[anzac] UNDOING CHURCH ABUSE - a true story

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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <revival4@...>
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2004 15:18:13 -0500
"UNDOING CHURCH ABUSE - My own Journey out."
-By Steven Corgan.

[An extract from his book - "The Deeds of the People Conquerors"]

In my own life I suffered a great deal of anguish, inner turmoil, and
depression from not knowing how to cope with the rejection and
misunderstanding I experienced after running head on into some
pretty powerful People Conquerors. By powerful I mean politically
powerful in the church world. I spent countless nights lying awake
grieving over lost friendships, lost support to our ministry, and
loneliness because of being shunned. I went over and over the
situations and events, looking for some explanation or rationale to
the irrationality of the People Conquerors. Often my first thoughts 
in the morning were a rehearsal of the previous night's grief.

In the midst of this despair a good friend, Cheryl Skid of Women
With A Vision, shared with me a prayer strategy that has worked
marvelously in bringing healing and leaving these last remnants of
abuse and codependence behind. Like so many great truths it's
something very simple that you may already know, but perhaps
have overlooked as I did.

I began to pray for and bless those who had abused, intimidated,
manipulated, misunderstood, wrongly judged or falsely accused
me. It was hard at first not to pray condescending judgmental
prayers like, "God, bless them in spite of how rotten, wicked and
unjust they were to me."  Accusing your abusers and reciting the
abuse before God doesn't help you or move you closer to wholeness.
Satan is called the accuser of the brethren, and in our prayers we
certainly don't want to agree with him.

Instead of focusing on my hurt and abuse I began to bless the 
abusers in my prayers, especially in the areas where we had conflict 
or that I knew were important to them or that they were looking to 
God for success in.

For instance, the pastor of a church we used to attend had spoken 
disparaginly of me both publicly and to other ministers, injuring
friendships and causing loss of financial support for our ministry.
I knew that this same pastor frequently had trouble sleeping at 
night.  He would often tell his congregation of the "devil's attacks."
At first I thought, "No wonder he doesn't have any peace.  He's so 
full of fear and insecurity.  Look how he treats people."  One night
I couldn't sleep.  I lay there rehearsing the injustices, hurts and 
offenses by this man when it occurred to me to pray for peace, rest
and sleep for him.  As I prayed, the storm in my own heart subsided
and the most divine peace came, allowing me to sleep soundly.

I knew this same pastor had many strengths and good qualities
that I had minimized, while at the same time maximising his 
obvious defects.  Remember when Jesus talked about judgement
and said that we should remove the beam from our own eye before
worrying about the speck in our brothers eye?  Often our brother's 
speck becomes a beam in our own eye.  In other words we maximize 
someone else's faults and minimize our own.  We like to look at 
ourselves through rose-colored glasses but we examine other's flaws
with a magnifying glass.  We focus on another person's defect (speck)
until it becomes magnified out of proportion.  In our own distorted
vision and perception the speck becomes a flaw (beam) even too
big for God to change.

I began to thank God for all of this pastor's strengths and good 
qualities and to pray for even more increase in those areas. I knew
that these things were gifts and blessings of God on his life, in 
spite of the other areas of insecurity, abuse and control that I had
experienced.  In just a few days the pain and frustration associated
with my bad experiences passed from my life, never to torment me
again.  And a few months later he sought me out to apologize and 
ask my forgiveness.  Not only did my prayers help him, but they
also worked a miraculous change in me.  I know now why Jesus
told us to bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate
us, and pray for them which despitefully use us. 

[- Book available from  http://www.richharvest.org ].