Theopostic Prayer Ministry Session Guildelines
Theophostic Prayer Ministry Session Guidelines
If the ministry session does not follow these guidelines then what is occurring is NOT Theophostic Prayer.
1. Theophostic Prayer Ministry (TPM) is basically prayer and not traditional counseling (giving advice, diagnosing, providing insight, giving direction, providing steps of action, the facilitator solving the person's problems, etc.). Therefore a TPM facilitator should never offer this type of counsel, but rather intercede with you to God. A TPM facilitator should encourage you to discover, while depending on the Holy Spirit, the lies you believe that are at the source of the emotional pain in your life.
2. A TPM facilitator should not take on the responsibility at any level to resolve your problems, issues or pain in your life, but should encourage you to own your emotional pain, take responsibility for your own thinking, not blame other people or circumstances for your emotional reactions and move forward toward God's resolution, which is found in truth.
3. A TPM facilitator should never pressure you to go to any particular memory, or to do anything that you do not choose to do. It must be left up to you to make all the decisions about how far you will move toward your pain, whether you will embrace the pain, identify the lies you believe and whether you will offer up the lie-based thinking you discover to the Lord for His truth. You should be given complete freedom to stop the process anytime you choose to do so. Everything in the session should be determined by your own belief and free choice.
4. Any information you share during the ministry session should be held in utmost confidentiality. A TPM facilitator should not share any information without first obtaining permission from you.
5. A TPM facilitator should avoid all forms of guided imagery and/or directed visualization and seek to allow you to have a genuine mind renewal experience, prayerfully directed by the Holy Spirit, while avoiding making any additional input.
6. A TPM facilitator should not make ANY suggestions as to what he or she thinks your memory content may contain. The facilitator should avoid making suggestions as to what he or she assumes your lie-based thinking may be and thus allow you to make this discovery yourself.
7. A TPM facilitator should only ask questions that are reflective of the actual memory content or other pertinent information that you alone have surfaced and avoid all questions or comments that are leading or reflect his or her opinions or assumptions.
8. A TPM facilitator should not attempt to interpret or give explanation to ANY information, visual or other inner mind reality that you report. Rather, he or she should encourage you to listen and receive understanding from the Holy Spirit and come to your own understanding.
9. A TPM facilitator should not interpret your dreams or visions you may experience outside the ministry session, but rather will only encourage you to identify and embrace any negative emotion that may surface as a result of having these experiences and seek to identify any lie-based thinking that may be related to such emotion.
10. A TPM facilitator should withhold judgment as to whether the content of your memory is true or false since he or she has no way of knowing what is true or not in the context of a ministry session. The facilitator should allow you to come to your own conclusions in your own time concerning the validity of the content of your memories. He or she may help you in validating your memory information to the degree that he or she is able but only if this is what you desire.
11. Should the TPM facilitator personally have some visual picture appear in his mind that he believes is related to your memory, he will not report this to you lest ideas not your own be implanted into your thinking. Should your experience cause the TPM facilitator to see images or pictures, he will not share these with you at any time.
12. A TPM facilitator should not supply you with what he or she may think God wants you to know during the ministry session, and should not hinder the ministry process by inputting his or her own personal assumptions, insight, thinking or that, which provides you with knowledge you did not surface on your own. The goal of the ministry is that you have a genuine encounter with the Spirit of Christ. The facilitator should reserve his or her sharing knowledge, teaching, giving insight, etc. for the time following the prayer ministry session. The facilitator should never at any time give his or her opinion or thinking about any aspect of the content or assumed content of your memory.
13. A TPM facilitator can ask the Holy Spirit to give you the courage and the grace to let go of your mental defenses, go where you need to go in a memory, and thus remember what you are willing to remember and have the capacity to embrace. The facilitator can ask the Holy Spirit to give you the wisdom to identify the lies you believe that are contained in these memories. However, he or she should not ask Jesus to take you anywhere in your memories or ask Him to tell you the lies you are believing since your moving forward is an act of your free will which the Lord chooses not to violate. All of this will become known to you when you make the decision to identify what you feel and believe. The Lord will not violate your will in this manner.
14. A TPM facilitator should be careful to discover and call attention to any aspect of "truth" or visual you might receive during a ministry session that does not appear to be authentic and/or Biblically consistent. Should this happen, the facilitator should encourage you to evaluate what you have reported with what the Bible says to see what is true or not and where the false information may have originated.
15. A TPM facilitator should not make any diagnosis or suggestive opinion of what he or she may think your problem or emotional mental condition may be unless he or she is a trained and qualified professional, skilled in making such diagnosis. Even if a facilitator is a qualified mental health professional, making a medical or mental diagnosis is still not a part of what is understood to be TPM.
16. A TPM facilitator should be careful not to go beyond his training, expertise or abilities in ministry. The facilitator should seek to network with others who are more equipped and work under their supervision, if possible. Should he enter a place that is beyond his knowledge and understanding, he should seek to defer to others more equipped. At the same time, it is acknowledged that as a member of the Body of Christ every Christian is called to minister, pray and encourage any person who is downtrodden, emotionally wounded or in need of an encounter with the Lord. Therefore, every Christian should be willing to pray with any person and encourage anyone no matter the complexity of the situation, but at the same time stay within the limits of his understanding and expertise.
17. A TPM facilitator should seek to minister under spiritual authority and in a community of like-minded ministers who use these principles, and be accountable to them and them to him or her. Every true believer in Christ is a member of Christ's Body working in concert with others through Christ who is the central focus of this ministry. A TPM facilitator should not be acting as a "lone wolf" doing ministry.
18. A TPM facilitator should avoid changing, augmenting or repackaging the Theophostic Principles and seek to apply the principles as they have been taught in as pure a form as possible to avoid misrepresenting this ministry and confusing the Body of Christ. Should he or she choose to do otherwise, such facilitator should clearly state to those with whom he or she offers ministry that he or she is NOT doing Theophostic Prayer Ministry. This will better assure that the ministry recipient will not be misled as to what is genuine Theophostic Prayer Ministry and what is not.
If you read about a negative experience claiming to involve the use of Theophostic Prayer, please examine carefully to see if what was being administered was in fact TPM. An easy evaluation is to compare what was adminstered to the TPM Ministry Session Guidelines that follow on this page. Of the few negative reports of which
we are aware, each case was in fact NOT Theophostic Prayer, but a variation of, an augmetation to, or flat out something else or just simply bad therapy. Just because a person calls what he or she does by the name "Theophostic" does not make it so. If you know of a person who is calling what they do Theophostic yet not following the Guidelines and prescribed protocol please contact this office.
Special note for those seeking ministry:
A true Theophostic Prayer Ministry session should follow these guidelines. Read them carefully before your ministry session. Take them with you to your session and ask the facilitator to read them and affirm that this is what he or she will be doing. If they cannot agree with these guidelines, make the decision as to what you desire before proceeding with the session. Their unwillingness to follow these guidelines DOES NOT mean that the ministry they offer is less effective than TPM. It simply means that what they are offering is NOT TPM.
Before seeking personal ministry from any person who claims they are using Theophostic Prayer read the section "Receiving Personal Ministry" on this website.
Please know neither Theophostic Prayer Ministry nor the founder Ed M. Smith makes any recommendation of any person doing ministry. Please be wise and discerning as you seek ministry from others. Not everyone who says they are administering Theophostic Prayer Ministry is in fact doing so. Use these guidelines as a starting point for discerning what is being offered you. Also, read the book "Healing Life's Hurts Through Theophostic Prayer" by Edward M. Smith as an introduction of what this ministry teaches. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with what is happening in a ministry session, simply stop the session and decide what it is you need or desire from the person doing the ministry with you.