Chapter 4





Inner Healing Through Self-Travail


Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth.                                           Isaiah 21:3


Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.        Romans 8:26


Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4


Through travailing prayer we can powerfully intercede for the unsaved, for Christians, for government leaders, or even for entire nations. Such intercession involves spiritual warfare and the birthing of miracles. Self-travail, the travailing for one’s own rejection, hurts, sins or other needs, is the key to rapid, life-transforming inner healing and deliverance — the work of inner sanctification. Such travail is not a cry of self-pity, but an opening of inner wounds to let the poisons of abuse, bitterness and rejection out so that we can be set free and be healed.

Both travail and self-travail include sobbing (with or without tears), groanings, loud crying (even crying out in anointed screams at times), and deep holy laughter. It usually comes upon Christians by the Holy Spirit when He chooses. However, the Holy Spirit wants us, by faith, to cooperate with Him and allow Him to bring travail and self-travail upon us with great frequency.

The great Azusa Street revival of 1906 in Los Angeles was the beginning of the outpouring of the Pentecostal experience in America — the experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in other tongues. For the next fifty years or so, the inner work of sanctification was emphasized among Spirit-filled people. In church meetings and home prayer meetings, long periods were given to weeping in repentance for uncleanness, bad attitudes and other sins, both before and after being filled with the Holy Spirit. During this time of weeping, an important form of self-travail, much inner healing and cleansing took place. The result was dramatically changed lives and the manifestation of great holiness and miracle-working power. We clearly need more of this today.

Sister Edith Ward Heflin, a pioneer of faith, described to us how her husband, Wallace, Sr., would lie on the floor by his bed, crying out in loud, agonizing travail for souls. Since then, I have often heard other individuals cry out in this way when they were in deep travail for the salvation of others. I have also read of many sinners, in the revivals of George Whitefield, Charles Finney and others, crying out under the conviction of sin. Travail and self-travail is a ministry of the Holy Ghost, and it produces miracles in people’s lives.


Sue: Only a Miracle From God
Could Mend Her Life


Sue’s mother didn’t want her, and her abusive, alcoholic father was seldom home. From childhood she had been burning with resentment toward her parents. She hated men and trusted no one.

She was injured in a dreadful auto accident at the age of fifteen, and since then no one could even lightly touch her back. As a result, she was unable to participate in most sports, and had only a limited social life.

Sue attended our revival meeting in Australia. She limped forward for prayer, hoping God would heal her aching back. The Lord revealed to me, through the word of knowledge, that unforgiveness and bitterness from her painful childhood rejection and hurts were blocking her physical healing.

As Pattie and I ministered to Sue, words of knowledge came forth from the Lord, touching her heart deeply. The electrifying power of God went through her. She crumpled into a heap on the floor, God’s operating table, and for about forty-five minutes, she remained there travailing (sobbing) for herself in the Spirit. Fortunately, she stayed there until God’s spiritual and physical operation was finished.

When Sue got up from the floor, she was a new person. A smile and the glory of God lit up her face, replacing the painful and weary look she had borne much too long. She had forgiven her mom and dad, and the resentment was now replaced by a love for them.

Not a bit of the back pain remained. The Holy Spirit had healed both her spiritual ailments and her physical ailments. She could now look forward to a new life — sports, marriage and children. Even more importantly, she had a new, intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Many of us are just as crippled as Sue was. If this has been true of your life, through inner healing you too can be healed and set free to fulfill God’s plans and purposes for your life.


Dorothy: Set Free to Love and Be Loved


At the age of about twenty, Dorothy was viciously raped. During the thirty years that ensued, this tragedy destroyed two marriages and damaged her relationships with her children and friends. It filled Dorothy with bitterness, rage and shame. Her life was shipwrecked.

When Dorothy cautiously approached me at the end of my morning teaching session at a Pentecostal campmeeting, she related the torment and the shame she had been carrying for years. She whispered to me, “Can you help me? I am desperate. I can’t go on living like this.”

I replied, “Yes, Dorothy, I can if you will do what I tell you.” Then I asked her, “Do you trust the Lord to work through me?”

She quickly answered, “Yes.”

I continued, “Then raise your hands, and when I touch your head, I want you to do something that may seem strange, and even unspiritual. I want you to begin laughing at the tragedy of having been raped!” In the very next chapter, we will deal with the healing power to be found in holy laughter. It is awesome. I was sure that within a few seconds holy laughter could produce a deep emotional healing within this woman.

Dorothy was a little stunned by my very unusual spiritual advice, but in childlike simplicity, she agreed to give it a try. When I touched her head, she forced herself to begin laughing at this horror in her life. Then the anointing of holy laughter came heavily upon her. After a while the laughter changed to sobs from deep within her being. The sobbing, sometimes mixed with the laughter, continued for about thirty minutes.

Before we had begun praying, Dorothy had been unable to forgive the rapist and unable to accept herself. The bitterness, unforgiveness, fears and shame within her disappeared. At last she was free from the pain and shame of that terrible experience of thirty years before. She was free to lead a normal life — to love and to be loved.

Like Dorothy, many of us need inner healing to be set free from crippling hurts within. Jesus has made provision for your healing. Self-travail is the key.


Tim: Hundreds of Prayers But No Results!


“I’ve had hundreds of people pray about my back over a fifteen-year period,” declared Tim, “and this is the first healing I’ve had in all that time. My back is completely healed. I have no more pain. I am seeing fruit in many other areas of my life as well.”

Like many other men, Tim had been filled with rage and suppressed emotions due to painful emotional scars inflicted by his father in his childhood. I encouraged him to cooperate with the Holy Spirit by shouting in tongues for the release of his emotions, and of the rage he felt inside. He did this and was then able to open up to holy laughter. This, in turn, triggered a deep sobbing within him.

After we ministered to Tim on several different occasions, he was able to forgive and release his inner rage toward his father and toward others. As each stage of inner healing progressed, his back improved, until it had been totally healed. A new peace and joy came into his life, and he fell in love with his wife again. In every sense of the word, Tim was a new person, all because he learned to travail before God for the emotional pain in his life.




In the following chapters we will see many others, like Sue, Dorothy and Tim, who were all set free from deep emotional wounds through self-travail, God’s dynamic inner healing tool. After applying these simple principles they were able to become the loving, joyous persons God had created them to be — free to love and be loved — to be givers and not takers. Each of them testified to walking in a new closeness with the Lord Jesus.

You, too, can be released from your hurts and pains from the past, and can become an instrument for setting others free. You can become the person God created you to be. Jesus wants to free you to be able to give and receive love and to enjoy greatly improved relationships with family members, friends and co-workers, and with God Himself.

Try it now. Laugh and Cry Your Way to Freedom and be Changed Into His Image Through Inner Healing.