The Pain Of Anxiety And Panic


                                By Phil Scovell



               Something startled  me awake.  She  was Gone and I  knew it.
          Still I felt around in the darkness for my wife.  "She's dead," I
          heard  the voice say  and a clammy  damp cold blast  of wind blew
          across my  body as if it were blowing right through me.  My heart
          began to pound in my chest  and fear rose.  Logically I  reasoned
          she  was sleeping on the couch because  she did that sometimes if
          she began coughing in the night.  Knowing that had been it, I lay
          back down and tried to go  back to sleep.  My body  trembled from
          the fear that now was all around me and seemed to be inside of me
          as well.  I pushed at it and tried to force it down.  I struggled
          against the  urge to get up and  to go out and see  if she was on
          the couch  or sitting  up in  the recliner  so she  could breathe
          better.  I  forced myself not  to move.  I  had to win,  mentally
          win, this battle  but I somehow knew  it would only get  worse as
          time went by.

               I had been sleeping even  more poorly since my wife's cancer
          treatments had  stopped.  She  was well  and all her  blood tests
          showed she was progressively getting  better.  She had been doing
          well  for several  months now, too.   I,  on the other  hand, was
          doing worse.   That, in  itself, was puzzling.   During the  year
          long treatment  of interferon  shots three times  a week,  I felt
          confident  and had  slept  well  nearly every  night.   Now,  for
          months,  I had  been waking  up every  single night  and multiple
          times  each night.    This time,  however,  was the  first I  had
          awakened with the cold fear of anxiety washing over me.

               I  had become  acquainted with  anxiety  attacks many  years
          earlier when the church folded that I was pastoring.    I decided
          then that I had failed  the one thing in life I wanted  more than
          anything else.   So if  I had  failed, I reasoned  with a  little
          demonic help, well,  with a lot of demonic help, then I failed my
          wife and my family and others, too.  I had no job now, after all,
          I reasoned,  and since  I had failed,  well, God  probably wasn't
          going to  help me out  any longer.  More  demonic suggestiveness.
          So, that must mean, therefore, I had failed God.  Being a failure
          yourself is one thing  but failing God?   That's a biggy,  folks.
          You can't survive much longer once you've failed God.  Additional
          demonic influence on  that one, too.   Yes, you could say  that I
          became  somewhat suicidal.  Demons love encouraging Christians to
          kill themselves because  it is the only way they can once and for
          all stop you  from living out  God's perfect will for  your life.
          They know you  are going to  Heaven even if,  by this point,  you
          doubt it  yourself.  However,  the real demonic plan  isn't death
          but it is to totally complicate your life so you hardly know your
          own  name.  This way you can  make your own life miserable and if
          they have their way, they will be able to influence everybody who
          is around you as well.

               When you generate enough courage to counsel with your pastor
          or  his wife,  and this  assumes you  haven't been  burned before
          along  these  lines in  some  church  some  where, the  enemy  is
          delighted with your decision.  Why?   Well, this way, as you  lay
          out your heart's deepest feelings, which is another way of saying
          you are  dumping your  garbage out for  someone to  inspect, this
          will give the pastor, and or his  wife, something to think about.
          If they  were honest, they  would tell  you, they  have the  same
          fears and doubts and worries and concerns as you do.  Chances are
          pretty good, though,  they won't be admitting to  any such thing.
          In  which case,  they will  take the  other avenue  of counseling
          techniques and that is, they will  tell you that you just haven't
          been thinking right.   They may whip  out a list of  bible verses
          for you  to memorize,  or perhaps read,  several times  each day.
          Not a bad idea  in itself, of course, but  your problem, although
          you don't know it at the  time, doesn't have anything to do  with
          your lack of  interest in the Bible.  So you take the verses home
          and follow the instructions.

               For awhile it appears to  help but the stupid voices haven't
          gone  away so  something isn't  right and  you  go back  for more
          counseling.

               In  this  session,  you  admit  you  are  having  what   the
          professionals call anxiety episodes.   You don't want to refer to
          them as  panic attacks yet  because somehow panic  attacks sounds
          much  worse  than  anxiety attacks.    You  read somewhere  about
          anxiety episodes  and that even  sounds less  ominous as  anxiety
          attacks  so you opt out and use the  lesser of two evils, sort of
          speak,  and call  how you  feel, anxiety  episodes.   Your pastor
          knows  what anxiety  is, it's  fear,  so he  turns to  his laptop
          computer,  dials up  a  list  of verses  on  fear, flips  on  the
          printer, and runs off a copy and hands it to you.

               Because  the  pastor  has  been  experiencing fear  himself,
          although he  would never  call it anxiety,  he has  just finished
          reading a book on fear by  some well known Christian author.   He
          hands the book to  you.  You thumb through the book as the pastor
          talks and looking at the  author's name, you realize you've never
          even heard of the  guy.  No matter.   The pastor says he  is well
          known so surely the author must be.

               Your   instructions  are  as  follows.    Keep  reading  and
          memorizing  the verses from the first time  and add this new list
          to  the  original list.   Then  read  the book  on fear.    It is
          probably called something  like, Victory Over Fear,  Freedom From
          Fear, Fear  Not, Facts On Fear, Living  Without Fear, How to Cope
          with Fear, Fear; The Opposite  of Faith, or Things All Christians
          Should Know About Fear.  I don't  know if any of those titles are
          real or not; I  just made them up as I went  along.  Anyhow, back
          to your  instructions for successful Christian living.   Read the
          Bible Verses,  read the book,  read your Bible every  single day,
          and never miss any church services.  Oh, yes, and don't forget to
          pray.   You feel  it a waste of  time to point  out that you read
          your bible  and pray every day  already, not to mention  that you
          are a faithful church member  and haven't missed any services for
          years.

               Going  home, you follow  the instructions.   Sure enough, it
          works, for  awhile.  You  are still miserable and  frightened and
          fearful and lonely even though you have six kids and your life is
          busy from the crack of dawn till midnight every night but somehow
          the exercises, the  Christian exercises  that is,  helps and  you
          don't  feel as  bad  about feeling  miserable and  frightened and
          fearful and lonely as you thought you did.

               When another  anxiety episode awakens  you in the  middle of
          the  night and  your heart is  pounding so  hard, you  can hardly
          breathe, you figure something is  still wrong so the next morning
          you call and make another appointment.

               In the third session,  the pastor congratulates you  for all
          the  progress you  have  been making.    When you  say you  don't
          understand because  you still  feel as lousy  as you  did before,
          maybe even  worse, he  says, "Well, you  haven't missed  a single
          service,  I noticed.   Did you  read the  book?"  Your  reply, at
          first,  is that  you have  indeed been  reading your  Bible every
          single day just as you've been instructed.   "No, no," the pastor
          says, "I mean, have you read the book I loaned you on fear?"

               "Oh," you say, "why, yes.  I've read it three times."

               the pastor  says, "You didn't  happen to bring it  with you,
          did you?"

               You did, in  fact, bring it with  you and you hand  over the
          book to him.

               ""Good," he responds,  "very good.  I'm  sure you've learned
          much more from  the book than anything  I could ever tell  you so
          what can I do for you today."

               so  you describe  how your  days  have been  and the  recent
          experience   of  being   awakened  in   the   night  with   cold,
          unadulterated, raw, freezing fear.  His eyebrows  nearly touch in
          concentration and a  puzzled look clouds his face.   He drums his
          fingers silently  on the well  polished desk he is  seated behind
          and then says softly,  "Hum.  That's strange.   I wonder..."  and
          his voice trails  off.  You sit  quietly and wait.   Finally, the
          silence  is  becoming  uncomfortable  and  you,  as  casually  as
          possible, try and hint around about hearing voices."

               "Voices!" the  pastor booms;  as though he  was shot  from a
          canon.   "What sort of voices?  You  mean just thoughts you think
          in your own mind, don't you?"

               "Well, no," you  say, hesitantly; trying to  figure out what
          exactly you should  say.  "I  guess I mean  I hear real  voices."
          Then you quickly add, in hopes of softening the confession, "So I
          guess they are thoughts in my mind," but in your heart,  you know
          you are hearing voices.

               The silence lengthens between you and the finger drumming by
          the pastor is now continuous as he thinks about what you've said.
          He  is  stumped  because  the  only thing  that  comes  to  mind,
          Biblically speaking, when it comes to hearing voices, seems to be
          something  about demons.   He  hasn't read  any books  on demons,
          well, none with which he  agrees, and besides, he knows  from the
          one semester  of  psychology in  seminary  that people  who  hear
          voices need  professional treatment.   Finally  the pastor  says,
          "Have you, by  any chance, spoken with your  medical doctor about
          this?"

               "Oh, my,  no," you reply.   I'm afraid  he might think  I am
          crazy."

               this is,  of course, exactly  what your pastor  is thinking,
          too, but he doesn't think it is wise to say so at the moment.  He
          concludes the session  with a strong  suggestion that you  indeed
          see your family doctor  and tell him that you are hearing voices.
          He assures you  that he and his  wife are praying for  you and to
          keep  him informed.   This sounds somewhat final  to you but then
          you  are already  feeling paranoid enough  the way  it is  so you
          dismiss it as just one more thing wrong with you.

               A week later  you've been to the  doctor and now have  a few
          pills to swallow each day.  Your doctor informs you that  some of
          the pills take  a minimum of three to four weeks to begin to take
          effect and that to really get a good  idea if they are working or
          not, three months is better.   You are thinking to  yourself, how
          am  I  going to  last another  three  months like  this.   So you
          mention the anxiety episodes.   He assures you, the  prescription
          covers that  but  again reminds  you  of the  three months.    He
          quickly adds, however,  that three to four weeks  is the minimum.
          You think about  mentioning the voices but that  generates a wave
          of fear  so you, instead,  explain you aren't sleeping  very well
          and keep waking up during the night.  In fact, you find it almost
          impossible to even fall to sleep  and once you do, you are  lucky
          if you  sleep for  an hour  before awaking.   The  doctor asks  a
          couple of questions  and then scribbles another  prescription and
          says, "Take one of these at bed time every night.  If one doesn't
          work after a few nights of trying them, take two before bed time.
          However, do not take more than two."  You take the small piece of
          paper  and  put  it with  the  others  he has  given  you  and he
          instructs you to make an appointment for a month from now to come
          back to tell  him how it is going.   You really want  to tell him
          about  hearing voices before leaving but under the circumstances,
          perhaps you should  wait and see what the medications  can do for
          you.

               To  your amazement,  the pills  seem to  be working,  and to
          think you didn't even  have to believe in them for  them to work,
          too.  In  fact, after the first  one, you swear you  felt better.
          At least now you have  been doing something about your condition.
          You have taken up calling it a "condition" now because those with
          whom you have spoken  about your problems have called  it that so
          that sounds like it is ok to use  that term.  You worry, however,
          that you are feeling better simply because you feel as if you are
          doing something about your condition and there is that measure of
          doubt that  the pills haven't  had time to  start working  as the
          doctor said.

               time passes and  nothing different seems to happen.   You've
          taken on helping out as a Sunday  school helper and you even ride
          on the Sunday school bus to help out with keeping the 
          children occupied to and from the church.

               One day,  as you are  peeling potatoes at the  kitchen sink,
          your oldest daughter, a girl of  sixteen, comes home one day with
          a tattoo of a butterfly.  At least  you think its a butterfly but
          it looks more like a bat instead of a butterfly.  You never would
          have noticed it because it is normally where she wears her  watch
          but she had taken her watch off to wash her  hands at the kitchen
          sink.  You dropped the potato peeler right into the sink when you
          saw it and  demanded to know where that came  from while pointing
          at it with your quivering index finger.  You are informed that it
          is her own body  and she can do  whatever she wants with her  own
          body.  If  you don't like it,  you are told,  you can take it  up
          with  the ACLU.   This  pronouncement  alarms you  more than  the
          tattoo because of the ominous tone  of your daughters voice.  You
          and  your husband  gave up  spanking  years ago  after reading  a
          couple of  good books on  the subject of  child behavior  but you
          wonder if your husband might change his mind when he gets home.

               In the ensuing  argument that occurs when dad  gets home and
          sees it  for himself, all  hell breaks loose.   "I don't  have to
          take this,"  your daughter screams  louder than anybody  has ever
          heard  her before,  and when she  cuts loose  with three  or four
          swear  words, the show is  over because your  husband bans her to
          her room.

               That night  you take  three sleeping  pills, instead  of the
          prescribed two, but they don't even work at all and you are awake
          nearly the entire night; sick with worry and concern.

               It's  Sunday and you decide this Sunday  you are going to go
          forward  during the  altar  call and  ask for  prayer.   To  your
          amazement, the sermon is on faith.  You brighten a little because
          maybe this is exactly what you need.

               The tears come to your eyes as the sermon progresses because
          somehow the subject  of not trusting the Lord  with your problems
          and  depending upon  medications to meet  your needs  becomes the
          focal point of  the entire sermon.  You cry for your daughter who
          has run away.   You found her at a friend's house and her parents
          say it is alright for her to stay for a few days until things get
          worked out.  You cry for your husband who doesn't know what to do
          for the  first time in  his life.  Plus,  he came home  from work
          Friday  and announced  he had  been told  that the  company might
          close down within six months and  he will be without a job.   You
          cry for yourself, too, because  you aren't the Christian you want
          to be and  nothing, not even the  Bible, is working for  you now.
          You've read at  least 50 Christian books  in the last few  months
          and some of them you read two and three times.   They didn't help
          either.

               You  stumble forward  in your  grief  to the  front, someone
          prays  for you  but  you can't  even remember  the  words.   Life
          somehow just  doesn't  seem worth  it any  more.   You leave  the
          church feeling  even worse  than when you  came and  feeling that
          nobody cares.

               Since  your husband  has lost  his job,  you don't  have the
          money needed for  the counseling so  you ask  your parents for  a
          loan.  Your  parents have come to  stay with the children  as you
          and  your husband  drive  the  1200 miles  to  a large  Christian
          counseling  ministry, which has  a national radio  program, where
          you will spend a week.  This  is your last hope.  If this doesn't
          work, you aren't sure what is going to happen.  Your  husband has
          become  as depressed and  disturbed as you by  this point and he,
          too, is  on medication.  Your family  insurance ran out last week
          so neither of you  know what you are  going to do to pay  for the
          medications because  there is no  way you can afford  buying them
          without  your insurance coverage.  Your  husband doesn't talk any
          more and  the entire 1200 mile trip  is done in silence.   No one
          has seen or heard  from your daughter since she ran  away for the
          second  time.   The  only thing  that  has kept  you  out of  the
          hospital is  the  knowledge you  have no  insurance coverage  any
          more.  Crying  doesn't even  help relieve any  of the stress  and
          pressure as it once did.  As the car moves  down the highway, you
          ponder if you  should admit to these counselors  about the voices
          in your thoughts.

               Arriving home, your  parents anxiously ask if any  good came
          from your trip.  "They told me I was manic depressant and to keep
          taking my medications," you reply  with weariness clearly in your
          voice.

               "But the pills haven't been doing you any good," your mother
          says with some alarm to her voice.

               "I know it mother; I know it."

               "What about  Bill?" your  father asks.   "What did  they say
          about him?"

               "They just said he was depressed about losing his job and if
          he gets another job, he'll snap out of it."

               "Another  job!" your  father  replies.   The  plant was  the
          highest paying job in the county."  "I don't mean to be negative,
          Honey, but  he'll never make that  much money again; not  in this
          town anyway."

               "I know it, dad," you reply.  "We'll both have to go to work
          or something."

               "but  what about your  marriage?" your mother  says; concern
          strong in her voice.

               You don't answer because you don't know what to say.

               When  your husband  has his  first heart  attack,  the panic
          attacks begin.

               This story is common among Christians today.  Some find help
          but most do not.   In my case,  if I had  gone to my pastor  with
          what  I was  facing, he  would  not have  been able  to  touch my
          problems with a ten foot pole nor would he have wanted to address
          them in any way, shape, or form.  Why?  Because my problems would
          have not only stirred up similar emotional woundedness in his own
          life but he would have had no idea of how to work with what I was
          facing.  Additionally, I had a fair amount of demonic activity in
          my thoughts.   My pastor only knew that  you should pray and cast
          them out.  If they didn't go, well, then, this was a case for the
          medical  profession  because  you  weren't  demonized;  you  were
          mentally ill.  This attitude  among Bible Believers is incredibly
          sad.  The very  people that should be able to help  the most, are
          those who only  seem able to do  the least for those  who need it
          the most.

               What is  the difference  between anxiety  attacks and  panic
          attacks?  Do you want a clinical explanation or a personal?  Here
          is a Phil Scovell personal explanation.

               Severity for starters indicates the difference between forms
          of anxiety and  panic.   Anxiety can  be mild and  is general  in
          response  to  things  historical, current,  or  futuristic.   For
          example, my father died when I was eleven years old.   I thought,
          throughout  my entire life, I  had passed through that experience
          with minimal drag on my spiritual life.  I was fifty years of age
          before I  discovered how wrong I had been.   That, I learned, was
          one of many  historical events where woundedness  occurred which,
          in later years, created pain that seemed to have no origin.  

               Current events  quickly translate  into futuristic  concerns
          and  worries.  For  example, If  you missed  paying your  rent or
          house  or car payment  one month but  got it caught  up, then the
          next  month,  when the  bill  comes  due,  it isn't  uncommon  to
          experience some level of fear.  If the current event is traumatic
          or protracted,  that  is, repetitive  in  nature, even  when  the
          problem  goes  away, the  past can come back to afflict  you.  In
          this  example of not  being able to  make a rent or  house or car
          payment, thirty years later, even after many years of success and
          financial blessings,  you may  write a  check some  day to pay  a
          mortgage payment and  all of the sudden, from  nowhere, you break
          out into a cold clammy fear and  you have no idea why.  You  have
          forgotten  the  original event  from  many  years  ago  but  your
          emotions have not forgotten how they felt.

               Fear is anxiety.  This is  best explained by someone who has
          had a heart attack.   The anniversary date of the  original heart
          attack  often produces  a degree  of  anxiety.   "Will it  happen
          again?  Will I die this time?  What if I'm alone when it happens?
          Will I  be able  to  call for  help?"   Anxiety  always  produces
          questions we  cannot answer.  It is used by  the enemy to take us
          away from daily  Lordship and to invalidate His  eternal Words of
          promise.  "According as his  divine power hath given unto us  all
          things   that  pertain  unto  life  and  godliness,  through  the
          knowledge  of  him that  hath  called  us  to glory  and  virtue:
          Whereby are  given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:
          that by these ye might be  partakers of the divine nature, having
          escaped the  corruption that  is in the  world through  lust," (2
          Peter 1:3-4).

               Futuristic  anxiety is quite simple.  You attempt projecting
          into the future and you say, "I'll never make it that far."  Why?
          "I've tried it before and failed."  That particular trail always,
          absolutely always,  has an origin  which is easily healed  by the
          True Lord  Jesus Christ through  intercessory prayer.  Why  is it
          easily healed?  Because the origin is always a lie.

               Increased  levels  of  anxiety  can  produce  all  sorts  of
          problems.  A  very identifiable characteristic of  severe anxiety
          is not being  able to project  into the future.   This means,  we
          simply look  forward, and  what used to  be nothing  more than  a
          challenge,  now becomes not only impossible, but totally hopeless
          and desperate.  The fear  level has just jumped to the top of the
          scale.  If allowed to  continue, the body will naturally respond.
          Respond  how?   You name  it.   Headaches, poor  sleeping habits,
          nightmares,  back aches,  heart conditions,  and  just about  any
          physical ailment you might name, including hearing voices.

               The  voices  normally   begin  by  taking  on  the  form  of
          suggestiveness.  "You aren't  good enough.  If you were  a better
          person, this wouldn't be happening.  If you were a more spiritual
          Christian, you wouldn't have these  symptoms.  You were born this
          way so nothing  can ever be done  about it."  These are  all lies
          implanted by  the enemy but we never recognize  them as such.  In
          fact, we normally  are deceived to the point that  we believe the
          thoughts we are  having are the real  truth about us.   Even when
          the suggestive  thoughts  take on  the  form of  audibility,  and
          sometimes definite persona,  we still refuse to identify them for
          what they  really are.   Yes, doctors can  proscribed medications
          for just about  everything.  Will they  work?  Yes, for  the most
          part, they can  help.  They cannot  cure the real pain,  however,
          because the source of the  pain cannot be targeted by medication;
          the   symptoms  of   the   pain  alone   can   be  treated   with
          pharmaceuticals.

               How  many  people  experience  various  forms  of   anxiety?
          Certainly not Christians,  do they?  If  you sit down and  make a
          list of everyone  you know, and I mean everyone, and if you could
          call each  of these people and get them  to be honest, they would
          all have to admit various levels of  anxiety in their life.  Then
          why don't we deal with it as a church?  People, and this includes
          pastors, missionaries,  Sunday school teachers,  deacons, elders,
          ushers,  youth  pastors,  assistant   pastors,  Christian  school
          teachers, and anybody else you  can name in church ministry, have
          their  own anxieties stirred up whenever dealing with someone who
          has come for prayer, or healing, related to anxiety.  So, you can
          see how reluctant  people are when it comes  to assisting others.
          In short, they don't want their own emotional feelings of anxiety
          stirred up.   This forces those of  us facing such things  in our
          life to turn to our own medical doctor in our desperation, and to
          radio and television ministries that  make us feel better, and to
          books authored by those who can accomplish  a level of well being
          even  if it is temporary.   Something is better than nothing when
          it comes to the one suffering from acute anxiety and depression.

               Medically speaking, anxiety is treated by tranquillizing the
          patient, or in some cases, antianxiety drugs  may be recommended.
          Such antidepressant and antianxiety drugs deal with attempting to
          balance  serotonin levels  in the  brain.   In  other words,  the
          doctor assumes there is a chemical imbalance in the brain causing
          the  anxiety.   If more  severe levels  of anxiety and  panic are
          experienced  over  prolonged  periods of  time,  such  a chemical
          imbalance is  very likely.   If emotional  healing, on  the other
          hand,  is experience  through  intercessory prayer,  the chemical
          imbalance will not  occur or if it already has, it will assist in
          reducing  and correcting  the imbalance  simply  by removing  the
          cause of the fear.

               Let's talk  about panic  attacks.   Are they  different than
          anxiety  attacks  and  if   so,  how?    Frankly,   although  the
          psychiatric community  may define them  somehow differently,  the
          truth is, they  are the same.   The big difference is  simply the
          intensity.  
               Anxiety  can be  prolonged by  focusing on  what one  thinks
          might  happen.  For  example, if your  mom might die  in the next
          five to ten  years, although she could live  even longer, anxiety
          says, "She  is going  to die  tomorrow or  the next  day and  you
          aren't  ready for that."  On the  surface, panic displays no such
          origin of thought.  
               Panic  can occur out  of the  clear blue  for no  reason, at
          least, no  reason you  are aware of  consciously.   Panic attacks
          often  display  much more  severe  physical attributes.    I know
          people who have  had such violent panic attacks,  they would stop
          breathing  and pass  out from  the generated  fear.   Some people
          report they feel as  if hands are choking their throat.   I have,
          for  example, had  that one happen  to me  and believe me,  it is
          scary when it happens.  One anxiety attack I had was so severe, I
          felt as if a huge wide  belt had wrapped around my body  at chest
          level and was literally squeezing the life out of me.  I got some
          help during that attack and without that help, I honestly believe
          it would have escalated into something  severe.

               People  having panic attacks can forget their name, address,
          or where they  live.  They can become paralyzed,  unable to move,
          due to the power of  the fear they are facing.  Panic attacks can
          generate powerful heart  palpitations until you think  your heart
          is literally going  to explode.  Your speech  can become slurred,
          your skin  clammy, or  you may suddenly  become freezing  cold or
          burning  hot.  Your hearing may go  haywire and normal sounds may
          change to  something  totally  abnormal.   vision  may  blur  and
          disorientation and  dizziness are quite  common.  These  are also
          just  the  tip of  the  iceberg when  it  comes  to severe  panic
          attacks.   It is even  somewhat common for  panic attack cases to
          become agoraphobic.  This is  basically a fear of being outdoors.
          The reasoning  is, if I stay  inside, nothing will happen  to me.
          This is a  lie, of course, because  the panic doesn't go  away on
          its own even by remaining indoors.

               As  with  anxiety,  Posttraumatic  Stress Disorder,  bipolar
          disorder, anorexia, bulimia, OCD, Dissociative Identity Disorder,
          Tourette  Syndrome, panic disorders, and just about anything else
          you want  to name, there will always be an  origin.  If the enemy
          is involved, he likewise may have implanted a lie in the original
          event which is the cause of the level of fear one is suffering.

               Strange as it may seem, what is happening at the moment with
          anxiety or panic attacks, most likely have very little to do with
          the  current event.    The anxiety  or  panic is  often, but  not
          always, a  direct result of  an implanted lie  by the enemy.   It
          could be  a lie  planted last week,  last month,  a year  ago, or
          dozens of years ago.   Many lies are  most easily planted  during
          childhood because the child does  not have the ability to process
          the information without assistance.  An adult, on the other hand,
          would recognize it as a  lie immediately.  Unfortunately, even an
          adult  may indeed believe the lie, due to the deceptive power the
          enemy possesses,  and the  process becomes complete,  (I.E.   the
          person is trapped).

               Something easily overlooked with any disorder or syndrome is
          the pain being suffered.   What we are experiencing externally is
          only a covering, a mask, or  a shield to keep others from  seeing
          the true pain being suffered deep inside.  Anger, for example, is
          an excellent shield that most of us  use.  Anger wards off anyone
          from probing  too deeply  into our personal  life.   Most people,
          unless called to  intercessory prayer ministry, will  immediately
          back away from  any displayed anger.  Thus,  the person suffering
          deep pain from some emotional trauma is unhelped.

               Pain is also often  masked by pride.  You will  never find a
          person  with the  issue of  pride without  there being  a painful
          event which has not been uncovered.  Sometimes, unfortunately, we
          identify egotism, arrogance, and conceit, as  desirable character
          traits.  If  not desirable, secretly admired because  we think it
          is the outcome of a strong will to succeed.  Sometimes  even self
          control and  self esteem  are actual  demonstrations of pride  in
          order that something can be  left uncovered and undiscovered in a
          person's life.

          When  our emotions  become  destablized it  doesn't  mean we  are
          mentally ill  or emotionally  ill; it  means we  spiritually need
          repair  through  the  renewing  of  the mind.    This  is  easily
          accomplished  through the ministry  of intercessory prayer.   The
          problem  eventually becomes some  form of manifested  fear.  Fear
          helps protect  the pain.   Why?   Because  pain hurts  and nobody
          wants to suffer pain.  The only way, however, for the symptoms to
          be alleviated and removed totally,  is through the healing  power
          of the  True Lord Jesus  Christ and the ministry  of intercessory
          prayer used as a tool.   Can it be done on your own?   Of course.
          I have done it dozens of times.  If, however, the symptoms do not
          atrophy, you will need someone to pray with you in order that the
          power of agreement can be applied.  "See Matthew 18:19).

               Finally, the  greatest  need  in the  church  today,  in  my
          opinion,  is accountability.   No  other  verse in  the Bible  so
          graphically  illustrates  this  than Ephesians  5:21:  Submitting
          yourselves one  to another in the fear of God.   This verse is in
          the context of  maintaining the Spirit  filled life.  Yet,  in my
          experience,  this form of  accountability is rarely  available in
          most churches today.   Keep in  mind that I  am not referring  to
          calling your pastor  or an elder or someone in the church to pray
          for you when  facing a problem because  that should be a  natural
          outcome of inner church relationships.   If it isn't, your church
          is  spiritually dead regardless  of the attendance,  music, drama
          plays,  Christmas  programs,  evangelistic  outreach,  radio  and
          television ministries, membership roles,  invited guest speakers,
          or the number of missionaries the church supports.  Why?  Because
          every local  New Testament church  has its first priority  to its
          own people.   If it  doesn't, the church is  dead or dying.   For
          proof of this statement,  read the New Testament once  and see if
          it  doesn't clearly teach this form of personal accountability in
          the church.

               I  have already mentioned one example of what accountability
          is not.   Perhaps I should expand  upon this in order  to explain
          what  accountability is.   Accountability  is  not going  forward
          after a service and requesting prayer.  Accountability is not how
          good of friends  you become with the pastor and his  wife.  It is
          not how much money you give, how many services a week you attend,
          and it is not the office you may hold in the church.

               Accountability  begins, and is  propagated, on  a one-to-one
          bases.   Group sessions can be employed as  well but most find it
          easier   to  be   accountable   to  another   individually   than
          collectively.

               What kind of  a relationship is accountability?   Simply, it
          is truth between  two people.   Yes, it can  be things you  share
          between you and your pastor or his wife.  It can be things shared
          between you and  a Christian counselor.  It  works best, however,
          between people  who care  for each other  and have  established a
          friendship.  It  is conducted in the "fear of God."  This implies
          respect  of confidentiality.   Such accountability goes  deep and
          personal but most  importantly, by those trained  in intercessory
          prayer, it goes to the depth  of healing that only the True  Lord
          Jesus Christ can do.  Sunday morning altar calls are nothing more
          than temporary fixes yet I am not suggesting we for sake them.  I
          am suggesting  we experience healing  for ourself first  and then
          learn how  to become intercessors  in order to minister  to other
          hurting people.

               Where  do we begin?  We begin and end with prayer but with a
          form of prayer called intercession.   This form of highly focused
          intercessory prayer is  a tool used to allow the Lord Jesus to be
          seen and heard in a way which discovers the darkness by employing
          the light of His eternal Word.  When Jesus, therefore, speaks the
          truth, we are set free and our lives change.  The result of  this
          freedom is a maintenance free walk with the Lord.

               Jesus  said, "Come unto me, all ye  that labor and are heavy
          laden, and  I will  give you rest.   Take my  yoke upon  you, and
          learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall  find
          rest  unto your souls.   For my  yoke is  easy, and my  burden is
          light," (Matthew  11:28-30).

               Several years ago, I was working in my office in my home.  I
          was praying silently  to myself as I worked  duplicating cassette
          tapes  for churches.    Well, some  might call  what I  was doing
          complaining but  it was  really prayer; there  is no  doubt about
          that.  I  was telling the Lord how heavy my  own burdens were and
          that I just couldn't  carry them any longer.   I demanded,  well,
          recommended,  but it  sounded like  demanding even to  myself, He
          drop everything and do something about it.   I very clearly heard
          the Holy Spirit speak in my thoughts.   "If your burdens are that
          heavy, then  you are  carrying something other  than that  of the
          Lord's because His are light."   Quite simply, therefore, if your
          pain is so deep,  and your fear is so strong,  and your confusion
          is  too  acute, it  isn't  the Lord's  doing.   The  problem then
          becomes,  how do  I get  help.   You  just  found it.   Call  the
          intercessory prayer line  below and make a  telephone appointment
          for your first prayer session.  It's free.


 Phil Scovell
 Safe Place Fellowship
 Denver, Colorado USA
 Mountain Time Zone

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