I grew up in a Christian home with a father who was a strong believer and taught me about the Lord. His life was radically changed when he became a believer and I thought that every Christian was like him. I received Jesus as my Savior at age 8 and then grew up in a solid, bible-believing church and during the ten years after my salvation I observed that many people in our church had emotional problems. There were individuals with a clear testimony of faith and salvation who experienced marital problems, alcohol addiction, depression, and other mental disorders. I was amazed that the leaders of our church, who were good, godly men, did not know how to help these individuals and I decided after high school to study psychology and counseling.
I attended a Bible college in order to be well grounded in the Bible before studying psychology, then I went to a secular college and studied psychology. I received a B.A. in psychology and an M.S. in Psychology. I began practicising as a therapist and felt the need for more training so I studied counseling and family therapy and received an Ed.S. in Counseling. Several years later I received a Ph.D. in Counselor Education. I worked for 25 years as a mental health counselor and was very frustrated to learn that my training did not enable me to help people with simple things like anger and grief, not to mention more difficult problems like depression, anxiety, and addictions.
After 25 years I was invited to attend a conference presented by a pastoral counselor in Kentucky and heard some amazing stories about how the Lord was setting people free from grief, anger, depression, and all kinds of disorders through simple prayer. I went home excited and as I began to practice this new prayer-based therapy I was more amazed at how the Lord was setting people free as I prayed with them. Over the last 15 years I have seen the Lord set hundreds of people free from grief, anger, shame, addiction, depression and all kinds of emotional problems. In 2008 I wrote my first book, "Trading Pain for Peace" in order to simplify what I have learned and to teach it to others. In 2010 I started the first Set Free meeting in Oklahoma and in 2012 I started another meeting in Ft Smith, Arkansas. Our goal is to train hundreds of Christians to be Set Free Prayer Ministers to carry this ministry into churches all across the country so that the power of God is demonstrated in the lives of believers and many people will be attracted to the Church and to the Lord Jesus.
Jim Gardner, Ph.D., LPC