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Is TPM Guaranteed to work?

 Is TPM guaranteed to work for everyone?

Of course there are no guarantees with this form of ministry or any other out there. We cannot say what a person can expect if he seeks help from someone who claims to be using this form of ministry. This is a personal spiritual journey with God and many factors must be considered on a case-by-case basis. I (Ed Smith) have personally witnessed what appears to be genuine resolve for a host of people over the past ten plus years while doing TPM. For my self personally, every memory in which I have found the Lord's peace, the lie-based pain has never returned. This is the same report I get from all others with whom I am personally related. Also, over the last few years, thousands upon thousands of testimonies and reports have flooded into the Theophostic office proclaiming life transformation as a result of encountering Christ through this ministry. As I have contacted many of these people in follow up, they have reported that the peace of Christ is still present in their former places of pain. I am very excited about what the Lord is doing in and through this ministry. However, I do hear reports now and then from some facilitators and ministry recipients who say that this ministry did not work for them personally. I truly desire that all people find their way to the peace of Christ that God has promised. Although I do not have any decisive answers as to why Theophostic Prayer Ministry does not seem to help all people, I offer up the following possibilities:

1) Not everything that is being offered and called Theophostic Prayer Ministry is indeed Theophostic Prayer Ministry.
Some of what is being called Theophostic Prayer Ministry is a little of this and a little of that and not too much of what is defined as genuine Theophostic. Ministry recipients need to BEWARE of what they are receiving by way of ministry. This is why it is very important that the recipient of ministry be educated in the basic teachings of this ministry before seeking personal ministry. Never assume that just because people say they are doing Theophostic Prayer Ministry that they are doing so.

A minimum requirement for every ministry recipient would be that he or she read the book "
Healing Life's Hurts Through Theophostic Prayer " and obtain and carefully read a copy of the TPM Session Guidelines . The one seeking minstry should have in his hand the questions provided in the seeking ministry section of this website. These resources will give the ministry recipient an overview of what the facilitator should be doing. If anywhere along the way the ministry recipient is not pleased with what is happening, he or she should stop what is occurring and seek ministry elsewhere. If you are using TPM I would also encourage you to provide the Ministry Session Guidelines to every person that comes to you for ministry. Encourage the person to hold you accountable to the guidelines as your proceed. I would also encourage you to have every person read at least the first three chapters of Healing Life's Hurts Through Theophostic Prayer. This can be downloaded for free on this site

2) The expertise and skill level of the ministry facilitator may not be up to par and therefore the outcome may be lacking. Just because people have read the training materials and attended a Basic Training Seminar does not mean they have developed the intuitive ability to minister effectively. This comes only with much practice and thus increases success. This manual is thick and is packed with many principles, concepts and ideas. Some people who take this training are unwilling to make the needed investment of time and energy to learn the concepts well. Some who have been trained in other approaches make an assumption that TPM is just like the others (which is not the case) and do not apply themselves. This training cannot be comprehended in one reading (or many). There are many hours of DVD/video training sessions as well. After reading and viewing the training materials, supervision and practice is needed to become adequately equipped. It would be good for ministry recipients to find out how much experience the facilitator has had and what his or her success rate has been. Every facilitator has to begin with a first person, but the question is whether or not the level of experience that the facilitator holds meets the needs of the person receiving ministry. This is something that should be considered by both facilitators and ministry recipients before deciding to work together.

3) The ministry recipient may not be at a place where he is ready to embrace the pain in his life. I have found that some of the deepest and most painful places of my renewal journey have only opened up to me in the last few years (after eight years of receiving TPM.) I did not realize that I was not ready to allow the Lord to expose these places. I am learning more and more that this journey is about God saving me from myself and the highly developed defenses I have erected. I have developed an amazing structure of mental defenses to bury and block out the pain in my life. These defenses are actually keeping me in bondage and not protecting at all. My freedom has come only because of the Lord's faithfulness to orchestrate my life in such a way that I have been motivated to look at why I am in pain. There have been numerous places where I did not even know I was carrying pain. The greatest example has been in my suppressed anger. I once prided myself in my spiritual ability to not express anger. The truth was that I was filled with rage in many unresolved places that God exposed when I was finally willing and ready to admit it. Being angry and yet keeping it suppressed is not a spiritual virtue or an indication of spiritual prowess. It was much more difficult to admit and allow my anger to surface than it was to keep it hidden. I have found this to be true in many other people's lives as well. This is especially true in cases where there is the defense of dissociation present keeping people from moving into the painful places in their minds. When we are unwilling to move in the direction of the painful lies we hold we will remain stuck and this process will not "work."

Theophostic Prayer Ministry recognizes and respects the free will of the person receiving ministry. People choose to go where they go in their spiritual journey. Not everyone is willing to move in the direction of the pain they harbor. TPM will not attempt to make people do anything. They do not choose to do. Usually people do not move forward because they choose not to. While saying this it is also assumed that a person's belief is behind the defenses and consequential choices that they are making. People tend to not move forward in any ministry setting due to beliefs they hold about moving forward. TPM seeks to identify these beliefs and encourages the person to such beliefs up to the Lord for His truth.

4) It is possible that this process may not work for some people because God has a different path of freedom laid out for them. Theophostic is not the "magic bullet" for all people, but there is a path through which God can accomplish His work if we are walking on it. God is certainly not limited to TPM. For those who have not had success using this approach to ministry (and have considered what I just mentioned in the points listed above), I would encourage you to diligently seek the Lord and see where He is leading you. Pursue other avenues of ministry and help. Keep knocking and believing that the Lord will open the door in His time. Please do not sit down and play the martyr, for He does have a plan that is specific for you. When I hear someone say to me, "Theophostic Prayer Ministry just does not work for me" I want to ask, "What then is it that you are doing that is working?" God is at work in His children and when there is no evidence of this work then either we are not his children or we are hindering the sanctification process in some way ourselves.

If Theophostic Prayer Ministry is not working, then some other means of help should be working or there is a problem. If we are not continually moving in the direction of God's healing grace and sanctification then we are making a choice somewhere not to move because this is the direction that God is moving. I do not mean to sound condescending or shaming, but do encourage everyone to pursue God with all his or her hearts, minds and strength, for He does want to renew all of us and reveal Himself to us. He has called us to come to Him in faith where He desires to restore us and make us whole. "For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (Heb. 11:6).

One way or the other, all Christians have been called to mind renewal. No one is exempt from having falsehood he or she harbors to be replaced with truth. When I say mind renewal I am not limiting my definition to gaining more knowledge. Romans 12:2 says that the outcome of mind renewal is life transformation. More knowledge makes you smarter but is no guarantee of life change. I have met smart theologians who lacked character and did not express the true heart of Christ. The Apostle Paul said that knowledge alone results
in pride (1 Cor. 13). I understand mind renewal to be not just knowledge accumulation but also the process of a believer coming into the reality of the mind of Christ. Having the mind of Christ is experiential and has much to do with relationship. Mind renewal that transforms us is both growing in the knowledge of Him but it also involves "knowing Him" experientially.

5) Some people have misunderstood what this ministry has claimed about what it can do and cannot do.
There have been critics who have said that we made certain claims that we have never made. We have never suggested that a person is completely made whole within his or her mind simply by participating in a few sessions. We have clearly taught that renewal occurs memory-by-memory and lie-by lie, over the course of a lifetime. I don't believe that a single session of this ministry will resolve all the pain in a person's life, since mind renewal is a lifelong journey. It would be marvelous if this were so in that I often grow weary of the journey and would love a quick fix. I am a landfill of lies and rarely does a day pass that I am not exposed to more of what is not true in my thinking. However, just because a person still has emotional pain in some area of his or her life after a session does not mean that renewal did not occur in the specific place where ministry was administered. The ministry recipient must look carefully at the places where ministry was applied and evaluate whether the peace of Christ is resident in those specific places. If there is still pain in the specific memory, then either renewal did not occur or there are more lies yet to be exposed in that place. I am not personally free of all of my lie-based thinking and consequential emotional pain even after hundreds of sessions; however, I am freer than I have ever been before. I am moving daily in the direction of continually walking in His peace. Sanctification and mind renewal is lifelong.
 
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