How Does Prayer Counseling Help Christians Find God’s Purpose?
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)
In 2010 I had the great pleasure of attending a concert featuring my favorite Christian singer, Sara Groves. The event was part of a tour that was called “Art, Music, and Justice” and the musicians’ overarching goal was to use the arts to raise awareness of injustice around the world.
What I found most striking, however, was how they sought to inspire Christians to live what they called “fully integrated lives”—lives that incorporated their faith into every possible area. This was reflected in the three main purposes behind this event:
1) We will be challenged to think in new ways about what it is that God has given each one of us. What are my passions? My skills? My circumstances? What does it mean to believe that these come from God, for his good purpose, to be used by Him for his glory?
2) We will cause one another to ask, “How can I more fully use what I have been given, to glorify God and to build his kingdom?” …What if I don’t think I have anything to offer? How can I know what my “gifts” even are? What if all I have is pain? How can God use that?…
3) Finally, we will celebrate the ways that so many individuals…are already “using what they have” to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God. 
I have to admit, though I do hate injustice, it was the music that drew me to the concert in the first place. (I cannot overstate how much I love to listen to Sara Groves.) But as I sat and listened to the words of her songs and watched the videos depicting the plight of underprivileged children in Africa, forced laborers in India, and sex slaves in Asia, I was struck by how wonderful it was to see how these performers had “hit the ground running. At such a young age, they were already using the gifts and talents that God had given them to make a difference for Christ in the world. They were expressing their passion for justice, in this case, and actively living out the purposes that God had always had in mind for them.
I thought of my own sons and the potential that is daily being unlocked in them because they are not weighed down by trauma and dysfunction, as I had been at their age. And I thanked God that He had brought me through a healing journey so that, even now, He could continue to unfold my purpose in life.
Finding God’s Purpose for You Through Healing
Many of us are bogged down in the mire of our pasts, so much so that we can’t seem to move forward. We try to obey Paul’s exhortation in Philippians by pretending that the past doesn’t affect the present—but it’s not working. Living like this is like wading through a sea of molasses: every step forward takes so much energy that we have to stop thinking about where we are headed; we can only concern ourselves with how we will actually take our next steps.
I’ve heard it said that if your past is causing any negative reverberations in your life, then that makes it a problem in and of the present. It hasn’t been dealt with.
Finding healing through prayer counseling helps you deal with the past in a healthy and proper way. Working alongside a prayer counselor can help you face the hurtful memories of the past, allow the Lord to walk with you through traumatic memories, and start to receive His love, joy and peace in place of your pain. As your heart embraces God’s truth, and as you forgive and are forgiven by God, the past no longer has to negatively affect the present. It takes you out of the pattern of living in survival mode so you can start to open up to the natural passions that Father God has been placed in your heart.
Through the prayer counseling process, many people discover their God-given gifts and callings for the first time in their lives, and those who were already aware of their gifts experience an even greater freedom and anointing. As each of us is released into our true purpose in life, we find deep satisfaction in how God has designed us.
A clear PVC pipe is created for water to flow freely through it. But if it gets clogged with debris then the water cannot flow as intended. The more clogged it gets, the less freely the water can flow. Sometimes, water will get through a trickle at a time; sometimes, one-third or even half of the water can flow through. The real intent, though, is for one hundred percent of the water to flow through. And when water flows through a clear pipe, the eye is drawn to the water moving through it, not to the pipe itself.
Your heart is like that pipe. The life of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is that water. And the debris is the hurt, unforgiveness, and resulting sin that clogs your heart. When the Lord enters your life and sanitizes your pipe, not unlike spiritual Drano, His life starts to flow freely through you once again. When you are healed enough to have the life of God flowing through you, the eyes of others are drawn to God, not to the vessel, and He is glorified through you.
Our pipes may never be completely debris-free in our lives on earth, but the more we allow Him to unclog them, the more we can flow in His purposes for us, and bring glory to His name.
What Finding God’s Purpose for You Looks Like
In my experience, when my focus was no longer on my pain, I could take the time to focus on the “package,” as Arthur Burk of Sapphire Leadership Group calls it, that God gave me when I arrived on this earth. That includes my redemptive gift (the lens through which I see life), my specific and unique calling (the job assigned to me by God that only I can accomplish), my skills and talents (the ones that I have already developed and the ones that still need to be developed), and everything else that God has poured into me. I can concentrate on “unpacking” who I am and what I have been given to complete the singular purpose of glorifying God.
Are you focused on your pain, or on your purpose? Do you know how God wants to change the world through you? If so, are you actively pursuing your present and your future, or are you still stuck in the past?
If your past is preventing you from finding and living out your purpose, consider taking advantage of prayer counseling. Get your spiritual pipes unclogged and your spiritual pots cleaned so that you can function the way you were designed to function.
Now What? Resources for Finding God’s Purpose for You
You say, “I’ve had prayer counseling and I’m dealing with my past. Now what?”
A good first step is to find out what is your redemptive gift.
God has designed each one of us to look at and encounter life primarily through one of the seven spiritual or “redemptive gifts,” described in Romans 12. He intended for you to find rich fulfillment in life when you are walking in the righteous expression of your redemptive gift. An integral part of your birthright as a child of God is to be able to recognize, understand, and develop that gift. Take your proper place in the Body of Christ and become, as author Sandy Landry says, “alive with passion and purpose.”
The following resources are also an excellent tool to help you seek to understand God’s design for you.
Alive with Passion and Purpose by Sandy Landry
Designed for Fulfillment by Charles R. Wale, Jr.
Free to Be You by Elizabeth Gunter
Understanding Spiritual Gifts by Bill Gothard
“The Redemptive Gifts of Individuals” by Arthur Burk
“Developing Your Spirit” by Arthur Burk
Free audio downloads:
Introduction to The Redemptive Gifts of Individuals
Redemptive Gifts of Individuals – taught by Pastor Scott Harding of the Father’s House Church, Richmond VA
Teachings on Birthright by Arthur Burk on YouTube: Subscribe to Sapphire Leadership Group’s channel, then from their home page scroll down to Playlists and choose “Birthright.”
This topic is presented in the Understanding God’s Design For You course, which is one of FHI’s core curriculum courses. If you would like to have this teaching brought to your church or group as a seminar, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This topic will also be explored at FHI’s inaugural conference, Identity & Destiny, in October 2017. Early sign-up is now available for this event. Register now to receive discount pricing!