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Healing Line

Healing Line

School of Healing Prayer® – Getting Up and Running

by Ted and Carol Ward — Toronto, Canada
May/Jun 2004

One morning in June 2001, when Francis brought his breakfast over to our table and asked if he could join us, we didn't think any of us had any idea of how God intended to use that conversation or what He had in store for us and over 240 lovely people. During the course of the conversation, Francis casually asked us if we had thought about running the School of Healing Prayer® (SHP®) here in Toronto. No, actually, we hadn't; we were far too deeply involved in being Alpha Regional Advisers. However, we said we would think about it, and pray about it, and almost before we realized what was happening, the School of Healing Prayer® in Toronto was birthed with 55 registrants for Level 1.

Francis, in an article in the May/June 2002 issue of "The Healing Line", eloquently provides two answers to the question "why should I take a course in healing prayer?": (1) because we need to "avoid mistakes", and (2) most importantly, so that we "might be better able to help people".

For us, there are two key aspects involved in starting and running a School of Healing Prayer®, the spiritual dimension and the practical aspects.

In the spiritual realm one needs to sense the call of the Holy Spirit to this ministry. This calls for a lot of prayer, a recognition that this is not my project but God's, modeled for us and called for by Jesus Himself, and total and enthusiastic commitment to the enterprise. It is important to recognize that this is a work done with the love of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit, calling for excellence in execution. Only the best will do. Pray for the vision that God Himself has for the work you are contemplating.

Now for the practicalities. Consider the three "P's" – Prayer, Planning, Participation — and three elements to your plan: 1) start up actions; 2) operational details, including how many levels you might run ( one, two or three); 3) followup — what comes next for the School and its ongoing flow of graduates.

This process is very important. As Dr Robert Schuller often says, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail".

If you have already bathed this project in prayer, and are you can begin to cast your vision before your pastor and a prayerfully assembled team of like–minded followers of Jesus for confirmation and support — the leadership group. Active clergy support and their participation for spiritual oversight and accountability is essential. Select a user–friendly venue — your own church if it is available and easily accessible by public transit or car. Discern whether this school is just for your own congregation or for the broader Christian community; call on the vision you and your leadership team have received. Look over the program materials, consult with others who have successfully run the School or similar courses such as "Alpha", and work out a plan.

Having decided on the basic details of leadership, time, place and fees (if any), then communicate theses plans by designing an informative brochure, a poster, church bulletin inserts, and by advertising to the Christian community (if you are being directed in this way) and networking by personal contact, e–mail or telephone with potentially interested individuals. Clearly set out the start–and–end times for the School sessions and stick with them; for example, 6:45 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

The structure and conduct of the school sessions are important and may include praise and worship, scripture, prayer and witnessing. Choose music that is both lively, singable and worshipful. Use good CD's such as the Stoneleigh (Kingsway, U.K.) series in the absence of a competent musician or group. The worship time is very important in opening up participants to the teaching and healing work of Jesus through the Holy Spirit and the love of the Father. Be welcoming and provide refreshments as well as a book table. Teaching manuals supplied through Christian Healing Ministries, plus a schedule of dates for each session and good name badges are essential to each participant. It is important to stress the expectation that each person wishing to receive a certificate attend most if not all sessions. People should know that attendance is being noted.

Teaching is provided by the SHP® videos available from CHM but may be augmented by discussion of the issues. Active demonstrations and instruction in prayer ministry are offered following the teaching. Participants break up into small prayerfully predetermined groups of six or eight for discussion and/or active prayer ministry, or in two's or three's, depending on the lesson assignment set out in the manual. Leadership team members are available to assist each group. This is when healings actually occur. The evening ends on time with prayer affirming the Holy Spirit's work, cleansing, protection and blessing.

These are ideas which we have found to work. Much more can be said, however, about each stage of a wellfunctioning and productive School of Healing Prayer.

We are grateful to Francis and Judith for putting this wonderful challenge before us. We have been blessed beyond our wildest expectations as we have seen God's people healed and sent out to bring the healing love and power of Jesus to His hurting people. We pray God will inspire you and guide you as you consider this most wonderful and exciting work. If we can be of help, you may wish to contact us through our website (Christian Healing In Toronto).

May/Jun 2004 Issue