Blog

Inner Healing

The prodigal son

Readings

Luke 15:11-32

Continuing our theme on healing in the morning services this month, we look again today at Inner Healing, also called the Healing of the Memories. This can sound weird and scary – often I feel my memory has disappeared anyway! Although I find it difficult talk about, I know from experience the great benefit I have received from the Lord through this particular ministry over the years.

What is it? Bishop David Pytches in his book “Come Holy Spirit” says Inner Healing is distinct from physical healing and / or deliverance. The normal and natural processes of physical healing are frequently impeded by deep emotional hurts from the past. He describes Inner Healing as the healing of the inner person covering areas such as the mind, will, and heart, also related to the emotions, psyche, soul or spirit.

A Neuro-surgeon from Canada apparently concluded that the brain recalls every experience a person has, and also the feelings that accompany these experiences. Through the process of remembering, a person can be conscious of the present, whilst reliving the past experience, and the past experiences recorded still exist even if a person is not consciously aware of them. Some of these can be recalled any time, whilst others are buried deeper in the subconscious mind. Hurts and traumas surrounded by feelings hidden in the recesses of the subconscious can currently affect the individual Christian’s present life and the purpose of Inner Healing is to minister to those hurtful memories in such a way that they are no longer remembered with any feelings of pain and have no negative effect on the individual.

I confess that this all seems a bit heavy for a Sunday morning! Perhaps it would help if I explained my experience of this ministry.

I think it was about 30 years ago when I was a Church Warden that the vicar here was preaching on the Christian ministry of healing prayer, and mentioned that one of the Churchwardens, Vic Harris, had a specific gift of healing prayer ministry. As soon as he said that, I immediately had the words in my mind “and the other Churchwarden needs healing”. (Vic was authorised by the Diocese and affiliated to the Christian Healing Centre at Crowhurst.)

Vic and Betty lived a few doors away from me and I realised that I needed to go and see them. In very gentle prayer they prayed for the time just before I was born. As many of you will know, I was one of twins, born two months prematurely, and sadly my brother died after a few hours, and it was touch and go for me. Vic believed that the trauma of suddenly losing my brother, after 7 months together in the womb, may have impeded my emotional development. That was the beginning of several times of prayer which followed over the years, and I have grown much less shy, more confident, and particularly aware of my emotions, eventually becoming very happily married with a family.

This story of the Prodigal (Wasteful/ Reckless?) Son is one of the best known of Jesus’ stories, and I believe is illustrating the wonderful nature of the overwhelming forgiveness and love of God, and absolute importance of forgiveness and being forgiven. It could be considered that the younger son being willful and determined didn’t deserve the forgiveness, love and joy from his father, and it was understandable that the elder brother was angry and upset bearing in mind that he had kept his father’s business going in the absence of the youngest son. However it was the older brother who continued to suffer hurt, by refusing to forgive his brother.

If we are to benefit from any form of healing prayer and I believe particularly Inner Healing, it is vital that we ask the Lord to give us the ability to forgive whatever may have hurt us – we also need the ability to forgive ourselves. We may not forget the incident – if we knew of it in the first place – but if we hold on to hurts and resentment – it’s us who suffer, and it’s hard for Christ to help us.

It’s vital then that we have the courage to ask for prayer, or respond when it is offered: I’ve found it very difficult, embarrassing and scary, but whenever I’ve accepted someone praying for me, I’ve never regretted it. I don’t understand why God uses us in the healing process, when I believe he could sovereignly do it on His own – but that seems to be the way He works. 1 Peter 2:25 says:

By his wounds you have been healed.
It’s always Christ who heals us, perhaps through the medical profession, or /and by prayer. There’s much we don’t fully understand, but I know and have experienced the enormous love and care God has for each one of us.