Prayer Ministry Builds Personhood
One huge way Prayer Ministry can help people is in the discerning between healthy guilt and shame.
When we lived in the Dominican Republic, we had a horse that could take us up the mountain. My soul sang as we road the trail, seeing the wilderness along the way and the views of the city from above. We loved our horse and named her Hannah. It was a point of humor to many Dominicans that we named our horse. Animals were tools to them – something used for a purpose. Sometimes people are treated that way. Verbal, physical, and sexual abuse treat a person as if they were an object. Shame dwells here. This can cause real trouble for our maturing as Christians.
Healthy Guilt versus Shame
Violations are a part of life. We all have short comings; we all fail at something from time to time; we all have habits we struggle with. Life events are sometimes hurtful.
When we are struggling with feelings of shame and our boss yells at us at work, our car breaks down at the worst moment possible, or we suddenly find ourselves in a conflict with someone we care about, it can feel very anxious. Often we either react too strongly, move into silence and the cold shoulder, or we say something hasty or sarcastic.
The line between healthy guilt and shame can get blurry. When I live from a place of feeling loved and feeling like it is okay to be me, I can take violations on their face value. I can discern if my core values have been crossed and I can make any repair deemed necessary, whether that is to simply repent to God or go to someone and apologize. When I have issues of shame, a violation attacks who I am as a person – it touches my personhood. I then have feelings of shame, embarrassment, inferiority, and rejection. It’s not just that I did wrong or received a wrong, but these violations mean that I am wrong.
Prayer Ministry is very effective in helping us work through shame issues and learning not to run to rejection each time we fail or when life’s events throw us a curve ball. This then puts us into a learning relationship with life. Our core values get more defined and personal growth occurs.