One restless night Rick Richardson was disturbed throughout his sleep by an image of a man coming at him with a knife. Taking that image seriously set Rick on a profound journey of healing and prayer around issues of masculinity and relationships.
Sometimes we feel spiritually numb, find ourselves emotionally dependent, struggle with addictive behavior, or see a trail of broken relationships behind us. These can be signs that we are in need of God's healing touch in our lives through prayer--prayer that we can learn and practice in community. In this biblical and very human book, Richardson walks us through the steps we need to receive this gift of healing from God as well as to begin praying for others in their pain.
"As a pastor for over thirty years, I only wish it had been written over thirty years ago! It is amazingly balanced in its approach to healing. It is immensely practical. It is also very biblical and historically orthodox. Rick's definition of what healing is, that it is 'not primarily about escape or relief from pain . . . [but] is primarily about the transformation of the person into a truer and more whole follower, worshipper and lover of God,' so needs to be heard today."
"I found the book most unique and refreshing. Rick Richardson integrates Jesus' power to heal with Jesus' mission to the world. Often healing prayer becomes the Christian substitute for the secular obsession to 'be all that we can be,' which means to do whatever we can to make ourselves feel good. Rick speaks to the reality of God's healing power and how it moves through us toward a world that is in desperate need of reconciliation on so many levels. This is a truth that the church needs to hear and embrace."
"I chose Leanne Payne as a mentor through her writings--so you can imagine my interest when I saw Rick Richardson's book. I have been giving it a thorough working through and now am routinely recommending it for all my clients and others I pray for."
"The journey of 'dying to self' so Christ can come alive in us appears to be a misunderstood and elapsed discipline in the lives of Christians and the church today. Rick Richardson offers practical insights into how we respond to the incarnation of God through healing prayer. I will pass this on to the prayer ministers in our church."
"Whenever I see a book on healing prayer, I wonder if it is charismatic or evangelical in its approach; is it biblical or practical, psychological or spiritual? When it comes to Rick Richardson's new book, Experiencing Healing Prayer, the answer is . . . yes! Rick provides us with a model for healing prayer that is all of the above. While firmly committed to the authenticity and authority of Scripture, Rick guides us into a deeper partnership with the Holy Spirit as we venture to petition God for the healing of friends and strangers. He helps us recognize, from both Scripture and personal experience, the signs of God's healing presence as we pray with and for others. And healing is more than the reversal of a physical ailment; healing is the biblical hope and promise of a satisfied soul. Rick has written a road map for many of us who need to pursue a greater depth of healing (i.e., wholeness) for ourselves, even as we seek to pray for others and train others to join us in the journey."
"God will use Experiencing Healing Prayer to dive deep into your mind and heart, helping you to understand and apply the personal and spiritual healing you need to have a healthy, balanced, Christ-centered life. Rick Richardson gives us personal and practical tools to make sure the wounds and pains of our past do not wreck the healthy and whole future we all yearn for."
"We live in an age that desperately needs healing to be the heartbeat of the church. Experiencing Healing Prayer is an answer to that need. Rick Richardson intimately testifies of his own experience of healing and shares his wise gift of teaching to train others. Remarkably, he simplifies the complex without being simplistic while offering genuine hope for wounded souls and clear practical steps for those who care for the soul. Pastors who want to see their congregations transformed by the healing power of God will want a copy of Experiencing Healing Prayer for every member of their leadership team."
"Experiencing Healing Prayer is a remarkable book. Rick Richardson . . . simply but profoundly leads his readers into the life of prayer for healing. His use of the miracles of the Gospels to develop a truly biblical doctrine of healing is coupled with suggestions for dealing with deep human wounds--emotional, physical and spiritual. Better yet, he has furnished me wise guidance on my own spiritual journey!"
"Experiencing Healing Prayer is a wonderful book on an incredibly important subject. How I thank God for Rick Richardson's wisdom and insight in dealing with the very practical aspects of healing prayer. This book will bring healing to many hurting people."
"Some books on healing scare me. But I love this book's blend of passion and wisdom. Rick's honesty and insights made me want to pray and to receive prayer, to go deeper with others into the adventure of Christian healing."
"Experiencing Healing Prayer affirms the power and place of healing prayer in the spiritual life from a solidly evangelical perspective and yet with a delightfully sacramental approach. Rick does an excellent job of synthesizing biblical material and other Christian sources on the matter while at the same time balancing it with a good discussion of potential pitfalls. It is a very helpful work for all of us who seek God's healing presence for ourselves and for others."
"I was thankful to get hold of Rick Richardson's book Experiencing Healing Prayer. It will greatly help many people. Unlike some other books on healing prayer, it has a good and wise spirit about it."
"Rick Richardson reminds us of the absolute centrality of healing prayer to the Christian life. He underscores the basic point that healing is not just about the escape or release from pain, but involves the transformation of the whole person in obedience to Jesus Christ.
"The reader will find a clearly written practical guide to creating and sustaining a ministry of healing. Gallup survey findings on the values and beliefs of teens support the author's belief that 'the emerging generation could lead the way into a new day of healing and transformation in the church and the world.'"
"A very thoughtful, useful and powerful resource for all those who want to bring the healing ministry of Jesus into the local church."
"We live in a dysfunctional and broken world--we need repair and we need to be made whole. Rick Richardson's book is a sacred health document that is illuminating, fresh and healthy; it certainly was for me."
"Experiencing Healing Prayer is one of the most thorough books on healing prayer I have seen. It's not just a book about healing, however. It's a great book on how to grow deeper in discipleship and prayer. It's full of life-changing insights into our relationship with God, ourselves and others."
"To write a book about healing is a formidable task. It is so easy to lose focus and balance, becoming shrill and dogmatic while overpromising or making healing a form of Christian magic. Rick Richardson has avoided all these pitfalls and given us a rich, nuanced, thoughtful, experience-based, story-filled and practical guide to the healing ministry. This is a book that touches people at the places where the Spirit can work: those dark points of brokenness, longing, pain, disadvantage and injustice."
"This is a very practical book that is also the very personal story of a journey in the Spirit. Rick Richardson has not only learned much that is helpful, but he has picked up great gifts of communication along the way. I was greatly encouraged as I read this work. I felt excited all over again about praying for the sick, distressed and marginalized. The teaching points that Rick makes as he tells his story have equipped me to feel that my journey will now be that much more effective."
"Rick Richardson paints a compelling portrait of effective healing prayer ministry. His is a balanced and biblical view of such ministry, one that emphasizes listening to God, obedience to God, and reliance upon the healing power of a loving and sovereign Father. Through his transparency about his own journey of healing, he invites us to open ourselves to deeper possibilities of God's healing work. I recommend this book highly."
"This book came to me just as a group of people in our congregation were asking, 'How can we develop a healing prayer ministry?' I can't imagine a more thoughtful and practical resource than Experiencing Healing Prayer by Rick Richardson. Even where readers may differ with the author, they'll find honesty and sensitivity and experience on every page."
I immediately found myself caught up in Richardson's journey to lead people with emotional brokenness and wounds from the past toward emotional healing. This book should prove of immense value to people struggling with inner brokenness or who know someone who is.
"[Richardson] has urged the creation of an emotionally and spiritually safe space for both recipients and prayer ministers, encircled by the presence of God within the church community."
Foreword by Richard Peace
1. Invitation to the Healing Journey
2. What Is Healing?
3. A Map of the Journey
4. The Healing Presence of God
5. Practicing God's Healing Presence
6. Hearing God's Whisper
7. Understanding Gender Identity
8. Embracing Our Real Identity
9. Renouncing Unreal Identities
10. The Dialogue with Mother and Father
11. Healing Mother Wounds
12. Healing Father Wounds
13. Forgiveness and Healing Memories
14. Battling Sexual Addiction
15. Healing, Sacraments and Touch
16. The Healing Journey and the Outward Journey
17. Dangers and Dead Ends on the Healing Journey
Appendix 1: On Biblical and Cultural Sources of the Self
Appendix 2: The Healing Ministry Applied to Ethnic and Racial Identity
Appendix 3: The Leadership Journey in Healing Prayer
For Further Reading
About the Author