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Christian Counselling - George's mentors

I have gained insights from Christian counselors who laid the foundation upon which I built Life Transformation Therapy. Their key insight is listed here:

  • John and Paula Sandford Christian counselling insights into our dysfunctional personality patterns.

  • Leanne Payne - Testified that listening prayer and practicing the presence of God brings emotional healing within one or two sessions.

  • John Regier - Teaches that listening for God's truth - to a key question in counselling with couples - brings an emotional breakthrough.

  • Neil Anderson - Teaches a "truth encounter" approach - especially our identity in Christ - breaks the power of darkness.

  • Russ Parker - A breakthrough non-intrusive approach to using dreams in Christian counselling.

  •  Art Zielstra - Demonstrated the effectiveness of prayer counselling with live demos, videotape, and group exercises.

  • Ed Smith - Demonstrated that listenning to God's truth and dealing with core (mis)beliefs was the missing key to deeper healing and inner freedom.

Leanne Payne

Leanne Payne encouraged my use of listening prayer when I attended her Pastoral Ministry School near Detroit, Michigan, USA.  Leanne Payne is a C.S. Lewis scholar, author, founder of the Pastoral Care Ministry School - where her team teaches listening prayer therapy.  At this conference she testified that emotional difficulties cleared up in two or three sessions. 

    Leanne Payne - Listening Prayer

    Leanne Payne's writings provide a healthy foundation to Inner Healing and Listening Prayer. She has a strong emphasis on practicing the Presence of Christ. She helps discern distortions in church theology and was the first one to warn me against the so-called 'spiritual warfare' that involves 'binding' principalities and powers.

    Her book "Listening Prayer" is about learning to hear God's voice and how to keep a prayer journal.  In her teaching she points to the amazing power of God's truth to bring healing.  God's truth may be experienced in a personal way through listening prayer and inner healing is an outcome.

    Leanne Payne, of Pastoral Care Ministries, learned to practice the presence of God as the way toward healing. She says: "I was learning to see the invisible with the eyes of my heart, to hear the inaudible with the ears of my hears. In other words, I had come to rely on God's Healing Presence with His people." (The Healing Presence, page xv)

    Those who follow Leanne Payne develop deep confidence in God's faithfulness to speak to us when we ask Him to and we listen. God will speak in story and image when that is how we need to receive. God is faithful to heal and set us free when that is what we want and what we ask. Therapists who practice the listening process become skilled in finding ways to encounter the 'God Who Heals' in the way that is appropriate for each one.

    Christ-centered marital counsellor and prayer therapist resolves problems in your marriage at an inner healing retreat. Let God's Holy Spirit heal your life at inner freedom retreats. Learn self-help counseling prayers from our marriage counselor. See: Agape Christian Counselling, Toronto, Ontario.

    Practicing the Presence of Christ (not the demonic)

    In Leane's conferences and books the focus of prayer is Christ not demons, or evil. Many times the lesson is repeated: "Practice the Prescence of God."

    ON the other hand, Leanne Payne warned against unwise prayer practices that focus on and end up attracting demonic presence. For example, prayers of "spirituaol warfare, so called, that pretends to "bind" high level spiritual authorities, principalities, territorial spirits. Her advise is to avoid such inviting and practicing the presence of evil like the plague. See the book review in her latest newsletter re a misguided focus on the demonic.

    Her important warning finds support in John Paul Jackson's book: "Needless Casualties of War." 

    She says: "For the last three decades we in PCM have had to deal with the extraordinarily grievous effects that misguided practices of spiritual warfare have had upon Christian leaders, communities, and families, and most particularly upon children growing up in homes where an all-consuming focus on the demonic has crippled the formation of their minds and imaginations."

    "To see evangelical leaders such as C. Peter Wagner and others dress up these unscriptural ideas and methods in pseudo-technical language and then give to them a universal platform has been and continues to be for us among the gravest of concerns. (We need to) call for nothing less than a return to a Christian worldview, and to the wisdom and knowledge that come with the empowering of the Holy Spirit."

    In a small town near where I life, Orangeville, Ontario, the Christian book store does not carry Peter Wagner. The churches in town found disunity between them and in their churches when they used Peter's "spiritual warfare" models of prayer. Having backed off such practices they find things are better. If you believe in unity in the body of Christ in order to fulfill Christ's call on the church then do not employ "spiritual warfare" of the Peter wagner type.

    I have also found that intercessors that may a practice of "binding" territorial spirits will find failing business ventures, lost jobs and financial ruin. God's supply lines have become exposed and the supplies do not get through.


For Sessions with George, Retreats or Phone Counseling: counselling


(416) 234-1850 for local calls in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville or Brampton.

 1 (877) 854-3990 for long distance.

E-mail: e-mail G Hartwell


 www.HealMyLife.com (counselling) and www.HealMyLife.net (retreats)



Agnes Sanford - the Use of Imagination in Prayer

Agnes Sanford was my first mentor.  Just after the birth of my son, David, and just after I gave my life to God, I attended a prayer meeting in Red Deer, Alberta and sought prayer for David.  A lady prayer; assured me that he would be alright (he was) and directed my to by a book by Agnes Sanford so I, too, could learn to pray. This book was one of the Agnes Sanford's best known books - The Healing Light.

I also had the privilege of attending a mission of Agnes Sanford in Calgary (1975) - one of her final public appearances.  I purchased the audio tapes and was able to listen to these over the years.

Agnes Sanford was born in 1897, and is one of the Christians involved in the redicovery of healing in the twentieth century.  Her first book, The Healing Light, established her as a leading lay healer and minister within the Christian church.  Since its original 1947 publication, The Healing Light has sold over half a million copies.

Agnes Sanford has inspired many healing ministries including those of Francis MacNutt, Ruth Carter Stapleton and Jim Glennon.  She initiated Schools of Pastoral Care. that taught prayer to Christian ministers.

In her instructions as to how to pray Agnes Sanford taught the positive use of the imagination to focus faith and gives examples of how that works.  Ms. Sanford is also a pioneer voice in Christian prayer for inner healing and her discovery of this is outlined in The Healing Light. I credit Agnes Sanford with being the grandmother of the inner healing movement.

The Healing Light

In The Healing Light, Ms. Agnes Sanford outlines her experiences with the healing power of God. Ms. Sanford compares the power of God to the power of electricity -- "the whole universe is full of it, but only the amount of it that flows through...will work." In her down-to-earth, gentle style, Ms. Agnes Sanford explains how the love of God can become manifest in the most diverse manner. Her message is clear and scriptually sound. God can work through us if we only let Him.

Excerpts from The Healing Light are on the SpiritSite.com


John and Paula Sandford, Transformation of the Inner Man

Later, I began to study the works of John and Paula Sandford of Elijah House: Restoring the Christian Family, Transformation of the Inner Man and Healing the Wounded Spirit. I attended an early training course of theirs in Alberta (1980), courses they taught in Ontario and collaborated with them in arranging teaching tours in Ontario.
I am deeply immersed and well versed in the material of John and Paula Sandford, not only did I use their material in my professional practice but I also taught courses and, then, trained lay ministry teams at St. George the Martyr Anglican Church with Rev. Bill and Lynda Riesberry based on the above books. Along with Don Blair I produced study materials on each book on a chapter by chapter basis.


At this point I also have been influenced by training and perpectives from:


counselling, marriage and family therapy, retreats or phone counseling: counselling

(416) 234-1850 for local calls in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville or Brampton.
 1 (877) 854-3990 for long distance.

E-mail: e-mail G Hartwell

 www.HealMyLife.com (counselling) and www.HealMyLife.net (retreats)

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