Prayer Therapy

Prayer will indeed help deliver one from demonic possession and evil, but this concept has largely been misunderstood and exploited by Hollywood. There have been movies and books galore that dwell on demonic possession, exorcism and a myriad of other conditions and practices that are thrown out there basically for their entertainment value.  To compound this misleading view, many of the leaders in the field of psychology in the past, i.e. Sigmund Freud and others, were largely atheistic in their view of psychology. What then happened was that the Church in general rejected all aspects of psychology. So! In doing this, we threw the proverbial baby out with the bath water. We have tended to reject the pure scientific facts of psychology, and for that we have paid dearly. As time has progressed, however, the value of using prayer as a therapy in a clinical setting has become a recognized tool to aid in emotional and mental healing. After all, psychotherapy is simply the treatment of mental or emotional disorders, and this is precisely what prayer therapy does. What could be more therapeutic than the words from Luke 4:18, where Jesus quoted from the book of Isaiah, “—He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, etc.” , or Romans 12:2, where it is written, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, etc.” , or, one of my favorite verses, 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  If someone is loaded down with guilt over something they did wrong, or even over something for which they were not really responsible, but feel that they were, what could be more therapeutic than being released from that guilt?  Psychiatrists and psychologists have known for ages that guilt can indeed be a cause of depression, so being released from that guilt is absolutely one of the most therapeutic things that can happen to a person.  One of the most beautiful Christian songs is ‘All To Jesus I Surrender’, which goes, ‘All to Jesus I surrender; all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live. I surrender all, I surrender all. All to thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all.  Think about it! To be able to truly surrender your guilt, depression and all negative feelings is a wonderful and beautiful thing.  This means the surrender of everything to God. True prayer, folks, is therapy. When you confess your sins to almighty God and experience the joy of being forgiven means that you have released your problems, negative feelings, attitudes, and excuses! Then you have the joy of letting God fill that void in your life. Too often, therapists have ignored this very important tool, but even the most secular psychologist, even if he is atheistic, must acknowledge the serendipitous value of prayer as a therapy. If a stress-laden patient walks into a doctor’s office and, after prayer therapy, walks out with reduced or even no stress, is that not part of a doctor’s mission?   Does this not fit perfectly into addressing the problem of adrenal fatigue by helping to adjust cortisol production?  Think about it.

     I remember a book by Thomas A. Harris, M.D., ‘I’m OK –You’re OK’ which was written sometime in the late sixties.  I must admit that I do not remember the full context of this book, except that it was a very practical guide to Transactional Analysis as a method of solving problems in life. While I acknowledge the brilliance of Dr. Harris and fully appreciate the benefits of Transactional Analysis, it is only the title with which I take issue. There are many times, folks, when I am not OK and you are not OK. Quite often some guilt-laden patient may walk into a doctor’s office, loaded down with guilt over some indiscretion. The doctor may try to whitewash that indiscretion or rationalize it away in some fashion, but deep down the patient knows better. He knows he did wrong and he knows why he feels guilt. As a matter of fact, if that person does not feel guilt, there may be a character problem. To carry guilt, however, and not be able to move on is not good and can be detrimental to your health.  Prayer therapy acknowledges any indiscretion (sin) and deals with it head-on. This, folks, is the essence of prayer therapy. Remember! Any psychotherapy is the treatment of emotional or mental disorders, and there are many psychological techniques to help accomplish this.  True prayer therapy is but one of those therapies and has a deep and profound application in the clinical sense. So! Make prayer a part of your life and it will indeed help facilitate good emotional health. Your life will be blessed and you will have a healthier and more joyous life.

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