Destructive relationships bruise the human heart. And the heart stores the pain of these wounds deep in the memory even for a lifetime. The Good News is Jesus brought forgiveness for sins and healing for the whole body, mind, and spirit. His sacrifice was not incomplete.
My daily confession is I am bought, paid for, ransomed, and redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
We can hear Jesus ministering healing to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well by showing her he knew her past.
“Go, call your husband and come back.”
“I have no husband,” she replied.
“You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have said is quite true" (NIV: John 4:16-18).
As a couple we shared the healing news of Jesus with members of our prayer group in Philadelphia. Around a flowery tablecloth at the suburban kitchen table of one couple, Mary and I chatted away, sharing our wondrous experiences in the Lord.
However, every time I began talking about God's work, the attentive, curly-haired wife strangely started to tear.
"What's wrong? Are you ill? Do you have pain?" She only burst into tears, wiping her eyes, unable to speak.
"No," smiled her husband, a bit more perceptive. "Your talk about the Lord affects her."
Some religious leaders of the day strongly objected to this inner healing and the manifestation of tears. But even Jesus ministered healing to Peter's three denials after the Resurrection. On the beach he re-affirmed Peter three times.
“Simon, son of John, do you truly love me?
“Yes, Lord, you know that I love you. (Peter replied.)
“Take care of my sheep" (NIV: John 21:15-17).
Mary and I attended a conference in Philadelphia with a teaching on the healing of the memories by Evangelist Ruth Carter Stapleton, sister to President Jimmy Carter.
In the conference, this beautiful lady described from the podium the wonders of God. The Holy Spirit's presence flowed through some two thousand people all across the congregation as she talked. Ruth prayed for the memories of those present, and people throughout the huge auditorium worshiped uninhibitedly and cried unashamed.
My wife, Mary, standing on my right side, cried laying her head on my right shoulder. The tall, short-haired lady on my left, a stranger, laid her head on my left shoulder. In a moment of relief, she spoke to my wife.
"I hope you don't mind if I borrow your husband's shoulder?" she asked.
"No, not at all," said my wife. "This prayer is so beautiful."
“As the person recalls a hurtful incident in his or her life,” Ruth spoke from the stage, “in your ministering prayer, see Jesus present with the persons involved. And picture how Jesus ministers to them so lovingly. Jesus tells us he is always with us. Is this so hard to believe?”
She went on.
“In a case of serious damage, picture yourself climbing into God's lap as 'Daddy-God, Abba.' And receive his healing love. No situation is impossible with God. We must minister the healing truth of the scriptures.”
Our psychologist friend, Jesuit Bob McDougall, a charismatic, once explained his observations to me.
"I served as a psychologist for twenty-three years in the Canadian prison wards," he said. "And I never saw anyone completely healed. Now, in the Holy Spirit's anointing, I see people wonderfully healed. Normally, approaching such levels of emotional healing would take months or even years of counseling."
A lady in our prayer group severely suffered from her husband's past abuse, betrayal, and recent divorce. We'll call her Janet. I asked Janet if she would like prayers for inner healing.
“I cannot tell you how awful it is,” said Janet. “It is like my life is over. There is nothing left for me. I never planned such a thing. My heart has been ripped from me and stomped on.”
Mary supported us in prayer. In Janet's living room, I gently led her through the memories even of her early childhood to her later marriage. Graciously, the anointing presence of the Holy Spirit soaked us. In each situation she recalled a significant hurt. Janet allowed Jesus to touch each memory one-by-one through prayer.
Afterwards, this healing relief so excited her, she joyously proclaimed it to her church and to her friends and family.
“The church is talking about it,” said one gray-haired lady. “Janet's personality is completely changed. She is laughing and joyous to everyone she meets. She's telling all about her healing.”
She reminded me of the woman at Jacob's Well.
“Then leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 'Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ'?" (NIV: John 4: 28-29).
Today, I think, we seriously underestimate the healing power of prayer for our hurting world. It's so easy to say --
“May I pray with you?”
(#6 True Story in series: Life is 100 Million Miracles.)
Thank you for this! I believe that God is in the healing business, even today. Jesus wants to heal ALL of our pain, so that we can give Him the glory. When ever I cry in church I know the Holy Spirit is near.
Let the tears roll. . . Amen