Important Testimony of THE VALUE OF INNER HEALING by The Rev. Dr. Dennis J. Bennett, D.Div., a Major Pioneer in the Charismatic Renewal
This article is written to show people how to help themselves and others receive soul healing from Jesus through prayer. I want to express my own confidence in what Rita is telling about. I am myself receiving healing that is letting the light of Jesus into the dark places in my own personality, and changing some basic attitudes in a way that amazes me!
I had a secure childhood, with loving parents, but nevertheless sustained serious hurts, and acquired a great many fears that have dogged me through life. My mother was severely handicapped with arthritis, and unable to give me the physical affection I needed, although she was everything a mother could be in other ways. My father was a pastor––a warm, impulsive man––but although I knew he loved me, he almost never showed approval of me or of what I was doing.
I spent my first three school years in England under the old brutal system of discipline (read Dickens, you’ll get the idea, although my experience wasn’t quite that bad!). When I was nine, my dad moved us to the USA, and I experienced the culture shock that might be expected. Added to all this, until I was fourteen, I was always the “runt” of the group! At any rate, I developed a highly negative and fearful attitude toward life, with some real hang-ups.
Receiving Jesus helped immeasurably, of course, and later, when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, I thought all of my problems were settled! And of course they were, as long as I walked in the Spirit. I soon found, though, that that was hard to do. My spirit was just fine––joined to the Lord, and seated with Christ in heavenly places. But my soul was still stuffed with things that needed correcting and healing. By the Baptism in the Spirit, the Lord was able to take care of some of them, but the deepest hurts were firmly repressed, until I began to pray for soul healing.
As I see Jesus in past situations, and let Him heal my feelings, I am experiencing startling changes. I used to be apprehensive about the future; now I find myself looking forward with joy. Most important, I am experiencing an increase in spiritual freedom. As my soul is healed, I find I feel more love for the Lord, and more confidence that He loves me. And I believe I am going to receive even more help as I go along.
There are many scriptural examples of soul healing, but there is one clear passage in the Book of James: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (James 5:16 KJV). Modern translations usually read, “Confess your sins one to another….”
The usual word for sin in the New Testament Greek documents is hamartia. But James here uses the word paraptoma. This word is used as a synonym for hamartia in a number of places in the New Testament, but it may also be translated fault, and this is the way the King James translators chose to render it. It seems pretty clear why. (Scholars will note that the translators of the King James Version (KJV) would have been using the older Greek manuscripts, probably the so-called Textus Receptus. The later manuscripts do not have paraptoma here, but the more common hamartia.) This passage speaks of confessing to one another. You don’t confess your sins one to another, you confess them to God. You may confess them in the presence of your pastor or another person, so he can assure you of God’s forgiveness, and pray for you. You may ask another person to forgive you for what you’ve done to him, but you confess your sin to God.
Then too, the passage speaks of confessing in order to be healed. But you pray for sin to be forgiven, not healed. And this is why, I believe, the KJV translators chose the word fault.
A fault is a defect. An earthquake fault is a break in the earth’s crust. It does no harm in itself, until it slips! Then you can have widespread destruction. Similarly, a defect in the human personality is a fault, not a sin. If you have a hot temper, that’s a fault. You can’t help it. You got it from your ancestors, or from your childhood experiences. Just having a hot temper isn’t a sin, but losing your temper is. If you lose your temper, you’ll have to confess your sin and ask that it be forgiven, but you also need to pray that the hot temper––the fault––will be healed. If the fault is healed, the sin is avoided. I think this is what James is talking about, and it’s what we are doing in inner-healing prayer.
It’s not much good to tell someone to try harder unless you offer help to heal his faults. Then he can begin to ascend to what we might call a “beneficial spiral” (the opposite of a vicious spiral!). If my hot-tempered friend loses his cool, he needs to confess his sin, and be forgiven. If he’s permitted a spirit from the enemy to control him through his temper, he may need to bind and cast out that spirit. He is now ready for inner healing, for the fault of weakness of bad temper to be cured. Then he needs to cooperate with God by trying to behave himself. If he fails again, he takes another turn around the spiral––confession of sin, forgiveness, deliverance, healing, discipline––but each time he comes out higher up, and gradually the bad temper is cured, and the sin no longer occurs.
I am eager to recommend soul-healing prayer to you. It is finally coming to the fore in this present day as the most recent truth being restored to the Christian community.
Rita has a way of presenting this truth so that it is highly understandable and usable. People everywhere, both in leadership and in private life, will benefit by reading and applying her books and teachings on this topic. It really works. It’s exciting. Don’t pass it by!