Jesus has come to heal the inside as well as the outside! In my walk with the Lord since childhood and having been in full-time vocational ministry for over 45 years, I found that one of the most common needs among believers and non-believers alike is the need for inner healing. I have needed Jesus to heal my wounded spirit and broken heart in different seasons of my life. I am sure that you can relate.
Scripture often uses the terms “heart” and “spirit” interchangeably. One thing for sure; we each need to tend to the condition of our heart, because out of it flow the issues of life. Let’s get healed up on the inside now so we will not blow up later when pressures of life increase. So go on a journey with me into this sensitive and greatly needed subject of healing the wounded spirit.
Primary Scriptures to Consider:
- Proverbs 18:14: “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?”
- Proverbs 15:13: “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”
- Proverbs 14:10—”The heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy.”
Hurt, Wounded, Rejected
In the realm of your emotions, you may feel stepped on, overlooked, crushed, bruised and as if your life has gone out of you.
Quote from John Wimber of the Vineyard Movement
While sickness of the spirit is caused by what we do, sickness of the emotions is generally caused by what is done to us. It grows out of the hurts done to us by other persons or some experience we have been exposed to in the past. These hurts affect us in the present, in the form of bad memories and weak or wounded emotions. This in turn leads us into various forms of sin, depression, a sense of worthlessness and inferiority, unreasoning fears and anxieties, psychosomatic illnesses, etc. Included in this are the present-day effects of the sins of the parents in the bloodline of a person. Thus, healing of past hurts touches the emotions, the memories and the person’s bloodline.
Quote from John and Paula Sandford of the Elijah House
“Christian healing comes then not by making a broken thing good enough to work, but by delivering us from the power of that broken thing so that it can no longer rule us, and by teaching us to trust His righteousness to shine in and through that very thing. Those who are healing by restoring the self-image are causing people to trust in something repaired in the flesh, a practice reshaped in their old carnal nature, doomed sooner or later to failure. Whereas the Lord heals by leaving the broken part right in place, overcoming it by its nature. Our trust as Christians can only always be solely in His righteousness in us, as us, for us!”
Experts Tend to Agree on Certain Things
People have problems that sometimes remain untouched by conversion, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Bible study and personal prayer and devotional life.
Hidden in the recesses of the subconscious mind are hurts and wounds that are surrounded by feelings that still adversely affect people in the present.
The focus of healing of past hurts is to release those hurtful memories in such a way that they no longer have a negative effect on a person’s present or future experience. This is primarily done through the act of forgiveness.
Receiving and Releasing Forgiveness
From Luke 4:18 (author’s paraphrase)—Jesus came to “heal the brokenhearted and set at liberty those who are bruised.” You must acknowledge that Jesus took your pain and carried your sorrows. “See Me,” says the Lord!
Turn on the Search Light of God’s Spirit
Jesus called the Holy Spirit the finger of God. Let the Lord specifically point out the bitterness, hurts, wounds and rejections.
Don’t conjure things up. Let Him who sees and knows all bring hurts to your remembrance. Pray something like: “Father, in Jesus’ name, by the power of the Holy Spirit, please place into my mind the names of people from my life (from childhood to the present) that I need to forgive.”
Forgive, Forgive, Forgive
“Father, in Jesus’ name I forgive ________________________.”
- The Effects of Unforgiveness (Matthew 18)
- The servant asked for an extension of time, but the master had mercy and forgave the whole debt.
- That servant did not understand, but instead left the master and began to extract from fellow a servant the debts he owed in order to pay back the debt he thought he still owed.
- The master became aware of the servant’s behavior and put him in prison to be tormented.
- The result of unforgiveness is, in essence, torment.
What Is Involved in Forgiving Someone?
Forgiveness is a decision based on an act of the will. It involves:
- Recognizing that I’ve been totally forgiven.
- Releasing the person who wounded me from the debt they owe me for the offense.
- Accepting the person who wounded me as they are and releasing them from the responsibility of having to meet my needs.
“Lord, I forgive (name of person) for (specifics). I take authority over the enemy, and in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of His resurrection life, I take back the ground I have allowed Satan to gain in my life because of my attitude with (name). I now choose to give this ground back to my Lord Jesus Christ.”
Exercising Authority in Jesus’ Name
Breaking the Power of Inherited Family Spiritual Conditions
On numerous occasions, we have found people who are the victims of their parents’ sin and excesses. We have encountered families that have had a history of alcoholism, sexual perversion, child molestation and other types of social and emotional abuse. After breaking the power of inherited family and spiritual conditions, we have seen these social behaviors altered, and in a large majority of cases, entirely eliminated. This is true when we are able to minister to the victim as well as the perpetrator of the abuse. I might add that it is almost always in conjunction with other types of therapy.
(For reference, see Num. 14:18; Ex. 20:3-5, 34:7; Jer. 32:18; Lam. 5:7; Lev. 26:39-40; Neh. 9:2, 16; Deut. 5:9; 2 Chron. 29:3-9.)
The Place of Personal Repentance
- You must turn from any anger or bitterness toward the person who has wounded you and receive forgiveness from God (John 20:23).
- You must recognize your own responsibility and choice in responding and reacting to the hurt by choosing any self-image that is non-biblical and destructive. By repenting from the sin of faulty self-perception, you will open the way for a new image to be formed according to God’s Word (Rom. 12:1-2).
- You must forgive yourself. Pray a simple prayer such as: “Dear Lord, You have forgiven me and forgotten my sin. I am not higher than You. Therefore, I choose to forgive and release myself and to forget my sin. With Your blood, wash away my guilt and shame and even the remembrance of my sin, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
- You must forgive and release God Himself. Pray a simple prayer such as: “God, I know that You are holy and cannot sin. You do all things well. My attitude toward You has been one of questioning and bitterness. This is sin. I repent of it. Wash it out of me with Your blood. I realize evil comes from Satan, not from You. Forgive me for blaming You for any of the works of the enemy. I can and do trust you with my life. I trust that You will cause all things to work together for good in my life. Thank you for your abounding love and mercy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
You Are a Product of Your Decisions
The power of a free will and free choice is a great gift from God! “Choose today whom you will serve” (Josh. 24:15b). What happens to you in life is not as important as how you respond to your circumstances. Victims blame others. Victors take personal responsibility for their decisions and reactions and get back to winning in life! You cannot change your past, but you can change its impact on your present and future.
Renew Your Mind!
You must renew your mind on a regular basis through worship, Bible study, meditation and praying in the Spirit (Rom. 12:1-2).
Walk with Caring Members of the Body of Christ
It is important to walk with other committed members of the body of Christ to experience ongoing growth. This will help in bringing continued healing to past hurts and restore your faith, hope and love. Love steps out on a limb and is vulnerable.
Major on Your New Nature in Christ
To keep a healthy, biblical balance (and avoid a negative and introverted attitude caused by an overemphasis on inner healing) focus on your new nature in Christ. The Biblical depiction of your new nature will always give you a truer, more real and trustworthy evaluation than that provided by your own weaknesses, fears, anger, memories and so on—not to mention the accuser of the brethren! (Refer to Rom. 8:1-2, 28:35; Eph. 4:20-24; Rev, 12:11; Gal. 2:20).
Praise the Lord!
Restore the gate of praise. Give an offering of thanksgiving. Jesus has healed your broken heart!
Prayer of Blessing and Thanksgiving
“Father God, thank You for sending Jesus to heal the brokenhearted and set at liberty those who are bruised. I am so grateful for the power of the blood of Jesus to forgive and cleanse me. Thank You for the gift of free choice and that every day can be the first day of a new life. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me. Thank You for all Your amazing benefits! Yes, I will praise Your holy name from this time forth and forever more! Amen and Amen.”
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Dr. James W. Goll is the president of God Encounters Ministries, formerly known as Encounters Network, and has founded numerous ministries, including Prayer Storm and Women on the Frontlines. He is a member of the Harvest International Ministries apostolic team and an instructor in the Wagner Leadership Institute and Christian Leadership University.