whatever we want it to say, for we cannot. However, the Bible does contain many principles that can be applied to a sundry of multifarious applications that step outside of its literal meaning and contextual interpretation. This practice is seen in most every application of Christian ministry found in the world today.
For a biblical example of this practice, the writer of the Old Testament declares that one should not mussel the oxen as it thrashes out the wheat (Deut. 25:4). The literal meaning of this passage is simple, "let the oxen eat while he works." However the Apostle Paul comes later and observes a principle in this passage that is applicable for dealing with financial compensation for church leadership. Here the Apostle steps outside of the literal meaning of the passage and makes an application of the principle found in the Old Testament passage. (1Cor. 9:9-12). In the same way, TPM draws from the principles of God's Word and seeks to make valid applications of these principles.
Applications of Biblical Principles
These statements are not interpretations of these passages, but only how TPM is being applied based upon the principles of the Scripture.
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