Heart-Healing Prayer Defined

“Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray.” –Psalm 5: 2

 “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” –Romans 8: 26B

 “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” –Jude 20


Conventional counseling, unlike heart-healing prayer ministry, does not consider prayer to be the focal point of treatment. Most professional counselors do not call upon God openly and directly in sessions with their clients, but inner healing is centered on connecting to God through prayer.

Heart-healing prayer can be defined as simply cooperating with the Lord to let Him cure or remove from the inner nature whatever is blocking the flow of the Holy Spirit in one’s life. It is a ministry that addresses relational brokenness, bringing people by God’s Spirit to confront issues from their distant or recent past. It deals with emotional pain and injury that has been covered up or otherwise hidden, and is the process by which the Spirit takes us back to the source of the wounding, allowing Jesus Christ to heal and transform.

We believe that God’s existence is tied to relationship. Indeed, the eternal triune One has never existed apart from relationship. Jesus Himself, when he walked on Earth, based all His actions on communication with the Father, doing nothing on His own (John 8: 28). Jesus’ statement on the summation of all the Law is completely based on relationship—“…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22: 37-40).

This declaration contains every area of relational healing—our restoration to loving union with God, with ourselves, and with others as ourselves. Because love is at the center of God’s nature (God IS Love), all healing occurs in that context. Therefore, we consider sacred our interactions with those who come to us for heart ministry.

The depth of honesty and transparency we show people is a function of the capacity to trust God’s validation of our lives by His love alone. Without the security of God’s undeserved love for us, we are unable to let go of the twin needs to seek approval and perform for acceptance. Our very integrity is dependent upon the ability to rest in God’s love.

We see each sufferer in social context, because interpersonal relationships are foundationally woven into the reality of everyone’s life (Genesis 1: 26). Connections with extended family or community fulfill our inborn hunger to be seen and affirmed by loving others. Without that fellowship, no person can become fully human.

The ultimate goal in heart-healing prayer is first reconnection with God Himself, then with others, and with separated parts of ourselves that we have hidden from view. This comes through the entry of the healing Light and Life of Christ to dark places in our nature. These “spaces of separation” from His life are by definition areas of sin and death, because sin IS separation from God, and death is the ultimate separation from His presence (“Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”-Romans 8: 2).

Heart-healing prayer for us has much more to do with encouragement than it does with knowing all the details of someone’s situation or telling him what he “should” do. If we are viewing with admiration the size of our heads, we will have a difficult time being sensitive to the true needs of the one receiving prayer, and will find it next to impossible to release the direction of the prayer time to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We adamantly believe in coming to Christ each time we meet, with no preplanned agenda or manufactured goals.

Unless we can surrender to His leading in each session, we will be unable to be used as He wills in reaching out to the person. Instead, we will seek to influence the person based on our analysis of the situation, even though for whatever reason she may not be ready to go the way we think best. In that case, all the information we give will not help. In fact, it may have the opposite effect of discouraging and shaming her because our expectation feels like too much; or in the case of a promise from God, just too unbelievable to receive.

Faith starts as a grain of mustard seed and grows God’s way and in God’s schedule for every single person. We have no way to know His timing, except as the Holy Spirit gives discernment and sensitivity according to His will. None of it is about us. It is all about God. We are simply ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5: 20), making God’s appeal for reconciliation to Him. Heart-healing prayer sessions are thus seen as encounters with the living Lord Christ. Because of this, all involved experience progressive growth—the counselor as well as the recipient of ministry.

Here is a picture of heart-healing prayer: An adult person is crouched alone behind a carefully built rock wall. He has mortared together many different-shaped stones and formed a thick, seemingly impenetrable barrier to the outside world. On the other side and hidden from view, Jesus with some friends seek to reach the person by calling to him, asking his help in removing the wall. As section-by-section is pulled down, the friends and Jesus, together with the one who was crouched in hiding, are revealed to one another. Every hindering brick that is removed represents an act of evangelism; the concealed person is more and more exposed to Jesus’ outstretched arms.

In heart-healing prayer we want to be Jesus’ friends, people He has invited to serve the suffering by helping Him take down walls of separation. Like the disciples, we are “sent out” to take the message of relationship with Christ. For all of us, the journey to wholeness is a continuous process of moving ever closer to His presence.