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Wholeness prayer is a biblically-based interpersonal ministry – a powerful and easily multipliable tool for personal restoration and discipleship. Its focus is on bringing emotional and spiritual healing, freedom and perspective for those struggling with a particular area of concern or challenge. During wholeness prayer one person is typically receiving while the other is facilitating. Because the work of spoken prayer is largely carried out by the facilitator, the recipient is able to focus on listening and responding. Through such an arrangement God often breaks through and brings life-giving perspective. This prayer approach can be learned by believers in Christ and does not require a particular giftedness. Related types of prayer are inner-healing and listening prayer.
Five main steps involved in basic wholeness prayer are:
- Recognize: Identify (take captive) your negative feelings, thoughts, and actions.
- Recent: Bring these to God and ask Him to reveal a related recent memory.
- Root: Ask God to reveal any root(s) – the first time (or pattern) when you thought, felt, and/or acted this way.
- Receive: Receive His perspective – first at the root, if there is one.
- Renew: Apply this perspective in everyday life.
Wholeness prayer helps strengthen movements and strategy teams by facilitating discipleship and leadership development. It is also a useful tool for evangelism and conflict resolution. Some representative examples follow:
- Ed, the leader of a strategy team, has a problem with insecurity and explosive anger. As he and Tom bring this to God using wholeness prayer principles, Ed realizes that underneath his anger is shame, hurt, and fear. He remembers a significant time in his childhood when he felt incompetent, hurt and alone. God speaks truth and peace into this memory and heals his wounds. Ed now knows experientially that God is with Him and for Him. He has a new pattern to walk out in discipleship. Over time his family and teammates notice that he has more patience and resilience. The team grows in unity and a long-standing conflict is resolved.
- Carl, a member of a DBS, struggles with shame. It’s hard for him to believe that God could love him. As he prays with Sam, Carl realizes that his struggle is generational. God shows Carl how He would like to lift the burden of shame his father carries. Then Carl is able to receive God’s acceptance and have his own burden of shame lifted. His relationship with his wife improves.
- Theresa, a new believer, avoids spending time with God. She often falls asleep or hears disturbing voices when she reads the Bible. She prays with Joyce through Freedom from Generational Bondage and renounces the sin of her ancestors, including the sin of witchcraft. Afterwards she is able to read the Bible without interference.
- Nancy is a ‘cousin’ who recently lost her job. Her sister April, a new believer, listens compassionately to her story, then offers to pray for her. She uses modified wholeness prayer principles and Jesus lifts Nancy’s burden. Nancy then wants to learn more about Jesus.
- Tony, a leader of a growing movement, is struggling with post-traumatic stress after a factory explosion. He prays through this trauma with Steve, and experiences God’s peace in each memory involved. Steve then asks God to show Tony where He will be the next time Tony hears a loud noise. Tony hears God saying that He will be Tony’s shield and that the trauma is over. Tony re-engages with normal life and is no longer haunted by his past trauma.