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From trauma to healing

At Christian Healing Ministries, we pray to set people free from the effects of painful memories and experiences. When a painful experience becomes trauma, how do we deal with that?

There are two types of trauma. “Trauma A” is what was missing in the family; maybe the person experienced neglect, abandonment and lack of love. “Trauma B” is the overt action or abuse, which may include verbal, physical or sexual abuse. When I first starting studying about Trauma A and Trauma B, it seemed like outright physical abuse (Trauma B) would be harder to heal — but that is often not true. Trauma A is more difficult because of the dilemma of how to give someone something they have never received.

As a young therapist, I vividly remember sitting in the hospital with a patient, looking at them and thinking that they were dealt a bad hand. How are they ever going to have those missing things replaced? No matter how much you love them and care for them, it didn’t seem to help. It was just like pouring liquid into a pot that had a crack. Even if they had a great experience in prayer, they would often come back in need of more healing.

Some people need to be healed in community. In a fellowship of healthy relationships, love and acceptance can increase inner capacity — the ability to face painful memories. If a person can’t see Jesus in a memory or feel loved and supported in a memory, it can re-traumatize them. When the person has reached a certain level of capacity and attunement, then we pray for inner healing. A loving community is one of the wonderful ways God brings healing.

Another great discovery that the Holy Spirit has given us is soaking prayer. Francis, my husband, coined that term because when you lay hands on someone and pray physical healing, you hold them in the light of healing love. As you lay hands on someone to pray, ask permission first, and make sure it is lightly on their back or shoulders so the person feels comfortable. You may want to play soft worship music and allow people to sit in God’s presence. Now you want to soak them in God’s love. It is like God’s radiation therapy — His light and love and power coming in to them.

Soaking prayer is one of the ways that we build capacity. We won’t even allow people to tell us their problems if we sense that there is a really low capacity there, if they are not ready. Learn from the Holy Spirit when is the best time to pray. It is important that the person is in the stage of life where they can say “yes” to God. God’s timing is so important.

Another thing that we have learned at CHM is that when trauma happens to a person, it sometimes opens the door to the demonic in their life. Spirits of trauma don’t really involve the person’s will because the trauma was done against them. We simply bind the spirits of trauma, command them to be silent and pray for inner healing through the Holy Spirit.

One of my favorite scriptures is in Luke 8, the story of the man with a legion of demons. This man didn’t know who Jesus was. He hadn’t been over in Capernaum and Nazareth, or Jerusalem. It says that he was locked away in a graveyard, cutting himself, naked and screaming all day long. Then he sees a man get out of a boat, and he runs to Him, and he falls at His feet.

Then Jesus interviews him. “How long have you been this way? What is it like?” I’m sure that these weren’t the only questions — these were just the ones recorded in the scriptures. Then the demons start to bargain with Jesus. They said, “Can we go into the pigs?” He said, “Well, you will probably get me in trouble, but okay.” (This is, of course, a paraphrase!)

Remember, after the man was healed, the whole village came out and asked Jesus to leave. Their winter food supply had just been killed in the water. The very best part of the story is that it shows Jesus’ authority over the demonic realm. Remember that it is His authority over sickness, trauma, and disease. How remarkable it was that the man was sitting at the feet of Jesus in his right mind!

Use the healing power of affirmation. Start affirming life and goodness in people. Love people, listen to them and pray for them. Ask God to show you the true self that is in a person, because that is the one that we are calling forth, not that false self. That one has to go! Jesus healed with a touch and word and He still heals today!

For more than 40 years, Judith MacNutt has been one of the most recognized and respected leaders in the healing ministry. She and her late husband, Francis, co-founded Christian Healing Ministries, Inc. (Jacksonville, Fl.), a Christ-centered, ecumenical and non-profit ministry that is dedicated to the practice and teaching of healing prayer. Judith has traveled the world teaching about the love of Jesus Christ and the power and effectiveness of healing prayer. She is also the author of many books. For more information about Christian Healing Ministries, please visit their website at or ring them at (907) 765-3332.

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The Carolina Compass is designed to appeal to the faithful as well as the seeker, giving historical windows into church life and showing the hands and feet of the faithful doing good works in their communities. We shall also shine a light on worldwide persecution of Christians and how we can support the faithful. A wide variety of perspectives on faith, mission work and healing will be inside the paper. Christian correspondents come from all over the globe and up and down our coast.
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