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Theophostic Prayer and Emotions

Critic’s concern: Has TPM over simplified the relationship between thoughts and feelings.  Smith says, “We feel what we believe experientially—not logically. As much as we would like to believe otherwise, our emotions will always expose what we truly believe. …What we think controls how we feel” (Healing Life’s Deepest Hurts, p. 52.  Can we be so certain that what we think does, in fact, always control how we feel? Is it possible that a person’s feelings (emotions) affect what he thinks?  Is it possible there may be a constant interplay between the two, much like the chicken and egg question?

Ed Smith’s response: Your point is noted. I agree with you that there is always a broader understanding about any issue. However, it has been my personal experience my emotions are rooted in what I believe. For almost 13 years and many ministry sessions with many people this principle has proven consistent. The tens of thousands of people using this process in the world seem to also agree since they are doing this ministry based upon this premise. There may be room for debate but in the meantime I will continue to seek to help people find freedom from the lies they believe by following their emotion to the root belief.

At the same time, I agree with you that once the emotions are stirred thinking can be greatly influenced by these feelings. And a whole cycle of destructive thinking can begin. However, this does not impact TPM in that we are looking for the lie-based thinking that is at the core of our belief. Feelings seem to be a bridge that helps people make this discovery. I do not believe that our feeling create what we believe. The impact that my emotions may have in relationship to what I think would be in how they cause me to surface more of what I already believe. This has proven true for me and is helpful in people identifying the beliefs behind the emotion they feel. Whether the chicken came first or the egg does not change the manner in which this ministry is applied.

Critic’s concern: Smith states “Original trauma doesn’t cause lingering emotional pain. Rather, the source of our present pain is found in the interpretation we have given the event (italics his) (Ibid, p. 49).If true ,then why isn’t a better interpretation (“logical truth”) the answer to the pain, with “experiential truth” reinforcing it, rather than the other way around?


Ed Smith’s response: I have no problem with what you are saying here. In a TPM session a person is encouraged to discover the false information in the memory event. Once it is identified it is held up to the Lord for His truth interpretation. This truth is logical in that it is simply the truth. It is experiential in that it is relational between the person and the Holy Spirit.  I believe the disciples on the road to Emmaus is a good example of the Lord using both cognitive information (“...beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained ...”) and experiential (“...their eyes were opened...”) -- but again, this is Jesus doing the work.




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