‘Sozo Prayer and Deliverance’ is Spreading Around the World, But is it Safe for Christians?

There’s a prayer and deliverance ministry that you may or may not have heard of. It’s called Sozo. And many churches worldwide have implemented it to help Christians experience inner healing and ultimately draw closer to God.

But the reactions have been mixed.

While some have wholly embraced it and testified to how much it has changed their lives, others have denounced it as unbiblical and warned Christians to stay away.

So what is Sozo?

The Sozo ministry or Sozo prayer started in Redding, California, in 1997 by Bethel Church — a nondenominational charismatic megachurch. The idea was inspired after a healing evangelist, Randy Clark, held a prayer training at the church.

“Sozo” is a Greek word that the ministry’s founders, Dawna DeSilva and Teresa Liebscher, two leaders at Bethel, say is found in the New Testament 110 times. Strong’s Concordance translates the word as “to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue.” Liebscher defines it specifically as “to be made whole.”

The Gospel of Matthew is the first time the word Sozo is used in the New Testament when the angel Gabriel tells Mary that she will have a child who is to be named Jesus. “He will save His people from their sins,” Matthew 1:21 states. Sozo is translated into the word “save” in this passage.

The Bethel Sozo website describes Sozo ministry as “a unique inner healing and deliverance ministry aimed to get to the root of things hindering your personal connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

Co-leader Liebscher describes “the Sozo ministry” as a place one goes to uncover wounds or lies and their roots.

“Sozo is not counseling, it is not a prayer ministry, it is a team of people going in helping you make that connection with the Godhead and thus have a place to go to deal with all the issues and crises that will happen with you,” Liebscher shares in a promotional video of the experience. “It is also a deliverance ministry, because once you go in and heal the wounds and lies, heal the reasons why the demonic thinks it has legal access, the demonic has to leave, and that’s in essence what deliverance is.”

Churches that have a Sozo ministry have leaders who are trained by Bethel’s team. Training typically lasts two to four days.

What happens during a Sozo?

Assemblies of God Pastor Paula Noble, wife of Pastor Jason Noble, the subject behind the new blockbuster hit film “Breakthrough,” is a big fan of the Sozo prayer and has used the method in her ministry throughout the years. She told The Christian Post that she initially started the practice because of how it personally affected her own life.

When conducting an inner healing session, Noble and her team arrive early to prepare their “hearts and really surrender” themselves to hearing God. After the appointment is set up, the person seeking inner healing meets with no less than two leaders, one who leads the Sozo prayer and another who records what God says throughout the meeting.

“In a session of inner healing, there’s the leader of the session and then there is a second person. What they’re doing is they’re writing down all of the good stuff that Jesus said to that person during this session, so they have a written account to take with them. It’s not a written account that we keep for any reason. We write it down so they have it to take with them when they leave the room,” she told CP.

“We get there, we pray, and then when the person comes we just kind of explain what’s going to happen and get it started,” Noble shared. “I always have the person keep their eyes closed during the times so that they’re not looking at me. I want them to keep their eyes closed so they can clearly hear what Jesus is saying to them, in the way that He communicates stuff to them, and everyone is different. Some people see pictures, some people have the word come to their mind. It’s just so different how everyone communicates with Jesus, but everyone can communicate with Jesus. They keep their eyes closed so that they don’t feel like they’re talking to me, I want them talking to Jesus.”

Noble would then proceed to explain to the subject or sozoee what will take place during the session.

“‘I’m going to give you questions and it’s really important for you to communicate to me what He (God) says to you because He’s not talking to me, He’s talking to you about this, so I want to know where He’s going with you,’” she illustrated. “We do a lot of asking questions and hearing what He has to say about those specific things. Based on what they are hearing from Him, gives me an idea of where He’s going with them. Sometimes it’s quick and easy and sometimes it’s longer.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law