The ministry of inner healing, also known, as pastoral counseling has played a vital role in the development of a healthy church community. In the early 1900’s a woman named Agnes Sanford (1897-1982), was part of the healing revivals and charismatic renewal in the United States. Seeing the need for more individualized ministry, Agnes began working with churches as early as the 1930’s teaching them to pray for mental and emotional issues. In 1958, Agnes along with her husband John Sanford founded the Agnes Sanford School of Pastoral Care. Her first book, The Healing Light, is considered classic in its field. Today, there are a number of organizations that are active in providing inner healing ministry; the more well known being: Elijah House, Sozo Prayer Ministry and The Immanuel Prayer Approach.
The belief that God heals spiritually, emotionally and relationally is the foundation to the inner healing process.
Inner healing focuses on bringing resolve through God’s presence and peace to areas of our lives that have been impacted negatively by pain, trauma, addiction, loss and human brokenness.
What is the purpose or goal of inner healing? Unresolved pain in our lives can hinder our relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Inner healing can bring about a more intimate connection with the Godhead (God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit) in order to bring healing to the spiritual, emotional and relational aspects of our lives.
The burdens of spiritual, emotional and relational wounds can obstruct us from living a life of wholeness. God’s desire is to provide the healing we need in order to break free from those things that keep us unhealthy and to move forward in freedom and in God’s truth.