Die rol van gebed by die proses van innerlike genesing : 'n pastorale studie
Du Plessis, Amanda Linda
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Prayer can be described as being more than just a counseling technique, because within counseling, prayer is the primary vehicle towards spiritual growth. In spite of the importance and power of prayer, its inclusion in the healing process does not seem to be an easy task. Less than a decade ago, mainstream counselers and psychotherapists regarded prayer with a great deal of suspision, because of a variety of questions surrounding this issue. Nevertheless, the growth in current research regarding the inclusion of prayer in the counseling and psychotherapy process, proves that prayer possesses definite therapeutical benefits and plays a conclusive role in the person's healing and quality of life. With due observance, the pivotal theoretical argument of this study is that clear, explanatory guidelines for pastoral counseling by means of prayer, can play a vital role in the process of inner healing. The basic theoretical research proved God's continual, significant presence in a person's life and His guidance of that person in his growth towards healing. In order to understand and engage oneself to a person who is hurting emotionally and spiritually, one must assume that all men were created in the image of God. By His infinite grace, God grants man the transforming power needed for forgiveness, healing and renewal. From the chapter dealing with the pastoral psychological approach, it became clear that much research regarding the role of prayer in the process of inner healing has already been conducted, using this assumption. In the sphere of prayer therapy, the focus is primarily on Jesus Christ as Healer, Deliverer and Counselor. During prayer therapy, the counselor leads the counselee to Jesus Christ for a spiritual touch, emotional healing and encouragement. This implies a synchronisation of the psychological and the spiritual, whereby a Christian counselor as facilitator, guides a traumatized, emotionally damaged counselee through prayer towards Jesus Christ, so that He can minister to the counselee with healing and deliverance. This ensures the continuation of Jesus' earthly ministry today. The metatheoretical research showed a greater awareness of the therepeutical role of religion in the scientific world over the past three decades. Multidisciplinary co-operation is gaining l momentum, even though much research still has to be done in this field. Most importantly, the significance of a multidisciplinary approach can no longer be denied. In this regard, one of the greatest results of the past three decades' research, is the increasing scientific awareness of the potentially beneficial effect of religion on mental health accompanied by an increasing willingness towards multidisciplinary co-operation. From the empirical research the importance of prayer in the process of inner healing became evident. As the counselee expresses his pain to God in prayer, prayer becomes the channel through which God's healing and transforming power can flow towards forgiveness, healing and renewal. All the participants indicated that not only did they receive profound healing, but also a deepening in their relationship with God. As a result of the basic theoretical research and metatheoretical guidelines, perspectives of practice and theory were formulated as guidelines for pastoral counseling of emotionally wounded persons, with particular emphasis on prayer. In this process, a distinction was made between four phases, each playing a decisive role in the counseling process. These are (1) prayer in preparation for the counselling session, (2) the therapeutical dialogue, (3) the prayer dialogue and (4) the follow-up and counselling towards emotional and spiritual growth. The prayer dialogue is at the heart of the counselling process, when the counselee is brought to Jesus Christ in prayer so that emotional healing and spiritual renewal can take place. During this process, therefore, the emotionally and spiritually wounded person, guided by the Holy Spirit, receives deeper insight and understanding of the wounds of the past so that Jesus Christ can touch and minister to him with forgiveness, healing and renewal by prayer. In effect, Jesus Christ offers the counselee new life so that he can now relate in a new dimension - to God, himself and others.
- Theology