How does Freedom Prayer partner with the Community?
Freedom Prayer is privileged to partner with and provide training in a variety of ways within the community. While primarily our efforts are in building healthy church prayer teams, we often link arms with other organizations and ministries to help assist in their goals and purposes. We bring a specific inner healing prayer component that easily adapts and supports the greater work of the Body of Christ. We believe in the piece that we bring but understand that ministry is more fruitful when we all do our part and work together. We look forward to and enjoy collaboration within our communities as we share common goals of prayer, discipleship, restoration and healing.
Recent surveys indicate the majority of patients (83%) felt there was a relationship between mental and religious health though it was discussed in only 30% of cases. The Handbook in footnote 2 goes on to recommend an intentional four-stage process for determination of the inclusion of spiritually conscious care.
“Psychologists are ethically obliged to be respectful and attentive to the cultural diversity of their clients, and religion and spirituality contribute to our personal and social identities. Emerging research is showing that spiritually integrated approaches to treatment are as effective as other treatments. There is, in short, good scientifically based reason to be more sensitive to religion and spirituality in clinical practice.” March 22, 2013, APA Press Release
One school of thought about the relationship between inner healing and counseling is the place of focus within the tripartite structure of humans: spirit, soul and body. 1 Thes 5:23 states:
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through; and may your spirit andsoul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Just as counselors may refer clients to a medical doctor for treatment or to gain an understanding of physical problems that may inform mental/emotional issues, they may also refer to pastoral counselors or inner healing ministers to treat or to understand the place of issues lodging within the human spirit – although less understood and able to be measured. In Freedom Prayer prayer-filled encounters with Christ are the change mechanism instead of therapist-mediated or psychological theory-derived activities leading to psychodynamic or experiential psychotherapies.
Counselors themselves often integrate this type of ministry in their practices. This is described by Saunders, Miller and Bright (2010) along a continuum from “avoidant” to “conscious” to “integrated” and finally to “directive”. They state that there may be a perception among clients that psychologists are disinterested in and, perhaps, contemptuous of religiousness and spirituality. Therapist reluctance is understandable due to lack of training, concerns about undue influence, and a range of sometimes dubious advice and examples. For clients with religious beliefs integrated approaches (focus on a clients SRBP without a view to change or transform it) are the most common while, at a minimum, conscious approaches (being respectful and sensitive to the salience of spirituality to the issues at hand) should be present.
There are many options for partnership between Freedom Prayer and mental health practices. We often train counselors, psychologists and specialists in both BASIC and ADVANCED Freedom Prayer trainings. Currently, we have team members across the country who use Freedom Prayer in their mental health practices and serve on their local church teams. In several cities, we have counselors, psychologists and spiritual directors who refer their clients to local Freedom Prayer teams for spiritual healing in prayer. When needed, we refer individuals in our prayer times to professionals who can assist with areas that go beyond our lay person ministry setting. These partnerships are fruitful, as everyone does their part for an individual’s total healing and restoration.
Similarly, in rehabilitation and group home settings, Freedom Prayer can partner to provide spiritual help in the long-term care setting. This would include training, prayer discipleship and devotionals as well as practical tools to assist in recovery. This partnership is helpful especially with drug and alcohol addiction programs, with the purpose of acclimation and restoration.
We believe in cheering on our friends in neighbors in their ministries and pursuits. We have seen a fast-growing success in partnership with other organizations, especially within anti trafficking networks and in recovery settings. Freedom Prayer can both provide training to deal with the effects of traumatic pasts and offer prayer times for individuals who want to know God even with their difficult history. We have seen a growing number of prayer times in the adoption community and in equipping those families. We believe in the mission of these organizations and willingly do our part to support what is obviously the heart of Jesus in justice and mercy.
Freedom Prayer has been a supportive ally in our work to fight trafficking and restore individuals lovingly back to God and wholeness. In providing training and equipping, as well as partnering in events and mission, they are honoring to our culture and undergirding our volunteers and those we serve with needed prayer support and education.
–Mary Trapnell, Executive Director, Nashville Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition.
Freedom Prayer concepts partner well with Christian schools in both their Spiritual Formation pieces and within Bible contexts. These necessary tools in prayer have also been adapted to Christian summer camp experiences as well.
Discipleship & Church Planting
Freedom Prayer has a vibrant relationship with both Discipleship and Church Planting schools and organizations. We are kindred in mission and goal and Freedom Prayer has proven to be a vital component in a variety of discipleship models and essential in planting healthy churches from the ground up.
Partnering with Freedom Prayer has proven to be foundational, life-changing, and imperative to our work training leaders to plant churches around the globe. Healthy leaders plant healthy churches, and Freedom Prayer has been vital in catalyzing the restoration of the health of our pastors and leaders. From Africa to Asia to Europe, no matter the country or culture, Freedom Prayer has been incredibly impactful to our leaders’ journeys of living out their God-given purposes.
–Jana Ogg, Global Coordinator, Onward Church Planting