Pastors as Counselors

David Powlison, writing on the CCEF (Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation) blog, suggests that prayer is a great place to start biblical counseling.

Often I am asked, “Where should we start in bringing biblical counseling into our church?” I like to come at this question from an unusual angle—but one that builds directly on something that already happens in churches. I say, “Change the way you make prayer requests, and the way you pray for each other.” When prayer requests deal with matters of consequence, when we learn to pray for each other about the actual struggles of our souls, when prayer aligns with God’s deepest purposes, then we simultaneously are making a huge start at becoming alert, effective counselors. For example, the Bible’s prayers are rarely about health, travel mercies, finances, doing well on a test, finding a job, or the salvation of unsaved relatives. Of course, these are legitimate things to pray for, but they are a minor emphasis in Scripture. Even so, these topics typically dominate most church and small group prayer requests. They easily miss the real action of God’s dealings with his beloved people....

Read the rest here. It is excellent.

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