We heartily recommend Released to Soar, which concentrates on how to pray for inner healing, forgiveness, and deliverance. It is a practical guide, showing a prayer minister how to administer healing prayer. We hope that many counselors read Released to Soar and are encouraged to pray for inner healing.


Francis MacNutt, Ph.D., Christian Healing Ministries, Inc.


In the past decade, scientific research has given us a better understanding not only of the integral functioning of the most complex organ in our body, the brain, but also the interconnectedness of the psychological, spiritual, and physical aspects of our being. This book brings these components together, documenting the effect of prayer on two of the most prominent mental health disorders in our country and the world—depression and anxiety. . . .This book, then, is a must-read for anyone in need of emotional healing.


Harold G. Koenig, M.D.,Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Associate Professor of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center


I first encountered Peter and Eleanor Boelens when I was asked to teach their ministry team how to integrate their faith into their practice. . . . They listened and became enthusiastic about healing the many “messed up” people they were encountering. Their studies and experiences have culminated in this book that accurately, clearly, and persuasively describes the process of Christian healing and its effectiveness. I am blessed to have played a small role in their lives to bring about the development of their effective ministry, and the writing of this book. It is wonderfully well done.


William P. Wilson, M.D., Professor Emeritus at Duke University Medical Center, Distinguished Professor of Counseling, Carolina Evangelical Divinity School

Released to Soar

For ten years, physician Peter Boelens and his wife Eleanor have been practicing a new treatment for depression and anxiety-healing prayer that invites Christ into clients' painful memories. Clients still remember past hurtful events, but their pain is gone. Released to Soar describes the Boelens' healing prayer process, documents its effectiveness, and demonstrates its practice-for readers' personal use or to help others.


Over their lifetime, Dr. Peter and Eleanor Boelens have founded and worked in Christian medical ministries: a community health, church-planting program in postwar South Korea; Cary Christian Health Center in the delta of Mississippi; indigenous, worldwide community health ministries through the Luke Society; and Shalom Prayer, a psycho-spiritual healing prayer ministry. Released to Soar is their third book. The stories of their other ministries are told in Delta Doctor and Where Next, Lord? The Boelens divide their time between Mississippi and Michigan. Maureen Rank, author or coauthor of fourteen books, has assisted the Boelens with all three books about their ministries.


Book Excerpts

1. The wounds I’m describing aren’t physical; they are emotional injuries I now call wounds of the soul or psyche. They came from moments when the psyches of my patients were attacked, whether in childhood or as adults, and their souls were left raw and bleeding, in a way that was as palpable as if an attacker had grabbed a knife and stabbed them through the heart. These wounds now show themselves as depression, anxiety, relationship schisms, physical illnesses, and even suicidal intentions.


But along with discovering the existence and implications of these inner wounds, my wife Eleanor and I have also found a way to help, with a treatment intervention that a recently published medical study (see Medical Study in Released to Soar appendix) has found to be effective in 85 % of patients who received it. The treatment is . . . healing prayer.


2. Prayer? Certainly a great support alongside medical treatments, but prayer as the treatment? Before your skeptic-meter kicks into overdrive, as mine once would have, join me as we better understand the problem. Then let me share a little of our journey toward prayer as a treatment.


3. Though prayer and God’s healing are always mysterious, new discoveries in brain science support the wisdom of using a methodology like healing prayer to break free from long-standing emotional wounds. By changing your mind, you can change your brain. When your brain changes, your life changes. A brain change that leads to life change is what God does through healing prayer.


4. After a year, Jane reported: “The Four-Way Forgiveness Prayer got rid of my hurts. My faith is so much stronger now. I trust God with my life. I love to please Him, and focus on doing the works of Christ. My husband sees a difference, and I’m more patient with my children. I no longer gossip, and my eyes are open to those in hurt.” “My relationship is so much closer to God. He speaks through His word, answers my prayers, and has given me more faith.” “Now I’m a woman living for her purpose in God. We changed churches and have become very active, plus read the Bible and pray daily.” “And, I’ve lost 33 pounds!”


5. Beyond Release to Soaring - The intention of healing prayer isn’t just to take away wounds; it’s to add to our lives an experience of intimacy with God, others and ourselves. As clients confess their sins, unload their hurts and are healed of negative emotions, a new relationship with God emerges. They begin living intentionally in the presence of God, asking him daily, “What way do you want me to go? What thinking do you want me to have?” The experiential presence of God in their lives flows from them and touches others. The old is gone; the new has come.