Prayer Therapy Principles

The foundation of George Hartwell's 'Life Transformation Therapy'

by George Hartwell M.Sc. Developer of Life Transformation Therapy
© all rights reserved, 2006

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When the counsellor approaches Prayer Therapy with an understanding of fundamental principles there is great flexibility.  One has options rather than getting stuck.  Principles are the basis of Life Transformation Therapy so the therapist comes with openess to any situation listening to God.  One can respond to a client with a variety of methods; with options.  Only with openess and flexibility can we adopt to the uniqueness of each person or couple and be creative in our response.

Professionals who practice Prayer Therapy do more than pray for their clients.  True I start sessions with prayer (invocation) and we finish with prayer as well.  However, Prayer Therapy is professional therapeutic intervention designed to result in deep significant and lasting change.   The professional interview that precedes Prayer Therapy allows the professional to understand the client, their goals and to focus the session on a particular problem or pattern.

In my experience in dealing with married couples I have identified 10 patterns that can be taken to prayer therapy.  in my article Ten Marriage Transforming Prayer Encounters I name each of  these 10 patterns, give a brief description and in some cases also describe the Prayer Therapy Intervention that I use.  Some of these patterns are:

  1. The Right to be Right,

  2. Self image as Idol,
  3. King of the Castle,
  4. Here Comes the Judge,
  5. Savior No More (Rescuer),
  6. Autonomous Mind,
  7. Partner on a Pedestal,
  8. Release Expectations,
  9. Cut Umbilical Cords and
  10. Need to let Go - Listening prayer: Put it on the Altar

The following are some of the methods and principles of Life Transformation Therapy:

  1. God's presence is key to all healing and life transformation so always open in prayer inviting God's presence. (Learned from Leanne Payne who would have us always practice the presence of God.)

  2. God inhabits the praises of his people so do not begin sessions addressing Satan, binding or commanding demons. (Learned from Judson Cornwall who found out that demons are attracted to the attention they get from our prayers against them.)
  3. Draw near to God. Avoid so-called 'spiritual warfare' type prayer that binds principalities or powers of the air or territorial spirits. This is a form of witchcraft prayer. Repent of any and all such practices. (Made clear in John Paul Jackson's book: "Needless Casualties of War.")
  4. Avoid labels and diagnostics including getting entangled in the issues around multiple personalities, DID, etc. Jesus can handle this. I prefer not to let Him do it and not me.
  5. At times it helps to focus our question to God. Develop a simple root issue question to guide listening to God. (Learned from John Regier's who says that God can bring to mind a scripture, song or picture in listening prayer in response to a simple core question. He expects a picture story when dealing with very early memories from our younger years when words have less meaning.)
  6. Let the Holy Spirit guide. The Listening Prayer Therapist learns how to focus a problem on a feeling and asking the Holy Spirit to lead to the root memories connected with that feeling. Pray and take time to listen for  God's guidance during a session. I assume the memory that comes to mind after such prayer is relevant to this person even if it does not make immediate sense.
  7. Freedom from bondage through Truth Encounters: avoid deliverance through power encounter and personal authority. Neil Anderson teaches: that an encounter with Jesus' truth is an effective deliverance method. I make use of Jesus' life, presence and cutting of spiritual ties for deliverance from darkness.
  8. JESUS ENCOUNTER: I bring inner healing and personal transformation through an encounter with Jesus - the Way, the Truth and the Life. The healing we need is in God; the therapist provides the process or way to God's healing presence.
  9. CORE BELIEFS: From Ed Smith's TheoPhostic process and Art Zielstra's Prayer Counselling, I learned the method of following the feeling to the memory; finding the core beliefs in the memory and using listening prayer to overcome the unhealthy core belief.
  10. NEW IDENTITY: The core beliefs - sometimes learned in pain, trauma and dysfunction define our negative identity and self-image. With healing of core beliefs a positive identity emerges. Practice, name and reinforce this new identity.
  11. MARRIAGE TRANSFORMATION: Like John Regier, I find that core belief healing and transformational inner healing establishing a new identity is necessary to restore and transform a couple's relationship. Like John Regier, I include a minimum of 10 sessions in a marriage retreat.

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Contact: (416) 234-1850   Office: 123 1454 Dundas Street East, Mississauga, Ontario. L4X 1L4 Professional Fee is $120.00 / hour

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My web site on Listening prayer is growing daily.  At the moment there are articles on: Faith of the heart prayers, Head vs Heart Faith in faith of the heart prayer, How to do Healing Prayer, How to break a curse, What is listening prayer?, how to do listening prayer, How to pray for protection, prayer with the human spirit, types of prayer - intercessory prayer, What is prayer?, What is the power of prayer? How to do healing Prayer, Healing prayer for cancer.