What is Theophostic Prayer Ministry?
Counseling Disclaimer: Theophostic Prayer Ministry (TPM) is not counseling, but rather prayer ministry. A Theophostic Prayer Ministry facilitator should never lead, guide or direct the session in any manner. He should never diagnose, give advice, offer personal opinion, counsel, provide steps of action (all of which have value in the right context), but rather allow the person to have a genuine encounter with the presence of Christ. If the ministry facilitator ever does anything to move the ministry session in any direction that he thinks it should go, then he is no longer doing Theophostic Prayer Ministry.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry does not seek to replace good biblical counseling. Christian counseling has great value in the counseling context. Theophostic Prayer Ministry is focused on identifying the lie-based core belief that we harbor and seeking the Lord in prayer to receive his counsel through the presence of the Holy spirit.Theophostic Prayer is a ministry of prayer. If you are seeking Christian mental health care please seek out a Christian mental health care provider in your area.
The following links will get you started in learning about Theophostic Prayer Ministry. For a more intensive overview be sure to read through the links found in the General Information and Frequently Asked Question areas of this site.
TPM is Christ Centered Prayer
Basic Principles of Theophostic Prayer
General Thoughts About TPM
Biblical Principles for TPM
Live Interview from Dr. Tim Clinton (AACC President) and Ed Smith
Download Free (3 Chapters) of Introductory Book on
We are glad that you are searching out for yourself what is actually taught concerning this ministry. Some people take at face value the opinions of others without searching out a matter themselves. You are encouraged to study carefully what is presented on this website and in the printed training materials.
Christian Research Institute (CRI) took the time to enter into dialogue with us and made this statement after over two years of dialogue;
"After an exhaustive evaluation, CRI detects nothing unbiblical about the core theory and practice of Theophostic Prayer Ministry (TPM). The theory is elegant in its profound simplicity, and the anecdotal reports of its effectiveness in practice justify further investigation; "...CRI finds nothing inconsistent with Scripture in TPM's core theory and practice. It certainly fits the biblical worldview to hold that believing lies oppresses or injures people and replacing those lies with truth frees or heals them. The theory that the emotional pain that haunts so many people's lives (including Christians) is rooted in false beliefs associated with past experiences rather than the experiences themselves seems elegant in its profound simplicity, and the proposal that Satan is often the source of those lies while Jesus supplies the truth that dispels them is again consistent with Scripture (e.g., John 8:44; 14:6; 18:37). This emphasis on conforming one's beliefs to truth is entirely biblical (Ps. 43:3; 51:6; Prov. 23:23; 1 Cor. 13:6; Eph. 4:14–15, 25; 5: 8; 6:1411), and the complete dependence on Christ in ministry to the hurting that TPM advocates, to the point of giving Him the central place in that ministry, is commendable at least in concept and warrants consideration..."
(Click here to read the full report).
TPM is Christ Centered Prayer
The TPM Basic Training Seminar Manual defines TPM as, "Intentional and focused prayer with the desired outcome of an authentic encounter with the presence of Christ, resulting in mind renewal and subsequent transformed life."
Theo (God) Phostic (light) is a ministry of prayer that is Christ centered and God reliant for its direction and outcome. Simply stated, it is encouraging a person to discover and expose what he believes that is a falsehood; and then encouraging him to have an encounter with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit in prayer, thus allowing the Lord to reveal His truth to the wounded person's heart and mind. It is not about the prayer facilitator advice giving, diagnosing problems, or sharing opinions or insight. It is about allowing a person to have a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus in the midst of the person's emotional pain. It is the Holy Spirit that leads us into all truth and that it is He that intercedes for us in prayer to the Father. The Apostle desired to "know Him" (Phil. 3:10) and experience Him; "Him" being the person of Jesus.
Some might suggest that we can only have a relationship with God by way of the Bible through growing in deeper knowledge. I believe that knowledge is very important and Bible study a necessity, but knowledge alone "puffeth up" (1 Cor. 14:1). How ever a person enters into this relational knowledge of Christ, whether it be through biblical counseling, preaching and teaching, personal prayer time, etc or during a Theophostic Prayer session, encountering Christ in His Word, brings the Word to life in the heart of the believer. Theophostic Prayer seeks to know Christ experientially and relationally.
At the same time it does NOT seek to replace any of the Christian disciplines such as, biblical counseling, teaching, preaching, intercessory prayer, fasting or personal Bible study. It has never been suggested Theophostic Prayer is THE way or only way to know Christ intimately, but only one way that people may experience Him.
Feelings Generally Match What One Believes
Emotional Pain is Often Rooted in Lies Harbored in Experience.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry recognizes that the emotional pain one experiences in the present is often coming from a lie contained in an earlier experiential source. If the emotional pain is being generated by a lie rooted in earlier faulty thinking, true release of the emotional pain in the present will not likely occur unless the person is able to identify this falsehood and receive God's perspective.
Life experience provides us with an interpretive grid of knowledge we will carry forward.
When I have a negative emotional response in the present, it can probably be traced back to a core belief harbored in an earlier event. In this earlier event a belief was established that is generating a negative emotion in the present. My present feelings are generally indicative of what I have believed. If a person will focus on the emotion he is feeling during a present tense situation and allow his mind to connect him with its source, he will usually find himself remembering an earlier event that carries the same emotion. This is due to the belief that was harbored in the earlier event is transposing its emotion into the present where the same belief is being applied.
A common accusation heard during a marital conflict is "You are just like my father, mother, brother, school teacher, etc..." What is happening here is the lies and their corresponding emotions that were embraced in earlier times are surfacing in the current relationship.
When life happens around us we may become emotionally stirred by what occurs. These lies make up the experiential knowledge we harbor that we learned in a life moment that we have carried forward as a perpetual interpretive grid for understanding and interpreting each new life experience. We call this belief core belief. For example if little Johnny is told repeatedly by his Father, "You are worthless" Johnny may embrace this belief as truth and carry this experiential knowledge forward even in spite of the fact the he later memorizes the verses that says he is loved of God and has great worth in His sight. Johnny may also react defensively every time anyone questions his behavior or criticizes his efforts. The lie "I am worthless" will likely raise its ugly head over and over each time he is reminded of it. Piling more truth on top of this lie may not have much impact. A buried/hidden lie or sin will tend to come back around in due season. Both must be owned and identified and brought to the Lord.
Simultaneously as we are embracing lie-based interpretations through early experience, we are also gathering up logical truth what we are taught, read, memorize and learn from example. This logical truth became the "law" that we will seek to obey and conform our behavior to. However, each time the experiential knowledge is "triggered" the pain of the past comes forward into our present situation and stands in conflict with what we logically know to do. Herein a battle is inevitable.
For example, a man might come home from work and ask his wife in innocent curiosity, what she had done all day and be met with defensive hostility. In this moment the wife is feeling and acting upon what she believes in that moment. Theophostic Prayer Ministry seeks to identify any lie-based thinking that is causing emotional pain in a person's present life and encourage the person to bring this thinking to Christ for His truth perspective.
Struggles Come from Conflicting Beliefs.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry understands our behavior to result from choices we make based both upon what we logically believe to be true and what we experientially believe to be true. If these beliefs are in agreement, we experience peace and calm as we go about everyday life, we find it easy to be led by the Spirit, and we experience the fruit of the Spirit called self-control. If, however, these beliefs are in conflict, we will experience unrest and struggle. The Bible calls this being double-minded (James 1:8) or holding opposing beliefs at the same time. Struggling to act according to what we logically believe (obedience) and against what we experientially believe (lies) is not functioning in Spirit-led self-control but "trying to climb up some other way." Theophostic Prayer Ministry's solution is to identify and expose (confession) what we believe that is contrary to the truth and offer this thinking up to the Lord to be rescued from this struggle through receiving His truth.
Failure to successfully maintain strict obedience to logical truth we hold happens because a person is often strongly motivated by the emotion he feels in any given moment. What we feel is a strong motivation in the choices we make moment to moment. When the experiential knowledge or core belief (which is the primary source of our emotional state) is contrary to our logical belief (biblical truth) we will experience an inner conflict. For example, if I feel very anxious or worried I tend to act this out. TPM believes that strong emotion primarily comes from experiential knowledge (mental information derived from what we have actually experienced) and not from logical truth (data believed as truth but never realized through experience). This experiential knowledge can be lie-based, and when it is, it produces painful emotions such as fear, worry, anxiety, and depression to name a few. Theophostic Prayer Ministry's focus is the renewal of the mind at the experiential level of consciousness. Theophostic Prayer Ministry seeks to expose and dispel the lies producing this pain so people will no longer be double-minded and can walk in the truth more easily.
Can we really put our past behind us?
It is very important that we never allow our past to dictate what we do or do not do in the present tense. Our past is no excuse for our current behavior or choices. We are not victims of our past. However, to say we can just put it all behind us and think that it will just go away, not impact or influence us, and somehow leave us alone is wishful thinking.
The truth is, our past is behind us. It is called memory. The question is what we will do with the memory that we have no option but carry. Those who suggest just putting it behind generally choose to suppress it, deny it, block it out and refuse to allow it to creep into conscious awareness. The problem is, no matter how deep we bury it and even should we forget where it is hidden, it knows where we live and revisits us in our dysfunctions, marital rifts, and through other relational sabotage. All of our present behavior is linked to our thinking. All thought is connected to what we know and have learned. Everything we know we received in experience. All experience is in the past and therefore a memory. This makes cleaning up our memories of lie-based thought a crucial part of what we do if we are to be "transformed (changed) by the renewing of our minds" (Rom. 12:2) Some people pride themselves in their ability to "rise above" their past basing their success in their ability to achieve and perform in spite of their past. This is commendable but it really does little to deal with the lie-based thinking that is held at the core level in their thinking. Our core beliefs remain intact no matter how well we perform. Sometimes our performance is actually the outcome of us running from and avoiding the pain that is held in our past. Not everything we call spiritual is always that.
A Common Mis-use of the Philippians 3 Passage
We sometimes hear people say you should "put the past behind you" misusing the Philippians 3 passage to support this thinking. "forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead..." (3:13). The context of this passage is not referring to Paul's painful past but was referring to putting his past efforts in self righteousness behind him.
The Apostle Paul was not referring to painful past memories when he said, "forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead" (Phil. 3:13), but rather he was referring to his former acts of self-righteousness. He called his past efforts in self-righteousness a pile of dung. It was these ways of acting that he was putting behind him because he had come to see them as worthless acts of self-righteousness. People who quote this verse to get us to deny what we feel and "forget" our painful past are not allowing it to be interpreted in its proper context. Re-read verses 1-12 of this passage in its context to see what the Apostle was describing. Let the passage say what it says and nothing more. To use this passage to support suppression and denial is not good biblical interpretation.
Putting the past behind us is both practically and neurologically impossible.
Some say we should put the past behind us by not thinking about it any longer and by pressing forward to what lies ahead. It would be great if this was actually possible, but practically and neurologically it cannot be done. If what people mean is just choose to not be influenced by your past and block out any troubling painful memory, then this is simply suppression and denial and not anything spiritual. Every thought in our mind comes from our history. God designed our minds to draw from the historical information stored in our minds. It is designed to work well unless the information is flawed with lies. This is why the mind needs to be renewed. To just not think about it is to live in suppression and denial and to keep the lies we harbor hidden. There is a more profitable solution and that is to own our past, identify the lies that are at the root of the pain and find truth from the Word of God and by listening to the communication of the Holy Spirit.
The past is a wealth of knowledge that has great benefit when it is lie-free. The truth is, all that I have is my past and a tiny moment in time we call the present. Everything that I have in my mind is memory, and every emotion that I feel is connected to some aspect of my thinking, which is based on memory (unless the emotion is due to a bio-chemical problem). To "put my past behind me" in the sense of trying not to think about the past is to fight against how God has created my mind to operate. Putting my past behind me is a program of controlled behavior that is self-reliant and dependent upon my efforts in maintaining it. Anytime self-effort is the power source, defeat is often just around the corner.
Self-effort was never God's solution for overcoming sin that is motivated by lie-based thinking nor is His solution to lie-based thought denial of its existence.
Genuine renewal does not come from building strong logical defenses against the lies, or from embarking on a program of suppressing behavior motivated by lie-based emotions. Just choosing not to think about our past does not provide any long-term solution to our lie-based pain. This emotional pain is coming from the lies in our history, not the history itself. Rather than not think about the memory event, we can choose to identify what it is in the event (the lie) that is causing the problem and find His truth. It is this lie harbored in the memory that is in need of renewal. True release comes from being set free from the lies that motivate sinful behavior. This is why Theophostic Prayer Ministry can be helpful for emotionally wounded people—the process opens the way for the Holy Spirit to replace their lies and pain with truth and peace.
Not All Negative Emotion is Lie-based; Some is Truth-Based
Theophostic Prayer Ministry recognizes that there are some negative emotions that are not lie-based but actually truth-based. Such feelings as disappointment, grief, sadness, regret and anger are often rooted in truth. If you were to ask a survivor of sexual abuse why they may be angry, they might respond with, "Because what he did was wrong!" This would be the truth. However, if what I feel is fear, shame, abandonment, etc., this is lie-based. Theophostic Prayer Ministry sees it as important for a person to find freedom from both lie-based and truth-based emotional pain since we are commanded by the Word of God to "cast all of our burdens on Him" (1 Peter 5:7). However, truth-based emotions are biblically righteous, whereas emotions such as anxiety, worry, fear, and feelings of abandonment are not, since we are told to "Be anxious for nothing" (Phil. 4:6), "fear not" (Matt. 10:31), and to know that He is with us always so we cannot be abandoned (Matt. 28:20), etc. The TPM facilitator is trained to know the difference between lie-based and truth-based emotion and how to deal with each accordingly.
Unless a person encounters Christ (through His Holy Spirit) his or her life will not change. Genuine transformation is a work of Christ in us not the outcome of our own performance.
Most of what we call spiritual is nothing more than what any unbeliever could do if they just set their mind to it. Transformation of one's life is a result of the inner working of the Holy Spirit. Theophostic Prayer Ministry recognizes the futility of trying to talk a person out of his experiential false belief and talking him into a new belief system, and acknowledges that apart from a realization of truth from the Holy Spirit nothing significant will ever happen. People can tell people the truth but unless the Holy Spirit moves it into the heart of the person it remains only words spoken. (What occurs in a Theophostic prayer session is the same thing that occurs in one's private prayer and meditation on the Word of God. The Holy Spirit moves the truth from the head to the heart.)
Unless a person encounters Christ through the Holy Spirit his life will not change. This does not invalidate the necessity of discipleship, Bible study or biblical instruction but rather points out the need for balance between this and having experiential moments with God. Knowledge of God with the absence of "knowing" God experientially and relationally is meaningless. Theophostic Prayer is one way that this is partially accomplished.
Transformation Follows Mind Renewal.
In Romans 12:2 we are told to "be transformed by the renewal of our minds." This means that there are things that we believe that need to be replaced with truth. We cannot have a change of heart about the lies we believe and embrace the truth He has for us, if we are unwilling to look back to what we believe. And everything that we believe is located in the context of experience. Throwing more truth on top of lies will not resolve the problem. We must identify the lies we believe before we can find freedom from them. If what a person means when he says "put your past behind you" is for us not to be self-absorbed with the events of the past while there is no resolution from the lies we have harbored, then I agree. If all I do is think about how bad I have had it and do not find resolution of the pain in my past then I accomplish nothing and have succumbed to a victim status. Conversely, if what I do is bury the past and never attend to the lies that permeate my thinking, then I am as bad off as the other. God desires that we own our past, identify what we believe and seek Him for the truth. Herein lies true victory.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry recognizes that behavior is greatly influenced by the knowledge stored in the mind.
The Apostle Paul declares that transformation is an outcome of the mind being renewed (Rom. 12:2). Therefore, in order to act differently, we must be "renewed in our minds." This renewal should include, but not be limited to the cognitive passing of information from the minister to the one receiving ministry, personal bible study and meditation, but should include experiential "knowing" that comes from the presence of Christ through prayer. The Word is alive because it is infused with God's Spirit. It is the "Spirit of God that leads us into all truth." Any lost person can read the Bible and gain nothing but knowledge. However, when the Spirit speaks to the heart of man through His written word it comes alive and transforms. Only the Spirit of the Living Lord Jesus can set us free from the lies we experientially believe as we take our requests for truth to Him in prayer. The facilitator can play a vital part in this prayer process, but it is the Spirit of God who imparts experiential truth (making what we know logically known experientially) and it is the written Word of God which is the source and standard of all truth. Theophostic Prayer Ministry is a way to accomplish this, but is not the only means through which God operates.
Theophostic (God's Light) is all about the Lord Jesus.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry acknowledges that Jesus through the Holy Spirit is the only one who can truly release the wounded person from their emotional/mental bondage. This does not invalidate the role of the minister but acknowledges that apart from Christ we are ineffective in accomplishing God's desire for the wounded soul. Theophostic (God's Light) is all about the Lord Jesus.
Basic Principles of Theophostic Prayer Ministry
What follows is a concise, but truncated summary of the basic principles of Theophostic Prayer Ministry. These principles are NOT the "how to" for applying the process, but rather the foundational stones that support what is done in a ministry session.
NOTE: This section is a truncated and summarized portion taken from the 2007 edition of the Theophostic Prayer Ministry Basic training Manual. It only contains a small part of the total context from which it was lifted. Please know that you are not getting a full explanation of each of these principles and may come to an inaccurate conclusion without reading the fuller section. You are invited to purchase the Basic training seminar risk free (13 DVD sessions and the Basic Training Manual) . If you are dissatisfied for any reason return it in resalable condition within 30 days for a full refund.
Principle One: Our Present Situation Is Rarely the True Cause of Our Ongoing Emotional Pain
It is easy and even logical for us to believe that our ongoing emotional pain is connected to what is happening in our present situation. However, if we blame our present situation for emotional pain coming from an earlier event, we will be trapped in an irresolvable cycle of distress and defeat. Believing that other people or circumstances are the cause of our emotional upheaval empowers them to control us emotionally until they change. For if it is true that other people or circumstance is the reason I feel bad then I cannot feel different until the person or situation changes.
When we find freedom from the lie-based thinking held in our memories, we will no longer be stirred up by it and can walk in peace. In relationship conflict it is common for each person to assume that the other is causing the pain they feel. Of course, real pain can be caused by others in the present, and this is not an excuse for their poor behavior. Nevertheless, even when another person has acted inappropriately, our emotional response is often out of proportion to the offense because the event triggers lie-based pain. From the outside, much of what we feel from time to time seems not to fit with the current situation. I can recall feeling intense anger one day over another driver rushing in ahead of me and "stealing" my parking place at the shopping center. I might have been justified in being a little annoyed, but I wanted to smash his headlights. What should have been mild irritation was a boiling inner rage. Trying to resolve present conflicts without resolving our historical woundedness will give us only temporary relief; at some point the lies will be triggered again and the pain will resurface. However, if our thinking is renewed with truth, we can redeem the present.
However, if I feel bad because I have sinned; good, I should. Bad feelings should follow
those who are convicted by the Holy Spirit for doing wrongly. If I sin and do not feel bad then there is something wrong.
Principle Two: Feelings Are Important Indicators of Our True Belief.
Some people say that we should just accept the truth by faith and choose to obey it no matter what we feel. They rightly point out that truth is truth regardless of our feelings. However, our feelings give us valuable information. It is normal for us to respond emotionally to life. Just because we say we feel nothing does not mean that we do not have feelings; numbness is merely the refusal to own our feelings. I was emotionally numb for most of my life, but my unacknowledged, deep-rooted feelings still affected everything I did. My decisions, my relationships and my ministry were all shaped by the need to avoid and suppress emotional pain. God gave us feelings for very important and practical reasons. People who discount them are being as nonsensical as saying "deny the nerve endings in your fingers and do not trust them." How silly is that? Of course we take note of the messages our nerve endings send our fingers so that we avoid holding a hot plate too long and being burned. Pain was created by God as a primary warning system to indicate when something is wrong. As with physical pain, when our lie-based pain is triggered, we must learn to respond appropriately rather than looking for a way to block it out or blame others. If we ignore it, we will at some point suffer consequences. Emotions are indicators of what we experientially believe. They do not necessarily indicate the truth, but they reveal our beliefs, true or false. Unless we allow our emotions to expose what we believe and cease trying to suppress and deny them, we are doomed never to change. When truth is experiential, it tends to be coupled with emotion. Emotion flows from belief (whether truth or lies); we feel whatever we believe. God has designed us to feel whatever we hold as truth. If I genuinely believe that I am loved by God, then I should feel loved by God. If I believe that He is the supplier of my needs, then I should feel secure. If I believe that He is coming soon to usher me into eternity, I should feel hopeful. If I feel emotion that is contrary to the truth, then something is wrong. The answer is not to try harder to believe, but rather to discover what runs contrary to His truth and find release from those lies that are producing negative emotion. I have found that this contrary emotion will always be rooted in experiential lie-based thinking. Knowledge without experience is hard to stand on. However, when I know what I know because I have experience to back it up, the ground is much more firm. The Bible says, "Count it all joy when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, therefore let endurance have its full and final work that you may be complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4 paraphrase).
Principle Three: People Can Hold Two or More Opposing Beliefs at the Same Time.
Knowing the Scripture is no guarantee of victory in my day-to-day walk. This is because what we believe to be true cognitively and logically may not necessarily match what we believe to be true experientially. Most of the time we don't live our lives based on our logical beliefs, but rather on what we have learned experientially and emotionally. For example, if I truly believe God is my shield and protector, I should never live in fear; if I believe God will supply all my needs, I should never be anxious about finances; and, if I believe God is in control of my life, I would never worry about what might happen to me next. However, if I live in fear, worry and have anxiety, then I believe something contrary to God's Word. What I feel in any given moment indicates what I truly believe at the experiential level. My emotions expose my true core-belief system because I feel what I believe. Furthermore, I may find it very difficult to change my core beliefs simply by choosing to think otherwise, or by adding more logical truth to the mix. The fact is that renewal and transformation is a work of the Holy Spirit.
Principle Four: There Is a "Dual Mental Process" Going On in Each of Us.
When we react negatively to a new experience, it is nearly always because of a prior experience. Our minds are designed to interpret every event with the beliefs we have acquired earlier. Our brains automatically transfer the feelings stored in the memory of an original experience to this present moment. This neurological process of association continually provides input as to how to respond to a current situation based on our response to similar events in the past. This automatic superimposing of past emotional responses onto later situations has great bearing on our behavior, because we tend to act out the way we feel. God has designed our minds to connect current and past events, almost outside of our awareness. A dual mental process is constantly at work in each of us as we associate what is happening currently with what has already occurred, while staying focused on the present moment. Our minds use information from related or similar experiences from our past to make decisions or judgment calls. Without historical data to draw from, we would not know how to respond to our current life situations. For example, if I did not have a "mean dog" experience in my mind and one day a pit bulldog lunged at me, I might pet his head, losing my hand in the process. However, if I remember my poodle snapping at my finger when I was a little boy, a "beware until you know if it's friendly" thought will immediately stir up within me and give me a sense of caution. I use the phrase dual mental process, as opposed to conscious and subconscious, because this process is not actually hidden from our conscious awareness. Although it is not particularly noticed in every day life, we can choose to consciously observe it. I can sit in front of my computer and focus completely on what I am doing, oblivious to the ruckus all around me. However, when I choose to "tune in," I realize that I have at some level been aware of all that is happening, but simply not "noticing" it. The same thing happens for those who drive each day. Have you ever passed through several traffic lights and suddenly realize that you have no conscious memory of them because you were daydreaming? Although you were mentally somewhere else, you were also driving your car. When something occurs in daily life, our minds search through our accumulated memories for similarly perceived experiences and then use them to provide interpretations and emotions so we can respond accordingly. We do not "notice" where the reactive information has come from; we just feel the emotion and come to conclusions based upon our experiential beliefs. This divinely designed mechanism serves us well when our experiences are truth-based. Then we are able to respond with the wisdom that we have learned and with the peace of Christ. We can consciously initiate this process in a ministry session to help people make the connection between their present pain and their lie-based thinking. Once they are willing to let go of their current circumstances and seek the original memory source of their lie-based pain, have them close their eyes in a prayerful state and just feel whatever emotion has been identified. Initially, you want them to focus on the feeling without being concerned with its source. Ministry recipients know where this historical event linked to their emotional pain is located, even if they initially cannot consciously connect with it. However, as we encourage them to "notice" this natural association process, their mind is able to surface the memory linked to their feelings. This is nothing mystical, strange, or New Age; it's a normal, natural process.
Principle Five: IF I Believe a Lie the Consequences Will Be Much the Same as if It Were True
Our experiential beliefs dictate our emotional response and status in any given moment, and thus affect our behavior. If we believe something, we will feel corresponding emotion and will tend to make choices based on this condition. These choices can create a perpetual cycle of bondage, giving the enemy a foothold in our lives. If we believe a lie to be true, it will play itself out in our lives as though it were true. This gives lies enormous power to dictate much of our present reality. Our emotional state is a pointer to our true belief system. Even if what we believe is false, it will have much the same outcome as if it were true. If I believe that God abandoned me when I was being abused, hurt or overlooked as a child, then when I am in need later as an adult, I might find that though I have memorized Scripture and choose to believe the truth that God is watching out for me, I still "feel" all alone and unprotected. Some might say that this was simply unbelief. Unbelief is not the absence of belief, but rather holding a belief that is contrary to God's truth. Recognizing these contrary beliefs is an important step towards freedom.
Principle Six: To Be Free of the Lies We Believe, We Must Expose Them Rather Than Deny Them
Our natural inclination is to deny that we believe lies and to bury the pain they are producing. If we do this, however, we will maintain a cycle of perpetual defeat in our lives. As long as lies remain embedded in our minds, they will continue to surface as pain every time we are in situations similar to when they were originally implanted. Freedom requires honestly acknowledging our emotional pain and taking responsibility for its corresponding belief. We must choose to lay down our feeble defenses and attempts to project the pain onto others or onto life circumstances before God will release us from what has held us bound. God does not reward pretension. He rewards honesty and humility by making His strength perfect in our weakness. When our negative emotions expose our lie-infested wounds, it provides opportunities for mind renewal. God either allows or orchestrates our surroundings to bring us under pressure, which will expose our true core belief system. It requires little effort to perform at a high level of "spirituality" when things are going well with us. However, when trouble comes, whatever is on the inside comes out. The falsehoods that we believe will express themselves through our emotional state and consequent behavior. If we choose to follow the "smoke trail" of our stirred-up emotions back to their original memory source, we can usually discover the lie-based belief causing the emotional pain. It is here that we can find freedom from the emotional pain produced by these lies, as we receive truth from the Holy Spirit.
Principle Seven: Sinful Behavior Is Often a Vain Attempt to Manage Our Emotional Pain
I believe that many of the sinful choices we make are motivated by vain attempts to manage our emotional pain. It is easier to act out sinfully than to address the reasons we are emotionally stirred up. We feel depressed, angry, stressed, fearful, alone, etc., so we eat when we are not hungry, please ourselves with sex or entertainment, and find other distractions rather than attend to the bad feelings. When our lie-based thinking is triggered, our present situation is flooded with emotions from the past. The stronger the emotion, the more it tends to influence our present behavior. However, as our thinking changes, our life does, too. When our false thinking is divinely replaced with experiential truth, our painful emotions transform into perfect peace, and therefore the temptation to sin becomes much less powerful. When we have negative feelings, we can still try to act appropriately. The problem is that we're not able to do that most of the time (unless, of course, our minds have been genuinely renewed). So, when we feel pain, we usually "act on it" by giving the same back to others, pulling away or ignoring and internalizing the pain – which leads to problems such as self-hate, depression, anxiety, physical illness, and so on. When we act out our triggered emotions in any of these ways, we sin and "fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). A driving force behind most addictions, if not all, is emotional pain. Most adulterous relationships are also rooted in painful emotions that we are hoping someone outside our marriage can eliminate. So, as we strive against sin, we must also address the pain factor that often motivates our sinful responses or we may remain in an endless loop of battle with controlled behavior and defeat. A person suffering from bulimia usually manifests a predictable thought pattern before acting out on her compulsion. Something triggers her lie-based thinking with feelings of unrest, anxiety, depression, abandonment, fear, or some other inner turmoil. Regardless of whether she is consciously aware of these feelings, they prompt her to shift into the pain-managing routine she has developed, eating until the emotions subside. But after she has completely gorged herself, her feelings change to self-loathing and shame for the binge. These prompt her to act out another pain-managing routine, and she purges herself of the food.
Principle Eight: Performance-Based Spirituality Is Not True Spirituality
Prior to this ministry, I only knew how to deny pain and "claim victory" by faith. I experienced temporary victory, as long as I expended great effort. The truth is that my bad feelings were exposing the flaws in my belief structure. Only as I am willing to acknowledge what I feel and expose my false thinking, am I able to know a more consistent victory. For most of my Christian life I have been instructed by others to just believe God, stand on the truth and act contrary to my feelings. Today, this is exactly what I try to do except for the feeling part. I no longer see denial of what I feel as some measure of victory or spirituality. Even lost people can deny feelings and many do as good if not better than most believers. Denial and suppression of emotion is not spiritual, it is merely controlled behavior. Years ago when I would counsel people about their emotional crisis I made statements such as, "Don't trust your emotions," "Deny what you feel and act on the truth," and "Act your way into a new way of feeling." The problem with this line of thinking is that it denies why we feel what we feel and thus keeps out lie-based thinking in place. Those who are able to discipline themselves into acting against their feelings (usually not the most deeply wounded) are often regarded as "spiritual." But performance-based spirituality is not true spirituality. True spirituality is experiencing God's power in us and being able to act appropriately in any present moment, because our minds are at rest as a consequence of what Jesus has done. We can walk in perfect peace in chaotic circumstances when our old, tormenting lies have been replaced with God's truth and the indwelling Christ is freely operating within us. I believe that we can know His joy and peace in every circumstance when we know His truth experientially. The Apostle Paul told us to rejoice in the Lord, always and at all times (Philippians 4:4) and "May the Lord of peace Himself grant you peace in every circumstance" (2 Thessalonians 3:16). It is often suggested that these passages teach obedient choice in the face of contrary emotion. We should simply choose to be joyful even when we do not feel joy, and calm when we do not feel calm. Some people teach that if you keep doing this in the face of emotional opposition, at some point the contrary emotion will lay down in defeat and transform into something more pleasant. Obedience entails pushing through the bad feelings you really feel in the moment and making yourself feel something else. However, choosing to rejoice is not the same as feeling joyful. The joy of the Lord is not a choice I make, but rather what I have when I walk experientially in His truth. We cannot make ourselves feel joyful. Either we have joy or we don't. If we don't then there is a problem. I want to suggest that the problem often is found in what we believe. The problem is that joy and peace are both fruits of the Holy Spirit, and we cannot produce either on our own. I would say that they are both outcomes of our experiential belief, naturally flowing by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. If they are not flowing, it is probable that lies are stifling them.
Principle Nine: When We Receive Truth from God in Memories Where We Harbored Lie-Based Thoughts, We Can Walk in Effortless Victory in These Areas
I sometimes use the phrases "maintenance-free victory" and "effortless victory." This principle is sometimes misunderstood. I am not saying that if we have a session or two of TPM we will suddenly be free of all difficulties. Our Christian life is filled with struggles and we will only reach sinless perfection in eternity. But when we know His truth experientially where lies were harbored, the pain that those particular lies produced can be completely eradicated. Lies are dispelled one-by-one, memory-by-memory. Every believer can know a victory that is fully empowered by the indwelling presence of Christ, free of striving and accomplished through resting in Him in specific areas where true renewal has occurred. When the Spirit of Christ brings truth into my thinking, He replaces the lie with truth, and I find genuine release and peace where I once only knew pain. When the pain produced by these lies is resolved, any behavior that this pain motivated can also cease. The areas of our minds that are renewed with truth will no longer be stirred up with lie-based pain. Since our emotional pain is a primary motivator for our inappropriate behavior, we should be able to walk in a more consistent victory in these specific places. Experiencing the truth frees us to walk in "newness of life" (Romans 6:4) so that we might experientially agree with the Apostle Paul who declared, "Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness [the very thing we tend to do when emotionally stirred up and in pain]; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God [which is effortless when we are walking in the truth and peace of the Holy Spirit]" (Romans 6:12-13, bracketed words mine).
Principle Ten: Only an Encounter with the Presence of Jesus through the Holy Spirit Can Free Us from the Lies We Believe
God desires that we come to Him dependent and devoid of any hope of self-deliverance. The Apostle Paul declared, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Galatians 2:20). Much of what we call spirituality or Christian maturity is behavior that any lost person could probably achieve if he just set his mind to it. Of course, we should desire to live out what is pleasing to God. Yet the victory God most desires is accomplished by Him in us as we willingly submit to him and rely on Him to bring it about. When we try to live in victory through self-effort and hard work, we will eventually fail. Christ in us, not self-effort, is our power to overcome. As we experience the emotional pain in memories, we realize that we are helpless, trapped in our emotional bondage, and cannot make the pain go away. This is how people in the New Testament were when Jesus healed them physically: needy and helpless. It is how Paul found himself when Jesus spoke truth into his painful circumstance: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Paul then stated, "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me" (2 Corinthians 12:9). Theophostic Prayer Ministry simply encourages people to listen as the Lord reveals His truth to their hearts and minds. Of course, bible study, teaching and preaching are important, but apart from the intervention of the Holy Spirit we cannot fully know truth. Jesus said that when "the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth" (John 16:13). There is a vast difference between learning about God cognitively and encountering him relationally. Both are important, but one without the other will fall short. Head knowledge has little or no impact on a person unless the Holy Spirit delivers it to the heart. In 2 Timothy 2:24-26, the Apostle Paul advised: "The Lord's bond-servant must … be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will."
Principle Eleven: We Are in Emotional Bondage Due to Two Basic Factors – Belief and Choice
Belief and choice are foundational to everything we do. People tend to make choices based on what they really believe, not on what they wish they believed or say they believe. The belief system that has us stuck is primarily rooted in our experiences. What we learn from experience is much more influential in our decision making than what we have learned passively through study or instruction. It is impossible to fully and wholeheartedly embrace a belief that is contrary to our experience. We will struggle to the degree that our experiential knowledge conflicts with our logical truth. Even if we choose to act contrary to this belief, there will be an element of doubt. Behaving the truth by sheer will may slowly erode negative experiential beliefs we hold and result in a measure of victory. The concept of "acting your way into a new way of thinking" may have some merit, because the new experience based on truth will offset the old experience to some degree and gradually renew our minds in this area. However, it is even more blessed to intentionally revisit a painful memory where we have embraced falsehood, receive a personalized word from the Lord, and have the old belief entirely removed in a single moment. God has chosen to limit Himself when it comes to the human will. What often stands between us and the good things God offers us is what we believe and the choices we make based on that belief. Here we have a conflict. We may want to be free of the emotional pain in our lives and say that we will take responsibility for it and go wherever we need to in order to find freedom. However, the difference between saying something and doing it has everything to do with our will. What we will is what we do. Often people declare with all their heart, "God, I want to be free! I am willing to feel the pain and know the truth of what happened to me" and yet they cannot get there. They will say with complete sincerity that they want to move forward but they feel blocked. They honestly do not know what to do to change the situation, consciously speaking. Although they want to be free and are choosing to go as far as they have come, they are also making a choice not to go any further. They want to be free but are unwilling to go through the pain. It has been my experience that when people get "stuck" in the ministry process and later move forward to freedom, it is because they eventually made the choice to do so. No matter what was involved in their blockage (demons, dissociation, anger, amnesia, repression, etc.) it is always their choice that moves them forward. I know what it feels like to want to break through in my own personal times of ministry, but to hit a wall. I have desired to be free, to feel, and to know, without being able to go forward. Nevertheless, in every case when I chose to, I was able to find my way clear. Nothing can keep people from moving toward freedom other than their own choosing. Choice is always resting on belief; we choose based upon what we believe. There is an entire chapter dedicated to this principle in the 2007 Basic Seminar Manual.
Principle Twelve: The Written Word of God is the Standard for Validating What Occurs in Ministry
Theophostic Prayer Ministry is a system for doing ministry based upon specific biblical principles, and we use the written Word of God to validate what people hear from the Lord. It is my personal belief that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). It is timeless and relevant for all circumstances and the fullness of God's divine inspired revelation to man. What happens in a Theophostic Prayer Ministry session has the potential of going astray just as in any other counseling or ministry setting. Therefore, the ministry facilitator should be well-equipped in "rightly handling the Word of truth" and identifying what is consistent with the Bible and that which is not. The facilitator should draw attention to any false messages.
Principle Thirteen: Lie-based pain can only be removed as lies are replaced with truth, whereas the only remedy for sin-based pain is the cross of Jesus Christ.
All people are born into sin as a corporate consequence of Adam's sin: "Sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned" (Romans 5:12 NRSV). All people make conscious, willful choices to sin at some point in their lives, which separate them from God: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23 NRSV). Apart from the cross of Christ there is no remedy for sin: "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin" (Hebrews 9:22 NRSV). People do not overcome sin by their hard work, but by appropriating the completed work of Christ on the cross: "Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you to be perfected by the flesh?" (Galatians 3:3 NRSV). Any effort to escape sin apart from relying on Christ is self-righteousness. Sin is dealt with through several basic steps. God's Word exposes our wrongdoing through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and our right response is to confess, or agree with God (1 John 1:9) that what we have done is indeed sinful and unbecoming of a saint (Ephesians 5:3). God then may grant us repentance (change of thinking) (2 Timothy 2:25) so we can turn toward God, submit to Him, and experience His indwelling power to live rightly.
Principle Fourteen: Mind Renewal Is a Lifelong Process
I have never met anyone who seems to be walking in perfect knowledge and understanding of God's truth. We all have a distance to go in terms of mind renewal, and total release of all lie-based thinking is not even possible within our lifetime. All of us have many lies harbored in our minds and pick up additional lies along the way. If we choose not to cooperate with what God is doing through exposing our false beliefs and seeking His truth, we will remain in bondage. The truth is, we will complete this mind-renewal journey at one of two places; either when we die or when the Lord returns. Keep in mind that Theophostic Prayer Ministry is not based on a formula but on principles and techniques that are to be applied in the Lord's timing as He guides each ministry session. Your skill in administering the Theophostic Prayer Ministry process will depend upon your understanding of these principles, your ability to apply the techniques you will learn, and upon the amount of experience you gain in applying them.
Additional General Thoughts about TPM
Martin Luther in his writing "A Simple Way to Pray," written in 1535, identifies the necessity of listening to the Holy Spirit who still speaks to His own when he says, "If such an abundance of good thoughts comes to us (when praying) we ought to disregard the other petitions, make room for such thoughts, listen in silence, and under no circumstances obstruct them. The Holy Spirit himself preaches here, and one word of his sermon is far better than a thousand of our prayers. Many times I have learned more from one prayer than I might have learned from much reading and speculation... if in the midst of such thoughts the Holy Spirit begins to preach in your heart with rich, enlightening thoughts, honor him by letting go of this written scheme; be still and listen to him who can do better than you can. Remember what he says and note it well and you will behold wondrous things in the law of God ..." The facilitator plays a vital part in this prayer process, but it is the Spirit of God who provides truth. This is not to say that truth from the Holy Spirit requires a minister or facilitator or is limited to the approach taken by Theophostic Prayer Ministry. The Holy Spirit is free to lead us "into all truth" in whatever manner He chooses. The Holy Spirit often illuminates the written Word to a person privately seeking to be taught by Him.
There is a vast difference between "self control" which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Holy Spirit accomplished) and "controlled behavior" (that which I do on my own through discipline, hard work and determination).
Theophostic Prayer Ministry recognizes that a common source of the emotional pain one may experience in the present has an experiential source and beginning which is lie-based. If the emotional pain is coming from this original historical faulty thinking, true release of the emotional pain in the present will not likely occur unless the person is able to review the memory event where the lie was first embedded. It is acknowledged that it is possible for some people to succeed in choosing to walk in truth through controlled behavior and discipline in the face of their emotional pain (which has value in context) but it is believed that many fail at this juncture. There is a vast difference between "self control" which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Holy Spirit accomplished) and "controlled behavior" that which I do on my own through discipline, hard work, and determination. One is spiritual and of Christ, while the other is the foundation stone upon which all other world religions are built.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry is about refinement in faith.
"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance" (James 1:2-3). This verse is but one of many examples found in the letters of the apostles where we read of the inevitable testing of our faith. The word that is commonly translated faith is the Greek word pistos, which in its basic meaning is simply belief. The fact that the writer says our faith needs to be tested or refined says that something is not right about our faith; that is, what we believe. Not everything we hold in our belief system is truth. Some of what is at the foundational core of our belief is falsehood. It is this falsehood that needs to be refined with fire. The purpose of testing is refinement, like a metal smith who refines gold with fire. The focus of the testing is the faith or belief of the believer. When I am placed in the fire of testing, whatever I believe will be exposed. The dross will come to the surface when the gold is placed in the fire. During this exposure my lies are brought to the surface so I can make a decision as to what I will do with them. In the Theophostic Prayer Ministry process we are taught to confess what it is we believe (lie-based thinking) and offer this exposure up to God seeking His perspective and truth.
NOTE: There is a DVD series in the On-Line store entitled "The Refinement of Belief and Theophostic Prayer."
There are various interpretations of this idea of testing.
- A common perspective on this testing is the idea of seeing "what we are made of" or to see if we will give in under pressure. I do not think that God is very interested in determining our breaking point but rather is concerned about the quality of our belief.
- Some suggest that the purpose of the trial is to endure it. The truth is, we will endure every trial that we encounter one way or the other. We are where we are today because we endured every trial that we thought we would never survive. Everyone endures. Endurance is not the goal, but rather refinement. Everyone faces trials and everyone endures and gets through them, but not everyone is refined. Refinement of one's faith is a willful cooperative effort in submitting to the "mighty hand of God" (1 Pet. 5:6) and "entrusting our souls to a faithful creator in doing what is right" (1 Pet. 4:19).
Biblical Foundational Principles for Theophostic Prayer Ministry
The founder of this ministry believes that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness"
(2 Timothy 3:16). It is timeless and relevant for all circumstances and without error in its original form. It is the fullness of God's divine inspired revelation to human beings. The Word of God must be allowed to interpret itself in its accurate historical and literary context.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry is a system for doing ministry. It is not a theology, though it is based upon specific biblical principles. The written word of God is the basis and standard for all that should occur in a ministry session. Biblical consistency should govern and validate or invalidate everything that occurs.
What happens in a Theophostic Prayer Ministry session is experiential in nature and has the potential of going astray just as in any other counseling or ministry setting. The goal of a TPM session is genuine mind renewal through an encounter with the truth of Christ that is consistent with the written Word. This can occur through the believer's obedience and faith and God's intercession of grace and power. One of the primary roles of the facilitator is to be well equipped in "rightly handling the Word of truth" and discerning what is consistent with the Bible and that which is not.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry does not seek to replace the necessity of Christian growth and discipleship that comes from the believer's study in God's Word. Preaching, teaching, instruction and personal study are all a vital part of the believer's growth in knowledge and truth.
For a more complete understanding of how TPM relates to the Bible read the founders statement of faith and the biblical principles for doing this ministry in the section to follow.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry is built upon many biblical concepts and principles. Below are a few passages upon which this form of ministry rests and operates. These verses are not intended to proof-text TPM or to "find TPM in the Scriptures", but rather present various principles of God's Word and how TPM relates to these principles.
It is fully understood and acknowledged that all Scripture must be interpreted in its proper context and first be understood by its literal meaning. It is also understood that though Scripture has only one true contextual interpretation it may have many applications that can be drawn from the principles found therein.
This does not mean that we can take the liberty to make the Bible say whatever we want it to say, for we cannot. However, the Bible does contain many principles that can be applied to a sundry of multifarious applications that step outside of its literal meaning and contextual interpretation. This practice is seen in most every application of Christian ministry found in the world today.
For a biblical example of this practice, the writer of the Old Testament declares that one should not mussel the oxen as it thrashes out the wheat (Deut. 25:4). The literal meaning of this passage is simple, "let the oxen eat while he works." However the Apostle Paul comes later and observes a principle in this passage that is applicable for dealing with financial compensation for church leadership. Here the Apostle steps outside of the literal meaning of the passage and makes an application of the principle found in the Old Testament passage. (1Cor. 9:9-12). In the same way, TPM draws from the principles of God's Word and seeks to make valid applications of these principles.
Applications of Biblical Principles
These statements are not interpretations of these passages, but only how TPM is being applied based upon the principles of the Scripture.
* TPM encourages the person to seek God and believes that He will be faithful in all He has said He will do. (If )…"you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 4:29
* TPM believes that the Lord will accompany the person to his deepest places of pain if he is willing to go there. "He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light." Job 12:22
* TPM believes that if we search for God and cry out to Him in our distresses that He will hear our heart's cry. "Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped." Psalm 28:6-7
* TPM seeks to be governed by the faithfulness of God's Word. "For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does." Psalm 33:4
* TPM believes that the Lord of Light will give direction to the ministry process as we submit to Him. "Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me." Psalm 43:3a
* TPM believes that harbored sin will hinder the ministry process. "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened." Psalm 66:18
* TPM believes that God is able to do great things beyond what we can accomplish on our own. "You are the God who performs miracles." Psalm 77:14
* TPM believes that the Lord can be found in the darkest places of our minds. "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? Even the darkness will not be dark to you….for darkness is as light to you."Psalm 139:7,12
* TPM believes that if the person is willing to go to his or her places of pain that the Lord will participate and direct his or her path. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
* TPM believes that God will grant wisdom and sound judgment to those who will seek Him. "Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power…those who seek me find me."
* TPM believes that the Word of God is without error and totally reliable. "Every word of God is flawless." Proverbs 30:5a
* TPM believes that God will answer us when we call out to Him. "This is what the Lord says, "In the time of my favor, I will answer you."
* TPM believes that God will not disappoint those who seek Him and come to Him with exposed hearts and minds. "Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed."
* TPM believes that God is trustworthy and will do all He says He will do. "Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God."Isaiah 50:10
* TPM believes that human reason and knowledge falls short of God's thinking. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
* TPM believes that darkness is the absence of light/truth. "We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like men without eyes." Isaiah 59:9b-10a
* TPM believes that freedom follows coming clean before a holy God. "For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities: rebellion and treachery against the Lord, turning our backs on our God…uttering lies our hearts have conceived." Isaiah 59:12-13
* TPM believes that the Lord will search the heart and mind of those willing to be exposed of deception and sin. "I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind…Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise." "O Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous and probe the heart and mind…"
Jeremiah 17:10, 14, 20:12a
* TPM believes that no pain is too deep that it cannot be exposed and no thought so deceptive that the Lord cannot expel it with truth. "Am I only a God nearby, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the Lord. "Do I not fill heaven and earth?" declares the Lord.
* TPM believes that no person is so emotionally wounded that the Lord cannot restore him. "Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:17, 27
* TPM believes that the Lord knows our deepest places and is willing to go with us where ever we are willing to explore. "He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness and light dwells with him." Daniel 2:22
* TPM believes that if we are willing to break the hardened ground, that which we have hidden and buried, He is willing to shower us with good things. "Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your un-plowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception." Hosea 10:12:13a
* TPM believes that God is light and in Him is the truth that we need to walk in victory. "Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light…He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness."
* TPM believes that God is willing to make us clean if we are willing to come to him with transparency and honesty. "Lord, if you are willing you can make me clean."…"I am willing, he said . "Be clean."
* TPM believes that sometimes when lies are brought into the light and sins are exposed that there may be separation before there is reconciliation. "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34
* TPM believes that much struggle in the Christian life is the result of people trying to find peace through labor as opposed to rest in the finished work of Christ. "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:29-30
* TPM believes that unless the Lord sets us free we will never know true freedom. "Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
* TPM believes that no matter how dark the places of pain we may have to go the Lord will be there. "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."Matthew 28:20b
* TPM views the facilitator of ministry like one of the friends who carried the paralytic to Jesus. They were needed in the process but they could not work the miracle. "Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, thy made an opening in the rook above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Mark 2:3-5
* TPM believes that as life happens around us we will be exposed of what we experientially believe. The disciples in the boat with Jesus during the storm were exposed by their fearfulness revealing the lies they believed. "A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? "Mark 4:37-40
* TPM believes that if we seek the Lord in faith that He will respond with healing. "A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years…she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed."Mark 5:24b-28
* TPM believes that if we choose to move in the direction of God He will meet us there. "But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." "'If you can believe'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes. "Mark 9:22b-23
* TPM believes that God is a respecter of our will. He acts based upon what we choose. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Mark 10:51-52a
* TPM believes that the moment that a person comes into the knowledge of the truth all darkness that was present in that place has to leave. "In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
* TPM believes that God is willing to offer mercy and grace even to those who do not know Him. Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked…The man who was healed had no idea who it was (that healed him). John 5:8-13a
* TPM believes that freedom follows knowing the truth. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:32, 36
* TPM believes that Satan is a planter of lies. He has only one intent and that is to destroy. However, he is limited to the belief of the person and powerless in the face of truth. "He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44b
* TPM makes Christ central to all that happens in ministry. "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life." John 14:6a
* TPM believes that the Holy Spirit is the communicator between man and God. TPM believes that the written Word is the primary vehicle through which the Holy Spirit communicates. "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever -- the Spirit of truth." John 14:16-17a "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth." John 16:13a
* TPM believes the prayer that Jesus prayed for our sanctification is ongoing and present and is being fulfilled in part in a TPM session. "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth."
* TPM believes that every man is responsible for the lies that he holds and freedom is a choice he must make by moving in the direction of God. "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie." Romans 1:25a
* TPM acknowledges the ongoing struggle each person must wage in his flesh and the lies he harbors in his mind, but also recognizes that the Lord of truth has released us and there is no condemnation for those in Christ. "For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work in my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in my flesh a slave to the law of sin. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 7:22-8:2
* TPM realizes that peace follows truth. "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace…"
* TPM acknowledges that evidence of genuine mind renewal is the presence of transformation. "…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2b
* TPM understands that lies are expelled with truth from the Lord and not by reason or logic. "He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness…" 1 Corinthians 4:5b
* TPM believes that when the Lord is acknowledged and His truth embraced freedom will follow. "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17
* TPM believes that Satan uses deception to blind the eyes of people, but also believes that it is turning to the Lord of truth that releases them and not battling a defeated foe. "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ… but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away." 2 Corinthians 4:4, 3:16
* TPM believes that each person is responsible to own what is in their minds and be willing to hold this up to the Lord for His truth perspective. "…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5
* TPM believes that God desires we always walk in freedom and never in deception. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free."
* TPM believes that as we come into the truth our spiritual eyes will be opened to know and understand the deeper things of God. "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." Ephesians 1:17-19a
* TPM believes that God desires that we not just know about Him but that we will come to KNOW Him experientially to the fullest measure. "And I pray that you…may have power…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory…for ever and ever!" Ephesians 3:17b-21
* TPM believes that anger is usually rooted in the truth of what happened to us, (Ex. I am angry because what he did was unjust) but if not resolved the devil will take the opportunity to implant a lie to keep in place. (Example: My anger keeps me from getting hurt again.) "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26
* TPM believes that the armor of God is an analogy of the finished work of Christ in which the believer is call to stand. In this standing position we are called to resist the devils schemes and not the devil himself. "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all thee flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:11-18
* TPM believes that anxiety, worry, fear etc. are rooted in lie-based thinking. However, as we come into the knowledge of His truth we can also know the peace that goes beyond comprehension. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
* TPM believes that power for living the Christian life and moving into freedom is accomplished though Christ living in us. "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13
* TPM believes that living the Christian life is accomplished in the same way that it began; faith in Christ. "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Col. 2:6-7
* TPM acknowledges that the Word of God is the standard by which all that occurs in a ministry session is judged. If anything occurs that is inconsistent with the Scriptures then it is invalid. "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." Hebrews 4:12-13
* TPM acknowledges that God is the Truth. "…it is impossible for God to lie…" Hebrews 6:18b
* TPM recognizes that wound left unattended will fester and effect many. "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." Hebrews 12:15
* TPM recognizes that trials are designed to refine our faith/belief. When our faith is refined the outcome is endurance (the ability to hold still as God does His deeper work) which will result in maturity in Christ. "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4
* TPM believes that God is very willing to reveal His truth and wisdom when we are rightly positioned to receive. "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt…" James 1:5-6a
* TPM believes that when the Word is richly implanted in our heart we are in a better position to cast off the sins that defile us. "Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." James 1:21
* TPM believes that God has called us to walk in the truth. "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God…who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9
* TPM believes that Satan roams about looking for someone in a distressful situation so that he can provide a deceptive short-sided solution to the emotional stress that may be experienced. (This passage was written to a church in a time of suffering.) "Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8
* TPM believes where there is darkness there is deception. "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5b
* TPM believes that sin is always the outcome of choice. We sin because we choose to. If we say that we do not sin we are liars. However since much of the sinful choices we make are often vain attempts in pain managing behavior, receiving truth that dispels our lie-based pain can place us in a position where we are in less need for medication. "If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. 1 John 1:6-10
* TPM believes that fear and other similar emotions are rooted in lies. The truth of God's love for us can drive all this out. "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment." 1 John 4:18a
* TPM believes that any truth that a person may receive in a ministry session is communicated by the Holy Spirit. "…the Spirit is the truth."
1 John 5:6b
* TPM facilitators have the continual joy of watching people come out of the pain they have carried all their lives and entering into the peace of Christ that comes from walking in His truth. "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 Jo. 4
More informational Links
For a comprehensive overview of these principles and concepts read "Healing Life's Hurts" by Ed M. Smith. GO to the Home Page for free a download of first three chapters. For complete training in Theophostic Prayer Ministry order the Basic Training Seminar package in the Products and Training Shopping Area.
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