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Enabling Mother Releases Shame 1
A middle-aged mother prayed with me one week about some anger she had, and then she had a good week. But her mood was destroyed when she called her 26-year-old son to see how he was doing and he screamed at her and hung up the phone. This triggered off fears of him returning to prison and feelings of guilt and shame that she had been a bad mother. She admitted that she had not raised him because she was strung out on drugs and was partying constantly when her son was a child. These feelings of guilt were consuming her, robbing her of her peace, and leading her to overreact to her husband. The devil also used her guilt to cause her to enable her son whenever he called her to bail him out of trouble. I explained to her that the only way to remove guilt is to be honest with the Lord about her failures and to ask Him to forgive her.
She bowed her head and prayed, confessing her failure as a mother. When she finished praying I asked her if she believed the Lord had forgiven her and she said she believed He had. Then I asked her, "Do you feel forgiven?" and she admitted that she did not. She knew she was forgiven because she had confessed her sins and failures as a parent, but she still felt guilty and shameful. "That is what I call shame or false guilt," I said. "Would you like to get rid of those feelings also?" I asked. She said that she would. So, I encouraged this woman to think about how she had failed as a parent and to allow herself to feel those feelings of shame so I could pray for her. As she bowed her head I prayed, "Lord, what do you want Sue to know about her belief that she is bad and shameful because she did not raise her son, and it's her fault that he is having such problems in his life?" I instructed her to tell me if she had any thoughts come to her mind. The first thought she had was, "I've done all I can do to tell him I am sorry and that I love him. Just be there for him and tell him to turn his life over to the Lord." "Any other thoughts come to your mind?" I asked. "No, but I don't feel guilty anymore" she said. I prayed again, "Lord, is there anything else that you want Sue to know?" She began smiling and said, "Love those grandbabies and raise the two girls, and start going to church." "Any other thoughts?" I asked her. She said, "Only he can fix his future. I will give him support and encouragement but it's up to him to change." I asked her if that felt true and she affirmed that it did. "So, how do you feel now when you think about your son and not being a good mother?" "I know that I failed but I also know that I am forgiven, and I don't feel those guilt feelings anymore," she replied.
This guilt-ridden mother left smiling and feeling God's peace again after our short time of prayer. Without those feelings of shame she will experience greater peace and will be able to respond to her son more constructively in the future. Parenting is a guilt-inducing experience because we all fail as parents in some ways, and the devil likes to use such feelings to keep us in bondage. But the Lord does not want us to live with such feelings. He faithfully forgives us when we confess our failures, and he also will cleanse us of our feelings of shame if we will ask Him for the truth. Now that this woman is released from her feelings of guilt and shame, she'll also be free to make good decisions about her relationship with her son and will quit enabling him to be irresponsible. Isn't God good! "If we confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
NO LONGER DIRTY 2
A young man came to me who wanted help in dealing with some feelings from being molested as a child. A 13 year-old babysitter took advantage of him when he was only 7 y.o. and this left an indelible impression on him. He was full of shame and feelings of helplessness and aloneness, and as a young man he got into fights to prove that he was not weak and helpless. As he grew into manhood he began lifting weights and wearing tattoos to show others that he was not powerless. But these negative feelings led him to abuse drugs and got him into some legal trouble and he was looking for help. As he talked about being molested as a child, he hung his head low and avoided eye contact due to his feelings of shame. He said that he felt dirty, shameful, angry and embarrassed about what had happened and he had never talked about it before.
I told him to focus on the memory and his feelings and then I prayed from him, "Lord, what do you want Joe to know about his belief that he was dirty and shameful because of what happened to him as a child?" I instructed him to let me know if any thoughts came to his mind. A following thoughts came into his mind. "I was too young to resist him; he was a lot bigger than me. He probably had something similar happen to him. These feelings can be released. It was forced on me but I'm no longer helpless. It wasn't my fault. I'm not alone; I have many people who care for me and who are with me." Do those thoughts feel true to you, I asked him. He affirmed that they did. After this I asked him how he felt and he told me that he no longer felt anger or shame. He said he just felt some sadness because the 13-year-old boy who had molested him had probably been molested also. The young man smiled and looked relaxed. He was able to talk about the incident and think about it without any embarassment, shame or anger. The Lord replaced the lies he had been carrying with truth, and this gave him peace.
Afterwards, he talked about how he worked out so hard for so many years to prove that he was not helpless. He told me that he had gotten all of his tattoos as a way of showing others that he was tough and was not helpless but now he was embarrassed to have them. When he left the session he was a free man, no longer shackled with emotions based upon lies he believed. Like this young man, Jesus wants each of us to be set free. We do not need to remain in bondage to our past and to our emotions, because He has come to "set the captives free." Jesus loves you and wants you to know the truth that you are not dirty, helpless, or alone.
Psychiatrist Baffled 3
I saw a woman who came from out of state for some prayer ministry. She was struggling with feelings of depression and anxiety that were so strong that she took a leave of absence from her work and visited a psychiatrist, who placed her on several medications. After beginning these medications her symptoms increased and she began having suicidal thoughts, and began pacing, hyperventilating, and having racing thoughts. A close friend of hers drove her to Oklahoma to see me.
When we first met I did a background history in order to identify any past traumas that might have contributed to her emotional struggles. She had a close family and no traumas prior to age 19 when her father died. This loss was traumatic for her but then she experienced the loss of three grandparents around age 21, the loss of a close uncle at age 25, and the loss of her best friend at age 26. We prayed about the loss of her father and she reported having no more sadness or grief when thinking about him after we prayed. She reported that she had strong feelings of grief, sadness, anger and loss when talking about her brother so we focused on this loss and began praying through it.
First, we prayed about the loss of her brother and we made a list of 16 things she missed about him. After that we prayed about some feelings of anger and sadness she felt toward her brother and she was able to release them. Then, we prayed about some feelings of shame and blame that she felt toward her brother, and as we prayed the truth came to her mind to set her free from these feelings of shame. She stated that she felt a great deal of relief after dealing with the loss of her brother and she felt peaceful when thinking about him. We talked about the prayer process and how the Lord is able to set us free from our negative feelings but we did no more praying that day.
The following morning we met again and she reported that she was still feeling very well. Then she asked me why she was so compulsive about her work and worked such long hours. I asked her to imagine that it was closing time and to visualize a client walking to the clinic door and wanting her assistance; I asked her how that made her feel. She told me that she felt guilty and bad if she turned the client away so I asked her to try to remember any previous time in her life when she felt that same feeling. She could not remember any prior time so I prayed and asked the Lord to take her to the source and origin of these feelings. She then recalled a time when she worked at a clinic with patients who were dying from cancer and an alcoholic woman was dying from cirrhosis of the liver. As this woman was dying her 16 y.o. son was standing by watching and cried out, "Do something! Can't you see my mom is dying!" This woman said that she felt "I should have done more." I prayed for her and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about that belief and the thoughts that came to her mind immediately were, "There's nothing I could have done. The son was desperate and dealing with his own grief." After a few more insights came to her mind she reported that she felt very peaceful and calm, with no more feelings of guilt or shame. This woman stated that she felt a tremendous relief from that prayer and she said she no longer felt any anxiety or depression.
Later that day these two women drove back home and periodically texted me to tell me that this woman was still feeling peaceful and calm. When they arrive home they texted me to say that she was feeling great. The following day the friend texted me "Susie is doing great this morning." That night she texted me again and told me that her friend went back for an appointment with her psychiatrist and she sent me the following messages: "Just talked with Susie. Her psychiatrist is really scratching her head about how Susie could be so quickly healed. Said she was really wondering about her diagnosis. Susie described a little about prayer ministry and told her it was a miracle. The Dr. agreed but seemed to want to take credit for it at which Susie said no and that she didn't need the meds and wanted her help to get off them. The psychiatrist agreed that she probably didn't need them! Wohoo!"
The secular world has no solution for feelings of grief, anger, or shame. All they can do is prescribe medications to numb our feelings, but the Lord is able to take away the pain and replace it with His peace. We have an awesome God who sets the captives free! "Oh, sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonderful things!" Psalms 98:1
Shame Leads to Facial Tattoos 4
One of the most difficult things about ministering in a jail or prison is seeing men and woman come to salvation and seeking the Lord in jail but continuing with the same life of drug addiction and crime and then returning again to jail. This revolving door occurs every day all around the country and in this ministry we are helping men and women learn that the Lord not only wants them to be saved, but also to be set free. They need a relationship with Jesus but they need clear discipling about how to pray for release from emotional bondage so they have peace in their heart and the other fruits of the Spirit. Peace is fundamental to Christian growth because when we are full of anger, grief, and shame we do not have peace, and when we do not have peace we cannot love or experience joy in our lives, or display the other fruits of the Spirit.
We recently saw a woman in the local jail who has been in and out of jail repeatedly. She was raised by a praying, godly mother and grandmother and has been a spiritual leader at times to the other women in jail but she continues to use drugs and to be taken away from her five children. When she returned to jail this last time this attractive woman had new tatoos on both sides of her face, showing that she was still in bondage to some emotions. As we interviewed her we learned that her mother, grandmother, and sister all had muscular dystrophy and this woman took care of them and felt much sadness and anger at God for their condition. She began drinking as a teenager but when her grandmother and sister died she began using drugs heavily and got involved in destructive, abusive relationships with men.
The primary emotion she expressed was anger at herself which is another name for Shame. We asked her why she felt anger at herself and she said it was because of all the things she has done, not taking care of her children, using drugs, and not being around as her children were growing up. I asked her if she had confessed this to the Lord and asked for His forgiveness and she said that she had and she believed that she was forgiven but when I asked her if she "felt forgiven" she said "no." She said that she didn't feel that she deserved to be forgiven; she deserved to be punished. I prayed for her and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about that belief. After a minute she opened her eyes and said that she clearly heard the words, "You are forgiven." I asked her if that felt true and she said that it did. I prayed for her again and she said, "I need to move forward. I am a child of His and He loves me." After we finished praying I asked her if she still felt unforgiven and felt that she deserved to be punished and she smiled and said she felt forgiven and did not deserve to be punished. She looked peaceful and happy and her feelings of shame were gone.
Shame is a very destructive and powerful emotion but the Lord can easily remove it when we use the following steps: 1) Identify the beliefs the person has that are connected to their feelings of shame by using the Guilt and Shame booklet to identify them, and 2) Pray for the Lord to bring truth to the person about those beliefs. If the person's shame does not go away, completely then ask them to remember the first time they had such feelings and repeat the process while focused on the earlier memory. We identified several losses tthis woman had and will return to pray with her about each of these so that she can be set free from all her emotional bondage and end the revolving door. What a joy it is to see men and women like thise set free from their emotional bondage so they can live productive lives for the Lord and be good parents and life partners.
Hell's Angel Released 5
A Vietnam veteran was recently saved in our church and became very excited about Jesus. He grew up in an abusive home and then joined the Marines and served four tours of duty in Vietnam. After returning from Vietnam he experienced Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and began abusing drugs and acting out in anger. He joined the Hell's Angels and began committing crimes and went to prison. He eventually served 42 years in prison for four crimes and then he was released in 2011. This man was saved in November of 2011 and then began attending our "Set Free" meetings on Friday evenings.
This week he shared his testimony and his excitement about the Lord but he also shared candidly that he had discovered that he still has some anger that surfaces from time to time which he knows is not from the Lord. I shared with him that "If any man is in Christ he is a new creature" according to 2 Cor. 5:17, but Romans 12:2 says to Christians that we should, "Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." This means that when we get saved we are new creatures but our minds still need to be renewed through the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and prayer. He said that he would like to meet with me for some help with his anger.
The next morning I met with him and another brother in Christ and we reviewed his history so that we would know what prayer needs he had. When he began talking about his Vietnam experience he became emotional and told us how it did not bother him to see the dead bodies until his best friend was killed. This friend grew up on the same reservation as him and when he lit up a cigarette he was shot in the head and killed. For over 40 years this man had been carrying the guilt of this incident, blaming himself for his death because he did not tell his friend to cup his hands around the lighter when he lit up a cigarette so that he would not be seen by the enemy. I prayed a simple prayer with this man, "Lord, what do you want this man to know about the belief that it is his fault that his friend died?" He was crying while remembering this incident and then he stopped crying and began smiling. "Did any thoughts come to your mind?" I asked. "He knew better. He knew he shouldn't light up" was his reply. Suddenly he began smiling bigger and I asked him how he felt. He said that he just felt like laughing. He was so relieved at having the load of guilt and shame he had been carrying for 40 years taken from him that he just felt like laughing.
We talked about the Lord and how He wants to set us free. We talked about the Holy Spirit and how He brings truth to our minds to set us free. I encouraged him to go home and make a list of his resentments toward his father and to give them to the Lord. He said he would do that and he went home smiling and rejoicing at the goodness of the Lord. This was just the beginning of his liberation from his past but it showed him how powerful the Lord is to set us free and it gave him hope. As he finds more freedom he is going to get more excited about the Lord and I believe the Lord is going to use him to help many other Vietnam vets. Praise God for His goodness and mercy! He loves sinners and He loves to set captives free!
Set Free Healing of Abortion 6
I recently saw a woman who had an abortion as a young woman. This woman had a long history of traumas but the one that she wanted to focus on in our session was a forced abortion that she had at age 17. She stated that she got pregnant at age 17 and married the baby's father. The young man and his mother, both of whom were church-attending people, put some heavy drugs in her orange juice and drugged her up then flew her to another town and kept her drugged up while her baby was aborted. She was conscious enough to sign the consent forms but was so drugged that she didn't really understand what was happening and offered no resistance but afterwards was deeply upset when she learned that her child had been murdered.
She expressed strong feelings of anger, sadness, and guilt when describing this tragic event. We first focused on her anger toward her boyfriend and his mother for drugging her and murdering her child. We made a list of the reasons for her anger, and then we prayed and asked the Lord to take her anger from her. She said that she felt no anger afterwards. Then we focused on her feelings of sadness at the horrible, painful death the child experienced and never having a chance to enjoy life. She gave her sadness to the Lord and He took it from her when she gave it to Him in prayer. Finally, we focused on her feelings of shame and guilt. She partially blamed herself for the child's death because she signed the medical forms granting permission for the procedure, she got on the plane, and she did not resist the abortionist. I prayed for her and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about her feelings of guilt. The thoughts that came to her were, "That baby is in heaven with God" and "It wasn't my fault because I was heavily drugged and forced." I asked her if those thoughts felt true and she affirmed that they did." After these prayers this woman said that she felt no more sadness, anger, or guilt about this forced abortion. She then felt peaceful and calm while thinking about and talking about her abortion. This event had deeply damaged her emotionally and affected her throughout her entire life but now she was set free from these painful emotions.
It is amazing to see how the Lord sets the captives free when we know how to carry everything to God in prayer. He is truly awesome! In the near future we will be offering training for others in Poteau to learn how to bring about such healing through prayer. We hope that many will volunteer for this training so that the lives of young people in our county will be impacted positively through the the ministry of the Choices Pregnancy Center and through this prayer ministry. What an opportunity we have to show what an awesome, loving, powerful God we have.
Incarcerated Mother Set Free from Shame 7
The three primary emotions that people struggle with are feelings of grief, anger, and shame. In contrast to grief and anger, shame is a belief-based emotion that requires truth to be overcome. The process is simple but sometimes confuses those who are accustomed to dealing with grief and anger.
While in the jail recently three of our ministry team members sat down with a female inmate to try to encourage her. She was very emotional and tearful so we asked about her situation and why she was so distraught. She said that she has a 16-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son whom she was caring for who have had to live with someone else and she said she felt very shameful and bad because her incarceration was so disruptive to their lives. This response is very typical of most female inmates who feel guilty and shameful at being taken from their children and being unable to take care of them. I prayed with her about this belief that she was bad and shameful and she received the truth that it was not true and that she had made mistakes, but God forgave her for her sins.
In spite of these truths she still felt shameful, however. I asked this woman if she had ever had feelings of shame like this before and she said that she did when she was 12 years old and she stole some money from her grandmother. I asked her if she had felt feelings of shame at any other time. She then said that when she was 12 her grandmother fell and then died and she felt that it was her fault. We prayed for her and asked the Lord if that was true. The thoughts she reported were, "Its not true and the money you took you gave back to her." We asked her how she felt now and she said that she felt good and no longer felt shameful or guilty.
While talking with her about her shame we learned that she had some significant anger at four people in her life so we talked with her about her anger toward her mother and made a list of 17 resentments she had toward her. One of my prayer partners led her in a prayer and this woman sobbed intensely while telling the Lord the reasons for her anger. Then she gave her anger to the Lord and asked Him to take it from her. Her crying stopped and she reported that she no longer felt angry or resentful. She smiled calmly and thanked us for spending time with her and praying for her. After feeling so emotionally distraught it was exciting to see her smiling and feelings peaceful and calm an hour later as we left the room. As we talked about the Lord she agreed with us that He is indeed a wonderful and loving God.
Adopted Child Set Free 8
The following testimony was submitted by one of our Set Free team members: I recently spent some time with a young lady that was struggling with bouts of depression and anxiety. As I visited with her she also shared with me that she had panic anxiety attacks at times and that at other times her heart would race. She knew that these experiences were somehow connected to her thought life and she shared it was a constant battle to control her mind to prevent these episodes. She said there would be instances when she was around certain people that she would compare herself to them then she would only see the things she felt was wrong or lacking in herself. She often times felt left out or excluded and even if this didn’t happen she always expected to be. She was having this on-going battle in her mind. When these episodes would happen she would feel hurt and shame from these feelings of rejection but in a short time she would become angry and resentful.
As I visited with her about her life especially her childhood she shared with me that she was adopted at a very young age by people who loved her but that she never felt safe or could trust that their love for her would continue. She could never believe that anyone would value or like her much less love her. She did not like anything about herself and felt no one else would either. I knew in my heart that she suffered from shame and it was deeply rooted in her belief system. So I shared with her shame is a result of a lie we believe and I asked her if she would like to know the truth and she stated she would. Then I asked her if I could pray for her to which she agreed. I then asked the Lord to reveal the lie to her that she was believing. She quickly received this revelation of understanding “because your biological parents gave you away you believe everyone else will too.” She immediately recognized this was what she always believed and expected. Then we prayed again and I asked the Lord what He wanted her to now know. The Lord spoke to her and said, “I made you exactly the way I wanted you. I love you so much that I chose for you, Godly parents that would love you and help you.” As this truth began to permeate her heart and mind she shared that she no longer felt stressful and she had such peace in her mind and her body.
As we visited about the early years of her life she began to share the terrible anger and bitterness she had toward herself, her family and everyone else in general. As she talked she began to feel what she felt as a child when this was happening. I began to make a list of all of the things she had anger toward when she finished I had a list of 20 things. I then asked her if she would like to get rid of that anger and she stated she would love to be free of this anger. So I asked her if I could lead her in a prayer and we would ask the Lord to take them and she agreed as she was still feeling the anger inside her from once again revisiting those angry emotions. This is the prayer she prayed: “Lord I am so tired of hurting and being angry I don’t want to be this way, would You please take my anger and carry it.” I then in prayer thanked the Lord Jesus, for His finished work on the Cross for us that gives us His freedom. As soon as we finished praying she heard the Lord say “Those were never yours to carry, I've been waiting for you to give them to Me.” She began to see that God was smiling at her and she saw herself standing on the top of a very high hill with her arms uplifted enjoying her life in the Son of God. She shared that she now understood all those beliefs were not hers when she heard the Lord say, “Those were never yours,” but the enemy planted those lies in her through the early childhood pain she experienced. Now she understands in reality and experience that Jesus still today has borne our griefs and He carries our sorrows.
I Can Breathe 9
What a ministry it is to go into the local jail and talk with men and woman about how to be set free. I prayed with a man last week about his feelings of shame for losing his parental rights and he was set free from the shame and left smiling and feeling good.
This week I prayed with him about his anger toward his abusive stepmother. He talked about how physically abusive she was to him and how she verbally and emotionally abused him until he left home and yet she took him to church and forced him to read the Bible, causing him to hate God. She also taught him to steal and to cash checks from neighbors and when he was caught at age 16 and sent to prison for 7 years she allowed him to take all the blame and to pay the consequences. We made a list of 23 resentments he had toward her and he admitted that he hated her. After making this list I led him in a prayer in which he was honest with the Lord and told him what he resented about his adoptive mother. Then he told the Lord that he was tired of carrying these feelings and he gave them to the Lord to carry. I prayed afterwards, although it is not necessary when praying about anger, and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know. He told me that the following thoughts came to him: 1) She's in a cage, 2) I'm free, 3) Pray for her. I asked him how he felt and he said, "I want to laugh. There's no anger, she's forgiven." I asked him what he thought about this sudden change in his feelings from hating her to feeling peaceful and calm. He said, "It's weird. I can breath; it's taken a weight off my chest; I feel lighter."
As we discussed this he expressed some doubts about his salvation so I inquired about his experience. He told me that he had sincerely prayed the sinner's prayer but that he did not feel forgiven. He said, "I did so much wrong that I don't think I can be forgiven." Recognizing that he was feeling some shame (false guilt) I prayed and asked the Lord what he wanted this man to know. With his eyes closed he reported having the following visual pictures and thoughts come to him: 1) I see His hands held out to me, 2) I hear the words, "Come home," 3) I see a house, 4) I am on my knees in prayer, and 5) "I am forgiven." I asked him if that felt true and he said that it did. When I asked how he felt about his salvation he told me that he knows he is forgiven and is going to heaven. When he left he was smiling and full of joy at his new-found assurance of salvation and relief from his anger toward his adoptive mother. Praise God for another captive set free!
Tattoos and Shame 10
Recently, a nice young woman was waiting on me in a McDonalds and I noticed that she had a tattoo on her arm. I asked her if it was real and she said it was. Then I asked if it had some significance and she told me it was for her father who had died. I expressed my condolences and gave her one of my grief booklets and told her that she can get rid of her grief by reading the booklet.
Our jail ministry team has been ministering to a man who got saved through reading one of our books and he has been growing in the Lord and ministering to other men in his pod. I recently asked him about his tattoos and he said that all of his tattoos had some significance; he pointed out one that was made out to a friend named Kenny. His friend Kenny died while he was in jail and this man believed he could have saved his friend's life so he felt it was his fault that he died. I pointed out that these were feelings of shame and asked if I could pray with him about them and he said "okay." I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know but nothing happened. So, I tried to clarify his belief and he admitted that he believed that "I am a bad, shameful person because if I had not been in jail I could have saved him." I prayed with him about that belief and said, "Lord, what is the truth that you want him to know about his belief that he is bad and shameful?" He immediately responded, "It's not true. God forgave me. He (his friend) is in a better place." "Does that feel true?" I asked. He said that it did and immediately he smiled and looked relieved. He said that he felt peaceful.
We talked about how the Lord forgives us when we confess our sins to Him but the devil likes to keep us in bondage with the lie that we are bad and shameful and deserve to be punished. Those are feelings of shame and the Lord wants to set us free not only from our guilt, but also from our feelings of false guilt and shame. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be as wool." It is wonderful to watch as the Lord sets men and women free from their guilt and shame.
33 Years of Grief, Anger, and Shame Released 11
I went to Kansas this last weekend (Dr. Gardner) where my search began 35 years ago for answers about how Christians can find victory from their emotional struggles. I had a great time reconnecting with old friends and sharing the truths I have found in the power of prayer and the Lord to heal the brokenhearted and to set emotional captives free. The response was encouraging and I left more excited about the Lord and about this ministry.
After speaking with a group one evening a woman told me that her father had committed suicide 33 years ago when she was 18 years old. Her eyes began to redden and tears began to flow so I asked her if she would like to pray about it and she said that she would. She allowed five others to remain in the room as we talked and prayed about her emotional pain from this tragic event, that obviously still had an impact on her. This woman said she was angry at her father for "copping out" and killing himself to avoid going to prison, she was angry that he dropped out of her life completely from age 4 to 16 after her parents divorced, and he only called her when he was drunk. We made a list of 12 resentments she had toward her father and then I led her in a prayer to give her anger to the Lord. After the prayer I asked her how she felt about her father and she said, "I have no more anger toward him; He was trying to be a dad."
She then felt some sadness about how he had wasted his life, how she never got to really know him, and how he had so deeply hurt her sister. We prayed about six reasons she felt sad about him and she gave these feelings to the Lord. When I asked her again how she felt about her father she said that she felt no more sadness and she said it was "Okay." After resolving those feelings she said she still felt some shame because her father called her on the phone just before he committed suicide and he wanted to stay on the phone but she was in a hurry to get off, not knowing that he was planning to kill himself. She blamed herself for his death for 33 years and believed that she was a "bad, selfish person" because she didn't stay on the phone with him. I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about those beliefs. The thought that came to her mind was, "It's all Okay. I was just a teenager." These thoughts brought peace to her heart and resolved her feelings of shame.
And finally, after resolving her anger, sadness, and feelings of shame she felt some grief over his loss. We made a list of eleven things she misses about him. She recalled how he was so proud of her and like to show her off to his friends, he gave her gifts, he made her laugh, and she enjoyed his sharp intellect and sense of humor. I led her in a prayer to give her feelings of grief to the Lord and she released them. After praying through these feelings, this woman began smiling and said, "I can think of him with happiness now," and "all is well." The next day I spoke with her and she said, "It's amazing that I carried these feelings around for 33 years after my dad's suicide." She said that she had been "poking around" in her memories of her father and felt no more sadness, shame, or grief. She was amazed! She also said that she prayed about her feelings about a friend who had died the previous week who had been on her mind all day long, and she couldn't get her off her mind. Once she prayed about this recent loss on her own and gave it to the Lord she was able to resolve her feelings and was now experiencing God's peace! It's wonderful how the Lord heals the brokenhearted who are willing to call out to Him and give their burdens at His feet! We have an awesome God!
Set free From Childhood Sexual Abuse 12
A man came for help with marital problems that were rooted in his sexual problems. He had some significant grief and anger issues that needed attention but he was certain that his problems were rooted in early childhood experiences beginning at age 4. When he was 4 years old a man exposed himself to him and tried to get him to touch him but he never touched him. However, he felt deeply ashamed of what happened and he felt he was dirty, so he never told anyone what had happened. The feelings of shame were embedded in his mind at this point and he became fixated on sex at a very early age. At age 11 he had an experience with another child his age and the shame deepened. He felt that this was a turning point for him and that God was done with him and he was so bad and shameful that even God could not forgive him. With these beliefs firmly embedded in his mind he became entrenched in a pattern of behaviors that lasted for decades. I asked this man to think about that early childhood experience, remember what happened, and tell me what he felt and believed. He said that he felt "dirty and ashamed." I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted this boy (in the memory) to know about those beliefs; I told the man to just be quiet and listen and let me know if any thoughts came to his mind. "I still love you; It wasn't your fault," were the thoughts that came to his mind. I asked him if that felt true and he said that it did.
Then I asked him how he felt and he said he felt sad because this childhood event had affected him so profoundly and led to so many wasted years, and he had carried this secret for so long. I led him in a short prayer, telling the Lord why he was sad and asking Him to carry that sadness for him, and then asked the Lord if there was anything he wanted this man to know. "He is still with me; I don't have to carry this any longer; He still loves me." Then I asked him to think about the childhood event and tell me how he felt. He said he felt, "Neutral and calm." There were no more feelings of shame or guilt and he did not feel dirty or ashamed anymore. We talked for a few minutes about some other childhood events and prayed about them. When we were done I prayed for him again and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know. "You are my child" was the thought that came to his mind. I prayed "Lord, is there anything else?" "I'm not dirty, bad, or disgusting to God," he said. "I would not love my own child any less." This man smiled and thanked me for spending time with him. He left feeling much lighter and feeling clean and forgiven.
That is all it takes to be set free from childhood sexual abuse; just a simple truth from the Lord. Many people, like this man, are carrying childhood feelings of guilt and shame that are destroying them emotionally and spiritually, and damaging their relationships. Using secular techniques it is very difficult to change their feelings and the beliefs connected to them, but the Lord is able to do it easily as we learn to identify the underlying lies such as "I'm dirty, bad, and shameful because of what happened" and then pray for truth. As we do this and then listen quietly the Lord uses His "still, small voice" to bring truth into our minds to set us free. What a God we have and what a friend we have in Jesus!"
Man Shocked at Quick Release of Shame 13
A man came to a session with me who was very nervous and full of dread. He had received some previous healing but hated to think about being molested by his step-grandfather and he knew we were going to discuss it. He said that he resented this man because he betrayed his trust and that of his mother, he hurt his grandmother through his actions, and he was unable to tell anyone about what happened so he felt very alone afterwards. He also said that it ruined his relationship with his grandmother because he tried to stay away from her home after the molesting occured. Within a few minutes he was crying as he recalled this molestation. Then I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted him to know. He said, "I wasn't alone (God was with me); He held me in His arms; I'm safe. It's okay to cry and I didn't do anything wrong." As these thoughts came to his mind from the Lord, this man quit crying and began to calm down. I asked him how he felt and he said, "Not upset; no sadness." I asked him what he thought about this sudden change in feelings and he said, "That's amazing because I thought I did something wrong by going there. I was a litttle boy and wanted to spend time with my grandmother. There's nothing wrong with that!" I asked him how he felt while thinking about the molestation. He said, "It's like hearing the story of another person. I feel peaceful!"
Twenty minutes after we began he was smiling and peaceful while thinking about the molestation and yet he had carried this memory for over 40 years! Suddenly, he was released from his emotional bondage and shame and could talk about this traumatic event without any negative feelings. How amazing it is that the Lord can set people free so quickly, when they have been in bondage for so many years by those feelings!! Jesus sets the captives free from feelings of shame from being molested! Isn't He wonderful?!
Trading PTSD for Peace for Christmas Anger and Shame 14
A woman spoke with me about the loss of her sister fifteen years ago. She witnessed her father beat her sister mercilessly and was too scared to stop him, and on the anniversary of her sister's death she was so full of guilt and shame and sadness that she stayed in her room all day and cried. We talked about the traumatic event and prayed about her belief that she was bad and shameful for not standing up to her father. When I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about her belief that she was bad and shameful, the only word that came to her mind was "No."
Revisiting this painful memory stirred up feelings of hatred for her father so we prayed and she told the Lord how angry she was and how much she hated her father for what he did to her sister. But then she asked the Lord to take her anger and carry it for her. After the prayer I asked her how she felt and she said, "I have no feelings; no hatred." Her anger suddenly disappeared, but she still felt some feelings of shame and guilt. I prayed again and asked the Lord what he wanted her to know about her belief that she was bad and shameful. She said, "He would have done the same to me." She said that she no longer felt any shame or guilt and she was sure that her sister had forgiven her. With all her anger and guilt removed from her she is sure to have a Christmas full of peace.
This woman has posttraumatic stress disorder from years of witnessing violence in her home as a child, and each time she prays she is released from more of the anger, sadness, fear, and guilt that she has carried all her life. PTSD is very difficult to treat but thanks be to God that He is able to set us free from the devastating effects of PTSD so that we can experience peace and joy in our lives. For those who suffer some form of PTSD in their lives, there is hope in the Lord of being completely set free from the traumatic events in your past and enjoying true peace and joy during this Christmas season. With man this is not possible, but with God all things are possible.
Mother Set Free from Guilt and Shame 15
A woman told me she felt depressed and was nervous about seeing her children over Christmas. She had previously been set free from a lot of anger toward people who had abused her and she had released her grief over the loss of four family members, so I was surprised that she was still feeling some depression. When I asked her why she felt nervous and depressed she said that she felt guilt and shame because she was emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive to her children. After she received healing through this prayer ministry she laughed so much more and was so light-hearted when she spoke to her children over the phone that they asked, "Who is this?" But she was afraid that they would be disappointed when they saw her again.
I asked this woman what she had done that made her feel guilty and she identified six reasons for her guilt feelings and said, "They would have been better off without me." I asked her if she had confessed these things to God and she had not, so I led her in a prayer to confess her failures as a mother to the Lord and ask His forgiveness. Then I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know and she said the followng: "I made mistakes but God doesn't make junk. He loves me and forgives me and wants me to live my life free of guilt." She said that this felt true. I asked her how she felt now and she said, "Jesus died for my stuff so I could be free. I never thought of that. I feel joyful! I am loved!" She told me that she felt no more shame or guilt about her failures as a mother and she was excited about seeing her children over Christmas!
What a wonderful Christmas gift to have! Peace and freedom from guilt! Parenting is a guilt-inducing experience; we all fail in some ways as parents but the Lord wants us to live our lives free of guilt! Please give any guilt or shame that you have to Him and let Him carry it for you so that you can have a Christmas full of joy and peace!
Inmate Releases Shame 16
This week we had a wonderful time ministering to female inmates in the local county jail. Most of them indicated that they had been to jail before and we talked about how to never come back by resolving their underlying issues of grief, anger, and shame. As we talked about overcoming guilt and shame, two of the women prayed for forgiveness and invited the Lord into their lives. Then we talked about how the Lord can remove their feelings of shame, also. One woman volunteered for prayer. She said that she felt shameful because her boyfriend abused her and her child while she was under the influence of drugs and she was unable to protect her child. She had already asked the Lord to forgive her sins so she was forgiven, but she still felt bad and shameful about this incident. I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about her belief that she was shameful, and the thoughts that came to her mind were, "You didn't know this man was going to hurt your child; you were trying to be a good mother; it was an important lesson to learn about being a good mother." After she received these insights she was calm and smiled and said that she felt peaceful and calm and no longer felt shameful or bad. We then talked with the women about how the Lord can set them free, not from just one or two emotions but set them free from the cycle of drugs and legal problems. I shared with them the following ten steps to freedom.
Set Free from Shame from Sexual Abuse 17
A woman told me that she felt badly for a week and had been mean to her husband and child and she didn't know why. She eventually told me that a man had been trying to take her out and she turned him down repeatedly but he kept pursuing her and trying to call her. As we talked she admitted that she felt guilty about this because she was afraid to tell her husband about it, out of fear that he would do something drastic, even though she had done nothing wrong. She said that she believed, "I'm dirty because I'm not telling my husband."
Her feelings of guilt were irrational because she had done nothing wrong, so I asked her when she first felt such feelings of guilt and shame in her life. She couldn't remember ever feeling this way before so I prayed and asked the Lord to take her to the source and origin of these feelings of shame. She then remembered an incident and told me that the first time she felt this way was when she was molested by a relative as a child and she told no one at first and it happened again and again. She told me, with tears in her eyes, that she felt like she was a "slut and dirty." I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about this belief then I asked her if she had any thoughts come into her mind. She said, "In God's eyes I was a precious little girl. It wasn't my fault. I didn't deserve to be treated that way." I asked her if those thoughts felt true to her and she said they did. When I asked her how she felt now she said, "Relieved, relaxed, and peaceful."
She was immediately released from those irrational beliefs and negative feelings after we prayed specifically about the lie she believed. This woman quit crying and began smiling once the Lord brought truth into her mind. Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32) and the truth is necessary to set us free from feelings of shame, fear, aloneness, helplessness, hopelessness, and hurt. You cannot talk people out of the deeply-rooted lies from their childhood but the Lord can, and this is why it is so important to learn to pray and listen to the Lord so that we can be set free from the lies that have kept them in bondage.
Set Free from Sexual Abuse and Shame 18
I saw a man who wanted help in dealing with some sexual abuse he had experienced as a child. He grew up in a Christian family but at age 7 he was molested by an older cousin one time which made him feel "nasty, disgusted, and shameful" afterwards. Shame is a belief-based emotion that is based upon lies we believe, such as "I am dirty, bad and shameful" so I knew that we needed to pray for truth. He didn't discuss any details but I prayed for him and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know about his belief that he was disgusting and shameful. After a period of quiet reflection he said, "I have set you free; you're free because of what I've done." He smiled, relaxed and said he felt no more shame or disgust while thinking about this memory. The Lord brought truth to his mind and set him free of his shame.
This man told me that he began acting out as a teenager, probably as a result of his molestation, and was molested again at age 15 by a friend while he was high on some drugs. He felt feelings of anger and shame as a result of this incident so we spoke, first, about his anger. He was angry at his friend for taking advantage of him when he was high, for violating his trust, and for destroying their friendship. We prayed about these resentments and he asked the Lord to take them from him. After our prayer he said that he felt good and had no more anger toward his former friend, but he still felt some feelings of shame. He said that he believed, "I'm dirty and disgusting because of what this guy did to me." I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know. "You are righteous; I made you righteous," were the thoughts that came to his mind, and he told me that he felt "peace" and felt no more anger or shame about this incident. Once again, the truth set him free from feelings of shame over this second incident. When we were done this man told me that he felt good and he had no more feelings of anger, guilt, or shame, even while thinking about his sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse can have a very negative impact on a child, even when they have a good Christian family. The devil uses such incidents to make them feel dirty and bad even though they did nothing wrong, then he uses this to destroy their lives and lead them into drug abuse, sexual addictions, and anger. It is very difficult to help sexual abuse victims to be set free from the negative impact of their abuse, but the Lord is able to easily set them free from their anger and shame so that the negative impact of the sexual abuse is stopped. Praise God that He is able to set captives free!
Set Free from Guilt, Shame and Sadness 19
A woman asked for prayer about the loss of her son seven years earlier. Her son died in a motorcycle/truck accident and she had already prayed about her grief and felt relieved of this but she was struggling with feelings of guilt and sadness. She felt that she should have been a better mother and a better spiritual guide to him, and she should have praised him and bragged on him more to build up his self-esteem. When he was young his father was an abusive alcoholic and she felt that she should have intervened more between them to protect her son from his father's wrath. I asked this Christian woman if she had confessed these failures to the Lord and she had not so she prayed and asked the Lord to forgive her for these short-comings. Then I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about these failures, and I told her to let me know if she had any thoughts come to her mind. "They have been forgiven," she said, and she confirmed that this felt true to her. "He loves you and I do, too," she said. I asked her how she felt and she said she felt calm and forgiven.
Then I asked her if she had any other negative feelings when she thought about her son and she said that she felt sad that he didn't get to go to his daughter's graduation. She added that she felt sad because her son's son is still grieving and his wife is still angry. She also felt sad because her son was so unhappy, never felt good about himself, and he felt like he was a failure. We made a list of 8 reasons for her feelings of sadness and she gave them to the Lord and asked Him to take them from her and carry them for her. I prayed again and asked the Lord if there was anything that He wanted this woman to know. "I received him and he's happy now," was her response. I asked her how she felt now and she said, "relieved; no sadness. Just joy and elation." She said that she felt no more sadness or condemnation; she knew she was forgiven and she felt forgiven and she felt complete peace about the loss of her son.
The only way to deal with genuine guilt is to confess our sins and failures to the Lord and ask for His forgiveness through the blood of Jesus ( 1 John 1:9). This woman was a strong Christian who knew the Word but many Christians confess their sins but still feel guilty about things in their past. These are feelings of "false guilt" or shame that are based upon lies from the enemy, but the Lord can set us free from these feelings so that we are completely clean and free of all guilt and stains. The Lord not only wants to forgive us but to cleanse us of all our shame as well, so that we can serve Him in joy and peace. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18).
"I'll Never Get Rid of This Shame" 20
A man was struggling with grief and depression and we had prayed several times already. He had given some grief to the Lord and his depression had dropped from a rating of 8 to a rating of 4, on a 10-point scale but he continued to struggle with some anger and guilt. He said that he felt "anger at myself" for not apologizing to his son for a recent argument and a "falling out" they had about some property. After six months of not speaking with each other, his son came to him and apologized.
Although this restored their relationship it left him feeling guilty for not "manning up" and apologizing first. He also felt shameful for not working and helping his son financially due to his physical problems which were not obvious to others but he was in such severe pain that he could not do simple tasks. It made him feel deep shame that he was unable to work and he had applied for disability. This man told me that he felt such anger at himself that he sometimes beat an old car with a sledge hammer, he blew up watermelons, and he tore up things in his house. I asked him if he would like to get rid of that shame and he said, "That's something I'll never be able to get rid of." He admitted that sometimes he had suicidal thoughts because he had no home, no vehicle, and no way to take care of himself and he said, "I'm not the man I should be." He agreed that he believed he was shameful and worthless because of his physical disabilities that rendered him unable to work and provide for himself and his son. I asked him if I could pray for him about that belief and he agreed, so I prayed, "Lord, what do you want this man to know about his belief that he is shameful and bad because he is unable to work and provide for himself?" I told him to be quiet and let me know if he had any thoughts come into his mind. He said, "I have family that are there for me and they do care." He became choked up and tearful and he said that he felt "blessed and no longer felt shameful and bad."
He said that he still felt badly because people cannot see his disabilities and they misunderstand him and judge him. I prayed for him again and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know about that. "He (Jesus) was totally misunderstood and they nailed Him to a cross" he said. I asked him how that made him feel and he said "petty; my disability is petty. It shouldn't matter what people think about me; it isn't for them to judge me." I asked him how that made him feel and he said he felt no more shame or anger at himself because he knew that God was his judge and God knew the pain he experienced and He did not judge him to be worthless. He also said that he was grateful that he had a friend whom he was able to help who had a lot of medical problems, and this gave him some self-respect. A few minutes earlier he had said, "I'll never be able to get rid of this shame," but now he was smiling and at peace because the Lord took his shame and replaced it with peace. The Lord wants to carry not only our guilt but also our shame so that we can live in perfect peace.
Man Set Free from Homosexual Attraction 21
A man told me that a few years ago he had a clear memory of being molested as a small child by his uncle. When it happened he said to his uncle whom he loved, "You're not supposed to be doing this," and his uncle said, "I suppose you're going to tell your parents and I'll never see you again." He told his uncle that he would not tell anyone, and then when he left the room he completely repressed the memory and forgot about it until a few years ago. During his childhood and adolescent years he felt that he was different somehow and he believed he was a homosexual, and he became involved in several homosexual relationships. However, he grew up in a Christian atmosphere and he felt guilty about these relationships but after this memory surfaced he concluded that this early incident was the reason for his attraction to other men, and he suddenly lost all interest in male sexual relationships.
I asked this man how he felt as he recalled this early sexual abuse. He said that he felt ashamed, and he felt that he should have told someone and that there was something wrong with him. These were feelings of shame, which are very common in cases of sexual abuse, and I asked permission to pray for this man. He gave me permission so I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know about his belief that he was shameful and bad and that he should have told someone. I told him to listen quietly and tell me if any thoughts came to his mind. "I'm innocent; I'm not guilty; I have no need to be ashamed," he replied. I asked him if those thoughts felt true and he said that they did. Then I prayed again and asked the Lord if there was anything that He wanted this man to know about his belief that he should have told someone. "It was out of my hands," he responded. "I didn't have the ability to defend myself because I was a child. I was afraid to not see my uncle again and I immediately blocked this out of my mind." "So, how do you feel now as you think about that sexual abuse?" I asked. "I see myself as guiltless and innocent. I didn't want it or ask for it." "What emotions do you feel now as you remember that incident?" I asked him. "I don't feel guilty anymore. I feel free. I feel a sense of freedom and lightheartedness. I feel free!" he laughed. We talked for a few minutes about how the Lord is able to set us free from all of our emotional bondage, then as he was leaving I asked him for one final time how he was feeling emotionally. "I feel no anger, no resentment, and I don't hate myself," he said. He smiled as he was leaving and said, "It feels good that I don't have to hate myself anymore."
We are being told by the world that homosexuality is a natural behavior that is caused by genetics, but this man spontaneously relinquished it when he remembered being molested as a child and concluded that it had led him to believe he was different. But he still had feelings of guilt and shame for what happened to him as a child and the Lord brought him truth to set him free from this shame. The truth is that this man was an innocent child and he was not dirty or shameful because of what happened to him, but the Lord had to tell him this before he could be set free. As each of us learns to pray about our feelings of shame, the truth will also set us free from the lies that hold us in bondage to sin. Jesus does, indeed, set the captives free, still!
Inmate Set Free from Guilt and Shame 22
I saw a woman in jail who was struggling with feelings of shame. She felt shameful because she used drugs when she knew she was pregnant and she knew this could harm her child. When the child was born he was addicted to drugs and had to be placed on morphine and he was immediately removed from her custody. I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted this woman to know about her belief that she was horrible, shameful and bad. The thoughts that came to her mind after the prayer were, "I can be forgiven; God's mercy and forgiveness cover me." I asked her how she felt now about her behavior and she said, "It's a horrible thing I did, but I know God has forgiven me."
She told me that she also felt shameful because of the bad decisions she had made that caused her to lose custody of two other children. I asked her if she had confessed her sins to the Lord and she said she had not, so I gave her an opportunity to talk to the Lord. She bowed her head and in a sincere prayer confessed her sins to Him and asked for His forgiveness. Then I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know. She said, "They're safe now; God is with them. It was best for them (to be placed in the custody of a loving couple). Keep drawing near to Him."
Many Christians would have a hard time with the Lord's forgiveness of this young woman and want her to show some extended evidence of contrition and penitence, but her simple, sincere confession was all that the Lord required. Like the woman taken to Jesus who was caught in the act of adultery the Lord wants such people to "go and sin no more" (John 8:11). In this case He simply told her, "Keep drawing near to Me." The devil loves for us to beat ourselves and tell us that we are no good, we are worthless, and should never be forgiven and he defeats many people with these lies. I asked this young lady how she felt after we had prayed and she said, "Hope." I asked the Lord if there was anything else that He wanted her to know and she said, Jeremiah 29:11 came to her mind, "I know the plans I have for you...plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope."
Researchers say that the number of children in the U.S. born addicted to drugs has tripled in the last decade with 13,000 incidents per year. How wonderful the love and forgiveness of the Lord is! This young woman was able to release all her guilt and shame in a few minutes and to feel the peace of God by simply confessing her sins and listening to the still, small voice of God that brought truth to her and set her free from shame and condemnation. Now we will work with her to set her free from her addiction so this will never happen with her again and she will "go and [use] no more."
"I Don't Feel Forgiven" 23
I saw a woman in the county jail who said that she had some grief and sadness over the loss of her grandmother 38 years earlier. When we talked about her grandmother she became very tearful as she told me how much she missed her love and affection, her protectiveness, being with her all the time, seeing her, talking with her, and going to church with her. She also said she missed her smile, her cooking, her sense of humor, and watching TV with her. We made a list of 13 things she missed about her grandmother, then she prayed and gave her grief to the Lord. I asked the Lord if there was anything that He wanted this woman to know, and she said she had no thoughts but she felt very peaceful and calm. Thirty-eight years of grief were suddenly lifted from her!
I asked her if she had any other negative feelings and she tearfully said that she had messed up so much by using drugs, getting herself locked up, leaving her husband, and missing out on her children’s lives. She felt guilty and wept heavily about all these failures and I asked her if she had confessed these matters to the Lord. She said that she had confessed these things and she knew that she was forgiven but she didn't feel forgiven. These are feelings of "shame" or "false guilt" since she had already confessed them, and I explained to her how the Lord can take away these feelings and replace them with peace through prayer. I prayed, "Lord, what do you want this woman to know about her belief that she is shameful and bad because of all these things she has done?" I told her to be quiet and tell me if any thoughts came to her mind. "You are forgiven; I love you; you are my child," she replied. "Does that feel true?" I asked. She said that it did, and she began to smile. "How does that make you feel?" I asked. "It makes me feel awesome!" she said with a big smile. "But what about all these things you have done?" I asked to test her. "I'm His. It doesn't matter anymore," she said confidently. She said that she knew that she was forgiven and she also felt forgiven. I asked her what she thought about this and she said it was great. Then she said, "I had some thoughts after I gave my grief to the Lord but I thought it was just coming from my own head; I kept hearing the words, "I love you; I love you."
The Lord not only forgives us, but He wants to carry our feelings of shame, also. He does this when we learn to talk with Him about our feelings, pray for truth, and quietly listen to His “still, small voice.” The Lord does speak to us to bring truth and peace to our hearts when we ask and listen to His voice. “If any of you lacks wisdom [insight into the true nature of things], let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
Grief and Shame over Loss of Dog 24
A husband came with his wife for some help with numerous issues. During the first session she talked about the loss of her best friend who committed suicide and the feelings of guilt she had about this. She told me that she had lost her faith in God but when I described how to be set free from her grief and shame she said she was willing to try it. When she began talking about her feelings of guilt her husband couldn't resist interjecting comments and telling her, "I told you that it wasn't your fault; she knew that you loved her!" I then prayed about her belief and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know and the thought came into her mind, "It's not your fault; she made the choice to take her life." Her feelings of guilt and shame immediately left and then we made a list of things she missed about her friend and prayed and gave all her grief and sadness to the Lord. She began smiling and said that she felt relieved and no longer felt any grief or shame. Her husband said he was impressed.
The next time I saw this couple the woman told me that she had lost her dog; she had to put him down due to some health issues and she had cried every day since then. Once again she felt overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and shame. She said she felt like she waited too long to take him to the vet, she put down her "best friend," she felt that she had neglected and abandoned him when she left him for four days with the vet, and she felt like a murderer. Her husband jumped in again and tried to persuade her that her feelings were irrational and that she should not feel this way. He was obviously very frustrated with her because he had tried repeatedly to talk sense into her, but she still felt shameful and bad about her dog. I began praying about the reasons for her feelings of shame and one by one the Lord brought truth to her mind until she finally said, "I know that I was not selfish; I was a good owner; it's ok." She said she felt no more guilt or shame about the dog. We then talked about what she missed about her dog and she identified 22 things she missed about him. I led her in a prayer and she told the Lord what she missed about her dog and asked Him to take her grief from her. Then I prayed and asked the Lord if there was anything that He wanted her to know. She said, "I was a really good dog owner; I did what was best for him." I asked her how she felt now and she said she felt calm and had no grief or sadness. She said, "I definitely feel no shame or guilt; I feel really good." She began smiling.
I explained to her husband that you cannot talk people out of such deeply held feelings and that I don't try to do that anymore. I just show people how to pray for truth and let the Lord do the talking and persuading. The husband quickly said, "I'm a believer now!" We all have dealt with people who have stubbornly held beliefs and feelings and it is frustrating to try to talk them out of their irrational feelings. I did that for 25 years before I learned how to defer these feelings and their underlying beliefs to the Lord and ask Him to do the talking. He is able to give us the truth to set us free from our false beliefs when we learn to identify the underlying beliefs and pray for truth. Afterall, the Lord Himself said, "When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth" (John 15:13).
It's a Wonderful Feeling 25
I prayed with a woman about some shame she had and she said she felt much better after the prayer. The following week she stated that she still had some shame about the matter about which we had already prayed. I explained that when this happens it usually means that there is an earlier source to the shame that needs to be identified, and I asked her when was the first time that she felt shameful like she was feeling. She recalled as a child a time when her mother beat her with an extension cord and she felt like she was bad and shameful and deserved to be punished. I prayed for her and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about this belief. Nothing happened; she said that she had no thoughts come to her mind.
She did admit that she felt a lot of anger so I focused on her anger and made a list of her resentments toward her mother. She said that her mother was physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive to her and neglectful of her health needs. She told this woman that she was incompetent, said she should never get married, blamed her for everything that went wrong, and then doted on her brother and spoiled him. This woman grew up feeling unloved, unimportant, and hated by her own mother. After making a list of 22 resentments she prayed and asked the Lord to take her anger from her. I asked the Lord what he wanted her to know and she said, "I know that I am important; I need to ignore the negativity of my mother. I have a wonderful husband who loves me and I need to focus on the people in my life who care for me." After these thoughts came to her mind she said that she felt relieved and calm and no longer felt anger toward her mother. She told me, "I wish she had gotten help for herself." I asked her how she felt and she said, "The weight is lifted off my shoulders. It's a wonderful feeling!"
Her husband was sitting in with us and he also was able to release his anger at the same time by praying along with us. With her anger gone I prayed again about her feelings of shame and her belief that she was bad and deserved to be punished, and I asked the Lord what He wanted her to know. This time she heard from the Lord and she said, "I know I wasn't bad; it was not my fault. She chose to blame me but it was her problem." With these new insights she began beaming with joy and said that all her feelings of shame were gone and she was experiencing peace and joy in her heart.
This is what the Lord desires for each of us, to experience his peace and joy in our hearts. Her anger toward her mother had prevented her from hearing truth from the Lord, but when she released her anger the Lord brought truth into her heart to set her free from her feelings of shame. May the Lord set you free from all guilt and shame so that you will experience His awesome joy and peace.
That Guilt will always be There 26
A woman talked with me about her former husband who divorced her then married a second time and stayed with her for 36 years. She told me that he was a good man and she could have had a good marriage with him but was too wild at the time, and that led him to leave her. She admitted that she resented him for starting his new family and ignoring the son they had together and never paying him any attention. He also threatened to harm her if she ever tried to interfere with his new family. I asked her if she would like to get rid of that anger and she said that she would, so I led her in a prayer and she told the Lord three reasons for her anger and asked Him to carry her anger for her.
After the prayer I asked her how she felt; she said she felt no more anger but just felt guilty for not being a good wife to him and wasting that opportunity. I asked her if she would like to get rid of that guilt and she said, “That guilt will always be there.” I told her that it doesn’t have to because she can get rid of her guilt. I asked her again if she would like to get rid of it, and she said she would. I explained that psychologists and mental health professionals don’t know how to get rid of guilt; it is a spiritual issue. Churches teach us how to be forgiven for our sins but mental health professionals just teach us to rationalize our sins and minimize them. We talked about her church background and she had heard teachings about the need to confess her sins and to ask for forgiveness. I told her that I had never seen a book written by a mental health professional about guilt but that the Bible teaches us how to overcome our guilt. She said that she would like to release her guilt so I asked her if she wanted to be forgiven for her failure with her former husband or if she wanted to be forgiven for all her past failures. She told me that she would like to be forgiven for all her past so I led her in a prayer in which she confessed her many past sins and failures and asked the Lord to forgive her for everything through the blood of Jesus. I then prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know. She said, “I want to go home and read my Bible; I need to learn to pray.” I asked her if she felt forgiven and she said, “I’m not forgiven; I keep making the same mistake.” So, I prayed for her again and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know. This times she said, “I believe God forgives; He has forgiven me.”
When we were finished I asked her how she felt toward her former husband and she said she had no more feelings of anger, guilt or shame. She told me earlier, “That guilt will always be there,” but a few minutes later it was all gone and she was completely forgiven! The Lord wants to forgive us and set us free from all shame and condemnation. “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Bullied Teen Set Free from Anger and Shame 27
(Contributed by Prayer Minister, Michelle) A teenage boy shared his history of a broken home, physical and verbal abuse, drug use, loss of grandparents, in and out of home by CPS, depression, and being bullied. He was bullied as a child because he was chubby and not very well liked, he began to show signs of bulimia (eating and purging). He had lost a significant amount of weight due to suppressing his emotions of anger and sadness he has carried all through childhood and now into his teenage years. He was reluctant to meet with me and avoided eye contact initially.
I asked him if he could have peace from the damaging emotions from his past, would he be interested in that and he said that he would. He said that out of all the traumas that occurred in his lifetime, the one that bothered him the most was being bullied as a child because he was overweight. We made a list of the reasons for his anger about being picked on as a child: "I’m angry because I didn’t understand why I didn’t have friends; because I didn’t know why I was picked on; because I didn’t know why I was left alone; because I felt depressed every day; because I didn’t fit in; because I felt that nobody believed me; and, because kids would tell me to “get away.” After we made the list, we went to the Lord in prayer and He gave his list of angers to the Lord. I asked him to sit quietly and listen for any word or truth from the Lord. He stated that he didn’t hear anything, but he felt better.
He said he felt like he didn’t have to worry about it and he felt like he didn’t have to be depressed anymore. I told him to think about being picked on as a child and asked how that make him feel now. He said it was kind of sad to him now. He said that if the other kids had really known what he was going through in his life, they probably would not have picked on him. He said he felt much better now. I asked him if he felt like he had any anger towards anyone and he said it was mostly at himself (which is shame). I asked him if he would like to have peace about that as well. He replied, yes. We made a list of reasons why he felt angry toward himself: "I don’t have patience, when I was younger my parents would fight and I thought it was my fault, I felt that when people in my family got hurt, it was my fault, I was responsible; when my grandparents got mad, I felt like it was my fault." He said he was angry at himself because people did not talk to him, he made fun of himself, he put himself down, he disliked the way he looks. Once again we prayed, and he gave his list of angers over to the Lord and listened closely for his truth. He stated that he shouldn’t care, it wasn't his fault, and it didn’t matter what he looks like. These insights from the Lord took away his feelings of shame.
After our prayer session, I asked him on a scale of 1-10 (one being the worst) how did he feel before we started praying. He stated "a one". Then I asked him how he felt now. He stated "a 10!" When he said this, he looked up and smiled. He said that he felt so much better than he did. This teen has many more emotions that need to be prayed through. I made a prayer list out for him, and when we meet again, we will continue praying. I am encouraged by our time together praying. The woman who brought him to the prayer session said he talked to her all the way home that day, more than he ever had before. He talked about his life, his future, and how he felt so much more at peace because he was able to talk about his childhood and all that had happened. The staff at his school stated that he seemed much happier at school the next day and was more sociable than he had been.
"Stop Beating Yourself" 28
A woman came for prayer about the loss of her husband of 50 years. He was an abusive alcoholic for many years and had abused not only this woman but their son, but then he received Jesus as his Savior and quit drinking and began preaching the gospel. In the latter years of their marriage he treated her well and they had a good marriage, but they never talked about or dealt with the past. When her husband died this woman prayed about her grief and gave it all to the Lord so she felt peaceful about his death, but she said that she felt guilty and shameful because she never fully forgave him for the earlier, abusive years. She regretted that she never told him that she forgave him, she never expressed her love for him or praised him for the good things he did for her after his conversion. I asked her if she had confessed this to the Lord and she had not, so she bowed her head and confessed her failures as a wife and asked the Lord for forgiveness. After her prayer I asked her how she felt and she said, "I believe that I am forgiven; but I am a bad wife." I prayed for her and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about her belief that she was a bad wife. "Stop beating yourself up; My beatings were for that. Let go forever; I have it all" were the words that came to her mind. I asked her again how she felt and she said, "Relieved; no more feelings of condemnation."
This Christian woman harbored feelings of anger toward her husband for his previous abuses, and this is understandable. She felt guilty because she had never forgiven him completely or expressed her appreciation and love for him after he changed. But after she confessed her resentments and was forgiven the Lord forgave her and took away all her guilt and shame, telling her "Stop beating yourself. My beatings were for that!" What a wonderful Savior we have who carries all our guilt and shame and gives us His peace that passes understanding. Don't hang onto your anger, guilt or shame; give it all to Jesus and let Him carry it for you.
Alcoholic Man Releases Guilt and Shame 29
I met with a man who said he was an alcoholic and had been going to AA and had three years of sobriety until recently. He went to live with his children in order to find a job and get closer to them but it was difficult because they drank and partied a lot, even though he told them he could not drink. Eventually he began drinking again and blacked out for two weeks and said a lot of horrible things to them. His daughter was deeply hurt by things he said and drove him to the edge of town and dumped him off and told him to never come back. He walked to a hospital where he stayed for two weeks to detox and then he admitted himself into a Christian program to get help.
I shared with this man that it is difficult to quit drinking because of the underlying emotional pain in his life and he agreed and said that he began drinking at age 12 after his mother died. When his father died years later this was a very painful experience for him that left him deeply hurt, angry, and sad. I shared with him how he could be set free from his grief, anger, and shame through prayer and he was eager to give this a try. When I asked him what was the most painful issue he was dealing with he said, "My children; they have cut me off and I'm angry at myself." So, we talked about his children and he admitted that he had some anger toward them for how they drank in front of him, they dumped him off at the roadside, and they told him that they never wanted to see him again. I led him in a prayer to tell the Lord these resentments and to ask Him to take his anger from this man. When I asked him how he felt he said, "I'm not hurt or angry anymore." He laughed and I asked him why he laughed. He said with amazement, "Because it's gone!"
We then talked about his feelings of sadness. He said that he was sad that he didn't have a close relationship with his children, they don't have a dad they can count on, and he let them down again. We prayed about this sadness and he wept as he prayed and gave it to the Lord. Then I asked him, "How do you feel now as you think about your children?" He looked surprised and said, "Huh! I don't think I feel sad anymore." He said he still felt guilty and shameful so I asked him if he knew how to release his guilt. He didn't know how so I explained that Jesus died to pay for all our sins but we have to confess them to Him and ask for His forgiveness. He told me that he had received Jesus and confessed his sins as a child and he had already confessed his recent sins to the Lord but he felt bad and shameful still. I instructed this man to think about the hateful, horrible things he said to his children when drunk then I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know about his belief that he was bad and shameful. I told him to be quiet and let me know if any thoughts came to his mind. He said, "I'm not a bad person but when I drink I do and say bad things." He said that felt true and he felt better and felt he was forgiven. I prayed again and asked the Lord if there was anything else that He wanted this man to know. The thought that came to his mind was, "Son, everything's going to be alright." He said "I may be going crazy but it felt like God was talking to me."
Tears came to his eyes and I explained that when we confess our sins and release our anger the Lord does talk to us to bring words of truth and comfort to our heart. He was amazed and said the Lord had never spoken to him before. I asked him how he felt now; he said, "That makes me feel better. It lightens my load!" I told him to think about his children now and tell me how he felt. He said that he felt no more anger, hurt, or shame. He smiled and we talked about how the Lord wants to set him completely free from all his emotional baggage from the past and once he releases all his grief, anger, and shame he will no longer have the urge to drink. He thanked me for spending time with him and said he looked forward to meeting again to be set free completely. What a joy it is to see this man who had been drinking for over 40 years find hope and begin to get set free from his addiction and emotional bondage. Only the Lord can truly set us free from such bondage.
Set Free from Guilt and Shame 30
A man told me he felt angry at himself for not helping out his father financially before he died. He said that he had the means to help his father but didn’t when he was in a financial jam and then his father become ill and died an early and painful death. I asked him if he had confessed his failure to God and he said he had, so I prayed for him and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know about his belief that he was shameful and a bad son. No thoughts came to him from the Lord. When the Lord does not bring truth to set people free from belief-based emotions like shame, it usually is due to feelings of anger that they harbor.
I asked him if he had any known anger toward anyone; he acknowledged that he had anger toward two people. He identified three resentments he had toward a pastor who had deeply hurt his father and he also identified five resentments he had toward a former girlfriend, and he gave his anger to the Lord and he then indicated that he had no more anger toward this girlfriend or toward the pastor. Having released his anger I prayed again for this man’s feelings of shame regarding his father; this time he heard the words, “You were just a kid.” He said that those words felt true but he then said, “It pains me that dad was in trouble and I had the power to help him and didn’t. I was so dumb and selfish.” This sounded like some genuine guilt so I encouraged him to confess it to the Lord and ask for forgiveness. He tearfully confessed his failure to the Lord and asked for forgiveness, then when I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted him to know he said, “Be at peace. All have sinned and fallen short.” He said that he believed he was forgiven for his selfishness and failure toward his father, but he also said, “I’m bad and shameful because of all my bad decisions; I failed as a son and as a man.”
He had already released his anger and confessed his sins to the Lord for his genuine guilt and failure so I prayed again and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know about his belief that he was bad and shameful due to his failures and bad decisions. He began crying and covered his face with his hands and he said he heard the words, “I’ve always been with you and always will be.” He shed more tears and recalled several times when the Lord had reminded him of His presence with him in clear ways. I asked the Lord if there was anything else that he wanted this man to know. He began weeping again and said that he had a picture come to his mind of Jesus with him, with his arm around him and comforting him. I told him to stay with the picture and tell me if anything else happened. He continued sobbing and through his tears he said, “He’s reminding me of His scars and He said, ‘It is finished.’” I asked the Lord if there was anything else that he wanted this man to know. He began crying again and said that he visualized all his sins in a burning trash heap. Jesus had taken all his sins and cast them into the fire.
This was a very emotional session but afterwards he told me that he felt completely “at peace” and had no more feelings of shame and he said “I feel forgiven.” What a wonderful thing it is that the Lord not only forgives us but wants to “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” and remove all our “guilty stains” so that we can rejoice in our forgiveness and no longer be bound by our sins and failures. The Lord wants you to be free from all guilt and condemnation, also, and will free you from shame when you confess your guilt, release your anger, and pray for His truth to set you free indeed!
Man Releases Shame and Guilt over Children 31
I saw a man who openly shared with me his history of abuse and his years of drug abuse and crime. He had been incarcerated several times and been through numerous treatment programs but continued to abuse drugs until he began working for a Christian program and began seeking to follow the Lord. He was sincere in his faith but he admitted he still struggled with a lot of anger, grief, and shame and he wanted help in getting healing for these emotions. I asked him which of his feelings were the most difficult for him and he told me it was his feelings of shame regarding his children and the abortions his wife and previous girlfriends had because of him.
We talked about his shame over the neglect of his four children. He said that he signed over his parental rights to one of his children, one of them was in foster care, one was being raised by her mother, and one child was being raised by his parents. He admitted that he neglected his children when he was raising them because he was high on drugs most of the time, he verbally abused their mothers, failed to protect them, and gave them a poor childhood. He had already confessed his guilt to the Lord and believed he was forgiven but he still felt deeply shameful and guilty about his poor fathering. I prayed for him and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know, then told him to be quiet and let me know if any thoughts came to his mind. He said, "You are my child" came to his mind repeatedly. He also heard "It was wrong but you are forgiven; you are redeemed and bought by My blood." I asked the Lord if there was anything else He wanted this man to know and he said, "You are no longer that person and I still love you." I asked him how he felt now and he said he felt calm but had no more negative feelings or self-loathing and he could think about his children without feeling badly.
We then talked about his abortions; he said he was the cause of four or five abortions. His wife had an abortion and wanted him to be with her so he stayed with her while she was going through it and heard all the sounds and it was deeply repulsive and disturbing to him. He felt guilt for pressuring these women to have abortions and putting them through this and "murdering" his own children. He felt guilty and shameful about this and had confessed it but still felt guilty. I prayed and asked the Lord what he wanted this man to know about his belief that he was bad and shameful. He told me that the thoughts came to him that "Those children are with the Lord. I'm a new creature in Christ; don't be afraid to give a testimony about this to others." I asked him how he felt now about these abortions and he said he felt no more guilt or shame or disgust at the memories. Even the horrible sounds during his wife's abortion no longer stirred him up. All of his feelings of guilt and shame were gone and he smiled and was full of joy and peace!
Many people have feelings of shame over their failure as a parent because there are no perfect parents. In fact, parenting is a guilt-inducing experience because many times your failures are reflected in your children's behavior and life decisions. We need to be honest about our failures and confess them to the Lord and to our children, but He does not want us to carry our shame and allow it to hinder us spiritually or continue enabling our children in their dysfunctional behavior. Ask the Lord for His truth about your belief that you are shameful and bad because of your failures as a parent and let Him speak to you and set you free from your feelings of shame.
Set Free from Abortion 32
A woman came for help with some depression and reported a long history of problems dating back to her childhood when she was raped at age 11, at age 15, and again at age 17 for the third time. These three incidents scarred her emotionally and when she was 17 years old she got pregnant by her boyfriend who pressured her into getting an abortion. After she had the abortion her boyfriend left her for another girl and she was full of anger, grief, sadness, and shame. In addition, she had four other significant losses in her life that had seriously impacted her. I explained to this woman how she could be set free from all of this trauma through prayer and she was very receptive.
I asked her if she wanted to try to get some relief on that day and which event in her life was the most difficult for her. She immediately chose to deal with her abortion, stating that it was the most traumatic to her of all her traumas. She said she felt a lot of guilt for having the abortion because she didn’t go to her parents for their advice. She also said, “I killed my baby” and “I lied to my family about it.” The only way to resolve genuine guilt such as this is to confess it to the Lord and ask for His forgiveness. This woman had never done this so I led her in a prayer and she asked the Lord to forgive her, then I prayed for her and asked what the Lord wanted her to know. She listened quietly and the thoughts that came to her mind were, “God forgives me. God still loves me. It will be alright; it will be okay.”
I asked this woman how she felt now and she said she felt no more guilt or shame but she felt some sadness. She felt sad that she took her baby’s life, the child would now be a grown adult, she didn’t get to see him grow up, and she lost a part of her. She was also sad to realize that she let someone else make this important decision for her, and she was so weak and fearful of losing her boyfriend then she lost him anyway. She identified six reasons for her sadness and I led her in a prayer and she told the Lord why she was sad and then asked Him to take her sadness and carry it for her. Afterwards, I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know. She said, “It’ll be okay.” I asked her how she felt now and she said she had no more sadness or shame about her abortion, and she felt “hopeful” and “forgiven.” She said, “I’ll see my baby someday.” I asked her what she thought about this sudden change of feelings and she smiled a big smile and said, “God is Awesome!” That pretty much says it all; God IS awesome to take our burdens and carry them for us. Abortions have a profound impact on women but the Lord forgives and wants to take all their guilt and shame from them and set them free!
Overcoming Feelings of Rejection by Daughter and Ex. 33
A woman told me that her grown daughter was distancing herself from her and was not answering her texts. She used to be very close to her daughter and she said she knew it was normal to lose this closeness after a child gets married and starts their own family. As she spoke about this she became very tearful and she said that she felt rejected and unwanted by her daughter, except when she needed some help with babysitting. I recognized that she was experiencing some grief but the strength of her sadness made me believe that her feelings of rejection were rooted in an earlier memory.
I asked her when was the first time she felt unwanted. She said she felt this way when her husband traveled a lot and did not want her to go with him. He became involved with other women and she blamed herself and believed she was not good enough and she felt alone. I prayed for her and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know and she had the thoughts come to her, "I didn't cause the divorce or create the problem. I had no control over my husband." She said she knew it wasn't her fault they got divorced but she still felt badly and felt that she was not good enough.
I prayed and asked the Lord to take her to the source and origin of those feelings. She remembered feeling this way with her mother who worked two jobs and as the oldest of four children this woman had to take care of her younger siblings, do all the chores, and prepared dinner for them. Her mother fussed at her a lot and never thanked her for her work. She felt that she could never do enough to please mom. I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about that belief. She said, "Mom was overworked and stressed. I wasn't bad; I was a very good kid. I was good enough." This eliminated her feeling that she was not good enough but then she said she felt angry at herself. She recognized that her ex-husband had a lot of problems and she felt the Lord had tried to warn her but she chose to ignore His warnings and this made her feel foolish and shameful. I prayed again, asking the Lord for truth about this and the following thoughts came to her mind: "He loves me and wants me to be happy. I'm not foolish or shameful and I'm not alone; my sister, mother, brother, children, and grandchildren all love me."
She felt better but remembered feeling very alone and repulsive because her husband treated her so badly that when he came home late at night she often drove to a local store parking lot and slept in the car, then went back home in the morning to awaken and feed her children and go to work. She felt so alone and repulsive as she thought about this so I prayed again and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know. "I allowed my husband to make me feel alone and repulsive, but I wasn't and I'm not. God loved me so much; He gave me the strength to go to school and teach. He was with me; this was my husband's problem, not mine." This eliminated her feeling that she was not good enough but then she said she felt angry at herself. She recognized that her ex-husband had a lot of problems and she felt the Lord had tried to warn her but she chose to ignore His warnings and this made her feel foolish and shameful. I prayed again, asking the Lord for truth about this and the following thoughts came to her mind: "He loves me and wants me to be happy. I'm not foolish or shameful and I'm not alone; my sister, mother, brother, children, and grandchildren all love me."
She felt better but remembered feeling very alone and repulsive because her husband treated her so badly that when he came home late at night she often drove to a local store parking lot and slept in the car, then went back home in the morning to awaken and feed her children and go to work. She felt so alone and repulsive as she thought about this so I prayed again and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know. "I allowed my husband to make me feel alone and repulsive, but I wasn't and I'm not. God loved me so much; He gave me the strength to go to school and teach. He was with me; this was my husband's problem, not mine." After these thoughts she told me that she had no more anger or feelings of shame or repulsiveness. She smiled and said she was very blessed. The Lord took all her feelings of aloneness, shame, and rejection and replaced them with truth and this led to His awesome peace that surpasses comprehension! If you feel alone, unwanted, or repulsive He can set you free and give you His peace, also.
Mom Releases Shame about Molested Child 34
A woman requested help in dealing with her feelings about her 4 y.o. daughter being molested by her father. She said that her daughter always wanted to call her daddy and go see him but after a visit with him earlier this year the girl returned home upset. She told her mother that she did not love her daddy or want to see him anymore. The mother eventually got her daughter to tell her what happened and she learned that her ex-husband had molested the child and told her to not tell anyone. He told her to lie, if anyone asked what happened, and say it was her brother that touched her.
When this woman learned about this incident she was very upset and reported it to the authorities immediately but she has had to deal with a very scared, damaged little girl. The girl lost her independence and self-confidence, she lost her childhood innocence and trust, she began hating baths, and wouldn't do anything by herself. The little girl also became afraid of men and she cut her hair saying, "If I wasn't so pretty he wouldn't have done this." The mother said she felt guilty and shameful and began having panic attacks. She blamed herself for not protecting her daughter and wondered how she could have brought this evil man into her daughter's life. She obviously had no suspicion that the child's father would do such a thing to his own child so her feelings of shame were based upon lies she believed. I asked permission to pray for her and then I simply prayed, "Lord, what do you want this woman to know about her belief that it's her fault that her daughter was molested by her father and that she should have protected her?" I told her to just be quiet and let me know if any thoughts came into her mind. She listened quietly for a minute then said, "It's not my fault; I couldn't have known this was going to happen. That's his sin to carry. I just have to love her and help her now." I asked her how she felt, now. She said she felt a lot better and no longer felt it was her fault. Those thoughts came to her from the Lord and set her free from her shame.
We then talked about her anger toward her ex-husband and she said she didn't know if she could ever get rid of her anger because it was so strong. She identified ten specific reasons for her anger. It made her very angry that her Ex- would hurt his own child. As she talked about the specific ways that her daughter had suffered as a result of her ex-husband's damaging actions it stirred up her anger, but she said that she knew her anger was not affecting him in any way; it was only hurting her. She prayed and told the Lord the reasons for her anger, and then she asked Him to take her anger and carry it for her. Afterwards, I asked her how she felt. She said, "I can think about it and not feel like my heart is going to explode." Then a minute later she said, "I feel great!"
This woman felt no more anger toward her ex-husband but we discussed how she can no longer trust him and she can still pursue legal action to keep him from harming other children. We also discussed how she can pray with her daughter and help her release her feelings of shame and other feelings that could damage her throughout her life. What happened to the girl was evil and harmful but does not have to damage her the rest of her life if her mother is able to teach her how to be honest about her feelings and give them all to Jesus. Jesus loves the little children and said, "whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy mill-stone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matt. 18:5-6).
Don’t Deserve to be Forgiven 35
A woman told me that she was actively involved in church and leading the young people until her father died a few years ago. He was a drug addict when she was a young child but then got saved and became a deeply religious man. After he died she couldn’t go to church without breaking down and crying so she quit going. She became depressed, angry and anxious and exploded one day over an incident involving her child. The police were called and she was arrested and taken to jail. When she was released she attacked her husband and was hospitalized and heavily medicated then released. She was diagnosed as “bipolar” which made her feel hopeless. For several months she was completely numb and slept all day.
I shared with this woman how she could find release from all her anger, grief, and feelings of shame through prayer and she said she was willing to try anything. When I asked her what was the strongest negative emotion she felt she told me it was shame and guilt. She felt very ashamed and guilty about how she had behaved toward her husband and about the horrible things she said to him in her anger. I asked her if she had confessed it to the Lord and asked His forgiveness. She said she had not but she was remorseful and willing to confess her failures to God, so I led her in a prayer and she asked Him for forgiveness. Then I prayed, “Lord, is there anything that you want her to know about her belief that she is bad and shameful because of how she treated her husband?” I told her to just be quiet and let me know if she had any thoughts come into her mind. She said, “It’s okay.” She was crying and said, “He rubbed my head and said, ‘It’s ok.’ He forgives me and my husband forgives me.”
Now she said that she felt forgiven and peaceful but she had a feeling of “heaviness” still, which she said was because, “I don’t deserve to be forgiven.” I prayed for her again, asking the Lord what He wanted her to know about that belief. She was quiet for a moment and then said, “Ask and you shall receive.” “That’s what my father used to tell me. My father is still with me, in my heart,” she said. I asked her how she felt now and she said, “Oddly, better. There’s no more heaviness.” She began laughing out of relief. She talked about how badly she had behaved toward her husband and she felt peaceful, but as she remembered her son witnessing her violent behavior she felt some additional guilt and shame. She said, “My baby saw those horrible things and I didn’t ever want my kids to see what I saw as a child.” I encouraged her to confess it to the Lord and ask for His forgiveness. After confessing these failures to the Lord I asked the Lord, again, what He wanted her to know. “We all fall short” she said. “My kids don’t have to grow up damaged. I have to lead them. They’re going to be ok.” She added, “He loves me in spite of my faults.” I asked her if that felt true and she said it did.
As this woman left her final words were, “It’s going to be okay. I can get past it and get healing for those feelings.” When she confessed her sins, the Lord instantly forgave her, then when we prayed for truth He gave her the truth she needed to be set free from her shame as well. She left with peace in her heart and a smile on her face! The Lord not only forgives us but He wants to cleanse us from our feelings of shame, also. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
Prayer Succeeds where Psychotherapy and Hypnosis Failed 36
I saw a man who became very choked up as he told me that when he was about 7 years old his brother went to Vietnam and left two wild horses in his care. The older brother asked this boy to take care of them while he was gone and the boy promised he would. But he did not know how to take care of them and one day he went to feed them and found them both dead.
He was full of shame and guilt and used a tractor to drag the corpses to the back their property (an amazing feat for a 7-year-old boy) but he believed he was a failure and he killed these horses and was full of feelings of shame and failure the rest of his life. As an adult he sought help through psychotherapy and talked about this traumatic event and he even attended an intense, two-week inpatient co-dependency treatment program during which he underwent hypnosis but his intense feelings of shame remained. I prayed for this man and asked the Lord what He wanted him to know about his belief that he was bad and shameful because he killed his brother's horses. I told him to be quiet and let me know if he had any thoughts come to his mind. He quickly began sharing the following thoughts: "I had no one teach me what to do; I'm not bad; I should have been taught; it shouldn't have been my responsibility." I prayed again and asked the Lord if there was anything else that He wanted this man to know. "I will take care of your pain, sorrow, and guilt. It wasn't anyone's fault." I asked the Lord if there was anything else and the man said, "I didn't kill them...I'm not shameful or a failure." I asked him if these thoughts felt true to him and he said they did. When I asked him how he felt then he said, "I'm not tearful like I was. I'm amazed that I feel so calm." I told him to think about the incident and visualize it and tell me how he felt. He thought about it and said, "It's like a movie I'm watching with no emotion."
In fifteen minutes the Lord completely released this man of his deep feelings of shame, failure, and worthlessness over this childhood trauma that could not be released through years of therapy! We discussed one more trauma and some feelings of shame he had from hurting a boy in his childhood who developed a permanent tremor from the incident. He felt deeply shameful and bad for how he had hurt this other boy and was very emotional and tearful when discussing it. We prayed about it and the Lord set him free from this trauma, as well, and told him that He loved him and forgave him for what he had done. He was instantly set free from that trauma and then said he felt "calm, relaxed, and at ease." When this session ended I was overwhelmed with awesome, amazing power of God to set this man free from his shame so quickly where human efforts had failed. Jesus truly can do what no man can do! He can set us free from all our guilt and shame.
“I Deserve to Burn in Hell” 37
I saw a young man who was very angry and he told me he was angry at God because He had never heard from God or seen any evidence God was real. One time he got on his knees and begged God to show him some evidence that he was real but nothing happened. He never heard from God or experienced anything to help him with his unbelief. He saw others walking around with peace and joy but he had none.
I explained that the main hindrance to hearing the Lord is anger and I asked him who he was most angry toward; he said it was his mother. She was very judgmental toward him and told him he was demon-possessed, he was going to prison, and he was just a drug addict. She smoked marijuana but she criticized him for using other drugs and was constantly criticizing him and complaining about his music, and she was quick to abandon him and kick him out for little things he did. He made a list of eight resentments he had toward his mother and then prayed about his anger toward her. After he prayed I asked the Lord if there was anything He wanted this young man to know and he said he heard the words, “I know you want peace but you must come to Me for peace.” I asked him how he felt and he said he had no anger toward her and he loved his mother with all his heart. Then I asked him what happened to his anger and he said, “He took it away and I felt something in my stomach and I heard Him.”
Then we talked about his anger toward his stepfather whom he felt had never loved him like his own son, he shoved religion and church down his throat, and he burned all his hard-rock music without warning. He identified four things he resented about his stepfather and then he prayed and asked the Lord to take his anger from him. Again, I asked the Lord what He wanted this young man to know and he said the thought came to him, “I’m your Father and I’ll always love you as a son.” I asked him how that made him feel and he said, “It makes my heart sing!” He said his anger disappeared and he just loved his stepfather.
He said he also had a lot of anger at himself for all the horrible things he had done and for how he had hurt people. He had a girlfriend whom he had abused in front of her children and he cut himself, and abused drugs. Most of all he hated himself for a time when he was in a drug-induced state of paranoia and trying to scare his girlfriend to get her to pacify his paranoid fears. He poured lighter fluid around her and then lit a match just to scare her but she caught on fire and he had to help her put it out. She never pressed charges against him and he tearfully said, “I deserve to burn in hell for what I did.” I asked him if he had confessed these things to the Lord and he said he had not but he wanted to, so he confessed his sins and asked forgiveness, then I asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know. He said, “The Lord said He doesn’t care what I’ve done; it will never change how He feels about me." He said, "I shouldn’t be loved but I feel loved and I feel in my heart He has forgiven me.” I prayed one last time and asked if there was anything else the Lord wanted this man to know. He said the thoughts came to his mind very clearly, “I love you enough to put my Son on the cross for you.”
This man had never heard from God before this but after he got rid of his anger he heard from the Lord three times very clearly, and he knew the thoughts were not from his own mind. He was so full of joy that he wept, and he hugged me and thanked me for praying with him, then he left with peace and joy in his heart.
That's absolutely Nuts! 38
I met with four young people one weekend to explain Set Free ministries to them and I prayed with one of the young men about his anger. He was set free from his anger but another young man was not ready yet; he said he needed to think about his feelings. The following weekend he came again and volunteered for prayer. He brought with him a notebook with lists he had made of the reasons for his anger and grief. I asked him which emotion was the strongest and he said his anger toward himself, which I explained is the feeling of shame. I suggested that we start with his anger at others because anger at others can interfere with his healing from feelings of shame.
He agreed and I looked at his list of reasons for his anger toward his mother. He had listed ten reasons for his anger toward his mother so I led him in a prayer and he gave his anger to the Lord and asked Him to carry it for him. Afterwards he said, “All is good” and he said he was no longer mad at her. Then he had a list of reasons for his anger toward two stepfathers who had been abusive to him, and the last one kicked him out of his home so he was now homeless. He prayed through his list and gave his anger to the Lord. After praying I asked him how he felt; he said he was no longer angry and he felt “weightless.” The release of his anger made him feel much lighter.
Then we talked about his anger toward himself. He identified six reasons for his anger at himself. I asked him if he had confessed these to God and asked for His forgiveness, and he said he had but he still felt badly about them. I explained that these were feelings of shame and I asked permission to pray for him. When I asked the Lord what He wanted this young man to know about his belief that he was dirty, bad, and shameful because of these things he had done, nothing came to his mind. I explained that when this happens it is usually because we were not at the source where these feelings started and I asked him if there was an earlier time in his life when he felt such feelings. He said that he felt this way at age 12 but he did not want to talk about it, so I told him that it was okay and was not necessary to talk about. I instructed him to think about what happened to make him feel shameful, and I asked him if he believed he was dirty, bad, or shameful because of what happened at age 12. He said he did, then I prayed “Lord, what do you want him to know about his belief that he is dirty, bad, or shameful because of what happened to him at age 12?” I told him to just be quiet and listen. Suddenly, he began crying intensely. Through tear-filled eyes he said the thoughts that came to him were, “It’s forgotten; it’s gone; it’s okay. It doesn’t matter. Keep on going.”
He continued crying but said these were tears of joy and relief. I asked him how he felt, and through his tears he said, “I have not felt this good in a long time!” I asked him what he thought about this, and he looked at me through the tears in his eyes and said, “This is crazy! It’s freaking nuts!” He was amazed at the power of God to set him free and give him such incredible peace, and everyone in the room was also inspired to witness the love and power of God.
Prayer Didn't Work 39
A woman came to me for help in dealing with her separation from her husband who was having an affair with another woman. She had previously given her anger at her husband to the Lord but she still felt guilty and blamed herself for the emotional struggles that her children were experiencing as a result of the separation, and she felt that she was being selfish. She said that she made a list and tried to pray about her guilt but it didn’t work. The reason why it didn’t work was because she was not dealing with genuine guilt but with shame. You cannot just give your shame to the Lord, you need truth to set you free from false guilt, or shame.
Recognizing that her feelings of shame were probably rooted in a childhood experience, like most strong feelings, I asked her when was the first time that she could remember feelings such feelings of shame and blame. She said that at age 5 she was molested by her stepfather for several years and when she resisted his continuing advances he screamed, hollered, threw things and beat her mother. She told her mother about the sexual abuse but her mother ignored it because she was only concerned about losing her husband and being alone. She believed it was her fault that her mother was being beaten and that she was being selfish. I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about her belief that it was her fault that her mother was being beaten. She immediately said, “I shouldn’t feel guilty; it was not my fault. I was just a kid.” I asked her how she felt now and she said she no longer felt guilty or selfish, but she felt angry at her mother for not protecting her.
She said that her mother never acknowledged her wrong in this matter or apologized to her and her mother continues to believe that women have to do whatever it takes to keep their men. This woman also said that her mother was never a good mother to her, she never protected her or provided her emotional comfort, and yet she expects this daughter to take care of her. She identified 19 reasons for her anger toward her mother then she prayed and gave all her anger to the Lord and asked Him to carry it for her. When we were finished praying I asked her how she felt toward her mother and she said she forgave her and had no more anger. She even said, “She does care about me but doesn’t have the capacity to realize what she is doing. I feel pity for her.”
With her anger out of the way I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted this woman to know about her belief that it’s her fault that her children are suffering from the separation and that she is being selfish. She reflected quietly for a few moments then said, “They’re not suffering as much as I thought. It’s not my fault; it’s their daddy’s fault. I have tried to save my marriage and can’t allow my son to believe it’s ok to treat his wife this way, or for my daughter to believe she has to let her husband have affairs.” She said that she needs to teach her children how to be at peace and be strong. When I asked her, again, how she felt she said she had no more feelings of guilt or hurt feelings. I explained how she had released her anger and then the Lord brought truth to her to set her free from her feelings of shame. Prayer did work when she prayed for truth. I asked her what she thought about this. She smiled and said, “It’s amazing!”
Man Overcomes Childhood Shame 40
A man told me that he felt shameful about some childhood behaviors with another child his age. He stated that after he was sexually abused as a child he and another child became involved in some childhood sexual activities. As an adult he became a Christian and he confessed his behavior to the Lord but he still felt shameful and sad about his childhood behavior and he felt that he was "dirty and shameful." I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted this man to know about this belief, but nothing happened. He heard nothing from the Lord. This is usually due to some anger the person is harboring in their heart so I asked him if he had some anger, and he admitted that he was angry at his wife.
We discussed the reasons for his anger and he said that his wife holds grudges and does not forgive him when he makes mistakes. He also said that she tries to be his mother, she always wants to be with him, she calls him vulgar names, and she pressured him into marrying her before he felt ready to marry her. He identified 9 resentments he had toward his wife and he prayed and asked the Lord to take his anger from him and replace it with His peace. After doing this he said he felt peaceful, happy, and loving toward his wife, and he had no more anger toward her. After releasing this anger, I prayed again for this man asking the Lord what He wanted this man to know about his belief that he was dirty, bad, and shameful because of his childhood sexual behaviors. The following thoughts came to his mind immediately: "It was wrong but Jesus paid for it; I'm not shameful or dirty. God is not done with me. Lift up my head and move forward." I asked him how he felt now as he thought about his childhood behavior and he said he felt no emotions, he was just calm and peaceful.
Many Christians like this man feel guilty about something they have done in the past, even after they confess it to the Lord and ask His forgiveness. These negative feelings are feelings of shame that are based upon lies we believe. The enemy loves to stir up these feelings of shame to defeat us emotionally, but the Lord wants to set us free from all of our guilt and shame and will bring truth to us to set us free. All we have to do is confess our failures to the Lord and pray for truth regarding our belief that we are shameful and bad. If we do not receive any truth when we pray, we need to identify any unresolved anger we have, release it, then pray again for truth. Once the Lord brings His truth to our heart it will set us free, indeed, just as it did for this man. Don't let the lies of the enemy keep you in emotional bondage; pray for truth and allow the Lord to set you free.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the Lord, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool."