PRAYER IN BIBLICAL COUNSELING
Prayer is not only the spiritual life blood for all believers, it is vital in biblical counseling. Prayer, along with the Word of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, is what makes counseling truly Christian.
Before the session. The Bible declares that “… our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but…against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12) . Spiritual warfare will be waged in every counseling session because you are battling for the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being of counselees.
Ask the Holy Spirit to release the spirit of wisdom and understanding in preparation for the counseling session. Ask God to fight the battle for you. The real battle of spiritual warfare in counseling is won in private in prayer before the session ever begins. Intercede for the person you are to counsel. “Intercession may be defined as holy, believing, persevering prayer whereby someone pleads with God on behalf of another or others who desperately need God’s intervention.” (Full Life Bible).
Opening the session. Pray with and for the counselee when you start the counseling session. This sets the focus, acknowledging that both the counselor and the counselee are looking to God for guidance.
During the session. Prayer can be incorporated during the session as specific problems are discussed. Deal with issues immediately in prayer. This gets the counselee’s focus back on God instead of his problems.
Allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you in prayer and speak to you about the issues you are addressing. He is the resident Counselor and scriptures confirm that…
…the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.>(Romans 8:26-27, NKJV)
It is the will of God that is being sought in counseling, and the Holy Spirit accurately prays that will into being. So allow the Holy Spirit to intercede through you as you counsel.
Concluding the session. The session should always end with prayer by both the counselor and the counselee. The counselor should pray for the counselee and incorporate summary statements regarding issues discussed into his prayer. Inviting the counselee to pray concerning their problems will help them learn to communicate with God for themselves. If a person is uncomfortable with praying audibly, dedicate a few minutes of quiet time before ending the session so the counselee can pray silently about the issues that have been discussed.