I recently did something that I wouldn’t have even considered doing a year ago. I took a thirty minute drive to visit a local chapter of the International House of Prayer and Healing Rooms. While I had visited this same Prayer and Healing Rooms chapter a couple of weeks before for a training event, to go and seek prayer in this way was a totally new experience for me. To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I felt really nervous going. But God had been laying it on my heart for a while, and I knew He wanted me to go, so I did.
And wow, am I so glad that I obeyed His prompting.
How does a Girl who was raised and educated as a Conservative Christian end up in a Charismatic Prayer and Healing Room?
Growing up, groups like The International House of Prayer were labeled “charismatic”. In the conservative Christian movement, this means “heretical and to be avoided at all costs”. However, over the course of the last couple years, I have started digging in to my Bible and soaking in the Word of God on my own. As I have been learning how to hear His voice for myself, I have begun to personally experience just how powerful the Holy Spirit is. I have also begun to see just how much the schools of Christian thought I was raised and educated in are missing by denying the fact that the Holy Spirit is actively working today in the same way He was working in the Biblical book of Acts.
As I have been leaning deeper into Christ, I have begun to experience the joy and victory of the Lord in ways that I had never even imagined possible before. I am learning that it is possible to walk through life and face any circumstance with total joy and peace. The more I study God’s Word, the more drawn I am to groups like the International House of Prayer and Jesus Culture Church. These groups are so good at training and equipping the Christian to live in the freedom, power, and victory we have in the Holy Spirit.
What I sought Prayers of Healing for
Since I was about 12 years old, I have had a skin condition that manifests in very painful cysts on various areas of my body. These cysts can grow to be large and debilitating. I even had surgery to have a particularly large one removed from my back when I was in college. Over the course of the last 12 years I have been to several different doctors to try and find a cure.
For several years I was misdiagnosed, and even after I was properly diagnosed, it didn’t help. The doctor said that there was no way to fully cure the condition. I could only try to manage it with diet and exercise. If I was having a particularly bad outbreak, she would give me antibiotics to fight the infection, but that never gave any lasting relief. Often, the cysts would die down while I was on the medicine, then come back even worse when my prescription ran out.
This condition has gotten a lot more manageable as I’ve gotten older. I eat a lot healthier, and exercise fairly regularly, and those two actions keep the cysts from getting too large. However, I still get painful cysts in certain areas of my body. There is one in particular in my armpit that has been there so long I can’t remember what it feels like to have a healthy armpit. So, when I got to the prayer and healing room and was asked to fill out a form describing what I was there to receive prayer for, I asked for prayer for this skin condition to be healed.
What Actually Happened at the Healing Room
When I arrived at the prayer and healing room, there were quite a few people already there. So, my husband and I sat and waited for about an hour, although it didn’t feel that long. The atmosphere was quiet and peaceful. The lights were dim, and there were a few musicians on stage playing very calm worship songs and singing as the Spirit led. It was such a spiritually refreshing thing to sit quietly and listen to gifted musicians worshipping God. As I listened, I quietly prayed and just sat in the presence of the Lord.
After about an hour a sweet lady came to get me and my husband. She took us to a room where there was another lady waiting. They introduced themselves and asked a couple of clarifying questions about my condition, which I answered. Then came the part that I did not expect at all. “What was your childhood like?” One of the ladies asked me.
I hesitated for a moment before answering that question. I have mixed feelings about my childhood, and I’m hesitant to talk about it with people I don’t know. Additionally, I was confused as to how my childhood experiences at all related to my condition. However, after praying for wisdom in how to answer, I responded candidly to the question. I shared a couple of the most pivotal experiences and struggles that I had as a child and teen. Their response to my description of my childhood was: “Ok, that makes sense.
You see, skin diseases are linked to self-hatred, insecurity, and suppression.“
I was speechless. I hadn’t even said anything about how as a teen and young adult I have struggled with with high-functioning depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. Yet these women, just from me sharing a few vague sentences about my younger years, identified the thing that I have been struggling with for as long as I can remember.
They explained that they wanted to pray for me to be freed from the oppression of these negative thoughts and beliefs. I agreed, so they laid hands on me, anointed me with oil, and started praying.
What followed was one of the most intense spiritual experiences I have ever had.
They rebuked by name the spirits of self-hatred, worthlessness, insecurity, and depression. As they prayed, I began to literally tremble. My mind and spirit were in agreement with their prayers, but it was as if my body wanted them to stop praying. After a few moments, they asked me what was going on. They could see the struggle that was happening. I responded that I didn’t know, because my heart and spirit were in agreement with them.
They continued praying, then they asked me to pray a guided prayer with them. So, I began praying aloud. I followed along as they guided me first through a prayer of confession and repentance. Then of rebuking and banishing the spirits that have oppressed and tormented me from very young age. Then finally of receiving, accepting, and owning the healing, strength, and power of God’s Holy Spirit.
As we prayed, I could feel release happening. By the time we finished, I felt like a hundred pounds (that I didn’t even know I was carrying) had been lifted off my shoulders. My heart was flooded with a deeper level of joy and peace than I have ever experienced before. I had an intense awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit. The battle was over. Peace has won.
Through the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit, for the first time in my memory, I am fully free.
The first few days after my visit to the Healing Rooms I didn’t try to analyze what happened. I was too busy basking in and enjoying my newfound freedom of spirit. It wasn’t until about three days later that I realized just how oppressed I had been previously. I was sitting, chatting with my husband, and it hit me.
For the first time in my life, I don’t have a voice in the back of my mind constantly speaking and listing all the things I’ve done wrong, all the ways I’m screwing up, all the things that make me worthless and unworthy. I had that voice for so long, I thought that it was just a part of my life. I thought that I was forever going to have to battle against the voices in my head that told me that I had no worth or value. But now I know that I don’t. As a child of God, I am able to live in total freedom, peace, and joy.
I went to the Praying and Healing Rooms seeking physical healing. What I received was breakthrough and spiritual healing that I didn’t even realize I needed. Praise God!
If you are dealing with feelings of depression, anxiety, worthlessness, hopelessness, insecurity, or loneliness, you can find freedom! I would love to help you in your journey. Comment below or email me directly and I will connect with you.
*Note: In the weeks since I went to the Healing Rooms, my skin condition has gotten much better. The cyst in my armpit has shrunk down to almost nothing. All the other cysts are clearing up too. Praise God!