Focus of Ministry
By Phil Scovell
It was during 2003 when the Holy Spirit told me what I would be doing for the rest of my life. It was nothing I personally had ever heard of before nor was I innately skilled in the area He identified. Furthermore, the Lord did not "call" me to an "anointed calling" as it is so often referred to by those who are the "Anointed Ones," or the "Called." This implies, of course, that you may have had a choice in the matter or, perhaps, you negotiated an agreement, somehow, with the Almighty in order to reach an extraordinary harmonistic accord. My situation was totally unsolicited on my part. What that means, in plain language, is that I never would have chosen what He told me I was going to be doing. Let me explain.
Seated in my small bedroom office one afternoon, I was studying some training material on the subject of prayer and how it could be applied to someone suffering from PTSD, which I was doing at that very moment, and it was my third time facing it as a Christian. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is often attributed to war veterans returning home and facing depression at various levels. It used to be called shell shock or combat shock. It simply meant that you had experienced horrible things which likely could never be removed from your memory.
psychodynamics of this disorder manifests in various ways. Sleep disorders, eating disorders, nervousness,
nightmares, anxiety, mood changes; all classified as mild. Even as a young boy, I heard of men my
father's age, coming home from war, with such behaviors over which they had no
control. For example, a World War II vet
walking down a street and, without warning, hearing a car suddenly back fire, and
they would instantly hit the ground just as they had done on the battlefields
On the other end of Posttraumatic Syndrome Disorder, is erratic behavior, the hearing of auditory voices, drug addictions, failed marriages, anxiety and panic attacks, and not only suicidal tendencies, but some were even successful taking their own lives for various reason. Yes, it was all real. Now we know that PTSD is much more widespread in society and it isn't restricted to war; not a literal conventional war being fought, at any rate, but the war of the mind and emotions.
"How does it manifest in society?" Let me briefly tell you my story. Then search for, on the front page of my website, the title of "I Flew Kites with Jesus," and more of the details of my story will be told as a testimonial of what God can do through prayer.
I had turned the final corner to our home. The chill Iowa November winds and the fallen leaves from all the trees had turned crunchy, and blew all around my feet as I turned uphill to my home. My feet suddenly stopped. Cars were parked in front of our home and filled our gravel doublewide driveway. I recognized most of the cars. I'd seen them off and on for three weeks during the time my dad was in the hospital. Additionally, since my father was a lay preacher, we had company and visitors all the time. So what I saw was not abnormal. The wind swirled around me and I pulled my jacket tighter. I was cold; so very cold all of the sudden. I knew these people were at my home because my dad had died. Somehow, I was able to will my feet forward and kicked weakly at the tiny tornado of dried leafs whirling about my ankles. I had no doubt that my dad had died just by seeing all those cars parked there at my house all at one time, including our pastors, and although dad and our pastor were close friends, something told me the news was going to be only one thing; dad was gone.
Six months later in early May, just a couple of weeks before school let out for the summer, I began noticing faint brown spots in my right eye. I saw them when looking up at the puffy white clouds and then back down to the dark green grass of the school's large playground. They were so faint, I couldn't detect them in my vision when seeing the dark green grass but with the white clouds slowly drifting passed as a comparison, I could clearly see them. In the classroom, I saw them again by looking from the blackboard, which a couple of years earlier had been changed to green for some reason, but the green of the board was dark enough to create a stark contrast between it and the white sheet of paper I held in front of me at my desk. I told my mother. She, in turn, took me shortly thereafter, to a retinal specialist. This was because my father, a few short years earlier, had lost one eye due to his retina detaching. Multiple surgeries simply couldn't save the eye. He went blind but soon his good eye started having the same symptoms I would experience later a few short years distant. That retina, after a couple of surgeries, was repaired. He was able to read normally, with glasses, and he could drive normally of course, with that one eye. What vision he had, however, wasn't to last long because he died at the age of 46 when I was 11 years old. In my case, neither of my eyes could be saved after 13 major eye operations on my two retinas.
My mother and I went to visit the surgeon in his office for the last time as he tested what light perception I had remaining from my final surgical procedure. I could detect a small amount of light a few feet away, although, when outdoors, the sunlight was so bright, it hurt the watery scrambled mess through which I had to see. I could not walk alone and unassisted. As we left the hospital, I well recall the crunch of the gravel under our feet when we walked over the parking lot to our car. Mom walked me around to the front passenger door and taking my hand from her arm where I held it, she wrapped my fingers around the door handle. It was hot from being in the sun most of the morning. Mom climbed in after unlocking her side by reaching over to unlock my door. , this was before seatbelts and automatic door locks. As the car rolled out of the parking lot, I now knew that I was legally blind.
recently moved from
Some people often ask me when I adjusted to my blindness. They are surprised when I tell them, "I've never adjusted to it." First, this flies in the face of conventional psychological indoctrination our schools and rehabilitation organizations, federally funded, teach. In the 1960s, I was even told what type of job I should have as my career. Preaching and teaching God's Word wasn't on the local governmental list.
Learning to cope was the main psychological method of teaching you how to adjust, as it was called, to your blindness and so it is even yet today. It isn't just blindness; it is all forms of disabilities, handicaps, and physical impairments. Forgive me for using all the politically correct terms but I am trying to prove a point.
I heard a blind man once, who had reportedly become successful in business, say during an interview on television when the same question was put to him, "How long did it take you, sir, to adjust to your blindness?" He thought for a brief moment and then said, "About 10 minutes." I suppose he was trying to say that he was smart enough to realize there were other things he could learn to do even as a blind person. He was rite. He made millions selling a popular software program written for the blind so, in short, if there weren't millions of blind people to sell software to, what might he have done then? I was just thinking out loud somewhat sardonically, too, so forgive me. At any rate, I have not ever adjusted to my blindness nor do I ever plan on doing so. If you want to know why, it is based upon a simple fact. I am a born again Christian. When I die, or, if you have ever heard about the second coming of Christ, as a Christian, I will go with Christ when He comes for His own. I will see better at that moment than I did at birth. It sounds like it will be worth the wait to me. Additionally, I recently discovered something I can live with right now, today, in the Bible: I wonder if you can, too, along with me, live with it, that is.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (John 3:2 AV)
Do you SEE it?
Let me get back now to the PTSD part of who, and what, I now am.
As I said, one very early spring day of 2003, the Lord told me what I was going to be doing. Notice, I did not say, He "called" me into a certain form of ministry. In May of 1985, as I prayed for a couple of hours in my office one evening, the Lord told me His will for my life. That means, He told me, literally, what I was to do in His name. He called it being an "intercessor." I didn't even know what He meant. Oh, sure, I knew what the word meant, at least partially, but it wasn't for another three months before the Holy Spirit began revealing the nature of intercessory prayer, and 2003 before I learned exactly the nature of intercessory prayer in which I would be ministering.
The year 2002, was the major experience of PTSD I experienced which largely related to my father's unexpected and unanticipated death, along with my blindness. Yes, many other life experiences would be factored into the mix and if you are interested, my website is filled with true stories where I was healed by the Lord through the ministry of prayer and largely, once I learned how to pray, on my own.
"What is it that you do in the area of prayer?"
may be reading about this ministry for the first time, I will answer your
question. My recommendation, on the
other hand, is that once you've finished reading this article, is to logon, as
already suggested, to the front page of my website and find the link for,
"I Flew Kites with Jesus."
From there, go directly to the section entitled "Building the
To be specific, the Lord told me to prepare to minister two those with Dissociative Identity Disorder, (DID), or multiple personalities, and with women who had been sexually abused. My first reaction to this news was, "No way!" First, I knew nothing about either one of these issues. Secondly, my seminary training had not covered these psychological topics. Third, and worst of all, I had no desire, to walk right into what God had just said He told me to do. In short, I was afraid and big time. He, as always, wouldn't drop the subject. So I took some basic training to at least know what these things were about and how prayer could not only work for me but work the same for others by setting them totally free from such suffering. To make a long story short, I obeyed and did as the Lord said and went fulltime into the ministry of intercessory prayer and the renewing of the mind.
Although over the years, I have prayed with anyone, and everyone, regardless of what their needs were when they called, I have recently felt the need to return to what I was originally told by the Lord and that was, "You will be working with women who faced sexual abuse and cases of multiple personalities." These may be two totally different issues but they often are found together.
"Why move to more of this type of ministry?"
First, it is exactly what the Lord told me to do in 2003. Secondly, DID cases take longer because, as the intercessor prays through areas of suffering with the infirmed, you need to be more available. Thirdly, more time is required after the oneness of mind experience because the intercessor needs to remain available for the person for often a year, if not longer, to pray through other issues that were buried by the DID. Finally, I spend more time with DID cases teaching and discipling them in how to walk with the Lord in their new found relationship which is when they are minus the psychodynamics of alternate personality fragmentation.
The way I minister now is with anyone who calls. I will still do that as I have time and when I don't, I will do my best to recommend others to whom you can go for intercessory prayer. Keep the following in mind:
1. If we already have prayer sessions in progress, nothing will change for you.
2. Those with whom I have prayed in the past may still make contact for new appointments.
3. Yes, you may ask if I have openings regardless of the issues you may be facing right now, but please understand that depending on my availability I may need to refer you to someone else with whom you can go for intercessory prayer.
is also why I have placed "Building the
1. I am continuously making available new teachings and regardless of what I teach, the elements and methodologies of intercessory prayer will be present in various ways in those free online audio recordings.
2. I personally have some additional plans of conducting teaching sessions via conference telephoning.
3. I may also be conducting actual prayer sessions via the same method of phone conferencing so others can learn by listening live.
4. I may likewise include recordings of actual prayer session from which you may use to learn, if, that is, I decide to implement and incorporate such recordings, with permission only, of course, and a few other ideas of which I will share in the near future.
Finally, you may be wondering when this all begins? The answer is, now, and if you have any questions, please email me.
Complete In Him,
Safe Place Fellowship International
Mountain Time Zone