Take Words With You
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True Biblical counseling is a lot more than just telling a person what they ought to do, based on the Scriptures. It involves ministering to them in order to release God's grace in their lives so that they can change. And the heart of such ministry is Holy Spirit-led prayer.

There are many ways a Biblical counselor may pray with the person they're ministering to. One way involves leading them in prayer--giving them words to take to God--words of confession, repentance, surrender, and release--words by which they can open up their life to God's cleansing and healing presence.

A picture of this kind of prayer is found in Hosea chapter 14. There, the prophet instructs God's people to take words with them and go to God. And he specifically gives them the words to say:

Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him, "Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously, that we may present the fruit of our lips (Hosea 14:1-2 NASV).

Then Hosea leads Israel to repent of their rebellion, independence, and idolatry, and to turn to God's mercy. In response to their prayers, God replies with healing, mercy, and grace. He says:

I will heal their apostasy [or backsliding], I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily. And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon (Hosea 14:4-5 NASV).

Such an outpouring of God's healing grace should be the goal of all true Biblical counseling.

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