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The article by Tan (2007) discusses proper and ethically acceptable application of prayers as a form of therapy. The author presents the use of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) from a Scriptural (Biblical) perspective. The key components of scripture-based CBT highlighted in the article are as follows. The first one is the need to underscore the value of God’s love and the establishment of a cordial relationship with the client. Second, conduct a comprehensive recollection and healing of the past events that led to the present problem (s). Third, emphasize the spiritual dimension of life while paying little attention to rational approach to life. Fourth, attribute the cause of feelings on the problem to personal thoughts and initiate behavioral changes to the teachings of the Holy Spirit, which include prayers and total dependences on God for solutions. Other major components of CBT are focus on factors related to religion, families, culture and society ensuring that methods used are based on the truth of Scriptures, and they lead to holiness and application of result-based methods of research prior to articulating importance of CBT.
Christian CBT is mainly based on explicit integration, which involves direct and systematic use of divine resources. The stages of prayer include a prayer for protection and petitioning for healing power of the Holy Spirit, making the client feel relaxed, and allowing the client to recollect traumatic past events. It also involves petition for ministration of the Holy Spirit, waits for the Holy Spirit to minister to the client, ends the session in a joint prayer, briefly discusses the healing experienced by the client and recommends guidelines for personal prayers. The therapist should focus on correct interpretation of Scriptures and use appropriate guidelines during counseling. The use of Scriptures should be guided by the reason behind choices of scripture and the expected result and challenges. The therapist may indirectly refer to Biblical teachings or cite direct examples from Bible. Scripture-based CBT is, however, not suitable for psychotic persons, people who revolt against God, and when consent has not been issued for the therapy.
My interest to the article is founded on the author’s articulate deliberation on the ethical principles of the Scripture-based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I am an advocate of the spiritually-designed approach to the quest for solution of problems encountered by humanity. Religious faith and beliefs are integral part of humanity hence the need to focus on spiritual intervention as a therapy. The key components of scripture-based CBT discussed in the article provide a reference for formulation of procedures to effective healing. I gained much insight into steps that therapists can follow in ensuring that clients are fully engaged in prayers. I find much inspiration in the way the therapist directs the client to depend on spiritual power in a bid to solve his problem.
The Scriptures cited in the article are very inspiring. This forms major tenets of the Scripture-based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. I find this relevance of Scripture applied in the therapy essential in directing the client’s focus on religious basis of spiritual healing. The client is therefore able to discern what God, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says concerning what the client is going through. The therapist also gains spiritual guidance from the relevant Scriptures quoted and is able to help the client in setting his mind free of the past that preceded their current problems.
I intend to read more on approaches to dealing with clients who do not uphold strong religious beliefs or clients who hold religious beliefs contrary to Christianity. The information from literature will assist me in designing a system in which therapy can start with standard CBT and ends with scripture-based CBT. This is important because religious inspiration serves as a strong tool in behavior change thus providing solution to problems associated with thoughts.
The following is an example of practical application of prayer in a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
I: I request that we end the session with prayer and focus our hearts on God for forgiveness, healing and behavioral change.
Client: That is fine.
I: I would urge you to relax and be at ease in the presence of the Holy Spirit. I urge you to start us off in prayer then I will conclude.
Client: Lord, I thank you for this session and pray that you heal my heart from the distress and depression. Father, be in charge of my marriage and bring forgiveness and reconciliation. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.
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I: Dear Lord, I am grateful for your unlimited love and the healing power of the Holy Spirit. Lord, I call upon your intervention into our sister’s life and marriage. As she comes to you with a meek heart, let her prayers be acceptable to you (At this point, I request the client to reflect on all the events that must have led to her husband’s infidelity and petition for healing by the power of the Holy Spirit. I then request the client to present all the problems to the Lord).
Client: Lord, I pray that you forgive my husband for his wrongdoing and thanks for helping me accept my role in the problem in our marriage. Dear Lord, make my marriage work again and let your peace prevail for I pray this trusting in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen (After her prayer, I join in with a concluding prayer and then recommend versions for her personal reading).