Story by Reagan Scott
(SNR) - In the fall of 2014, Father William Holoubek led a video series with a small group of people at the John XXIII Center in Lincoln. This group would become the diocese’s first Unbound Prayer Team.
Now, the organization has been able to compile data from the past two years of the program, and see the impact that Unbound has had on the Diocese of Lincoln.
According to the ministry’s website, Unbound is an approach to deliverance and healing prayer, which was developed by Neal Lozano. This method of deliverance is rooted in the Gospel and focuses on five responses that release the Gospel in people’s hearts known in the book as the five keys.
The five keys are Repentance and Faith, Forgiveness, Renunciation, Authority and The Father’s Blessing. Together, these responses outline a way for participants to experience greater freedom from evil’s influence in their lives and go through a conversion experience.
Anyone interested in going through the program can read the first nine chapters of Lozano’s book “Unbound” and request to be prayed with using the five keys. In order to be prayed with, a person must have read the first nine chapters of Lozano’s book, watch the eight-week video series that covers the chapters or attend one of the two-day conferences that the Unbound team puts on at parishes.
The reason for this requirement according to Father Andrew Heaslip, the director of evangelization is to allow people the chance to prepare their hearts for Jesus and to dispel unreasonable concerns about deliverance prayer.
The two-day conferences, beginning on a Friday evening and going all day Saturday, consist of an hour and a half presentation, talks from people who have been involved in and have had experience with Unbound, and prayer sessions at the end.
So far, seven parishes have hosted these two-day events in Lincoln, Hastings and Seward. Of the 497 attendees at Unbound conferences, 398 of those individuals have been prayed with (about 80 percent), for an estimated total of 574 hours.
Both Father Heaslip and Matthew Simmons, the director of Unbound for the diocese were pleased by the results of their findings.
Simmons said, “I was excited to see concretely what’s been happening. I hear stories and see what happens in prayer sessions, but it’s good to have the statistics that show what’s really happening.”
Father Heaslip also saw the results as a tool for motivation for the Unbound team members, especially, he noted, because it can become easy for people to forget the impact that their work has when they do it day-to-day.
“The beautiful thing about Unbound is the Lord inspiring lay men and women to live out their baptismal role in the Church,” he said. We wanted to show the team members that they are carrying forward the work of evangelization.”
So far, they reported, 98 percent of the feedback that the group has received was positive, and word has even spread of the diocese’s team outside of Nebraska. Eight states: Missouri, Lousiana and Maryland to name a few, have contacted the diocese for information regarding Unbound.
However, it is the goal of Simmons and Father Heaslip to work on growing Unbound in the diocese.
“Two years from now,” Simmons said, “I would like to see a team in Hastings that is fully functioning like the Lincoln team. They are currently in formation to pray with others. I would also like to see another team further out west in the McCook Imperial area. This way the faithful across the diocese can have opportunities to find a greater freedom in Christ through Unbound prayer.”
For Father Heaslip, part of this future growth also means having more parishes know that Unbound is a resource that is available to them.
“I can see the work of God in a big way through Unbound, and our goal is to make it available to everyone in the diocese.”
For those who have read the first nine chapters of “Unbound” or have watched the video series, Father William Holoubek will offer a retreat at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House in Waverly Jan. 19-21.
“The retreat will be similar to the conferences as there will be several talks given by Father Holoubek and opportunities for prayer too,” Simmons said. “The retreat setting is different in that it’s the whole weekend and there is much opportunity for silence and space from the normal events of life.
“If you want to learn more about having a greater freedom in Christ, or want to be prayed with, come out,” he encouraged. “Father Holoubek does a fantastic job directing the retreat.”
For those who haven’t had any experience with Unbound yet, the next two-day conference will be held Feb. 2-3 at St. Joseph Parish in Beatrice.
Father Heaslip said, “We want deliverance prayer to be something that is normal in Christian life.”
For those looking for deliverance or spiritual conversion through prayer, the Lincoln Unbound Ministry team is doing everything they can to bring those resources to the people of the diocese.