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Inner Healing and Deliverance
Jesus’ ministry included teaching, preaching, and working of miracles – physical and spiritual healing. Deliverance was an important part of how Jesus ministered here on earth. Jesus tells us in numerous references that the believer has that same authority to do what He did, and even greater things (Mark 16:17-18) through the power of the Holy Spirit, who resides within the believer (I Cor. 3:16) and brings us into all Truth (John 16:13).
Inner healing and deliverance are foundational and critical in order for a Christian to walk in victory and free from the bondage that the devil would want to ensnare us in. Our battle is with the Kingdom of Darkness (Eph. 6:12). We cannot be passive about our spiritual growth! It has been explained as trying to play the game of Arm Wrestling, where the starting point for you is with your arm pulled backwards 180 degrees. You have to struggle just to get the point where you can begin to play the game. Satan is our adversary and he seeks to devour us, the Christian. (I Peter 5:8). He wants to kill, steal, and destroy us. (John 10:10). He looks for any areas in our lives that have not been submitted to the healing power of the Holy Spirit. These “open doors” are the enemy’s invitation to enter and keep us bound in that area. He knows that, for the most part, he can’t “unsave” us, so his next step is to render us ineffective for the Kingdom. He will use any tool available which includes temptation, deception, and accusation. When he can’t use any of these available tools, he’ll use even the beneficial events/experiences in our lives. Deliverance and inner healing brings the areas that have produced bondage to the Light of Jesus Christ so they can be healed. It frees us up so we can use all the tools given to us to stand against the enemy.
The stories of our past are used to help us know why we act, feel, and think a certain way. God uses the unhealed hurts and pains of these stories to show us God’s power and provision in our lives through inner healing and deliverance. Inner Healing and Deliverance is not the end of the war, but the freedom to fight unencumbered as we claim our victory in the war. We will still be in the war, but now we will be able to fight with the weapons mighty in God that pull down these strongholds (II Cor. 10:4).
What is Inner Healing?
Inner healing is applying the redemptive and healing work of Christ to the areas of darkness and bondage in our souls that have not received the healing light of Jesus Christ and have opened the door for the enemy to come in and keep us from walking in victory in that darkness or bondage area. The tools of inner healing are the spiritual disciplines including prayer, confession, forgiveness, and counsel which allows us to walk in the Light and Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The focus of inner healing is identifying the unhealed access areas of darkness that gave the demonic permission to operate in that area, confess these areas of sin, repent for the behavior resulting from these unhealed areas, and allowing the Christ to cleanse and heal. (Colossians 1:9-14).
What is Deliverance?
Very simply, deliverance is telling the enemy, the devil, to leave us alone. We can usually tell there is demonic influence in our lives when we’ve used all the spiritual disciplines in our lives to gain victory in an area, and we seem to continually hit a brick wall, i.e. still struggle without success, in that area.
Specifically, deliverance is the Spirit-empowered ministry of expelling demonic spirits that influence the thoughts, will, actions, and emotions of believers and unbelievers. The authority to expel demonic forces is given to every believer. (Mark 16:17, Luke 10:17-20) In practical terms, deliverance is telling the enemy to leave through the power and authority of Jesus Christ, whose Spirit resides within each believer. The enemy recognizes authority and must bow his knee to the authority of Jesus Christ.
(Phil. 2:10-11) Deliverance is an on-going process. We can take care of the past, but, because we live in a fallen world, access opportunities for the enemy are continual. The Holy Spirit gives us discernment to address the demonic as it presents itself.
Here are some indications that demonic activity exists:
- Feeling totally helpless over an emotion, thought, or behavior
- Inability to gain victory even after prayer and Scripture meditation
- “Its like something came over me”
- “A voice told me to do it” or I saw myself doing it”
- Connection with past involvement in the occult, witchcraft, Satanism, or false religions.
Are Both Deliverance and Inner Healing Needed for Freedom?
Yes! Deliverance, which tells the enemy to leave, without inner healing leaves the door open for the demonic influences to return to those access areas and attempts to lead the person back into bondage. Inner healing, which closes the door or access point to the enemy, without deliverance, allows the spirits of darkness to continue to attempt to lead the person back into sinful behavior or unhealthy ways of thinking. When the spirits have been ordered to leave, they cannot return if there is cleansing, healing, and filling with the presence of God in the areas where they had operated.
How Does the Enemy Access Our Lives?
Inner Healing and Deliverance cannot take the place of discipline and discipline cannot take the place of Inner Healing and Deliverance. Usually the person needing ministry will feel a sense of total helplessness over an emotion, thought, or behavior. That person cannot seem to gain a victory in that area, even though they have sincerely tried to submit that area to the Lord. We must discern what is unwillingness to deal with sin and an inability to do so. Here are several common areas where the demonic can gain access.
- Unforgiveness: This is a critical area of access. Forgiveness is the letting go of an offense, debt owed, wrong suffered, betrayal, or hurt. It is not based on finding something about the person worthy of forgiveness. It does not require us to minimize the validity, importance, or quantity of pain suffered, nor does it mean letting the person off the hook from experiencing justice or the consequences of an unacceptable act. Forgiveness is letting go of our desire to hurt the other person. Through forgiveness, we put the other person into God’s hands and allow God to work His justice in that person’s life. It sets us free from the bondage of hurt and the desire for revenge. It is one of the most powerful things a person can do. Forgiveness opens the way for God to change our hearts. It frees the entrapped soul. (Matt. 18:35) Our hearts become a vessel for God to facilitate change in our lives and provide the grace and courage to maintain a heart of forgiveness. We may need to forgive ourselves if we can’t seem to get past our part in the offense. This is manifest in guilt and condemnation. Ministry includes a prayer of confession to God for unforgiveness in our lives. It continues with a deliberate act of our wills to forgive the person of any offense. As an act of our wills, we give up our rights and desire for vengeance and release the offender from our judgment. Blessing and praying for the offender follows. Forgiveness is instantaneous, but many times the letting go of the pain is a process. You will know the process is complete when there is no intensity of emotion and you don’t think about it unless you choose to think about it.
Prayer for Unforgiveness : Father, thank you for caring so much about me that you are moved with compassion for my pain. Thank you that you understand and care. Thank you that you forgive me for all my sins—you don’t hold anything against me. You have “taken me off your hook” because Jesus has paid for all my sins on the cross. Father, as a deliberate act of my will, I choose to forgive ____ for _____(express details and what you felt as a result) and release him/her from my judgment and into your hands. I ask you to change him/her as You see fit, bless____ _and release him/her from any judgment I have brought against them.
In the name of Jesus, Amen
- Willful Sin: Willful sin is an area that is opened to the demonic through sin that we enjoy and plan on continuing. It may also be a sin that you feel helpless to stop such as addictions. These areas of willful sin over a period of time build up barriers that actually prevent us from walking in abundant life. (Galatians 5:21) We cannot receive the fullness of our inheritance in Christ Jesus if we continue to embrace patterns of sin. Regardless of what is influencing our behavior, God still holds us responsible for our sinful actions. Willful sin must be identified and confessed as sin. It needs to be renounced. Repentance is the next step, asking God to forgive us. Shame and condemnation can enter if we do not allow the Holy Spirit to heal the area of willful sin.
Prayer for Willful Sin: Father, in the name of Jesus, I confess and renounce the sin of ________. I ask for forgiveness and cleansing from this willful conduct, and I repent from all such actions, attitudes, habits, and conduct that does not glorify Jesus Christ. I claim the release and freedom promised by Jesus Christ that He may be Lord of my life.
- Strongholds: Strongholds are patterns of thinking and resulting behaviors and emotions that are contrary to the Word of God, and prevent us from receiving a progressive revelation of God’s truth in our lives.
Our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are empowered by our core beliefs, usually developed before the age of twelve, which are what we believe about God, ourselves, and how to relate to others. Strongholds are created when our core beliefs are faulty and distort our thinking, behaviors, and emotions.
Strongholds are deceptive and can originate from abuse, neglect, or trauma, usually, but not always, from childhood. Truth is what breaks these strongholds (John 8:32). Breaking strongholds brings understanding to the deception we have walked in.
Recognition that a stronghold exists is the first step. A prayer that confesses a stronghold and the impact that has in our lives is next. Ask God to tear down these strongholds so that you can think and respond clearly. Ask God to help you walk in the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit so that God can fulfill the purposes He has planned for your life.
Prayer for Strongholds: Father, in Jesus’ name, your word says that whatever I bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever I loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven. I bind my will to Your will and purposes for me and I bind myself to Your Truth so I will not be deceived by my soul, the world, or the devil. I bind my mind to the mind of Christ so I can think and act like Jesus in every situation. Lord, I repent of all wrong patterns of thinking, including_____ and all wrong behaviors that result, including as _______. I also repent of all wrong emotions, including _______ that have influenced me in the past. I renounce them and ask Your forgiveness for them. I tear down and crush every stronghold I have erected that have prevented me from seeing and experiencing You and Your Truth. I receive in the name of Jesus every good thing You have made available for me in Him.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Generational Sin/Curses: Sins of the fathers are evident in children up to the third and forth generations. (Exodus 20:5) A generational belief or behavior is very deeply entrenched. Such behavior or belief can blind us to the Truth. I John 1:5-6 says that if we say we belong to Jesus, but do consistently walk as one who belongs to Jesus, we are deceived and do not practice the truth. In order to be set free and to free future generations from this generational predisposition, we must recognize this generational tendency and repent, and ask for forgiveness. It may be necessary to forgive our parents and others. Ask Jesus to heal and change these areas in your life.
Curses are words that have been spoken to you and/or past generations that keep coming to your mind and influencing your sinful actions or unhealthy habits or practices. Word curses may be indicated by significant emotional oppression, chronic sickness, barrenness, broken marriage or family relationships, continued financial problems, family history of suicides and/or untimely deaths.
Identifying the curse is the first step. If there is a phrase that you continually use to beat yourself up with, then there may be a word curse attached. An example might be, “I am so stupid” every time a mistake is made.
We need to recognize that Jesus became the curse for us and has broken the power of the enemy to curse us. Rejecting the curse and breaking and binding its power over us and future (and present) generations follows. Ask God to loose His cleansing power of the Blood of Jesus and to restore and empower the person. Bless and forgive those who have spoken evil of the person. Receive God’s blessing and the blessings that do come from His bloodline.
Prayer to Break Generational Sins and Curses:Father, in the name of Jesus, I confess all the sins of my forefathers, and by the redemptive blood of Jesus, I now break the power of every curse passed down to me through my ancestral line, including the curses of _______. I thank you, Lord, that Christ has redeemed me from every curse, and I choose now to walk in blessing and reject the curse. Also, in the name of Jesus, I break the power of every evil curse spoken against me, including those I have spoken about myself. I cancel the force of every prediction spoken about me, whether intentionally or carelessly, that was not according to God’s promised blessings. I bless those who have cursed me and I forgive every person who has ever wronged me or spoken evil of me
I place the cross between myself and those curses so that, from this day forth, any curse that tries to come upon me will have to come through the cross. As that curse comes through the cross, it will be transformed from a curse to a blessing.
By the power of the blood of Jesus, I break those curses to the fourth generation future so that they cannot oppress my children or their children. I receive all blessings that have come through the bloodlines. Everything good they stood for, I impart these blessings upon my children. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Unhealed Hurts and Traumas: Hurts can be almost anything that has wounded us in the past. They can include any type of abuse, rejection, abandonment, neglect, and serious illness. Traumas include accidents, near death experiences, and any event that left us in distress, disturbed us, upset or shocked us. Unhealed hurts and traumas can open the door to demonic activity such as fear, unbelief, paranoia, distrust, and depression. Mental strongholds can develop as well. Unhealed hurts and traumas are like hooks that go back into your past and drag all those feelings forward every time another hurt is experienced, no matter the nature of the present hurt.
Ministry begins with looking at these events and recognizing how these events may still be affecting our thoughts, behaviors, attitudes, and emotions in an unhealthy way. When past events have not allowed God’s light to heal, they can still control us, allowing the past to control the present. Use the Prayer for Forgiveness for those who wronged the person. Forgiveness is a necessary step in healing hurts and traumas.
Lay hands on the person and pray for their healing. Healing includes emotional wounds, mental and soul hurts, relationship wounds, and anything else the Lord directs. As you pray for healing in these areas, ask God to minister to that hurt and pain and replace it with an aspect of the Truth about who He is in the life of this person.
- Soul Ties: a soul tie is the knitting together of the bonds of a relationship. Godly soul ties occur when like-minded believers are together in the Lord: friends, spouses, family, etc. However, relationships that lack ‘God-centeredness’ can result in ungodly soul ties between friends, parents and children, other family members, spouses, former spouses and past romantic partners, immoral sexual activity, etc. Soul ties can even be created with the death of a loved one. If there is an unnatural “worship” of the deceased person, a soul tie may have been created by the one living.
Symptoms of ungodly soul ties include:
- Obsessive preoccupation with another
- Domineering and controlling tendencies
- Inability to forgive from the heart
- Another person’s words playing over and over in our minds
- Anger, blame, and accusations in a relationship
- Fear of being real or speaking the truth to another
- Occultic, cultic, psychic activity
To break a soul tie confess the soul tie, repent, and commit to breaking any impure or unrighteous relationship. Wait for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to come. In the interim, use spiritual disciplines. A soul tie cannot be broken by the mind. It is the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit that breaks the yoke.
Prayer for Breaking Soul Ties: Father, in Jesus’ name, I submit my soul, my desires and my emotions to your Spirit. I confess as sin all my promiscuous, premarital sexual relationships and all sexual relationships outside of marriage. I confess all my ungodly soul, spirit, and body ties as sin and I thank You for forgiving and cleaning me right now. I break my ungodly soul ties with (list people the Holy Spirit brings to mind) in the name of Jesus. I bind, renounce, and resist any evil spirits that have entered through these soul ties or illicit unions and I cast them out of my life in the name of Jesus. Amen.
- Inner Vows/Judgments: Inner vows are unscriptural (Matt. 5:33-37). An inner vow is a solemn promise to perform or not perform a certain act, carry out an activity, or behave in a given way. An inner vow is developed as a result of something that did/didn’t happen to us as a child, usually when we felt out of control, and we vow that we will do it differently when we grow up. We make a judgment about something or someone. Then we make an inner vow. This opens the door for the enemy. Inner vows usually begin with “I will never…” or “I will always…” Inner vows are void of any decision to seek or submit to God’s direction in a particular area of our lives. Many times, an inner vow may actually be opposed to God’s will in our lives. It is dictated by self power and we find that when the enemy gains access to the hurting area of our lives through an inner vow, we become powerless in our own strength to discontinue the action created by the inner vow. When an inner vow is directing our lives, God isn’t.
For example: Let’s say that you were forced to eat brussel sprouts growing up. You made a judgment about your parents that went something like, “My parents are mean when they make me eat this vegetable. “ Then you make an inner vow that says, “When I grow up, I will never make my children eat vegetables.” You get married and you have children. You and your wife argue continually over requiring the children to eat vegetables. This conflict is fueled by your judgment on your parents and the inner vow you made.
To break an inner vow, you must repent of judging someone. God is the only one who can pass judgment on a person. (James 4:11-12) After repentance, and asking for forgiveness, with the authority of the name of Jesus, break the stronghold that vow has over you.
Prayer for Breaking Inner Vows: Father, I’m aware that Your Word says that we shouldn’t make vows except to you. I’ve judged _______ and made inner vows to myself that say ________. In the name of Jesus I repent and break these inner vows and ask that Your will be done in my life. Cleanse me and kill the negative harvest I have sown with my lips, as well as my actions self sufficiency in the inner vow. Give me Your strength to change and to begin today to plant a crop of blessing and righteousness.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
How Do You Prepare to Do Deliverance and Inner Healing?
Prayer, both in the Spirit and in understanding, before and during the ministry time is critical. Invite God’s manifest presence, and ask Him to be the Counselor and Deliverer. Ask that both you and the counselee have His wisdom. Pray specifically for the gifts of discerning of spirits and words of knowledge. Fasting may make the session more productive. Make sure you have dealt with any spiritual issues in your own life before you minister to someone else.
Although not absolutely necessary, it is helpful to minister Inner Healing and Deliverance with another person.
Salvation is necessary. If the person has not made Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior, lead them to that decision before beginning ministry.
What must someone do in order to get ministered to?
Inner Healing and Deliverance must be desired by the person seeking ministry and not because someone else wants it for him/her.
A person must complete and submit a Ministry Packet, including a Ministry Agreement, before a time is set for ministry. The completion of a packet not only helps the deliverance minister know areas that need to be submitted to prayer, it will also help the counselee in focusing his/her thoughts.
What Is The Responsibility of the Counseled After Ministry In These Areas?
- Share your experience with someone else.
- Present yourself daily to God, submitted to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. (Romans 12:1-2). He will continue the good work in you (Philippians 1:6).
- Study the armor given to us by God to stand against the enemy. (Eph. 6:10-18)
- Read and quote Scripture. The enemy hates Scripture and you will be feeding your inner man with Truth. (Gold Card).
- Develop a life of praise and worship. God inhabits the praises of His people.
- Make lifestyle changes. Maintain a life of fellowship with the body of Christ.
- Break old patterns and habits that allowed the enemy access.
- Commit every thought, action, and emotion daily to the Lord in prayer.
- Ask for Jesus to stir up the fruit of the Spirit resident within you. (Galatians 5:22)
- Hold fast your confession.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty!”
II Corinthians 3:17