HEALING OF A STORM PHOBIA 1
A young woman sought help for a serious fear of storms that had disabled her since age 5 when her mother left her with some of her friends while she went shopping. A storm suddenly arose with dark clouds and strong winds, and the tornado sirens began sounding. The family she was with had her and another little girl climb into their bathtub, and as the lights began to flicker on and off this girl panicked and began to cry and scream. She was afraid that her mother would be killed or that all of them were going to die.
I encouraged her to vividly describe this scene and to tell me what she was thinking, then I prayed for her, "Lord, what do you want this little girl to know about her belief that she is going to die or something terrible is going to happen?" When I told her let me know of any thoughts that came to her mind and she said, "Nothing did happen; He kept us safe. A Bible verse came to my mind that says, 'Who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?'"
I prayed again, "Lord, is there anything else that you want this little girl to know about her belief that they're all going to die?" She then said, "God keeps us safe; we always have some warning when a tornado comes; and, I have to straighten up for the sake of my kids." "How do you feel now as you think about that incident?" I asked. "It was silly and weird. We were safe," she said.
Then she had another memory come to her that she had forgotten, from when she was 19 years old. She was with her grandmother in a nursing home when a storm came and the tornado sirens were engaged, and all the residents were moved into the hallway. A little girl was playing and wanted to go outside to play but this woman was hysterical and crying. She was very angry at the child's parents for allowing her to be so casual and endangering herself. The staff called for a minister to talk with this woman and she became angry at him for implying that she was a bad person.
I prayed again, asking the Lord what he wanted her to know about her belief that the little girl was going to be hurt, something bad was going to happen, and they were all going to be crushed. Then she told me the following thoughts came to her mind: "We were safe; nothing bad happened to us, and my panic caused me more danger than the storm did."
This young woman began smiling at her new insights. She said that she felt peaceful and felt silly about being so afraid of storms, and the Scripture verse continued to come to her mind, "Who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?"
This was a cloudy day and she had been anxious when she came to this session, but by this time she was feeling so happy that she was almost giddy. She thanked me as she left, showing no more anxiety about the cloudy conditions of the day. The Lord suddenly replaced her fears with the truth that He was protecting her and the phobia she had for over 20 years was suddenly removed. No wonder David said in Psalm 23, "I will fear no evil for thou art with me."
HEALING OF PANIC ATTACKS 2
A client came to me with a long history of emotional struggles. She came from an alcoholic family, was sexually abused as a child, and had struggled with depression and self-injury since age 12 when her grandfather died who had raised her. In addition to depression and she struggled with irrational fears and panic attacks. She stated that she was overwhelmed with anxiety while in a store and felt that the walls were closing in on her. I explained that such feelings are usually caused by earlier experiences where the individual first experienced such anxieties.
I asked this young lady if she was willing to remember any such earlier experiences and she stated she was.
I told her to remember how she felt in the store when she had this recent panic attack and, with her permission, I prayed and asked the Lord to take her to the source and origin of these feelings of anxiety. After my brief prayer she pondered a short while before telling me that she had some similar feelings as a child that she didn’t think were related. While living with her grandparents her grandfather sometimes had war flashbacks and felt he was under attack by enemy forces. During these episodes he became very fearful and locked her and her grandmother in a cellar and the client reported that she was very frightened by this, and she screamed and cried. She felt trapped and feared that she was going to die in the cellar and no one would ever find her.
I prayed for this woman and asked the Lord what he wanted her to know about that belief that she was trapped and was going to die. She quickly began to tell me the thoughts that were coming to her mind: “It’s going to be okay. He let us out. It wasn’t his fault. My grandmother was with me so I was not alone.” After these thoughts came to her I asked her how she felt and she said, “I was not safe. I was trapped and there was no way out. I thought I was going to die and no one would ever know.” I prayed again and asked, “Lord, what else do you want this little girl to know?” This time she said, “It can’t ever happen again. My grandparents would never let anything happen to me. It’s okay now.”
This time when I asked her how she felt she said she felt calm and was not afraid.
I asked her to think about the times when her grandfather locked her in the cellar and see how she felt and she repeated that it was okay, now. She was no longer upset by the memory. She knew that she was okay and that her grandparents loved her and would never have harmed her. As she thought about these memories there was no more anxiety.
She spontaneously remarked that she never saw any connection between these early childhood experiences and her current panic attacks but she now could see it. As she spoke she said she felt no more anxiety about going to stores. I explained how the devil plants lies in our minds when we are children but how the truth sets us free when the Lord brings His truth to our minds. She smiled and left the session feeling a new freedom and peace in her life.
Four-year-old Set Free from Fear 3
The following story was contributed by a member of our Set Free Meeting in Oklahoma:
"When I was in Boise last week with my daughter and four children, her 4-year-old daughter said she was afraid of the dark and couldn't go to sleep. So I laid down with her in the bed and asked her if we could pray about that fear. She agreed, but it took about three times to get her focused on the praying. I asked Jesus what He wanted her to know about that fear. She said that He was in heaven and too far away to do anything about it. So I asked her if we could pray about that. I prayed that Jesus would show her what was the truth about Him being so far away in heaven. And then my granddaughter said that He was in her heart, not far away, and that with Him there, there wasn't anything to be afraid of! I asked her how she felt. She paused a bit and then said. "Happy!" She then asked that if Jesus was in her heart, then did that mean that heaven was right here with us? Interesting! I hadn't thought about it like that before. How profound are the thoughts of children! I said, "yes" and how did that make her feel to know that heaven was so close. She said, " Happy!" Jesus trades pain for peace in even His little ones.
I'm so grateful that I know somewhat how to pray like this with people!! And always so thrilled to see how Jesus shows up!
Set Free From Anxiety Attacks. 4
I saw a man who had anxiety attacks, angry outbursts, and had abused alcohol. He was an extremely angry man but he desperately desired to be set free and he came regularly to our appointments. He was temporarily unemployed due to health problems so he was able to come to two or three appointments each week. It was with great difficulty that he finally prayed and gave all his anger to the Lord and released it. He immediately became much more calm and felt much better.
However, he continued to experience anxiety each morning. I asked him what was happening when he became anxious and what thoughts were going through his mind. He told me that when he wakes up and has nothing to do in the morning and his wife is getting ready for work he becomes breathless, hyperventilates, and feels that he should be working. He said he thinks, "I should be bringing in income; I'm a bad husband since I am not working." I asked him to try to remember the first time he felt that he was failing because he wasn't working and he said that he always felt this way as a child because he always had work to do at home and he got a whipping if he failed to get his work done. If he forgot to take the laundry out of the dryer, or if he didn't have dinner ready when his parents got home from work, or if the house was not clean or the horses weren't fed then he got whipped. He got whipped a lot as a child and he believed, "I deserve to be whipped; I was a bad child to not get my work done."
I prayed for this man and asked the Lord what He wanted him to know about this belief. The thoughts that came to him were, "Those are just memories; I was never allowed a childhood; I was not a bad child who deserved to be punished; It's not true that when I'm not working I am just taking up space." After these thoughts came to him (from the Lord) he relaxed and smiled and said he no longer felt so burdened by his unemployment.
The following week when I saw him he stated that he had no more anxiety attacks since our last session and he felt "real good." He agreed that the Lord had lifted his burden and his anxiety and given him peace through our prayer.
The world says that we need drugs to eliminate our anxiety, but the Lord says, "Be anxious for nothing but in everything, through prayers and supplications, with thanksgiving, let your request be known. And the peace of God that passes comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:7). What a miracle it is to see the Lord take away our anxiety and replace it with His peace. James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom (insight into the true nature of things) let him ask of God... and it will be given to him." And when the Lord brings His truth into our minds, the truth does indeed set us free from our anxiety and fears.
Girls Set Free from Fears 5
Two young girls were living with their grandmother after being removed from their mother due to neglect and suspected abuse. Their grandmother began taking them to church with her and they responded quickly to her loving care and discipline and began behaving better and doing well in school. The oldest girl was 11 y.o. and she was afraid to sleep by herself in spite of her declaration that she was going to start sleeping in her own bed. I asked her, "If you could get rid of your fear of sleeping alone would you like to?" She said she would so I told her that I needed to know how her fear started to know how to pray for her. She told me that her stepfather used to scare them by knocking on their bedroom window at night and getting the neighbor to look in their window with a mask on. She was afraid that something bad was going to happen or that her stepfather was going to come back and scare them again. I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about that belief. "I know he won't do it again," she said. "Jesus will protect me." I asked her how she felt when thinking about her stepfather coming back to scare her and she said, "Not scared." "So what happened to that fear you had a few minutes ago?" I asked her. She said, "Jesus is carrying it for me."
The youngest of the girls was 9 y.o. and she let me pray with her one previous time about her loss of her father and her grief and sadness were taken away from her. But her grandmother told me that she was afraid to go to the bathroom by herself and always cried and insisted that her grandmother go with her. I asked her if she would like to get rid of her fear of going to the bathroom alone. She said that she would and I told her that I needed to know how her fear got started so I would know how to pray for her. She told me that her stepfather was always trying to scare them. He hid in the bedroom, made scary noises, jumped out at them, and hid under their bed to scare them. When she went to the bathroom he jumped out at them, wearing a mask, when she left the bathroom. I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about her belief that he was going to come back and scare them. "He's not going to be around to scare me," she said. I asked her how that made her feel and she said, "Not scared; not much; just a little bit." "Why do you feel a little scared?" I asked. She said, "Because he wore a mask with horns like the devil and I was afraid that the devil could get hold of me."
I prayed and asked the Lord what he wanted her to know about this. "He's not going to hurt me because I'm one of God's children and angels are all around me." "So, how do you feel now about going to the bathroom by yourself now?" I asked. "I'm not scared; I know He can't hurt me because I'm one of God's children."
The grandmother was ecstatic to hear how the Lord had spoken to the girls and set them free from their fears. It is wonderful to help young children pray and find freedom from their fears. Jesus does love the little children and when they learn how to take their burdens to the Lord and to listen to His comforting Spirit they will grow to love Him and rely upon Him.
Woman Amazed at Freedom from Fear 6
A woman told me that when people began yelling it upset her so much that she would become aggressive with them and it created a lot of problems. She said that she learned this as a child when her mother became angry at them and she would bite her hand and begin throwing things at them and going after them. She was scared that her mother was going to kill her or one of her siblings and she eventually learned to defend herself or others when someone yelled, but now, as an adult, it was creating a lot of problems for her.
I asked for her permission to pray for her and prayed, "Lord, what do you want this woman to know about her belief that her mother was going to kill her?" I instructed her to let me know if she had any thoughts and she said, "She was just scared; my mother loved me. My mother was really lonely; she wasn't going to hurt me." I asked her again how she felt and she said she felt some sadness so I asked her what made her sad. She said she was sad that her mother looked so sad and felt so sad. It was sad that she was scared, she didn't know how much she was loved, and it was sad that she had so much pain in her life. I led her in a prayer to tell the Lord why she felt sad and to ask Him to take it from her; then I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know. She said, "My mom is at peace. I was loved."
I asked her how she felt now and she said, "Peaceful. She was childish; she threw a tantrum. It's kind of funny." Then she laughed and said, "This is amazing!"
She lost her fear of her mother's anger and was reassured by the Lord that she was loved, and she was amazed at how quickly the Lord set her free from her fears and sadness through prayer. The Scriptures say that people were "amazed at the greatness of God" when Jesus healed people and cast out demons. As we learn to give our grief, sadness, and anger to the Lord and pray for truth we will be amazed also at how the Lord sets us free from our fears and our negative feelings. God is amazing!
Set Free from Irrational Fear 7
A woman told me that she went for a medical exam earlier in the week and was asked to lie down in a small "coffin-like" device. When she got into it she began to panic and became very fearful and couldn't breathe and she thought she was going to die in there. She told the technicians to get her out of there so they helped her out and they offered to use a larger device which was much less confining and she did fine. I asked this woman if she would like to overcome her irrational fear and she said she would, so I told her to visualize being inside the apparatus and remember how she felt and what she thought at the time. She closed her eyes and recalled what it felt like then I asked her if she had ever felt this way previously. She began crying and said, "Yes, when I was sexually abused at age 12. I thought that I had already dealt with that."
"Would you like for me to help you get rid of that fear?" I asked her. She said that she would so I told her to remember what happened during the abuse and remember how she felt and what she believed. "I couldn't breathe and I thought I was going to die," she said. I prayed for her and said, "Lord, what do you want this 12-year-old girl to know about this belief that she is going to die?" I told her to let me know if she had any thoughts come to her mind. "He has always been with me; He's my protector," she said. "How does that make you feel?" I asked. She said that her fear left her and she suddenly felt calm.
Even when she visualized the sexual abuse she said that she no longer felt fearful or unable to breathe and she had no other negative emotions connected to the sexual abuse. Those thoughts from the Lord set her free from her fear.
In order to test whether this had removed her fear of the medical device I asked her to visualize climbing back into it and tell me how she felt. She closed her eyes and visualized it and said that she felt calm and it did not upset her to think about it. Her fear of the device was gone because she went to the original source of the fear, prayed about it, and the Lord brought truth to her mind to set her free.
Fears can be removed through three simple steps: 1) Identify the original source of the fear, 2) Identify the underlying beliefs, and 3) Pray for truth. When you pray and listen to the Lord He will bring truths to your mind to set you free from your fear.
The Lord does not want us to be controlled by fear but to let His peace fill our hearts. Jesus is the "Prince of Peace" so whenever you fear, learn to use these three steps to replace your fears with His peace and "let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts" (Colossians 3:15).
Set Free from Fear of Storms 8
I was speaking with a woman who had been through a lot of abuse in her childhood but who had received much healing for her childhood traumas. She told me that she had a good week and was doing well, but she said she became very anxious during a recent storm. I asked her how long she had had this fear of storms and she said it began when she was a child. Two of her brothers tied her to an oak tree one time while a storm was coming. They tied her wrists and ankles with ropes and then chained her around her waist and the tree, then they left her there for hours. At first it was cloudy and misty but then a storm came with lightning and thunder and rain and she cried and screamed for help but no one could hear her. She struggled to get loose from the ropes but as she struggled the ropes became tighter. Eventually, she was able to get loose by scraping her wrists raw until she could get her hands free, take the ropes off her ankles, and remove the chain. She was terrified that she was going to die and be struck by lightning and when she was free her wrists were bleeding badly and she ran to her house and hid under her bed. Thereafter, she always hid under her bed when storms came.
While describing her terror I prayed for her and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about her belief that she was going to die. I told her to let me know any thoughts that came into her mind and she said, "I wasn't alone, but didn't know it. I didn't know anything about Jesus or God at that time but Jesus was with me and protected me." I asked her how she felt as she thought about the incident and it still made her scared, so I prayed again and asked the Lord what else He wanted her to know about her fear that she was going to die. This time the thoughts came to her mind, "He saved me; that's how I got loose. He helped me get loose from the ropes and He protected me from the lightning. He saved me for a reason, so I can help others who have gone through similar things. I knew somebody helped loosen those ropes." After these thoughts I asked this woman how she felt now while thinking about the event. She said, "I feel good, relieved, calm."
She was able to think about the incident without crying or feeling any terror; she sat calmly talking about it. I asked her what she thought about this dramatic change of feelings and she said, "It's pretty awesome when I look back." It IS awesome how God cares for us and sets us free from our fears when we learn to pray for truth.
Set Free from Anger and Fear of God 9
(Contributed by Laraine Roberts)
I prayed with a lady today for the second time. She has a torrid past in which led to alcoholism, drug addiction, etc. She is a Christian and very well grounded in the Word and we previously prayed through some anger she had towards her mother that was really so strong she said she hated her. We made a list of the reasons for her anger and prayed through that and the Lord did take that hate and anger away for the most part, but it's an ongoing battle with her mother so needs constant maintenance.
Today we prayed through some anger she had towards the Lord. Satan kept her in a state of confusion in being able to believe that God could ever forgive her. She said she had asked Him for forgiveness many times but she said in her mind she was very afraid of God. She said she felt like an ant and God had a magnifying glass and was just watching her every move and she feared that He would send her to hell because she couldn't accept His forgiveness...like His blood wasn't sufficient for her. She knew it was, in her head, but her heart just couldn't believe that He could ever forgive. I suggested that we pray through her anger and then ask the Lord to speak to her. We did that and the Lord did take that anger as well as the fear of Him that she previously had.
When I asked the Lord to speak truth to her, He did but she said it was like the Lord would speak truth in one ear but Satan sat in her other ear and would try to steal it before she could even start to believe it. We took authority over Satan in the name of Jesus and told him he was powerless over her and told him to be silent in Jesus' name and the truth started rolling off her tongue so fast I could barely keep up. Many heart wrenching sobs later and a half page of truths from the Lord and my sister walks in dancing freedom today!! She still has a lot of things to pray through but this foundational belief that God didn't even love her was demolished in Jesus' name today. Satan lost this long, grueling battle over her mind today.
There is nothing in this world that can bring such a sense of worth as being an instrument in the Fathers hand...what an honor it is to serve my Lord and Savior....Blessed be the name of the Lord!! I just want to thank you again for teaching us how to pray...It has truly revolutionized my life as well as so many others.
Note: The Bible says that we should fear God, but not that we should be afraid of God. Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." This woman was afraid of God due to the lie she believed that God was watching for her to make a mistake so He could send her to hell. Through prayer she was set free from this lie and her fear of God. (Jim G.)
Set Free from Social Anxiety 10
A man came to me for help with his social anxiety. He was very intelligent and had a college degree, but had never held a job due to his social anxiety. He stated that he had not had any panic attacks for a year but he felt anxiety every time he ventured outdoors. The last time he felt it was when coming to his counseling appointment with me. I asked him what he was afraid of, and he said, “I might say something to embarrass myself.”
I asked this young man when was the first time he could remember having this kind of anxiety and he recalled a time in the 4th grade when he had to give a report in his class. He was very shy and when he stood before the class he turned beet-red and the entire class laughed at him. The teacher not only laughed but made fun of him also, and he was very embarrassed and believed that he was shameful and weak and did not measure up to the other children.
I had never seen this man before and had not talked with him about how to pray about his emotions, so I was hesitant to introduce it so quickly. As I spoke with him I learned that he also had fears of losing family members or pets, and he had panic attacks that made him fearful of dying. He told me that he had a dog for 12 years that died and he couldn’t stop crying because he was overwhelmed with sadness and the thought that he would never see him again. This gave me the chance to explain how to get rid of grief through prayer, and he said he would like to get rid of his grief over his dog. We made a list of 11 things he enjoyed about his dog and then I led him in a prayer in which he told the Lord what he missed about the dog, then asked the Lord to take the grief from him. I asked him how he felt about the dog and he said, “Peace. I just feel peace.” I asked him what he thought about this and he said, “I think it’s amazing!”
I then explained how the Lord can also take away feelings of anxiety and I asked him if he would like to try. He said that he would so I prayed, “Lord, what do you want this man to know about his belief that he was “shameful and weak and did not measure up to others.” I told him to be quiet and let me know if he had any thoughts come to his mind. He very quickly said, “I’m not weak. My strength comes from other sources.” I asked him how he felt, now, as he thought about his 4th grade class and teacher, and he said, “Nothing; neutral.” I asked him what he thought about that and he said, “That’s amazing!”
I told this man to visualize himself leaving his house to go to the store or to a social event, and tell me how he felt. He said, “I don’t have to be afraid. Even if I do say something wrong, it’s not the end of the world. I’ll get over it. I might not be loud but I have worth.” I asked him where those thoughts came from and he said, “It came from God.” When I asked him how he was feeling, now, he said, “Okay. Calm, neutral, no anxiety.”
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” is what Jesus said in John 14:27. He wants to take all our fears and agitations and carry them for us. All we have to do is give them to Him and let Him replace our internal lies with His truth.
Man Overcomes Anxiety 11
A man came for help with his anxieties and panic attacks. He had been taking anti-anxiety medications but was so anxious that he could not go into public for fear of looking foolish or being ridiculed by others. Fear is a belief-based emotion so I asked him what he believed about himself. He said that he believed he was foolish and he was afraid of looking unprepared and being embarrassed, so I asked him when he first felt this anxiety. The first time was at age 4 when his parents were having a party and he thought it would be funny to ring the doorbell. When his mother saw that he had rung the doorbell she scolded him and he was very embarrassed in front of the guests. He felt stupid and foolish, and believed the guests were laughing at him. I encouraged him to think about this memory while I prayed for him and asked the Lord what he wanted this man to know about his fear of being embarrassed. The thoughts that came to his mind were, "I was not stupid or foolish, and my mother was just trying to teach me." He said he felt no more embarrassment .
I asked if there was any other time he could remember when he was embarrassed and believed he was foolish. At age 13 he threw up one day in the school cafeteria and everyone looked at him and he felt embarrassed and believed they all thought he was foolish. He felt humiliated and embarrassed. I prayed for him and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know about his belief that he was foolish or shameful. He said, "I'm not foolish or shameful. That could have happened to anyone." After receiving these thoughts (from the Lord), I asked him how he felt now and he said that he felt no more embarrassment.
I encouraged him to go to the local Walmart and see if he could go inside and not be fearful.
When he returned the following week, he told me that he did go inside the store, and he was pleased to find that he was relaxed and comfortable, and was not overcome by any fears. He walked around for about 15 minutes and felt very peaceful. The following week he was encouraged to go to another store each day and he was very confident that he could do this. He has been held in bondage to fear his entire adult life, and had been on anti-anxiety medications without any success, but a few brief prayers and the bondage to his anxiety has been broken.
Fears that we acquire in our childhood can have a life-long impact on us. It's amazing how a little lie in our childhood can put us in bondage to fear, but it is more amazing how the Lord can set us free as we learn to identify the source of our lies, identify the lies we believe, and then pray for truth. As we listen quietly to the Lord speaking His truth, it will set us free, indeed!
Set Free From Anger and Fear 12
A man returned to see me after relapsing and drinking. He had released a lot of anger from his past and was doing well when I last saw him and was having no more urges to drink. But he stated that he still had a lot of anxiety that caused stress for him and he eventually began drinking again. I wish he had returned sooner, before he relapsed because any unresolved negative feelings can lead to a relapse so it is important to resolve every known negative emotion.
He told me that he frequently becomes anxious in public settings when there is a lot of noise and people, and he begins feeling trapped. I explained to him that these feelings are triggered off from an earlier source and that you cannot eliminate anxiety or shame by making a list and giving it to God. You have to 1) Identify the source of the feelings, 2) Identify the lie or false belief underlying the feelings, and then 3) Pray for truth. I asked him when he first remembered being upset by loud noises and he recalled feeling this as a very young child when his alcoholic father yelled at his mother and they shouted at each other and then his mother threatened to leave. He admitted that he was fearful that "something bad was going to happen, someone was going to get hurt, and his mother was going to abandon them." I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know about those beliefs. The only thought that came to his mind was, "Don't be afraid."
He told me that he no longer felt so scared but felt anger toward his father, mother, and God.
He was angry at his parents for raising him in such a chaotic, frightening atmosphere, and he was angry at God for allowing him to be raised by such parents. He prayed and expressed this anger to the Lord, and asked Him to take his anger from him. His anger was gone, but then he felt some shame because his father often embarrassed him in public by making angry scenes, and he felt like it was his fault. I prayed for truth, asking the Lord what He wanted this man to know, and the man said, "It wasn't my fault." He was able to think about the memories without any negative emotions. His anger, fear, and shame were all gone and he looked relaxed and left smiling.
This man never fully resolved his emotional issues the first time or completed his prayer plan, so he relapsed. Now he is learning how to overcome feelings of anxiety and shame by praying for truth. Many people learn how to pray about grief and anger by making a list and giving it to God, but they have difficulty recognizing feelings of anxiety or shame and learning to pray for truth. It is important that they learn both prayer principles so they are equipped to deal with all their problematic feelings through prayer.