A few months ago, I asked people which topic they would prefer, "inner healing" or church planting. The majority chose church planting, but a significant number asked me to cover healing. So I'm taking a break from topics specifically related to church, and will be looking at inner healing for the next few posts.
Part of the reason for this is that most people, when they were in legacy church, left praying about the problems people faced in life to the pastor or other full-time professional minister. But there are some key skills that are useful for church planters. (Note: if you are inexperienced in praying with people, find someone who has prayed for others with the kind of problem you are dealing with to work with you.)
I'll never forget the glare that Jenny gave me.
"Incest was the name of the game!" she said.
Tony and I had been married for only a year or two, and Jenny was staying with us because she was depressed. Then we discovered that every day she was swallowing bottles of cough medicine, which in those days contained opiates. We asked her why, and that was the answer she gave us.
The story came out. From the age of about 6 through 10, Jenny had been repeatedly raped by an uncle. And we had no answers for her. We knew that in theory, Jesus could set her free and heal her, but we just didn't have the tools. This led us on a search to find out how we could help Jenny, and others like her.
At that stage we were living in a very socially depressed area of London. It has since become gentrified, but in those days every kind of problem ended up there. Jenny was fairly typical of the sort of thing we encountered on a daily basis.
Our first clues came when we heard a friend of ours, a family doctor like ourselves, talk about something he called "inner healing." And sure enough, it worked. We found many people helped by the principles we began to understand. A few years into this, a book came out, very scathing about the subject, claiming it was a new age practice. I was troubled, not wanting to be a practitioner of something dubious. So for the next two years I studied the subject, reading the Bible right through and making extensive notes.
The next few posts will talk about what I discovered.