"When working with individuals, our goal is to listen, love and pray," says Eleanor Boelens. "We take a written history, delving particularly into their early relationships with parents or other care-givers, making notes of key information."
"Each of us has been damaged emotionally in some way in early childhood and/or during our development into adulthood," Dr. Peter Boelens explains. "Some of these hurts are severe, such as abuse, and others are minor, such as damaging words spoken in ignorance or in anger. Each can have a profound effect on how we function or malfunction as adults."
After a person approaches the Boelens to seek healing prayer, his/her first step is to understand what needs healing. They use Proverbs 20:27 which says, "The lamp of the Lord searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his innermost being." They spend time in prayer, asking God to reveal the wounds in that person’s life. "God stands ready and eager to cooperate with us in bringing us to a new wholeness in Him," Dr. Boelens says. "The result of God’s work is not only freedom from these hurts but also spiritual renewal."
The Boelens assure the person that Jesus knows about their victimization, that He experienced it firsthand, and that He wants to restore their spirit, soul and body from these traumas. "We are sure that God wants to do this because He chose us, adopted us, redeemed us, and sealed us with His Spirit," Dr. Boelens explains. "The Apostle Paul makes certain we understand why by repeating it three times, ‘for the praise of His glory.’"
Nearly all of the Boelens’ clients receive some help from the prayer sessions. "The vast majority who really want to change realize complete healing from wounds they have lived with most of their lives and discover a new intimacy with ‘the Trinity’ as one lady put it," explains Eleanor. If they have a cooperative attitude, pray select scriptures daily, focus on Jesus instead of their problems, ask for and follow His guidance, release new wounds to Him, continue to forgive others, etc, then they remain close to the Lord and experience His love, joy and peace in their lives."
Most people have misconceptions about the Boelens’ work. "Those who hear of our work outside of the clients’ first-hand reports don’t understand what it is since they have had no exposure to these types of prayers," Eleanor says. They speculate that many associate their healing prayer with the televised events. "It becomes very difficult to explain to them what healing prayer is about and how it functions in a concise, understandable way. The reason for this is the fact that these prayers are outside of most individuals’ life experience."
Four things have stood out since the Boelens began their ministry.
1. The Holy Spirit is at work today in the same way He was at work in the New Testament church.
2. The gifts of the Spirit are at work in believers today.
3. Jesus is eager to provide healing and wholeness to the souls (psyche) of those that desire it.
4. Through prayer and meditation, the functioning of our brain can be changed. People can come out of anxiety, panic attacks and depression into peace and spiritual renewal as exhibited in a heightened intimacy with God.
Teaching healing prayer has taught Eleanor Boelens many things personally. "Once you learn how to center yourself on God and experience intimacy with Him, you can connect with Him in an instant and many times a day if you choose. That’s how you can ‘pray continually,’" she says. "Your trust factor goes way up because the verses you read all through scripture about God’s love, His peace, His joy, are so true in your own experience. Most of my life I believed it because the Bible said it, but I didn’t really experience it for myself. The wonderful thing is, our clients do too."
As Dr. Peter and Eleanor Boelens experienced the healing power of God in the lives of their prayer clients, they began an internet search for research in the areas of health, religion and spirituality. "We were interested in documenting the effects of these prayers in the lives of our clients," Dr. Boelens explains. The internet search turned up Dr. Harold Koenig, director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University. "He offered a training session for this type of research, which I attended, and so our study began."
Eleanor runs the study sessions on her own, which she was fearful of at first. "It was then that God gave me Isaiah 50:4 and 7 in the NLT," she says. "I prayed those verses as His direct words to me, and it gave me the courage I needed. God is so awesome. He continues to show up in our sessions, healing in amazing ways, never two alike."