Set Free from Nightmares
A woman told me that she grew up in a Christian home and was home schooled by her mother along with her five siblings. When she was 10 years old her brother almost died and she and her siblings had a lot of serious health problems, which led her mother to becoming depressed. It made her angry at God that they suffered so many problems, then as a teenager she became involved with an older man who was an alcoholic and began abusing her physically and sexually. She eventually broke off her relationship with this man and he was sentenced to prison, but she continued to have flashbacks and nightmares. She was prescribed some psychiatric medications and they just made her nightmares worse.
This woman spent a lot of time with Christian friends who helped her release her anger toward God and her anger toward the abusive man, but she continued to have nightmares and was fearful of men and of new relationships. She denied that she had any feelings of shame about her sexual abuse but she admitted that she still had fears. I asked her when she last had a nightmare and to vividly recall the nightmare. It was a dream about this man sexually abusing her and she felt fearful when she awakened. She stated that she felt weak and vulnerable, and she said she felt anxious that it could happen again because she was so naive and trusting and lacking in discernment. I prayed for her and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about her belief that her abuse was due to her naivete and weakness. I told her to listen quietly, and she said, "It wasn't my fault, I was practically a child. He initiated it and I did nothing wrong." She said that she no longer felt it was her fault.
I told this woman to think about the nightmare and the sexual abuse again, and I asked her how she felt while thinking about it. She said she still felt fearful that she could be hurt again because she was so weak and vulnerable and had no discernment. I prayed for her again and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about her beliefs. This time she said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He has good things for me as a child of God." The woman stated that she felt confident that the Lord would give her discernment now to avoid being hurt by someone else, and her fears and feelings of shame over her former abuse were gone. She said that she had been angry at God previously and this prevented her from being able to hear His voice and receive discernment from Him. Since she had already released her anger toward God and her abuser she was able to hear from the Lord who gave her truth and calmed her fears.
At the end of our prayer session I instructed her to think about her abuse again and tell me how she felt. She said that she could remember the abuse without any feelings of anger, grief, or shame. She felt "calm" and "contentment." All of the negative feelings that were previously connected to her abuse memories and nightmares were gone and she just felt peaceful. That's the test of true healing, when you can think about a traumatic event from your past and there are no negative emotions anymore. The Lord set this woman free from her nightmares, fears, and feelings of shame and blame as we prayed for truth. He gave her the truth she needed and set her free!
43 Years of Marriage Lost
A woman came for help when her 43 year marriage was disrupted by her husband having an affair with a young woman. He separated from her, bought himself a large home, and began living with this younger woman. His Christian wife was, of course, very hurt and angry and full of grief.
Some women prayed with her about her anger. They made a list of reasons for her anger and led her in a prayer, and she gave some anger to the Lord. Then they led her to make a list of what she missed about her husband, and she gave this grief to the Lord.
But she still felt strong feelings of shame and believed her marital problems were her fault, which they learned was rooted in childhood feelings of shame. She had a brother who was disabled and who died when she was a teenager. Her mother used to beat her brother with a rubber hose and when this woman tried to defend him her mother turned her anger toward her. So she quit defending him and began wishing that he wouldn’t come home, to end the drama and fighting in her home. One day her brother was involved in an accident on his bike and was taken to the hospital where he died. She felt so guilty that she believed that she should never be forgiven and deserved to be punished until the day she died. The women tried to pray with her about this obvious lie, but could not get her past her feelings of shame.
I met with her and a prayer partner several days later to try again. She was a very sincere Christian who faithfully attended church and Set Free meetings and knew the Scriptures. She knew that the Bible said the Lord wanted to forgive her but she was in bondage to several lies. First, she believed that she was so bad that she deserved to be punished until the day she died. When we prayed about this belief she said it was true, and obviously was not hearing from the Lord so we looked at her anger. Second, she believed that it was wrong and dishonoring to talk about her feelings toward her mother, so she could not get rid of her anger. We helped her make up a list of the reasons for her anger toward her mother, which she initially denied completely. But when we tried to lead her in a prayer to give her anger to the Lord she stopped midway and would not finish the prayer, because she believed it was dishonoring to her mother (the devil keeps people in bondage with his lies about the Scriptures). We persuaded her that she could pray on her own and tell the Lord everything she resented about her mother and brother and ask Him to take her anger.
She did pray on her own and was honest with the Lord.
The next day she texted me the following words: “I gave it all to Him; My husband, my mother, and my brother. I repented of my sins and asked for forgiveness for my brother. I asked Him just to allow me to understand why my mother was that way and to forgive her of her shortcomings and to allow me to forgive her. And He said, ‘Yes.’” I asked her if she still felt feelings of shame and blamed herself and she said, “No, I gave it to Him and I feel at peace.” I asked if the Lord gave her any truth. She said, “Yes. He confirmed that I was young and that I had done all that I could for my brother, and that I didn’t want him to die but was scared for him to come home sometimes. As for my mother He told me that she did the best she could because I didn’t know what her childhood was like and that I turned out okay, and that He forgave my mother and that He forgives me.” God also told her that He love her and that He was going to bless her and make her happier than she has ever been.
The Lord set this woman free from her justified anger toward her husband and mother and then she was able to release her feelings of guilt and shame so that she could enjoy God’s peace. She was wronged by her husband who left her for another woman and she did not need to blame herself for it any longer, but the devil filled her mind with lies to keep her in bondage. Now, she can live in peace and serve the Lord in spite of her husband’s infidelity and she is excited about the Lord and happier than she has ever been, even though her husband is living with another woman.
Set Free from Meth
(Contributed by Michelle Miller)
A young lady was seen by a Set Free minister for help with her addiction to drugs. She had suffered much trauma in her life and she began to find relief at age 17 in pain pills and meth. Recently, she began seeking counseling and ways to curb her cravings for pills. The therapist she was seeing was counseling with her and giving her medication to stop the cravings but it wasn’t working.
Her biological mom died when she was nine and her dad remarried 8 months later to a drug addict. She said that her dad was never home and that he worked off and left her stepmom home alone to raise the kids. Her dad and step mom tried to raise her and her siblings but the home environment was unstable and hostile; there was a lot of anger and substance abuse going on in the home. When she became a teenager, she went to live with her aunt and uncle who became her parents. She had a close relationship with them but her aunt also had a problem with pain pills and would often give them to her. She got involved with a boyfriend from age 16 to 22, and both began using meth and continued and until she was 21 years old. He was very abusive to her, cussed at her, and hit her. Her paternal grandparents were murdered when she was younger, then her aunt and uncle both died so she had a lot of unresolved grief.
The prayer minister first prayed with her about her anger toward her father. She made a list of all the reasons she was angry at her father including partying every night, choosing alcohol over her, and taking sides with her stepmother. She also resented that he wouldn’t allow her to talk about her mother or say her name, he cheated on her mother when she was alive, and he took her to bars when she was 2 and 3 years old. She identified 16 things she resented about him and the prayer minister led her in a prayer and she gave the Lord all her anger towards her father. The Lord told her that her father loved her.
She stated that she was sad that she didn’t have a mom. She felt sad because she remembered that her mom was very sick, unable to walk, she threw up, her hair fell out, and she had to take care of three children while she was sick. She prayed about that sadness and said that she felt a “peace come over her.”
The young lady was angry at her aunt and grieved her death. She made a list of 11 reasons she was angry at her aunt, including that her aunt gave her pain pills, treated her own kids badly after their father died, she was very selfish, she screamed at her, and she overdosed and killed herself. After praying and giving her anger to the Lord, she said that she “felt the weight being lifted off her chest.”
She began to cry and express things she missed about her aunt such as being unable to call her, being a mother-figure to her, taking her shopping, cooking for her, and being crazy and funny. She gave her grief and sadness to the Lord and when the prayer minister asked God what He wanted her to know she said, “Everything is going to be Okay!!”
She also made a list of nine reasons for her anger toward her abusive boyfriend who was mentally abusive and had affairs. Afterwards, she said she felt “nothing!! No anger, no fear, nothing!!”
Lastly, she expressed that she was angry at herself and sad about the way she has deceived her husband. She identified six reasons for her guilt and shame and she prayed and confessed her failures and asked for forgiveness. After this she said she felt no more guilt or shame, just “Peace.”
One week after their prayer session, here is what she wrote to her prayer minister: “I really have no desire for drugs at all. I was just telling my husband yesterday how thankful I am not to have cravings anymore because that’s what always got me back to taking the pills. If the thought of pills even cross my mind I start praying and I don’t think about it anymore. I have been clean for 3 weeks and 2 days! That’s the longest I have been clean in over 4 years and I feel 100 percent in my heart that I will never use again!!” It’s wonderful how the Lord uses nonprofessionals like this prayer minister to set captives free.
Addict Releases Anger and Grief
A young man admitted that he abused drugs and said he wanted help. He listened intently as I spoke with him about the power of God to set us free from feelings of grief, anger, and shame and he admitted that he began abusing drugs as a teenager due to his underlying feelings of grief and anger toward his parents. I shared that he could resolve his anger by making a list of the reasons for his anger and then giving them to the Lord, and he said that he would like to do this.
He told me that he was especially angry at his father who left his family when the young man was 8 years old. He grew up without his father being around to teach him and then his mother chose her boyfriends and alcohol over her children and neglected them. When he was 10 years old he was placed in foster care because his mother was fighting with her boyfriend and drinking a lot, and his father was gone. His father came back into his life when he was 16 years old but he used meth and smoked marijuana with his son and was not a good example to him. When this young man began abusing pills his father criticized him and screamed at him. He also stated that it bothered him that his father treats his adoptive children better than he ever treated him. He identified 17 things he resented about his father, then he prayed and asked the Lord to take his anger from him. Afterwards, I asked the Lord if there was anything that He wanted this young man to know. The thoughts that came to his mind were, “It’s going to be okay; my dad loves me. I love him.” He said that he felt calm and felt no more anger toward him.
The young man told me that his mother died 7 years ago and he still missed her and felt sad and depressed about her death. Although he had some anger toward her he mostly missed her. He missed her love and affection, her cooking, going for walks with her, shopping with her, and having conversations together. He also said he missed her smile, her presence, her encouragement, her sense of humor, and her love for his wife. He identified 16 things he missed about his mother and then he prayed and told the Lord what he missed about her, then he asked the Lord to take his grief and sadness from her. Afterwards, he said he felt happy and he believed that she is with the Lord.
He then talked about his anger toward his mother. Even though he loved her and missed her, he had some resentments toward her for choosing her boyfriends and alcohol over him, for bringing her boyfriends around who got into fights with this young man, and for embarrassing him with her drinking. Sometimes she got drunk and passed out and he had to take care of her and he resented that she just gave up on life and died in his arms from cirrhosis of the liver, which was very traumatic for him. He identified ten reasons for his anger toward his mother, then he prayed and asked the Lord to take his anger from him. Afterwards, he said he had no more anger towards her, and he felt no more grief or sadness. He said he felt “at peace.”
This is a major step toward freedom for this young man.
Addictions are the result of underlying negative feelings of grief, anger, and shame and when the Lord sets addicts free from these feelings, they have no more urge to drink or use drugs. Jesus sets the captives free when they learn to cast all their cares upon Him and listen to his voice of truth!
Set Free from Loneliness
A woman told me that she was struggling with a recent loss of a relationship and from loneliness. She stated that she was married for 30 years until her husband died three years ago, then she got involved in an on-line relationship with a man stationed in Afghanistan in the army. Even though she never met this man their relationship grew strong, they communicated frequently, and they began talking about marriage. This woman began planning their wedding and her boyfriend told her how eager he was to meet her family. Then he asked to borrow some money from her and she sold her best vehicle and borrowed money for him and began using her credit card to send him money. Soon, she discovered that he was having a similar relationship with two other women and she realized that he was scamming her.
This woman was deeply hurt and angry and ended her relationship with this man, but he continued trying to text her.
We made a list of 16 reasons for her anger, including his lies, manipulations, and wasting her time and $10,000 on him. Then she prayed and gave her anger to the Lord and asked Him to take her anger and carry it for her. I asked the Lord what He wanted her to know and she said, “He (the Lord) loves me. Trust me. He’s got someone for me.” I asked her how she felt and she said she had no anger and she felt calm. I was skeptical that the thought that “He’s got someone for me” was true because it is a common belief that lonely people have that they have to have a life partner to be happy, and it leads to loneliness.
She admitted that she was very lonely since her husband died and that it was difficult for her to be home alone. Since loneliness is a belief-based emotion, I asked her when she first remembered being lonely. She said that she first felt lonely when her husband was alive and her last child moved out of the house. Her husband kicked their three children out of their home as soon as they graduated from high school, and when the last one graduated he was kicked out, too. She felt very lonely because husband was mentally abusive to her, screamed at her, and intimidated her. She identified four reasons for her anger toward her deceased husband and gave her anger to the Lord. Her anger immediately left and she said she felt calm.
Then I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about her belief that she was alone and unloved. I instructed her to be quiet and report any thoughts to me that came to her mind. She said, “I’m important, I’m valuable, and He is with me.” She said that these thoughts felt true to her. She was calm, felt no anger, and no longer felt lonely when she visualized being home alone.
It’s very likely that her feelings of loneliness led her to be very vulnerable to the attentions of her on-line male companion, and he was adept at playing on the feelings of lonely, desperate women. Now that she has received healing for her anger, grief, and loneliness she should be able to live a happy life as a single woman or wait patiently until the Lord chooses to provide her a healthy, godly relationship. 2 Timothy 3:5-6 warns women about such men: “Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses.”
Set Free from Recent Loss
A woman from our church lost her father one week ago and she said that she needed help resolving her feelings. Her father had previous health problems but he always bounced back and recovered. This time that didn’t happen; he went to the hospital for a week and his condition just worsened until he passed away. This woman and her children were at his bedside when he passed away and they were all traumatized by his suffering and his death.
Her mother-in-law was also present when her father died and she laughed at him and made fun of him when he began waving his arms and reaching toward something. When he died the mother-in-law would not allow this woman to come back to his home or take any sentimental items with her. She took everything of his and moved some friends in with her whom her husband did not like. It made this woman angry that her mother-in-law was so self-centered and obviously cared more for his possessions than for her father. The woman identified ten reasons for her anger toward her mother-in-law and asked the Lord to take her anger and carry it for her. I asked the Lord what He wanted this woman to know and she said, “He loves me and has been there for me. He’s handling it, and those were angels whom he saw that he was reaching for.” She said that she felt relieved and had no more anger.
I asked this woman what other feelings she had and she said she just missed her father. She said that he was always available when she called him for help. He was a hard worker and helped her fix things, which she missed. She also missed hearing his voice, seeing him every day, and taking her children and grandchildren to see him. She missed going hunting and fishing with him, his cooking, his love and affection, and going places with him. She identified 25 things she missed about him and then she prayed and asked the Lord to take her grief and sadness from her. I prayed and asked the Lord if there was anything that He wanted her to know. She said, “He’s in a better place, he’s in no pain, he can walk now, and he is with his brothers.” She added that he is happy, is no longer sad, and he wouldn’t want her to be sad. I asked her how she felt now as she thought about her father. She took a deep breath and laughed said, “I can breathe now.” She said that she felt no more anger or grief; she was at peace.
Many people would say that it is impossible for someone who lost their father a week earlier to find such quick relief, and grief researchers say that nothing helps speed up the process of grieving for normal grief. This woman had grieved for a week, however, and was ready for relief. She was set free immediately and miraculously by the Lord as she was honest with the Lord about her grief and then gave it all to Him. Jesus does indeed “heal the brokenhearted.”
Set Free From Gambling
Gambling is a serious addiction for many people that can rob them of their families, their jobs, and their self-respect. Few counselors have experience working with gamblers but there are training programs available to teach counselors about gambling. Unfortunately, those who complete these lengthy training programs do not learn how to help gamblers be set free from their gambling, though they do educate them about the many ways that gambling can destroy lives. I have learned that with all types of addictions there are underlying emotional issues that lead the addicted gambler to gamble in order to make them feel better. Individuals with gambling addictions need to learn how to identify and resolve these underlying emotions in order to be set free from their gambling.
A Christian man came to me for help with his gambling addiction. He told me that he began gambling around age 20 after he went through a divorce, and he eventually remarried his wife but continued gambling compulsively. We discussed his background and identified many sources of grief and anger from his past and we began praying about each of these. After eight sessions he had resolved many feelings of anger and grief and he was feeling better, but he continued gambling. We discussed several painful relationships and losses that still bothered him so we prayed about these and his gambling decreased, but he continued to gamble about once per week.
One week I asked him how he felt just before the last time he went gambling. He told me that he was at home in the evening watching television and he had no feelings but just felt bored and had a strong urge to go to the local casino. I probed for more details and he said he was watching TV alone while his wife was busy in another room of the house. He felt alone and he admitted that his gambling had damaged his marriage so much that they had little affection for each other. He admitted that he felt a lot of sadness about this.
I asked him when he first felt this sense of aloneness and sadness and he told me that he first felt this way when his wife first left him and he was living with his grandmother. He felt very alone, sad and worthless. We prayed about his belief that he was worthless and all alone and the thought came to him, “I’m okay; I’m not worthless. I am loved.” His feelings of aloneness suddenly lifted after the Lord brought these thoughts to his mind, and he felt peaceful as he thought about being alone.
Several weeks later he returned and told me that he had not gambled for three weeks and he had no urges to gamble. He said that he had been praying every night about his feelings and giving any anger he had to the Lord. His relationship with his wife also improved and she spontaneously hugged him several times and was pleased that he had not been gambling. He was smiling and said that he felt peaceful and calm and was very hopeful about his gambling compulsion because he had no more urges to gamble since our last session. When I spoke with him several weeks later he was still doing well and still had no more urges to gamble. The Lord has healed this man of his anger, hurts, and grief and this released him from his urge to gamble. He does indeed set the captives free!
Set Free from Addiction
A young man came for help with his alcohol abuse and anger. He was raised in church and was a believer but received three DWIs in two years and his family said that when he drank he was angry and belligerent. He lost his job two years earlier when he tested positive for marijuana, so he was angry at his former employer. He had a girlfriend whom he loved but she was strongly opposed to his drinking which had created some conflicts between them.
I explored this young man’s background to identify the underlying sources of his anger, grief, and shame. He never knew his biological father but disliked him when he met him. At age 10 he lost his favorite aunt, with whom he was very close. As a teenager he had two girlfriends who broke his heart and he became very fearful when his grandfather almost died from heart problems when he was 18 years old. He began drinking heavily at age 15 and received three DWIs by age 20. He agreed that he had a problem with his drinking and his anger and he admitted that he could not control his drinking or anger.
I shared with this young man how he could release his anger and grief through prayer and he was very receptive, saying that he was a Christian.
We prayed about his unresolved grief over losing his aunt and his unresolved anger toward his two former girlfriends. He was amazed at how quickly his anger and grief left him. I asked him what he thought about this and he smiled and said, “It really works!” He continued coming for eight sessions and we systematically prayed about each significant loss and source of anger he had. His drinking decreased significantly and he was much happier and calm and began coming to our sessions smiling. Then he received a job which helped him feel even better.
In our last session we reviewed his progress. He stated that he had no more unresolved grief, and he had no anger toward anyone in the past who had harmed him. He indicated that he had no more angry outbursts and he had quit drinking completely; he didn’t even have the urge to drink anymore. He said, “I feel so good without alcohol that I have no desire to drink,” which made his girlfriend very happy.
Like so many people, this young man could not control or understand his drinking and it was causing problems in his relationships, in his employment, and with the law enforcement. Even though he was a Christian he did not understand how to resolve his underlying feelings of grief and anger that made him feel bad and want to drink. When the Lord took his anger and grief and replaced it with peace, his desire and urges to drink stopped. The Lord wants each of us to experience His peace, and as we do so we will overcome our urges. We will not become sinless, but we will sin much less when we have the peace of God in our hearts.
Set Free from Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse affects many men and women. It is estimated that 25% of all women, and 16% of all men have been sexually abused at some time during their lifetime and it leads to a wide variety of emotional and social problems including depression, anxiety, anger, eating disorders, marital problems, and substance abuse. Even Christians experience disabling effects from childhood sexual abuse because conversion does not automatically lead to healing of emotional problems rooted in childhood experiences. It is important that the church know how to help those who have been sexually abused so that they can experience freedom and peace.
A woman sought counseling for help with her depression that was mostly rooted in the traumatic loss of her grandmother from a car accident. I explained to her how she could release her grief by making a list of the things she missed about her grandmother and asking the Lord to take her grief and carry it for her. She was immediately set free from her grief then she began releasing feelings of anger that she had toward several individuals from her past. After 12 sessions she was doing well, her depression was gone and she was getting along much better with her husband, but she was afraid to discuss her sexual abuse at age 9.
In my last counseling session with her she tearfully consented to talk about her sexual abuse. She told me that she had never discussed this with anyone and she was full of shame over it. A close friend of her older brother molested her three times and told her to not tell anyone or they would both get into trouble. He also told her that it was her fault so she felt dirty and shameful and hated herself. She also felt a lot of justified anger toward this young man so we started by identifying the reasons for her anger toward the perpetrator. She was angry because she trusted him, he took advantage of her as a child, he hurt her physically, and it made her angry, sassy, and disrespectful. She identified 12 reasons for her anger, then I led her in a prayer and she told the Lord the reasons for her anger and asked Him to take her anger and carry it for her. Afterwards she immediately said she felt no more anger toward the young man.
I asked her if she had any other negative feelings regarding her sexual abuse, and she told me that she felt worthless and shameful because she never told anyone about it. These feelings of shame were based on false beliefs so I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about her beliefs. I told her to listen quietly to see if any thoughts came to her mind. She quickly told me that she was only 9 years old and was afraid to tell anyone at home because of other problems in her family. She also said, “It’s okay. It’s not my fault. I was nine years old and he knew better.” She no longer felt shameful or blamed herself for the sexual abuse.
She said she also felt some sadness that this happened to her and this young man abused some other girls later. We prayed a third time and she asked the Lord to take her sadness. After this she said that it was the young man’s fault; he was the predator. She said that a weight had been lifted from her and she felt “surprisingly good.”
All of the anger, shame, and sadness she had carried for 33 years were gone after about 30 minutes of praying. The Lord set her free from her sexual abuse so she could think about it and talk about it without any more negative feelings.
The secular world does not know how to effectively help those with sexual abuse, but the Lord is able to quickly set people free from sexual abuse through prayer. Our goal with Set Free Prayer Ministry to help churches help those who struggle emotionally, and to teach them how to pray effectively about their emotions so that they can serve the Lord without hindrance. We hope you will become involved with our ministry or start one in your local church to spread the good news about the power of the Lord to set people free from their emotional struggles and give them peace.
Peace on Earth
On Christmas Eve, six weeks after the election, liberals are still fuming over the election results and news stations are talking about how to avoid arguments during family gatherings over the holidays. Last week there were three more terrorist attacks around the world, including the Muslim man from Tunisia who drove a semi through a crowd of Germans in a shopping mall, killing 12. There is little evidence of peace on earth in 2016.
The solution to this wide-spread anger and violence that we see around the world begins in our homes. We must learn how to release our anger and obey the Scripture that says, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Eph. 4:26). If believers do not do this in their homes, and pastors do not teach it in their churches, it will never happen because the church is the “pillar and support of truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).
A couple came for counseling who were having marital struggles. The wife began texting another man and when her husband learned about it he became very upset. She ended the texting but they had other sources of conflict. I shared with this couple how to be set free from their anger and I met with them individually to help them make a list of the reasons for their anger toward one another. They both prayed and gave their anger to the Lord.
When I saw them several weeks later they were doing better but some more anger had surfaced. I explained to both of them how they needed to release their anger on a daily basis to obey Ephesians 4:26. They both indicated that they wanted to release their anger so I met with them individually and helped them make up another list, then they prayed and gave their anger to the Lord again. I encouraged them to both make a pledge to “not let the sun go down on your anger” and then gave them a wrist band with the words “DO NOT LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON YOUR ANGER” to remind them of their promise. They left smiling and feeling calm.
This Scripture means that we must daily release anger that has surfaced that day, and not hold onto it overnight. It also means that we have to be honest about all resentments from our past and release them because these unresolved resentments bleed over into our relationships in the present and affect them. When a person pledges to not let the sun go down on their anger they are pledging to eliminate all known anger from their lives. When we fail to release our anger daily it gives “the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:27), according to this passage. It leads to marital problems, substance abuse, and violence.
This simple two-step process is deceptively simple but very powerful; it works. Secular psychologists and counselors have no way to eliminate anger so the world has no solution for the anger and violence in our society. Anger management does not work and pills are ineffective and sometimes induce violence and suicide. But Jesus can set us free from our anger when we are honest with Him and give it to Him. There will never be any peace on earth until believers obey this Scripture and apply it to their lives in their homes and in their churches. Pledge yourself to this principle and enjoy some peace in your home this Christmas.
Girl Reluctantly Set Free from Grief
A teenage girl came for counseling to get help with her depression. She indicated that she had been depressed since her stepfather and mother separated two years earlier, but she also lost her father at age 4 when he died from a car wreck. I shared with this young lady how she could be set free from her depression and grief by making a list of the things she missed about her stepdad and praying and asking the Lord to take her grief from her. She stated that she believed in prayer but she was shy about praying with me, so I suggested that we make a list of the things she missed about her stepdad and she agreed. We made a list of 22 things she missed about her stepfather and she promised to pray about these on her own.
Two months later this girl returned and was still very depressed. She stated that she lost her list and never prayed about her grief. I explained again that there is no other way to overcome her depression and grief and she agreed to make another list of things she missed about her stepfather. She said that missed having a father figure in her life to spend time with her, talk with her about everything, go fishing with her, and laughing with her. She missed watching TV with him, eating out with him, and she missed his love and affection. She said that after her mother and stepfather separated he remarried and his new wife did not allow him to talk with her or her mother so her relationship with him was suddenly cut off. She identified 17 things she missed about him and I suggested that I lead her in a prayer and she could quietly repeat it in her mind. She agreed to do this and nodded her head after each item she prayed about and gave them all to the Lord.
Afterwards, she said she felt no more sadness or anger toward her stepfather.
We also talked about the loss of her father at age 4 and she identified four things she missed about him, and 8 things that made her sad about her father. She prayed and released these items but she then felt some anger toward him. We identified six reasons for her anger and she prayed silently and released them. After this third prayer she said that she felt no more sadness or anger toward her father or toward her stepfather. She said she felt calm and peaceful and her depression had dropped significantly.
Some people, like this young lady, are a little hesitant to pray because they are not accustomed to praying and don’t know how. With a little encouragement most of them are willing to try it on their own when given simple, clear instructions. This girl failed to do it on her own but she was willing to pray silently as I led her in the prayer, and she was set free from the grief that she had been carrying for two years. What a joy it is to see people set free from grief and depression and to see the power of prayer!
Trauma Anger Released
A woman came to me for help with some trauma that had occurred three years earlier, when her 13-year-old daughter was sexually abused by an older boy. On the anniversary date of the assault her daughter had nightmares and flashbacks of the event that occurred when she went on a date with the boy who took her to a park and then took her to a private location where he assaulted her. The emotional reaction of the girl triggered off her mother and made her feel strong feelings of anger toward the young man.
I asked her what made her most angry at the young man and she said that he lied about breaking up with another girl, he broke his agreement to go nowhere but to the park, he assaulted the girl and refused to stop when she repeatedly asked him to stop, and he lied about it to his friends at school who teased her.
This woman identified 8 reasons for her anger and then she prayed and asked the Lord to take her anger from her. Afterwards, she said she still felt angry because her daughter is still struggling with the trauma while this young man acts like he has done no wrong. It also angered the woman that he shows no remorse, he has suffered no consequences for his behavior, and this event still has such a strong emotional control over the woman after three years. We prayed about five more reasons for her anger, and she gave her anger to the Lord and asked him to take it from her.
I asked the Lord if there was anything that He wanted this woman to know, and she listened quietly for a short while then said, “God knows his mind, and he will answer for what he did. I confronted him and what I said to him may stop him from hurting another girl.” After our prayers and these thoughts from the Lord, she relaxed and began talking calmly. She said that her anger was gone and she began to smile.
She spoke about her plans for Christmas and how she would be able to enjoy it without this anger controlling her.
Many people have had significant losses or various forms of traumatic experiences that can destroy their holiday feelings. This woman will not have to go through this on Christmas because she prayed and gave the Lord her anger so that she can have peace in her heart during Christmas. The Lord Jesus, who is described in Isaiah 19:6 as the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace” spoke to her heart and replaced her anger and pain with His awesome Peace. May the Lord do the same in your heart to give you a joyous and peaceful time during the coming weeks as we celebrate the Prince of Peace coming into the world as a child to bring “peace on earth, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14, KJV).
Set Free from Irrational Fears
This ministry focuses on helping people resolve feelings of grief, anger, and shame because these are the most common underlying emotions to most mental health problems. However, there are many people who also struggle with fears and it is important to understand how to resolve irrational fears. Fear is the fourth most common emotion that robs people of peace.
A young man told me that he had been reading a lot of stories about ghosts and he began experiencing irrational fears when he was home alone. He prayed about his anxiety and asked the Lord to take it from him and this helped some, but he still had some fears that he wanted to resolve. Fears are belief-based emotions so I asked him what he believed was going to happen. He said that he was afraid that something terrible was going to happen and he would be hurt by evil spirits or ghosts.
Most anxieties like this are rooted in childhood experiences so I asked him if he had any previous feelings of fear like those he was having. He said that at age 4 he watched a TV show with his mother about “Bigfoot” and he became fearful that a monster was going to hurt him. He dreamed that his father turned into Bigfoot and he was powerless to resist him and there was no one to protect him. I prayed about this belief and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know about his belief that he was going to be hurt or killed by an evil spirit and that he was powerless to resist. He stated that the thought came to him that there was no need to be fearful because God would protect him. That thought came from the Lord and immediately, this childhood memory was healed so he had no more fear of Bigfoot or of his father turning into Bigfoot.
His present anxiety of being harmed by a ghost was also resolved and he felt peaceful and calm.
Sometimes it can be difficult for people to identify the source of their anxieties but it is essential for resolving fears. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled (or agitated), nor let it be fearful” (John 14:1) and 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and discipline.” Many believers struggle with fears and any believer can be struck suddenly with panic attacks, but the Lord does not want us to be controlled by fears. He will set us free when we learn how to identify the underlying source of our fears and pray for His truth, which will set us free (John 8:32).
The only solution that the world offers for anxiety and fear is medication that will immediately remove the anxiety, but will lead to an addiction to the medication that is harder to overcome than heroin. The Lord can resolve your fears completely when you learn how to identify the source, identify the underlying beliefs, and pray for truth. In the same way that this young man was set free from his fears, the Lord wants to set you free from your fears so that you can serve Him unhindered and be a testimony of His grace and power.
Set Free from Suicidal Depression
A young woman came to me one morning, desperate for help. I had seen her several times previously when she was suicidal but she never returned for help with her depression after being hospitalized. I shared with her that the hospitalizations and medications were not working and that she needed help resolving her depression. She agreed to return the next day.
The following morning she came with her mother who was trying hard to help her. The mother told me that she was a strong Christian but admitted that she was taking many psychiatric medications herself including antidepressants, antipsychotics, and antianxiety medications. I asked the young woman when her depression began and she said it started 12 years ago when her grandfather died, which devastated her. Then she lost her great grandfather the same year and several years later she lost both of her grandmothers which further depressed her. I shared with her and her mother that 87% of all depression is rooted in losses and I shared with them both how the Lord can take our grief and carry it for us when we identify the things we miss about a person and ask Him to take our grief from us. They were both tearful and excited to hear this.
I asked the young lady what she missed about her grandfather and she told me how close she was to him and how much she loved hearing him preach. She enjoyed his laughter and jokes, sitting in his lap, going to fast food restaurants with him, and him loving her and showing her affection. He was cheerful and encouraging and made her feel special and happy. She identified 27 things she missed about her grandfather and she was very tearful throughout this process. Then I led her in a prayer and she tearfully told the Lord these 27 things she missed about him. She ended her prayer by asking the Lord to take all her sadness and grief.
I asked the Lord if there was anything that He wanted her to know. She said, “I know he’s watching me. He’s happy and not in pain anymore. He’s home and I’m going to be alright.” I asked her how she felt afterwards and she said, “I love that man; I feel love and happy.” I asked if she had any other emotions and she said she felt some sadness because he died from colon cancer, he couldn’t afford insurance or surgery, he suffered for a year, he’s not here anymore, and my kids didn’t get to know him.” I led her in another prayer to give her sadness to the Lord.
Afterwards, I asked her how she felt. She said that she felt bitter. She was angry that God took her grandfather from her and she felt cheated. It seemed unfair to her that such a good man would die so young when evil people live longer. She also felt angry toward her parents who did not tell her when he died and he had a closed casket at his funeral so she never got to give him a hug or see him one last time. She prayed and asked the Lord to take her anger from her.
Afterwards, I asked the Lord what he wanted her to know. She said, “I’m going to be okay. I’ll see him again. I am honored to have known him. She was calm and peaceful and had no grief, sadness, or anger. She left smiling with her mother.
Both of them were elated to see how the Lord could carry their grief and heal them of their depression. Medications and hospitalizations had failed to help them, but the Lord was able to help them both through prayer.
was justifiably angry, but she wisely obeyed this command and gave her anger to the Lord. May each believer follow her example and make a pledge to “not let the sun go down on your anger” so that the Lord can bring healing to each of you and to our country.