What do Healing Prayer Critics Say when asked why they believe Healing Prayer is unacceptable? Usually, their answer is: preaching, teaching or counseling & prayer is all that is needed to help a broken Christian.
Let’s consider the idea that preaching, teaching or counseling & prayer is all that is needed to help a broken Christian. Please keep in mind I differentiate between a troubled Christian and a broken Christian.
I agree 100% that preaching, teaching and/or counseling & prayer is all that is needed to help the majority of troubled Christians. I do not agree that those efforts, in their standard application, will work with an actual Healing Prayer candidate.
Forget the title, Healing Prayer, and understand that the process is more a “fine-tuned” blend of Bible-based meditation & prayer often followed by careful Biblical counseling & teaching.
That said, back to the statement: “Preaching, teaching or counseling & prayer is all that is needed to help a broken Christian.” If that idea is true, then the following statement is also true.
If preaching, teaching or counseling & prayer did not help a valid Healing Prayer candidate, then it’s obvious that the failure is either 1) the fault of the candidate, or 2) the fault of the preacher, teacher or counselor. My experience has been that the problem is usually on the side of the preacher, teacher or counselor.
The Candidate is at Fault
If it is the candidate’s fault that they were not helped, then in a critics mind, that usually means the candidate does not overcome personal issues.
This leads to the next idea: the candidate does not perform well enough as a Christian. That is to say….
The failure of the candidate to overcome their issues is due to some combination of them not trying hard enough mixed with a lack of faith or prayer or Bible reading or meditation or church attendance… ad infinitum.
While that may properly explain the case for many troubled Christians not achieving needed change, it does not work for actual Healing Prayer candidates. This is true because most candidates already have done and continue to do all the things they are blamed for not doing.
The Preacher, Teacher or Counselor is at Fault
If a critic believes that it is the fault of the preacher, teacher or counselor that the candidate did not receive help, then the critic also believes the preacher, teacher or counselor was ill-equipped.
Thus, the candidate should find another preacher, teacher or counselor. While that may work for some suffering saints, it usually does not work for true Healing Prayer candidates. In fact, many candidates have already been through a multitude of preachers, teachers and/or counselors.
The Candidate AND The Preacher or Teacher or Counselor are at Fault
It is imperative to understand that there are true Healing Prayer candidates who only engage in a traditional Biblical Counseling approach and then appear to “get better.”
Their symptoms subside so they and everyone around them think they have overcome. In this case, the candidate and their preacher, teacher or counselor are at fault.
All that has occurred is the candidate is effectively treating their symptoms with will power. They have not touched the underlying “disease” or true cause that eventually created the symptoms in their life.
A broken Christian may have an anger problem that drives them to be argumentative, contentious, hostile, and rebellious. They may then learn to employ anger “management” techniques to suppress their outbursts of anger. They now exhibit better behavior. They—and Christians around them—think they have overcome. What is not addressed is their lack of forgiveness toward their abusive father. That is the true cause of their anger. Thus, they are still in a state of sin and all they are doing is managing its results.
The difficulty is this person may not comprehend that they have not employed Biblical forgiveness.
They may not see how their unbiblical actions as an adult Christian are directly related to events in their childhood. Nor do others who can only observe the behavior of the broken Christian.
When a person gets by on sheer willpower they will eventually exhaust. When that happens, they may return to their former unbiblical ways and/or progress to another. What is certain is that they will continue their broken Christian behavior.
Is Any Preacher, Teacher or Counselor Able to Help a Broken Christian?
I don’t believe any preacher, teacher or counselor can help a broken Christian. In fact, it’s not unusual for a preacher, teacher or counselor to fail at helping broken Christians.
All of us need proper understanding, training & experience for the specific work before us. Having the appropriate Spiritual Gifts is certainly tantamount, as well.
Thus, a gifted, trained, experienced counselor may still lack adequate knowledge to help a broken Christian. That same talented counselor can also help scores of troubled Christians, yet be a terrible preacher or teacher.
Likewise, a powerful preacher or teacher may lack the ability to patiently deliver compassionate Biblical counsel, on a personal basis, and in a manner that compels a Christian toward change.
It is not for lack of desire, interest or effort that many ministers cannot help broken Christians; it is they simply do not understand how. That doesn’t make those ministers less credible in their other duties. Nor does it diminish their character.
We are not all gifted (Romans 12:6-8, I Corinthians 12:8-10, 1 Peter 4:11) nor trained & experienced for the same work. A great doctor of the human body can be a terrible mechanic “doctor” of automobiles, etc. etc.
That said, I am certain the failure of the helper is not due to a lack of desire to help or their earnestness in trying. Keep in mind, to help a broken Christian, it is first paramount to first distinguish between a true Healing Prayer candidate (broken Christian) and a troubled Christian.
Critics say that preaching, teaching, or counseling & prayer is all that is needed to help a broken Christian. When help is not successful, the blame must be placed on either the one receiving help (candidate – broken Christian) or on the one giving help (preacher, teacher or counselor).
In most cases of actual Healing Prayer candidates, I place the blame on the helper.
I arrive at that conclusion based on 30+ years of counseling within & without the walls of church buildings, countless interviews amongst both troubled & broken Christians, discussions with elders, pastors & counselors, continued studies, and general observance of the Church at work.
You may also find helpful my article: How I Learned About Healing Prayer
Finally, critics also say Healing Prayer does not appear in the Bible; they then conclude that Healing Prayer is not Biblical. That conclusion is typically based on the observation that the term, “Healing Prayer” is not in Scripture. Neither are the terms: Biblical counseling, Christian counseling, theology, missions, Rapture, Trinity, slain in the Spirit, transparency, relevant, etc. You may find helpful my article: Why Is It Called Healing Prayer?
That said, “prayer” and “meditation” does occur many times in Scripture. You may like to read my article: Is Healing Prayer Biblical?