Theophostic Prayer


#1

Last year I had cause to begin investigating the alleged Christian counselling called Theophostic Prayer. I have not been involved and after my initial investigation my warning bells are clanging.

For those who do not know what this is: Theophostic means “God Light” and this form of counselling was introduced by a Baptist pastor who now hawks his product around the world and on the Internet.

The reason that I feel very uneasy about this form of counselling includes the following:

  1. The counsellors are not necessarily professionally trained people yet they claim to be able to cure psychiatric illnesses.

  2. When the interviewee is being counselled there is a point where the counsellor says: “the next voice that you hear belongs to God”. I consider this to be quite dangerous when one is dealing with the mentally ill.

  3. There is a similarity between this form of Christian Counselling and Recovered Memory Therapy, despite the fact that the proponents of the system have a disclaimer on such a link.

  4. Getting back to issue no 2. If a person is mentally unstable and thinks that he/she is hearing the voice of God, such that all decisions that are being made are a case of “God told me”… then there is an element of an abdication of responsibility involved. If things go wrong because the decision that has been made is faulty then the person will attempt to blame others, rather than accept any form of responsibility.

  5. There is an element of subjectiveness as to what is “God’s Truth” since this will be interpreted by the counsellor who is leading the interviewee.

I would be interested in hearing comments and/or experiences with Theophostic prayer.

Maggie


#2

if so-called counsellors are taking money for providing psychiatric therapy and holding themselves out as authorities they may be breaking the law. find out what the law is in your state for practising without a license.


#3

[quote=puzzleannie]if so-called counsellors are taking money for providing psychiatric therapy and holding themselves out as authorities they may be breaking the law. find out what the law is in your state for practising without a license.
[/quote]

Puzzleannie,

this is not what I am trying to find out. I am not in the United States of America and we have different rules here in Australia about people who do counselling. Since I have not been involved in the Theophostic Prayer, though I have seen the results on this particular person, I cannot comment about the exchange of money.

What I am looking for in a response is to hear from people who have used this form of counselling, perhaps some personal experiences of what happened.

I can only go by what I observed in the person, and what I saw on the Internet, from the site of the person who invented this form of counselling. I have a lot of reservations about Theophostic Prayer because I can see how it can be open to being abused by people with an agenda. It has a lot of similarity to Recovered Memory Therapy because as part of its philosophy the “counsellor” is expected to take the person back in time to childhood.

In the example I have cited, I would question whether her counsellor has led her into believing that her father used mind control on her from the cradle. The mere fact that she considers her father to be evil is a red flag that something is wrong in her thought processes.

Maggie


#4

I have been a family doctor for 21 years, a Catholic all my life (47 years) and above all, I am a devout follower of Jesus Christ.

In the USA, there is a sadly low success rate for counselling.

Does it help? Sure it does.

Does it cure? Rarely.

But there is a counselling center near my office which employs theophostic prayer - in addition to their counselling.

And more people are being healed than I have ever encountered before.

Perhaps different people employ this form of counselling in different ways.

But the center in our area is awesome - and God is all over what they are doing.

And the best part?

They are Catholic friendly.

One of my patients was not only “healed” from her depression - she became a religious ed director at a local Catholic School!!!

Blessings and thanks for being careful. St Paul said we should “test everything” to see if it is of God.

Keep up the good work!!

Your brother in Jesus Christ,

Thomas


#5

Dear All,

I was directed to Theophostic Prayer by a trusted priest.
However the only people near our area who practiced
it were Protestants. Because I trust this holy and
dedicated priest, I pursued it. I think it did some good.
I actually went to two different places, and both helped.
However, I got to know the person who was directing
it pretty well at the second place I went to. I went there,
because I was a guest for three days and we could do
three days worth of work there.

The person who directed the prayer did a wonderful
job and I believe that it helped. I had a lot of issues.
However I had a red flag about pursuing it because
her as I got to know her better in the course of three
days I learned that she considers herself a prophet, etc.,
and that was a major red flag.

She was professional enough to not permit that to
enter into our prayer sessions.

IF I were to pursue TPM again, it would be with
a trusted Catholic who is very orthodox.

I am responding to this because I recently learned
that the Franciscan University of Steubenville is
teaching and using Theophostic Prayer Ministry.

I am not likely to jump into it again anytime soon,
but Dr. Ed Smith just may have stumbled onto
something very Catholic. During my prayer
sessions, I believe that the Divine Mercy of Jesus
is very present.

From my recent communications from the TPM
webpages, Dr. Ed seems to be turning himself
into a pretzel trying to find the theological reasons
behind the healing attributes of TPM. I think he
would readily recognize them if he were to read
the Diary of St. Faustina.

But that is only my humble opinion. I hope it helps.


#6

Ed Smith has learned and changed some things about Theophostic Prayer. For example–he does not interact with so-called demons. He insists that healing prayer facilitators NOT diagnose or in any way represent themselves as counselors.

Some offshoots of Theophostic Prayer Ministry are very strange–into intense deliverance, diagnosing MPD, etc.

I would be sure that the healing prayer facilitator I went to was a strict adherent to pure Theophostic Prayer Ministry as laid out in Ed Smith’s most current material.

I have friends and family who have been wonderfully blessed and healed through that ministry process. I also have friends who have been hurt by charlatans asking for “donations” and requiring many sessions for total “deliverance and healing.”

Thoroughly vet your sources and then seek it out, It’s worth it.


#7

i was very interested in theophostic prayer, after having it explained to me, by a trusted and orthodox priest. i was disappointed in my search for a facilitator of this type of prayer ( i’ve not heard of it called “counseling”, as it has been in some of these previous posts) because none of the people in my area, listed on the web site were catholic. I was able , by the grace of God to locate a couple who are devout catholics trained in theophostic prayer. i have experienced this prayer 4 times , and i can clearly see the hand of God through this prayer. i have experienced freedom from deep, long held burdens.

i first read the book: healing life’s hurts throught theophostic prayer by edward m. smith, as i was seeking information about theophostic prayer. he is very careful to inform the reader that there are (unfortunately) many people who are practicing many types of counseling, etc, which differ from the norms and guidelines of theophostic prayer, and that those methods can not be considered theophostic prayer. it sounds as if some of the posters have encountered some of these type of people.

i also read the book: the catholic’s guide to theophostic prayer ministry , by fr. david tickerhoff, tor (new creation publishing)

i have never been charged for tp; the facilitators i have , see their work as ministry, and only wish to serve God, and readily offer Him the glory .

i encourage anyone who feels drawn to tp, to continue your search, as it is a powerful way for God to bring His Truth and Light, which can set you free


#8

Hi all,

I am Catholic. I am also a Theophostic Healing Prayer facilitator. More and more Catholic communities are embracing THP because it falls in line with our practices and beliefs.

For those who have had bad experiences with THP, I can be quite certain it is because the facilitator was not doing pure Theophostic. I have bad experiences myself and have seen much harm come to people, when those claiming to be using THP are NOT. We are not counselors, deliverance ministers, bible scholars (although it is very important to have a good knowledge base of the sacred scriptures), hypnotists or guides.

Dredging up memories is NOT the focus of THP. The goal is allowing Jesus to come into those places of pain in our lives, receive His truth (which will not contradict scripture) and receive the peace of Christ.

For those who are interested, I am providing a few links so you can be familiar with what THP truly is and the strict ministry guidelines Theophostic Healing Prayer Ministry expects from anyone claiming to use THP.

The Catholic’s Guide to Theophostic Prayer Ministry
thematthewministry.com/Catholic%20Guide%20to%20Theophostic%20Ministry.htm
This book is written by Fr. David Tickerhoof. He does a fabulous job bridging the language barrier between “Protestant speak” and “Catholic speak.” I highly recommend it.

What is Theophostic Healing Prayer
theophostic.com/content.asp?ID=2

Theophostic Ministry Guidlines
theophostic.com/content.asp?ID=15

Seeking Personal Ministry - What you should know
theophostic.com/content.asp?ID=5

I hope this information will be helpful to you.

Peace,
Angie

“God doesn’t leave us in our pain to torture us, but to drive us to Himself, to receive His perspective, and the wholeness He has for us.”


#9

I am a cradle Catholic and am completing my trainining in Theophostic Prayer Ministry. I talked to my pastor about it and gave him the book, Catholics and Theophostics. He found it to be very solid and gave me the go ahead to encourage other parishioners to learn about it.
It is not counseling
It is mind renewal
It is solidly based on the teachings of God’s Word, the Bible
Facilitators do not, or at least should not, interpret anything for the recipient.
The role of the facilitator is to ask questions of the ministry recipient to help them identify any lies that they believe about themselves and ask God for His truth.
TPM is for everyone, not particularly for the mentally ill.
If a facilitator encounters someone with a possible mental illness, they are taught to already be in contact with health care professionals so they can let the recipient know that their needs are beyond the scope of TPM and encourage them to seek professional help if the recipient feels led to do so.
I hope this gives you more insight on what Theophostic Prayer Ministry really is.
I have received ministry and found that it brought me to a closer relationship with Jesus and provided me with mind renewal that brought me greater peace.


#10

I think this says it all:

This sounds like a group of charlatains trying to take advantage of the vulnerable by misappropriating the name of God. It’s disgraceful.


#11

If they are claiming to cure you themselves they are not following Theophostic rules. It is a way to pray, if youa re cured, God did it.

  1. When the interviewee is being counselled there is a point where the counsellor says: “the next voice that you hear belongs to God”. I consider this to be quite dangerous when one is dealing with the mentally ill.

They are supposed to say “Listen for God”. You are correct to say the next oice you hear is God would be dangerous.

  1. There is a similarity between this form of Christian Counselling and Recovered Memory Therapy, despite the fact that the proponents of the system have a disclaimer on such a link.

The difference is that Theophostic prayer does not say that any “recovered memory” you might have is true or false, Its about how you are feeling about the memory. If I feel “hopeless” when I think of some memory, the prayer if for the hopless feelings, not for the memory itself.

  1. Getting back to issue no 2. If a person is mentally unstable and thinks that he/she is hearing the voice of God, such that all decisions that are being made are a case of “God told me”… then there is an element of an abdication of responsibility involved. If things go wrong because the decision that has been made is faulty then the person will attempt to blame others, rather than accept any form of responsibility.

Listening for God in itself is not Dangerous, but people claiming certian things are definately God is. Crossing that line is incorrect Thophostic procedure and should not happen (of course in any thing has corruption and mistakes happen. This happens in Protestant churches, Catholic Parrishes , secular trained counselors… everywhere)

  1. There is an element of subjectiveness as to what is “God’s Truth” since this will be interpreted by the counsellor who is leading the interviewee.

the “counselor” in theophostics is not supposed to interpret anything. thier job is to pray with you in a certian order.


#12

I am looking for a Catholic Theophostic Prayer counselor in the Pittsburgh area. Any suggestions? Has anyone been through this type of healing?


#13

I went for Theophostic prayer many years ago. I was seeking God’s help dealing with my weight problem actually. The woman who prayed with me Didnt ask me why I wanted prayer (which surprised me) instead she started asking God to heal in me what ever needed the most healing. I did not object so we continued. I had been dealing with SSA (same sex attraction) for many years, I did not think I was ready for dealing with that that day (I new the process tends to bring up painful memories) but God knew I was ready. After that day the SSA was only a memory of my past, instantly gone. God can do awesome things!

I’m still overweight, never did get working on that one. I did take the training to be a Thoephostic facilitator and used the process to help pray for two people, but I am not normally involved in that type of ministry. I believe it is an awesome thing and I’ve seen it help many people. But its really just one way of letting God do what He wants to do in us.


#14

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.