Healing Line

Healing Line

The Word of Their Testimony...

Remembering God's Goodness in 2016
Winter 2016


In our Summer 2015 issue of The Healing Line, we printed a story by Lee Phillips from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Below is a short excerpt from that article.

  In August of 2012 my little rowboat bumped up against a very rocky shore. I had a persistent pain in my back and wondered, “Maybe I have a gallstone?” Out of the blue came the dreaded phone call and I was diagnosed with Stage 4 inoperable pancreatic cancer. This is a terrible diagnosis — only 1% of people with pancreatic cancer will live for 5 years. My life expectancy was 6–9 months. And to make matters worse, the cancer had escaped my pancreas and spread to my liver. My liver was filled with cancer spots. I was in my mid–fifties with a healthy lifestyle, rarely sick, no family history, a great marriage, three children, rewarding career and my youngest was leaving in a few weeks to start college. How could such a beautiful August day hold such bad news? I had a death sentence over my head. And yet I had everything to live for.  

Lee was completely healed of pancreatic and liver cancer. In this edition (Winter 2016) we are pleased to include a follow–up message from her.

November 2016

Today is my 61st birthday. Four years since diagnosis. Today I drove to the University of Chicago for my regularly scheduled 6–month CT scan. It’s a lot of radiation and not pleasant. But today was also a beautiful fall day — my birthday.

Dr. Blase Polite is my doctor and he is a national expert in pancreatic, stomach and colon cancer. He travels to Washington DC every week to advise the Dept. of Health and Human Services on cancer and other healthcare issues.

The medical resident who meets me says, “Dr. Polite went to Stanford University last month to speak to an audience of medical students and oncology residents. In the Q & A session, one of the residents asked, ‘Dr. Polite, in the course of your career have you ever seen a miracle?”

Dr. Polite hesitated and said, “Yes, I think I have seen a miracle.”

“What patient are you talking about?”

Dr. Polite replied, “I think Lee Phillips is a medical miracle — the only one I’ve seen in my career.”

I am overwhelmed by this story. Seriously, I am speechless. I don’t know how to handle my own story. I say this gently because many of you have had a loved one die of cancer. You know the pain.

I don’t want to rub it in anyone’s face, but I also want to speak loudly of the power of God to heal the most difficult of diagnoses.

What has God done?! And why me? I don’t know, but let’s glorify God for the power to heal!

— Lee, Illinois

Saved Out of Addiction

Throughout my life the Lord has pulled me out of more situations than most could imagine. The problem was at those times I was too blind to recognize it was Him. I have literally walked away from car wrecks that rarely anybody would have survived. I looked down on drug addicts because I have tried every kind of drugs known to man but never got addicted.

I told myself I was only a drinker, admittedly a heavy drinker. But in fact, I was a full–blown alcoholic, drinking about a half gallon of vodka daily. I lost everything and hit rock bottom due to my use of alcohol. When I say everything, I mean my health, marriage, family, home, and job.

My liver was so severely damaged from alcohol that I was told I would have to have a liver transplant in order to survive. However, they will not put you on a transplant list when you continue to drink. Even this news did not convince me — I continued to drink and sin daily. My condition was beyond any medical hope and the doctors could do nothing. That was three years ago.

Eventually I had nowhere to lay my head and nobody to turn to. But Jesus was there the whole time. He pointed me to “The Lighthouse Recovery Center,” a Christian–based recovery center in Indiana. In the recovery center I gave my life to the Lord and He healed me almost overnight. Through their pastors and leaders, Jesus not only restored me physically but restored every other aspect of my life.

The Lord pointed out a few things. He said, I am the one who pulled you away from those car accidents. I am the physician that healed you when doctors couldn’t. I have restored your family and your life. I am taking back EVERYTHING the enemy has stolen from you. Now I need you to go and preach the gospel and teach others to open their eyes.

Now I have an unbelievably clean bill of health (due only to God). I have been baptized in Jesus’ name, received the Holy Spirit and I teach and minister to others in recovery. You see, just like me, you are all part of the body of Christ and have your own purpose. If not, you wouldn’t still be here. Don’t ever let the enemy tell you it’s too late to turn around. That’s nothing but a lie straight from the pit of hell. Nothing makes the devil more angry than to lose the souls of people the little crybaby worked so hard to steal and destroy in the first place. Some of our greatest pastors and spiritual leaders had the craziest pasts and have become the strongest men of God. Amen!

— Jason, Indiana

Hearing Loss Recovered

In 2008, my wife Ann suffered 100% permanent hearing loss due to a viral infection. In addition, she required six months of physical therapy for balance and spinning resulting from information deficit from the left side of her brain due to nerve damage. At the Ignite conference1, the hearing in her left ear was restored and 5 months later she is still able to hear!

At the same event, I received a word of knowledge for hip pain and sciatica. I thought it was for someone else. I reluctantly stood up to receive prayer and was 100% healed. My shoulder and elbow were partially healed at the same time!

— Lee and Ann, Florida

1Ignite is our annual healing conference in New England. Some of our Florida friends travel to that conference, and this is Lee and Ann’s story.

A Child’s Journey out of Darkness

Prior to 2011, my 12–year old daughter Serena (name has been changed) was a beautiful child with normal development (physically, emotionally, and socially). She enjoyed reading, drawing, writing letters, being outside, jumping rope, playing with her sister and other activities. She went to school and excelled there. She was very responsible.

Then, in 2011, Serena experienced an illness that was life changing. One neurologist described it as the perfect storm, the specifics of which included an immunization, pre–puberty hormone issues, encephalopathy, and a severe case of mono. Conversion disorder (neurological symptoms), PTSD and severe scoliosis followed. Serena neither walked nor talked for over three years. She was unwilling to leave her room or see people, even family members. Eventually she lost all hope.

In 2013 a friend of my husband mentioned Judith MacNutt and Christian Healing Ministries and asked if I had heard of it. I had not. In April 2013 Serena and I made a visit to Jacksonville where she was prayed for by CHM prayer ministers. These sessions put her at ease because she felt safe — the prayer ministers spoke softly, kept their distance, and demonstrated a gentle and quiet spirit. Nothing in the prayer sessions were alarming or disturbing to a child. My life has not been the same since that trip.

Because of teachings I heard at the Captivate Women’s conference, I began to work to rebuild her capacity for inner joy — using deep breathing, hugs, and eye contact.

By Spring of 2015 Serena was willing to spend an hour out of her room. By Fall she was willing to go to a family wedding out of town.

It is now Fall of 2016 and the miracles in Serena’s life are still increasing! She goes on family outings, she goes swimming and plays on the beach. She interacts normally with everyone in the family, she is willing to meet new people, and she goes to youth group. Serena even planned her own birthday party and invited five girls.

Serena still needs continued healing. She still struggles with scoliosis and sensory aversion. But we are seeing so many miracles here! Rejoice with us as we rejoice!

Through CHM’s ministry to one single person — my daughter — many lives have been affected. Someone commented to me, “Don’t think that this healing journey is just for your family!” I spread the word of CHM’s ministry to everyone I speak to about Serena!

— Cynthia, South Carolina

Winter 2016 Issue

How I Discovered Inner Healing

by Judith MacNutt
Winter 2016

The silence in my office was broken only by the long deep sighs of my newly assigned patient, Elizabeth [name changed]. She had been admitted to the psychiatric unit of the hospital after being rushed to the Emergency Room following a serious suicide attempt. She had spent months stashing away sleeping pills and then, in a clear, calculated way, wrote a farewell letter to her mother (who had never been able to show her the love she needed), drove down to the ocean, consumed a large quantity of pills and alcohol…and then waited. Within a few hours she was discovered and rushed to our facility for treatment. Although she was deeply disturbed at failing in her suicide attempt, I would not describe her as a resistant patient. Yet she was hard to work with because she had accepted her emotional death and was ready to plan her physical death as soon as she could arrange it. Only twenty–seven years old, she looked like a much older woman, broken and shattered by life. No longer trying to disguise her pain as most patients do, she wore it like a veil draped around her fragile spirit. My encouragement and human care failed to retrieve her from the pit into which she was slipping. Even to speak was too much effort for a woman so wearied by years of turmoil and pain. Instead of words her sighs and silence spoke volumes. Her hopelessness filled every corner of the room, and slowly it began to infuse my spirit, too. As I counseled her, Elizabeth revealed numerous sickening events in her fractured past. Her father had raped her, and her baby son had died. I was deeply concerned about Elizabeth, and intended to present her case to the staff consultation the following morning.

Pray for Their Healing

That evening in my comfortable, safe home, far removed from the locked doors of the Psychiatric Unit, I prayed to a God whom I loved but didn’t know very well. I had always successfully managed to separate my spiritual life from my clinical profession. But now, after years of observing wasted lives, I realized nothing short of a miracle would make any difference. Something had to be done about Elizabeth and all of the countless others who were crushed and barely existing on the edge of life. “Lord what can I do?” I repeated over and over, hoping against hope that for once I would hear an answer. After waiting for what seemed like hours, a warm, loving presence entered my room, and I sensed God’s love and deep concern for Elizabeth and all the others I had been praying for. Then came God’s strong, steady, loving response. “Bring them to me…pray for their healing…I will restore them.” The Lord then directed me to read Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken–hearted…”(NIV)

Suddenly everything became so obvious; a veil had been lifted from my mind. It was not what I had to do, it was what God wanted to do. These broken, desperate people were God’s children, God’s creation, the ones Jesus had died for. Of course God wanted to heal and redeem them. I was being called upon to journey with them, and the Lord would gently, lovingly rebuild everything that had been destroyed. That night, I contacted several devoted Christian friends and shared my excitement with them. One by one, they committed themselves to pray for Elizabeth and others.

Returning to the hospital the following morning, I asked to see Elizabeth before the staff meeting. She was markedly changed! Her depression had lessened considerably and she wanted to talk! Although her speech was slow and halting, she began to reveal her innermost fears, disclosing much more than the factual list of traumas she had presented before. She said she felt differently and shared something she had experienced the preceding night. She described how she was awakened around 11:00 p.m., precisely when we were praying. She became aware of a light in her room, although the lights were out, except for a hall light filtering through her open door. The light (which she recognized as coming from Jesus) enveloped her, spreading warmth and healing love throughout her body and spirit. For the first time in her life, she felt protected and loved. This presence remained with her all through the night, strengthening and ministering to her. Though her outward situation remained unchanged, her heart and deep mind were being healed. As her daily therapy progressed, the walls of pain and isolation slowly eroded. In time she relived each memory while the Lord’s healing power transformed and released her. Everything the Lord had promised me was now becoming a reality. Elizabeth was soon released to outpatient therapy where she continued in her new–found freedom. During the first week I started praying for them, several other patients displayed such marked improvement that I could only attribute their change to the power of God. What an exciting and life–changing discovery this was for me as a therapist! The implications were revolutionary. Therapy alone was not enough; healing prayer had to be included.

Psychotherapy is based on the idealistic assumption that, given the truth about self, a person will choose to change. But that doesn’t usually happen. Studies show that one–third of the people undergoing psychiatric care show improvement while the other two–thirds either refuse to change their attitudes towards life or simply find themselves incapable of making the necessary changes. We have all experienced how extremely difficult it is to change our own lives. If you are struggling with depression, psychosis, a broken marriage, the loss of a loved one, or extreme fear and anxiety, you may be paralyzed by the overwhelming task of trying to change. Even if a counselor is successful in uncovering the suppressed or repressed root cause of the problem, the patient lacks the energy to respond. Oftentimes the release of repressed information into the light of consciousness is so traumatic that it drives the patient into a relapse. Issues such as self–worth, shattered will, and impaired self–image are at the heart of most of our dysfunctions. I discovered within each client a distorted image that continuously condemned and criticized the person’s true self. This harsh inner judge grows stronger through the years and becomes very difficult to silence. It distorts our feelings, as well as our thinking, and puts us at the mercy of anxiety and fear. Emotional honesty becomes impossible because of our wounding, leading to distortions in our understanding and in the expression of our emotions. We learn sick ways of responding to the dysfunction in our families and environment. Denial becomes a way of life because our pain is so intense. Shame dwells in the very core of our inner self…a shame that tells us that we are no good…that we are a mistake. Eventually we grow out of touch with our real needs and feelings. The purpose of our existence becomes confused, surrounded by mystery and pain. Coping mechanisms are failing, my life is out of control, and I am powerless to control my own destiny.

After nearly twenty years of individual and group counseling with people who exhibit varying degrees of emotional health, I have come to believe that a deficiency in love is at the heart of most of our trouble. The greatest longing of our hearts is to be in union, to love and to be loved. God has created us in the divine image, and God desires union with us; therefore our hearts cannot be at rest until this desire for union with God is satisfied.

Likewise, as we journey toward God, our hearts also seek deep, loving, intimate relationships with other human beings. Unfortunately, we live in an age of isolation and broken hearts. From the time we are conceived in our mothers’ womb, the single most significant force that will shape our lives is love. Our lives are shaped by those who love us, by those who refuse to love us, and by those who can’t love us. We need to be loved into being, first by God, then by others. Those who are born into rigid, disengaged, emotionally unavailable families may need to experience the healing love of Jesus much more than those who are born into nurturing, loving families. In my counseling I saw the effect of this deprivation of love experienced in early childhood, indeed sometimes even from conception.*

Our wounded inner child perceives the world and relationships with fear, suspicion, and mistrust. And yet, the opposite is also true — we keep on reaching out for love, affirmation, and deep relationships. Human love, as wonderful and life–giving as it is, cannot completely heal our suffering inner child. What I found, though, was that the timeless, healing power of God’s love can reach that inner child and bring the wholeness and freedom that we all long for.

Healing of Memories

This is not just a metaphor — an imaginative pretending. In some mysterious way, when I asked Jesus to heal the destructive aspects of my patients’ past, it would happen. Sometimes he would even appear to the person. In other words, prayer really can change our lives. This method of prayer has been named inner healing, the healing of the heart, or the healing of memories. Through inner healing, God goes into those regions we cannot reach and does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. God can truly heal and transform our painful life experiences, allowing us to be free from the bondage of unexplored memories. (Later I found out that others were making the same exciting discovery about prayer: Agnes Sanford, the pioneer; Ruth Carter Stapleton; my future husband, Francis; and many others.) This healing process is crucial for two reasons: First, our wounded, separated inner child needs to be integrated with our adult; and second, our memories are crucial to the way we experience life in the present and they can easily cripple us.

We found that much of our patients’ pathology focused on their early childhood experiences. Scratching the surface of a seemingly happy adult, we often discovered an alienation between the adult and the wounded child. The neglected child is sealed off from life. This is especially true if I suffered abuse as a child. Once that abuse is internalized, it is difficult for me to believe that I can ever be acceptable, since my own mother, the person who knew me best, couldn’t love or accept me. (It is significant that recovering the “precious child” is a primary focus of Adult Children of Alcoholics.)

Things seemingly forgotten have the potential of becoming a great source of harm. These secrets of the soul dwell in the darkness of our shame. These crushing, painful memories can rise up to destroy us in body, mind, and spirit. We may be able to survive with broken bodies but not with broken spirits: “The human spirit will endure sickness; but a broken spirit who can bear?” (Proverbs 18:14, NRSV).

In the process of inner healing, our wounded memories become a source of healing. When Jesus begins to release the inner child into the light of his healing love that longed–for integration with the adult occurs. Often someone will say, “I never knew she [the inner child] was so beautiful and full of life!” In order to bring about that change, we must uncover those root memories—something traditional psychotherapy is good at. But what I discovered is that through prayer we can then drain those memories of their poison through the healing love of Jesus. Once we identify the pain and bring it into the light, Jesus can transform it and free us from its crippling effects. He doesn’t erase the memory, but he does remove the devastating effect of the memory. After prayer we can still remember what happened, but the memory no longer has its old power over us.

For example, one woman I prayed with several years ago shared a secret about how she had been sexually abused. She felt deep shame in telling me how, as an eight–year–old, climbing the dark stairwell in her apartment she was molested by a neighbor. When he left her she began to weep and ever afterwards had become deeply fearful. She had never shared this devastating experience with anyone until she trusted me enough to bring it out of the darkness of her past. When we prayed I invited Jesus to go back to that little girl sitting on the stairs weeping and to fill her with his healing love. At this point she was thrilled to see Jesus loving and holding her as a wounded, weeping little child. With our Lord’s help she was able to forgive her assailant. After that she found herself free from the bondage of this shameful memory. Her self–hatred disappeared and she was able to relate to men without shuddering fear. A simple prayer which took only a few minutes, accomplished more than months, or perhaps even years, of therapy.

The following is a beautiful testimony describing the kind of healing that we often see the Lord perform. Mary (as we shall call her) came to us for prayer for healing. She had suffered all her life from depression and was fearful of people and relationships. My husband, Francis, and I prayed with her over a period of several days. The moving account of her healing was chronicled in her journal, which is shared here selectively.

June 9

After arriving at my motel I opened scripture to Isaiah 1:18: "Come now, let us talk this over, though your sins are like scarlet they shall be white as snow, and though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." The Lord spoke to me through this passage, revealing to me that he would heal any of sin's damage within me.

June 10

I was terrified waiting to see Judith. Once inside her office I told her what was going on inside me. I heard a voice saying to me, " You're a fool for coming, because nothing is going to happen!" Judith assured me that something was going to happen. After we talked, Judith prayed with me. Then I saw a tiny embryo encased in cement . . . a bolt of lightening hit the tiny prisoner and broke the casing loose. After that I saw the infant lying outside the casing. A light came onto the scene and shone on the infant. The baby turned pink and then red. I watched the baby receiving new life. A voice came to me and said, "I sent you as my gift to your parents." At this point I realized how rejected I had felt, and that I wished I had never been born. Since Judith's prayer I have been slowly coming to life and realizing how good it is to live, to have been created . . . to be human, to be flesh, and to have the incarnate Word become flesh of my flesh.

June 11

As we prayed, Jesus came to me in the Spirit and led me through the home I was raised in . . . The Lord also took me to the barnyard of our small farm and just stood beside me . . . As we stood in each of these places I remembered how deeply I had been hurt there. As we went back to these places he healed me of what had happened to me in each place. (In the barnyard for example, my mother had told my older brother to throw a bushel of rotten tomatoes at me as punishment. I was thirteen years old and it was such a blow to my meager self–esteem!) Still in the Spirit, Jesus and I reentered my home. This time we went up to my room. I was crying because of a terrifying nightmare. My Dad and Mom then began to fight because I was crying. Against my Mom's wishes Dad came to me, carried me downstairs and rocked me to sleep. As Jesus showed me this scene, my father changed to Abba, God the Father, rocking me in the chair. Even as I type this, it brings me great emotion.

June 12

As I prayed to be released from rejection I sensed God the Father, my Abba... putting his arm around me and showing me to myself as a small child. He could not get me to love that little child. Finally, I did manage to ask the child if she would forgive me for not loving her all these years. After further prayer I began to feel a genuine love for her. Since that time, my attitude towards myself has changed as much as night and day. The Lord has taught me to minister to myself in a very loving way; and as I do so, I am beginning to have a generous love for other people. This healing has brought me an awe and wonder of being human.

Three weeks later she wrote us a beautiful follow–up letter that included the following section:

Years of compressed depression are fading away, and the wall between myself and humanity is progressively dissolving. The healings I received were very deep; God continues to unfold the beautiful wholeness he intended for me from conception. It seems that when darkness reigns within, you do not realize what it's like to be free. Well, I feel great! I feel good about myself and my decisions. It's like a dream, hoping that peace I experience is for real — and forever!

As I recall this marvelous example of God’s healing love in Mary’s life, I am filled with joy. Healing is real and forever!

*Francis and I have written about this at some length in our book Praying for Your Unborn Child (Doubleday, 1988).

Judith MacNutt Judith MacNutt is author, teacher, conference speaker and co–founder of CHM. Winter 2016 Issue

Letter from the Editor

by Kathi Smith
Winter 2016

Dear CHM Family,

This week I will co–teach with my husband on the subject of forgiveness at our Journey to Healing retreat here in Jacksonville. As our nation faces tensions from the election, I am reminded of the ministry of reconciliation and forgiveness that Christ handed to us:

  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:17–19 ESV)  

Part of the healing of our nation starts with putting love in front of our own rights. Without personal healing, it is easy to default to anger, fear, and personal offense. Jesus demonstrated his healing lifestyle all the way to his last words — Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23: 34)

In this Healing Line, we have collected articles and personal testimonies that lead people to a healing lifestyle (Judith MacNutt), that reconcile families’ not–so–wonderful pasts with their present families (Russ Parker), and that remind us that Jesus’ birth was all about reconciling us to relationship with God our Heavenly Father (Tommy Tyson).

Judith and Francis MacNutt have taught me a lot about healing. An overlying theme of their teaching is that Jesus desires us to become people who live a lifestyle of healing and reconciliation. May your path be filled with grace as you share in that important ministry.

Please join us on campus or at one of our conferences — consider it a step on your path to becoming a person of healing! We look forward to seeing you and hearing from you!

Kathi Smith
Senior Editor

Kathi Smith Kathi Smith is the Senior Editor of Healing Line and an active CHM prayer minister.
Winter 2016 Issue

Generational Healing: The Undiscovered Country

by Russ Parker
Winter 2016

It is not often that you get to meet a real pioneer in the ministry of Christian Healing, but I was privileged to meet Dr. Kenneth McAll, author of Healing the Family Tree. Like many pioneers, he made mistakes but he also opened doors of insight and opportunity for others to build upon his foundation. Dr. McAll lived in China and worked as a missionary alongside Eric Liddell, the Olympic gold medalist and fellow missionary to China. During this time, Dr. McAll came to the firm conclusion that some of the personal problems and diseases that people suffer with are in fact inherited legacies from their family line. He strongly advocates taking seriously the effects of sin and brokenness from those who have gone before, so that their living relatives can get on with their lives. The other strong pillar in Dr. McAll’s teaching is that the best context for praying for the healing of such wounds is in the taking of Holy Communion, which he called the Eucharist of the Resurrection. I can understand why he said that. Holy Communion proclaims the good news that the death and resurrection of Jesus is powerful and means healing, deliverance and release for all.

In my years of involvement in healing ministry, I have noticed some key principles that empower the process of healing family stories and legacies.

Jesus Has Total Access

At the heart of all healing is the need to surrender — to bring all our issues and concerns to Jesus. In generational healing we realize that Jesus has access to the stories of the departed in a way that we do not and should not. I have always been struck by the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew’s Gospel where he tells his critics, “Have you not read what was said to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ He is not God of the dead but of the living.” (22:32) At first glance this statement might seem flawed, as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are long dead. How can God be the God of the living in their context? It means that for God and therefore for Jesus, not even those who have died are beyond his jurisdiction. It is astounding that when Jesus raised people from the dead, he preceded that by addressing the person, and they heard his voice. In other words, Jesus has unlimited access to our departed to whom he can address the issues and concerns we bring to him.

I have long utilized this truth whenever I have performed funeral services. As we come to the prayers in the service, I remind people that when a person dies, we often find ourselves saying, “If only I had known when they were going to die, I would have said this or done that.” However, because Jesus has access to the departed, we can surrender to Jesus the words and deeds we feel are incomplete. In the service I often give people a minute’s silence to perform this simple act of release through Jesus.

The most remarkable outcome of this exercise I have ever seen was when a man, upon leaving the funeral service, said to me, ”Now I see!” I wasn’t sure what he meant so I asked him to explain. He was blind, and he held up his white walking stick to me and said slowly, “Read my lips, now I see!” He was the son of the elderly man for whom the funeral was held.

The son had not seen or spoken to him for sixty years. He hated his father and found my invitation to speak to Jesus about an unfinished agenda laughable.

Then suddenly, during the service, a memory popped into his mind and it was a question he had asked his father when he was very young. “Why don’t you love me? Is there something wrong with me?” His father never answered the question. So, in the moment of silence, he asked Jesus to ask his father why he had not loved him. He got no new insights, but when he opened his eyes following the time of prayer he found he was no longer blind!

Often, through Jesus, people apologize to their miscarried or aborted children for dismissing them as being of no real importance. Sometimes parents are able to give names to such children as an act of faith and a recognition of their equal right to life. Others would forgive parents for emotional damage done by them, and still others celebrate their loved ones for the good gifts they bequeathed down the family line.

There are those, who through acts of “representational confession,” confess the sins and the damage done to others by ancestors or people groups. A graphic example of this was Ken McAll’s description of the prayers of apology and repentance offered within the infamous Bermuda Triangle for the sins of the white slave traders upon the black slaves. Many of the latter were dumped into the ocean as excess baggage to save the slave ship from capsizing in a storm.

After these prayers were offered, there was a period of 40 years where no one disappeared (although some recent disappearances have begun again).

The Listening Heart

I find one of the most insightful and challenging scriptures are the words of Yahweh to Cain, the first perpetrator of murder. “Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” (Genesis 4:10 TNIV)

There are a number of insights we can learn from this passage. Cain had buried the body of Abel somewhere out of sight, but God knew where the body was buried. God is aware of all stories and their location, and this challenges us to do the same as we are able. It is this simple exhortation that has fueled many to “Prayer Walk” to a wounded site in our nation to pray for those who have suffered injustice there, and the effects to be lifted off the living.

Another insight is that some people's stories still speak although the person is no longer with us. Ken McAll says that God has called us into partnership with himself to listen to the lost voices of the “wounded dead,” in order that their stories and their worth may be recognized. Through the risen Christ, we are called to be the new “acoustic” community that hears and locates the wounds of the departed in order that they may be recognized, owned, confessed and healed.

Confession and Ownership

Generational healing focuses on the stories and their repeating patterns within our family trees. Over the many years I have engaged in this work, repetitive patterns have emerged, such as children lost through abortion, miscarriage or unplanned death. Early deaths in the family can sometimes lead to struggles with depression and dysfunctional behavior in the present day.

Because the issues are in the family line, the living can become the priests or intermediaries representing the family issues and bring them to God. At the heart of this kind of confession lie the twin actions of taking ownership of what is ours, and then offering to God those things that they might be heard and healed. When people have done this, I have often seen breakthroughs, not only in the lives of those who prayed, but also in family members not present. It is as if some corporate shackle has been broken off a family, or some shared legacy has been overcome.


Generational Healing is about healing the wounds that afflict families through the unsought legacies of those now dead. It is a demonstration of the power of Jesus to transcend time and the great gulf that lies between the living and the departed. For us that gulf is an undiscovered country, but for Jesus it is a part of the kingdom of God of which he is Lord. You may be interested to learn more by reading Ken McAll’s book Healing the Family Tree which has recently been reprinted.

Russ Parker Russ Parker is the former Director of Acorn Christian Healing in England and a member of CHM's National Advisory Board.
Winter 2016 Issue