Thursday 26 April 2012


You can be set free from bondages, emotional wounds and baggages to live a victorious Christian life—one filled with meaning, purpose and power.

Abrasiveness can be positive. It causes the oyster to produce a pearl. But this is not so in human relationships where offences are an inescapable reality. Either we offend others or we get hurt. Only those resting in the cemetery will never have to face offences anymore.

With offences, the tendency is to harbour unforgiveness, which is often associated with bitterness, resentment and anger. Unlike physical wounds which often respond well to medical treatment, emotional wounds often persist and can be crippling to believers.

Living under bondage to the past, believers miss out on God’s destiny for their lives. They are unable to come into the fullness of what God has in store for their lives and enter into the “Promised Land”. No wonder some have been described as the “walking wounded”.


Saved but broken

Gaspar Anastasi suffered from depression and once thought of killing himself.  His wife, Michele, was a poster child for bitterness, being raised by a mother who was physically and emotionally abusive. As a young couple, they faced an uphill struggle in their marriage. When they went to a marriage counsellor, he suggested that the best solution is for them to get a divorce on grounds of incompatibility. When Anastasi sought his pastor’s help, the answer was: “Maybe you don’t have enough faith.”

Young believers are often taught: “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new creation. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”(2 Corinthians 5:17). 

If that is so, Anastasi thought to himself, Why are so many like Michele and I still living in defeat? Why are we hurt and broken emotionally?

As he studied God’s word, it became clear to him that the ‘new creation’ refers to our born-again spirit, not every area of our lives. Like old plumbing, various aspects of our inner man still have to be fixed.  He soon realised that God isn’t just interested in getting us to heaven but restoring us completely so that we can live for His glory.

The godly principles he has learnt on his journey to freedom have enabled him to minister over the past 30 years. He pastored a church and later started a ministry of inner healing, Word of Life Ministries. As a couple, they also help restore broken marriages.


Unhealed trauma

Peter Horrobin, founder of Ellel Ministries, recounted how Lynda, 26, fell from a cliff and landed on the rocks below. Her spine was broken and subsequently she was registered as disabled and put on a lifetime pension.

Horrobin and his team shared with Lynda that Christ came to heal the broken-hearted (Isaiah 61:1). The word broken used in this verse means “shattered into separate pieces”. They prayed that God will expose the pain that lay in her heart. She instantly fell to the ground, lying there in the position she had been when she fell off the cliffshattered and traumatised. Helping her to relive the pain at the point of impact was a crucial part of the healing process. They spoke love and gentleness into her spirit and soul. They led her to forgive those who should have warned her of the danger. Then they anointed her with oil, praying for her physical healing.

Shortly after that, she went to the government office to discontinue the pension benefits as she was healed (earlier she had been certified by three doctors as being disabled for life). This amazing testimony illustrates the fact that the body cannot be fully healed while it is still reflecting on the pain brought on by unhealed trauma. Our mind, emotions and body are truly inextricably intertwined. It’s important to pray for the broken heart, not only the broken body.

Demolishing and Rebuilding

As we go through life, painful experiences will inevitably be etched in our memories. The human brain comprises 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) embedded in a mass of glial tissue. In many ways superior to a computer, the brain processes thousands of thoughts in a day. Whereas computers have a ‘delete’ function, there is no corresponding ‘erase’ button we can push to rid ourselves of unwanted and unpleasant memories in our brain. These memories continue to haunt us for a lifetime.

But no matter what burns in our memory, forgiveness is one of the important keys in overcoming our inner painforgiving the one who has wronged us. Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is an act of obedience on our part in response to God’s word. It does not mean we condone the act of injustice inflicted upon us. But we do it anyway. It not only restores our relationship with the one who offended us but also restores our fellowship with God. But most of all, we stand to benefit in many waysphysiologically and psychologically.

When we align ourselves with God’s word, that we are to forgive as we have been forgiven by Christ, we will experience release and healing. The world says, “You must get even. An eye for an eye.” But we have to demolish such thoughts, taking them captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). By doing so, we do not allow anger to fester (Ephesians 4:26) or bitterness to take root (Hebrews 12:15).

We are told to put off the old nature, put on the new nature and be renewed in the spirit of our minds (Ephesians 4:22-24).

God is like the Master Potter. When the lump of clay is deformed and unsightly, He crushes it and reshapes it. One way this is achieved is when the Holy Spirit brings a particular verse to our attention and applies itlike a balm or arrowto our lives. A balm soothes while an arrow convicts.

Initial Approach

The initial approach to inner healing is through prayer and counselling. Through a preliminary session of counselling, the counsellor will take a detailed history just like what a doctor does. Important traumatic events (including history from birth, childhood, school days, workplace and marriage) such as loss, abuse or rejection are recorded. 

Sometimes, to widen the scope of the inquiry, a questionnaire will be given as well for the counselee to fill up. According to what has been obtained from the history, and as the Holy Spirit directs, ministry team members will pray for the counselee, focusing on a few key areas.


Some cases will need to be referred to psychiatristsfor example, severe cases of depression and bipolar depression which are linked to chemical imbalance in the brain. Hence, the approach must take into account of the fact that man is a tripartite beingspirit, soul and body. “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until Christ comes again” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

When God ministered to the depressed prophet Elijah, He first told him to eat some food to strengthen his physical body. Later, He directed him to a cave and spoke to him in a ‘still small voice’, re-commissioning him for a new assignment. Both physical and spiritual refreshing were needed (1 Kings 19:8, 12).

Role of Holy Spirit

Whereas a heart attack can be diagnosed by an ECG, pinning down the cause of inner hurts is not so straightforward. Apart from love for the counselee, helpers must humbly depend on the Holy Spirit for wisdom to identify the root cause(s). Some have the spiritual gift of ‘word of knowledge’ which sheds light on the underlying cause (1 Corinthians 12:8 ) while others are given words of wisdom that they might know how to comfort the weary (Isaiah 50:4). As you can see, it’s a different ball game altogether, one where physical diagnostic tools will fail miserably.

Inner pain and hurts arise not only because someone sins or makes wrong choices. Sometimes it may be due to generational curses. In cases of sexual abuse, victims may fall prey to an evil spirit of lust and in turn abuse others.


Ministering as a team has its advantages as two is better than one. One asks questions while the other prays. In a multitude of counsellors, there is victory. There is opportunity for sharing, discussion and mutual encouragement. Furthermore, God promises His presence in their midst as they pray for the seeker. Counselling one-on-one with a member of the opposite sex is a definite no-no.

Those who feel called to this healing ministry are well advised to go for training. They should learn as an apprentice under the supervision of a ministry team.


The ministry of inner healing rests on the finished work of Christ at the cross. He came to heal the broken-hearted and set the captives free (Isaiah 61:1). He also came to destroy the works of Satan. “In this way, He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross” (Colossians 2:15).

While the emphasis and approach may vary with different ministries or organisations, the methods employed must not be contrary to the objective Word of God. We must be wary of healerseven if they are illustrious personalitieswho advocate a certain approach which works but is unscriptural.


Usually, through prayer and counselling, healing comes quietlywounds have been identified,  forgiveness and restoration follow. In dealing with cases of sexual promiscuity, the minister prays for ungodly soul ties to be broken as well. 
More on soul ties:

Sometimes, there is a need for deliverance from evil spirits. Confrontation with evil spirits may result in its manifestation, which may be loud, violent and protracted. When King Saul disobeyed God by not wiping out all the Amalekites, God removed His Spirit from him. This opened the door for an evil spirit to enter his life to torment him (1 Samuel 16:14-15).  When sin abounds, Satan begins to take advantage through the open door.

Evil spirits seem out of place in this sophisticated, highly technological age. However, we should neither emphasise them (see evil spirits lurking behind every bush) nor deny their existence. Many in deliverance ministry testify to the freedom that can be achieved through deliverance from evil spirits. Their dramatic case histories mirror that which happened to the demoniac who lived among the tombs. Violent and uncontrollable, he became sane and sound after his deliverance by Jesus (Mark 5: 2-5, 15).

Getting a sense of the power and reality of the spiritual worldmost of all, the authority of the name of Jesusis an awesome experience. Ministers of inner healing have privileged “ringside seats” of the raging battle between the spiritual forces of good and evil. But, just as Jesus warned his disciples, they must not be mesmerised by the fact that demons are subject to them, but rather rejoice that their names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).


To consolidate the gains made though restoration, those who have been set free need to be disciplined. The spiritual disciplines they have to work out in their lives include Bible study, prayer, worship and meditation. Keeping in fellowship with other believers, memorising and verbalising God’s word (“speak to the mountain” and affirm the truth) are important keys to walking in freedom and “maintaining” the victory (Philippians 2:12).

Even the apostle Paul had to discipline himself so as not to be disqualified in the race (1 Corinthians 9:26-27). It is a process called sanctification, which is ongoing and will not end till the day we leave this earth (Philippians 3:12-13).

Joshua decisively led the Israelites across the river Jordan but taking possession of the Promised Land is a step-by-step process, a journey. Positionally, we are “brand new” at conversion. But a lot of “internal work” still needs to be done.

Joy of Ministry

Ministers of inner healing find fulfillment in seeing lives being transformedthe hurting get healed and captives are set free. They are glad they can be co-workers with God in getting people back on track.

Many like Anastasiwho have been healed withinhave embarked on a ministry to set others free. They do it because they are convinced inner healing works and they want to share their freedom with others.

Compared to The Great Commission, inner healing may not be a “big thing” as far as the church’s agenda is concerned. Nevertheless, it has a crucial role to play in setting God’s people free and moving them into their God-appointed destinies.

The above article was first published in Asian Beacon, issue 43.5, October 2011.


  1. Dr. I think this article by you is excellent and open my mind a lot. As a rejoinder to my earlier discussion on transgender homosexuality, Lesbians etc. You have in your articles considered them "In dealing with cases of sexual promiscuity, the minister prays for unholy soul ties to be broken as well". Do you think they are what they are because of demonic possession and needs the remedy as you have described in Mark 5: 2-5, 15 or they are merely unholy souls that requires sanctification.
    On the other hand can we treat them as handicapped as in " “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until Christ comes again” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)."
    Your views on this Dr.

  2. Dear John, For a basic introduction to unholy SOUL TIES please check out: