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What is inner healing, and is it biblical?

What is inner healing? Does the Bible talk about it?

"Inner healing" means trying to free people from the emotional effects of bad things that have happened to them. In recent years, Christians have become more interested in inner healing (see our article on Sozo Prayer). Practitioners of "Christian" inner healing use techniques that are also used in mysticism, like "prayer journeys," which encourage people to think back on times when they were hurt and picture Jesus with them at that time.

Visualization techniques and other mystical or New Age methods can pose a number of risks. Three of the most important are: a) the harm that comes from dwelling too long on things that hurt or anger us, b) the danger of basing our idea of God on an image in our mind instead of the truth of who He is as shown in the Bible, and c) letting demons into our minds.

God does want to free us from bad feelings that come from hurtful things that happened in the past, but He doesn't need to use visualisation techniques or keep bringing up the past. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that being a Christian means dying to our old selves and "rising to walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). This new life is marked by thoughts about Him who saved us, not thoughts about the dead flesh that was crucified with Christ. As we stay with Him (John 15:5), He changes our hearts and makes us healthy. But the key is to keep our eyes on God and not on ourselves.

The big ideas of the faith and how they apply to life are at the centre of objective truth. These include God's sovereignty, Christ's role as high priest, the promise of the Holy Spirit, and the hope of eternal glory. Understanding these great truths, keeping them at the centre of our thoughts, and going over them in our minds will help us reason from truth when life gets hard, and our faith will be strong and vital. If we base our decisions on how we feel about ourselves instead of what we know about God, we will fail spiritually.

Still, it's not wrong to work through your feelings. God made us with feelings, and if we try to "turn off" those parts of ourselves to avoid remembering painful times, we can become like a volcano that's about to erupt. The Lord knows that life is full of emotional pain because He made us. The best way to heal from the inside out is to be honest with yourself about how you feel and then take those feelings to God and ask for help. His Word will tell you what you need to know. The Bible is supernatural and amazing, and it helps people heal from the inside out. And if you don't have a specific question but just a bad feeling, the answer is still to read His Word, because His Word is His Voice, and His Voice has great power to create and heal.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a big group of witnesses, let's get rid of everything that gets in the way and the sin that gets in the way so easily. Let's run the race that has been set out for us with perseverance. Let's keep our eyes on Jesus, who started and finished our faith. For the joy that was waiting for him, he endured the shame of the cross and sat down at the right hand of God's throne (Hebrews 12:1–2).