This article is the first report on my journey, beginning with a simple belief in God's word, leading to healing of my own chronic pain and that of others. There's nothing special about me or about any of the other people who have been healed of pain - what works for us will work for others and can work for you.
Just scanning the internet, one finds millions of pages dedicated to the management of chronic pain - back pain, knee pain, headaches, TMJ pain and on and on and on. I have no idea what percentage of people deal with ongoing physical pain, but my experience tells me that it is large. Mostly the pain is not so bad that they complain, but if asked, it's surprising how many will own up to ongoing discomfort.
There's something wrong with this picture, since God promises healing to those who are His own. The Scriptures speak of healing over and over again. (Some of my favorite healing scriptures are listed above - there are lots more.) Healing was a central part of Y'shua's ministry; yet the church today is often not a factor in healing its people. Prayer is powerful and pretty much every church prays for its sick, yet the flock is torn by pain and disease. I believe that the place of the church in healing should be central, not peripheral. I pray that this article, which is intended to be the first in a series, will help other pastors to redress that balance.
For me the journey started with a nasty case of TMJ pain on the right side of my face. I took this to prayer and got no relief. Figuring that the problem was not with the word of God, I started to do some research. The thing that I found that actually did some good was in the The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. This book explained that muscles can develop micro cramps which never release on their own. These cramps, rather than causing pain at the site of the cramp, refer their pain to some other part of the body. The book is basically a map that allows one to start from the site of the chronic pain and locate the muscle that has the actual micro cramp. Once that cramp, or trigger point is located, the book gives instruction on how to massage it out.
This book was a God send, using its techniques I was able to get rid of the TMJ as well as get some relief from chronic lower back pain that I had had for nearly forty years. But my back pain kept returning, so, wonderful as it was, trigger point therapy was not the complete solution to chronic pain.
The real break through came one evening when my wife was working on a trigger point in my back. She could feel the knot and was rubbing it just as the book prescribed - the knot was not releasing. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, I started to pray against some of my own spiritual flaws. I commanded a spirit of pride to leave; I cast out a spirit of anger; and so on. When I got to a spirit of resentment, my wife suddenly said, "It's gone."
Both the knot and my back pain had left.
A few days later, I was back in the same fix1 Again, my wife couldn't get the knot in my back to release. Once again, I prayed against a spirit of resentment and got instant relief. My wife said that she could feel the knot dissolve as I prayed.
Prayer alone had not brought relief, nor had trigger point massage alone done the job. The combination of precisely targeted prayer and massage at the exact location of the micro cramp had.
I have used this combination of directed prayer and massage on a number of people in our church. When someone asks for healing from pain, we2 start by laying hands on the place where we think the trigger point should be based on my study of The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. Once we locate a trigger point, I pray as lead by the Holy Spirit while we work the cramp out of the muscle. This generally yields dramatic results.
In the next article, I'll discuss what I see as the spiritual implications of the combination of prayer and trigger point massage in the relief of chronic pain. I've also yet to write about spiritual maintenance as a factor in healing ongoing pain.