Martin Luther in his writing “A Simple Way to Pray,” written in 1535, identifies the necessity of listening to the Holy Spirit who still speaks to His own when he says, “If such an abundance of good thoughts comes to us (when praying) we ought to disregard the other petitions, make room for such thoughts, listen in silence, and under no circumstances obstruct them. The Holy Spirit himself preaches here, and one word of his sermon is far better than a thousand of our prayers. Many times I have learned more from one prayer than I might have learned from much reading and speculation… if in the midst of such thoughts the Holy Spirit begins to preach in your heart with rich, enlightening thoughts, honor him by letting go of this written scheme; be still and listen to him who can do better than you can. Remember what he says and note it well and you will behold wondrous things in the law of God …” The facilitator plays a vital part in this prayer process, but it is the Spirit of God who provides truth. This is not to say that truth from the Holy Spirit requires a minister or facilitator or is limited to the approach taken by Transformation Prayer Ministry. The Holy Spirit is free to lead us “into all truth” in whatever manner He chooses. The Holy Spirit often illuminates the written Word to a person privately seeking to be taught by Him.
There is a vast difference between “self control” which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Holy Spirit accomplished) and “controlled behavior” (that which I do on my own through discipline, hard work and determination).
Transformation Prayer Ministry recognizes that a common source of the emotional pain one may experience in the present has an experiential source and beginning which is lie-based. If the emotional pain is coming from this original historical faulty thinking, true release of the emotional pain in the present will not likely occur unless the person is able to review the memory event where the lie was first embedded. It is acknowledged that it is possible for some people to succeed in choosing to walk in truth through controlled behavior and discipline in the face of their emotional pain (which has value in context) but it is believed that many fail at this juncture. There is a vast difference between “self control” which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Holy Spirit accomplished) and “controlled behavior” that which I do on my own through discipline, hard work, and determination. One is spiritual and of Christ, while the other is the foundation stone upon which all other world religions are built.
Transformation Prayer Ministry is about refinement in faith.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:2-3). This verse is but one of many examples found in the letters of the apostles where we read of the inevitable testing of our faith. The word that is commonly translated faith is the Greek word pistos, which in its basic meaning is simply belief. The fact that the writer says our faith needs to be tested or refined says that something is not right about our faith; that is, what we believe. Not everything we hold in our belief system is truth. Some of what is at the foundational core of our belief is falsehood. It is this falsehood that needs to be refined with fire. The purpose of testing is refinement, like a metal smith who refines gold with fire. The focus of the testing is the faith or belief of the believer. When I am placed in the fire of testing, whatever I believe will be exposed. The dross will come to the surface when the gold is placed in the fire. During this exposure my lies are brought to the surface so I can make a decision as to what I will do with them. In the Transformation Prayer Ministry process we are taught to confess what it is we believe (lie-based thinking) and offer this exposure up to God seeking His perspective and truth.
NOTE: There is a DVD series in the On-Line store entitled “The Refinement of Belief and Transformation Prayer.”
There are various interpretations of this idea of testing.
– A common perspective on this testing is the idea of seeing “what we are made of” or to see if we will give in under pressure. I do not think that God is very interested in determining our breaking point but rather is concerned about the quality of our belief.
– Some suggest that the purpose of the trial is to endure it. The truth is, we will endure every trial that we encounter one way or the other. We are where we are today because we endured every trial that we thought we would never survive. Everyone endures. Endurance is not the goal, but rather refinement. Everyone faces trials and everyone endures and gets through them, but not everyone is refined. Refinement of one’s faith is a willful cooperative effort in submitting to the “mighty hand of God” (1 Pet. 5:6) and “entrusting our souls to a faithful creator in doing what is right” (1 Pet. 4:19).