Connecting Intercession with Inner Healing

by Rev. Mike Flynn
Fall 2016

We shiver when we think of the words Dallas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, Aurora, suicide, DUI accidents, overdoses, abortion, etc. We know from experience that inner healing prayer can be a possible deterrent to such disasters. Unfortunately, many people will not present themselves to trained Christians to get such healing—and some don’t even know about inner healing.

The arm of the Lord, however, is never short to save (Isaiah 59:1). God can direct us to pray for people without their participation or knowledge. Hurts, fears, guilt, and lacks negatively impact self-image, feelings, attitudes, and behaviors. When these issues are healed, the dynamics of such healing can radically reduce the likelihood that an individual will perpetrate destructive actions.

We need hundreds and thousands of trained Christians who will make themselves available to the Lord who can train and guide intercessors on who to pray for and how to pray effectively. This training requires some basic awareness of how to receive words of knowledge and how to pray for inner healing.

The heart of inner healing is a two-way exchange. We ask the Lord Jesus to interject Himself into harmful situations and ask Him to comfort those who have been harmed. Then we ask Him to reach into their hearts and remove darkness, place it in His heart where it is consumed, and then take light out of His heart and put it into their heart to fully occupy the space where the darkness had resided. That’s the two-way exchange.

How do you know who to pray for and what to pray about? That’s where the word of knowledge comes into play. I believe the Holy Spirit gives such guidance in ways such as these:

  • Pictures
  • An inner knowing
  • A picture of a written word/phrase
  • A pain in the body
  • A spontaneous utterance which comes without your premeditation               
  • A memory of something that happened to you or another person
  • A concept or impression
  • A common sense observation
  • A rush of compassion
  • Putting Jesus on a throne in your imagination and seeing what He does or says

These perceptions from the Holy Spirit are often rather slight, so that we have to have faith.

The first time the Spirit taught me how to do inner healing as intercession, it happened like this:

My family and I have taken strangers into our home for the past 20 years. One young man, David I’ll call him, lived with us for about 7 weeks. When he first arrived he was so paranoid that the sounds of traffic frightened him. He wouldn’t mow the grass with the power mower for fear of the engine’s noise. He refused to give us his full name and wouldn’t even tell us what state he was from.

A couple of days after his arrival I had the opportunity to go on a drive into the mountains, during which I prayed for various concerns. When David came to mind I said, “Lord, how can I pray for David?”

“Pray inner healing for him,” came the reply.

“For what?” I rejoined, somewhat sarcastically, “he hasn’t told us anything that we could pray for.”

“What would you guess would put a young man in that condition?”

So, for about 45 minutes I simply made up events in a 20-year old’s life and prayed inner healing for them as though they had actually occurred. The next day, David came into my office. “Do you mind if we talk?” he asked. Over the next hour I was stunned as he related the very events I had prayed about the day before. What to me was making things up was actually guidance from the Holy Spirit. David’s traumas were significantly dealt with in that intercession, freeing him to discuss his issues and work towards greater mental health. By the time he left us he was far down the road to well-being.1

God guided my guessing prayers! This story illustrates how eager God is to guide us to help others. It also shows how capable He is to guide us. But it also underlines how committed God is to working through available people. If He can’t find available people to work through, the job doesn’t get done.

What if some trained intercessors spent 30 minutes a week putting themselves before the Lord and asking who He wants them to pray for? You can even pray effectively for people you don’t know if the Lord brings them and their need to mind.

We won’t know until heaven how many disasters we might prevent by praying for healing for deeply broken people. The Lord will let you know enough to realize that your efforts are wonderfully worthwhile.

Note: Mike is available to do one-day training through teaching and practicums on how to get words of knowledge, do inner healing, and pray effectively. You may contact at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and his website is

1 From Inner Healing, by Mike Flynn and Doug Gregg, InterVarsity Press, 1993, p. 203-204.

Mike Flynn Rev. Mike Flynn is an Episcopal priest, Vineyard pastor, and full-time director of FreshWind Ministries. He is also an international speaker and author of five books.  Fall 2016 Issue

Praying for Adoption Issues at CHM

Fall 2016

One of the most powerful and effective prayers a parent can pray for their adopted child is to cut off, on behalf of the child, any generational issues passed down from the birth family. This may include emotional, physical or genetic dispositions; sometimes the generational patterns are known and sometimes unknown. Include anything you know about the ethnic or religious background of the family of origin. Rely on the Holy Spirit to lead these prayers. Bless and affirm all good qualities coming to the child from his or her birth parents.

Secondly, the Holy Spirit may lead you to pray for freedom from feelings of abandonment, rejection, and grief. Pray for bonding and attachment to take place with adoptive parents, and blessing and forgiveness given to birth parents. The child may require special attention to needs such as recovery from trauma or attachment disorder.

Those mothers that have released a child for adoption also need prayer and compassion. Many struggle with false guilt, shame, regrets, grief, sorrow and low self-esteem. Pray for the mother ability to forgive herself. Don’t forget that fathers also suffer when circumstances have taken a birth child out of their life. Pray that the birth parents could bless the child and commit him or her into the safety of the Lord’s care.

Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
—Isaiah 49:15

 Fall 2016 Issue

My Adoption Story

by Marvin Lynch
Fall 2016

What can I, an adopted son, say about my search for my birth parents? I reluctantly began my search twenty years ago while in my late forties. I guess I had a script in the back of my mind as to how this search was supposed to play out. Naturally, I expected to meet my birth parents and then be introduced to any birth siblings I might have. But that is not exactly how events unfolded.

It was a twenty-year journey involving many players—my wife, who encouraged me to consider the search because of our son, who was born with a bifed thumb on his right hand, a minor but hereditary birth defect. And although our son accepted this condition, it was always something we were curious about.

My adoptive father told me that our family physician, who was the first African- American doctor in our community in the 1950’s, was involved in my adoption. My search began with conversations with social workers at the Michigan Department of Social Services adoption agency. After some research on their part, they became aware of where my birth parents resided, but were not permitted to disclose the location, since my birth parents had not granted permission to do so. I wrote letters that the social workers sent to my birth parents. Partial /non-identifying information was sent to me describing my early years in an orphanage and a little about my family without revealing their identity.

None of us could have scripted what culminated into a beautiful story. After many years of silence from my birth parents, I received a letter from them, with a photo of both of them, along with a letter giving me a little more of their family history. I was astounded by the resemblance to my birth parents, especially with my father. Imagine walking through life looking into the faces of strangers wondering if I was somehow related to them by blood.

My search became a family journey after a while. Armed with a little bit of information about my family and a photograph, my children (with my permission) began to search the internet. I had thought that all hope of ever connecting with my birth family was lost when I received an anonymous phone call with news that my birth father had died. My oldest son, who was a funeral director at the time, was able to secure additional information about my birth family. My daughter, who is very bold and adventuresome, used Facebook to contact one of the granddaughters mentioned in my birth father’s obituary. Through that initial contact, my daughter eventually arranged to meet this granddaughter, who lived on the West Coast with her family. My daughter had already made plans to attend a wedding near the area where the granddaughter lived. Consequently, my daughter met two of my birth siblings, even before I did in 2008. And this led to the beginnings of a relationship with my birth family in 2009.

On a recent trip to the southern United States in the summer of 2015, I met my birth mother for the first time, along with the remaining birth siblings that I had not previously met. My birth mother, although clearly showing signs of dementia, was lucid enough to carry on a conversation with me. She took hold of my hands and let me know that she knew this day would come. She also expressed how overjoyed she was that my life in my adoptive family in Michigan had been a very good one. She knew this from the letters that she had received from me early in my search. A couple of different times she asked me to forgive her for not being in my life all of these years, which of course I did. After I said, “I forgive you”, Jackie (my wife) and I sensed that my birth mother was released from any and all of the guilt and shame regarding her surrendering me for adoption over sixty years before. She also expressed that my late birth father loved me as well. “I love you and Sam loved you too”.

Marvin and his birth mother at lunch Marvin and his birth mother making peace with the past
Pictured: Marvin with his birth mother

I’m sure that my birth mother had a lifelong experience like the ones written about in the 2006 book, The Girls Who Went Away, written by Ann Fessler, an adult adoptee herself. I believe my birth mother was also the victim of an adoption system which demanded that unmarried girls and young women, who birthed children in the 1950’s to the 1980’s, give up their babies and “move on with their lives”. The result for the vast majority of these individuals was substantial guilt and shame for a lifetime, with some of them keeping secret the knowledge of an earlier birth from spouses, friends, etc.

However, even given the separation associated with my adoption, I believe that my birth mother and I made peace with the past by coming together last summer. It was truly a reunion that FAR exceeded my expectations for what such a reunion would look like. And for that I am eternally grateful!

Marvin Lynch Marvin Lynch is a retired human resources executive who resides in Gaithersburg, MD (Washington DC area), where he is an active member of the Church of the Redeemer.
 Fall 2016 Issue

Deep and Difficult Wounds

by Dr. Drew Edwards
Fall 2016

People who have suffered from early life trauma or abuse often struggle with upsetting emotions, frightening memories, or just feel numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Their lives become organized around the traumatic event, the person who hurt them, or numbing their pain. Unfortunately too many suffer alone because they fear judgment from others, or that they are not worth the trouble. Their lives are marred by emotional pain, confusion, and self-doubt.

Trauma Defined

Early life trauma can stem from physical, emotional or sexual abuse or from neglect, loss of a loved one, bullying, witnessing violence, or having a serious accident or injury. It can also result from growing up in a highly dysfunctional home, where chronic emotional neglect and indifference are the norm. This list is not exhaustive.

We must understand that in the case of child abuse, the event or events never occur in isolation. Rather the traumatic event(s) are usually just one facet of a family’s dysfunction. Typically, physical or sexual abuse can be coupled with a parent’s addiction, which breeds inconsistent parenting, neglect, emotional abuse, and numerous other problems. Over time, the abused child drowns in layer after layer of deeply shaming and dysfunctional behavior, leaving him or her feeling progressively worse about him or herself.

Approximately five million children in the United States alone experience some form of trauma every year. More than two million of these children are physically or sexually abused.

Addiction & Mental Illness

Behavioral medicine and addiction doctors have long noted the link between emotional trauma, addictive disease and mental illness. A 2012 study published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research showed that childhood trauma is a common finding among people undergoing addiction treatment, especially women, and is strongly predictive of depression and mood disorders, anxiety, eating disorders and obesity, compulsive sexual behavior and other forms of addictive disease.

Damaged Brains

The fact that traumatic life experiences often precede mental illness and substance abuse is not surprising. What is surprising is the extent of neuroadaptive changes in the brains of traumatized children and teens.

Utilizing sophisticated brain imaging technology, researchers at the University of Texas were able to measure “preclinical” deficits in the neuronal signaling and “connectivity” in the midbrain region of adolescents who were traumatized as children. This neurocircuitry is the “hardwiring” that regulates how we process emotions and cope with stress. In addition, researchers found that early life trauma diminishes one’s capacity to experience enthusiasm, pleasure or contentment. This insight is important because it suggests a neural pathway through which early life stress may contribute to depression." —Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry

The findings suggest that childhood maltreatment is a severe stressor that alters trajectories of brain development. This is critically important because young children do not have a frame of reference in which to process and categorize traumatic experiences. They require the love and help of a competent, caring adult, or God ordained parents as the primary source for comfort and support when children are sick or injured. If a parent is absent, or is the source of abuse, the child truly suffers deeply and in isolation.

As traumatized children mature, their psychopathology emerges. As teenagers, they quickly learn that drugs or alcohol quickly numb feelings of fear, powerlessness, depression—and drown out painful memories. As a result, the deep wounds of abuse or trauma become inexorably yoked to addiction. As addiction progresses, resentments emerge and become the fuel that feeds the self-loathing, addiction and later, thoughts of suicide can follow.

Children who are traumatized often carry their wounds, fear and helplessness into adulthood. To survive they learn how to push away, or medicate their pain and self-loathing. But in the process they also lose their spiritual identity.

For others, the pain and fear can turn inward and be expressed as depression, overwhelming anxiety, cutting or self-mutilation. Some teens engage in so-called, self-soothing behaviors, such as, sexual promiscuity, compulsive masturbation, overeating, to name a few. Eventually most become mired in the addictive cycle of self-hatred and shame, ameliorated by intoxicants, or other compensatory behavior, all of which inexorably leads to more self-hatred and shame…and the cycle continues.

How to Help

I can think of no better treatment for adult victims of childhood trauma than intercessory and inner healing prayer. Why? Because God knows exactly where it hurts, why it still hurts, who did the hurting, and, He deeply desires to take the hurt away.
The words of Jesus should speak to us loudly. Yet, for those who have been abused, words are cheap and trust is in short supply. Partially because the self-loathing is deeper than most of us can imagine. Think about it. If your mom or dad, or older sibling or a trusted adult abused you, how could you ever feel worthy of love, respect or care?

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will will find rest for your souls. —Matthew 11:28-29

The Lies of the Enemy

Satan uses these wounds to foster self-hatred and resentment. And he wants those who have been hurt the most to feel like they somehow deserved it. He whispers, “no one loves you.” And sadly, many victims of abuse believe the lie. So much so, that some take their own lives. So the initial battle is spiritual. Prayer ministers show the unconditional love of Christ and speak, pray and denounce the lies of the enemy. Their message becomes “You are deeply loved by God.”

Although the details of childhood trauma and abuse are scary to deal with, it’s not scary for the Holy Spirit. Prayer ministers know to call on the Holy Spirit, who is the great comforter and healer of whatever torment we are experiencing. Certainly professional counseling and psychiatry can play an important role in the healing process. In my experience, professional counseling alongside prayer ministry is a powerful combination—especially if the professional is a Christian.

Remember that God does not have limited resources and He often heals one differently than another. Scripture informs us that all believers can be partakers in His ministry. Remember when the 72 returned from their mission of healing the sick and casting out demons? Jesus told them, that with faith, they could do even greater things.

If you are carrying deep wounds, remember the words of Jesus, “Come to me and I will give you rest”—and Christian Healing Ministries is a great resource for prayer appointments. They also have a network referral database. God loves you, and deeply desires to bring comfort and peace to all who seek Him.

Carline H,  Keyes KM, et al. Childhood Trauma and Illicit Drug Use in Adolescence: A Population-Based National Comorbidity Survey Replication–Adolescent Supplement Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2016
Hanson JL et al, Blunted Ventral Striatum Development in Adolescence Reflects Emotional Neglect and Predicts Depressive Symptoms. Biological Psychiatry. Published online May 25 2015
Teicher, M.H.; Anderson, C.M.; Ohashi, K. et al. Childhood maltreatment: altered network centrality of cingulate, precuneus, temporal pole and insula. Biological Psychiatry. 76(4):297-305, 2014.

Drew Edwards  Dr. Drew Edwards is a nationally known healthcare researcher, author, clinician and consultant, he also serves on CHM’s board of directors.
 Fall 2016 Issue