This is book is a "Bible" almost on the healing of the soul. Payne sometimes give idealistic advice that seems a bit out of touch with the "real world." Here are a few minor problems: 1) Payne says that Christians should write out all their negative thought patterns, find out why they have them and what they are rooted in, and then exchange such thought patterns for the healing word that God is always sending. And then when you feel that pattern has been resolved through God's healing and help, ask God to show you the next pattern to work on, etc. Related to this, Payne also seems to make a panacea out of "listening prayer." Where in the Bible does it say that God is always sending out healing words? If he thinks of this storm-tossed part of his soul as his essential real self or spirit, rather than that wounded part of his soul that God is healing, then he will be unable to practice the Presence of God within. All else is raging around me and within me, but I can stand now, confident, and watch as God heals this part of me that is so wounded.'" Although this advice is well-meaning, for anyone who has struggled with serious depression or other serious emotional/mental issues, it seems simplistic. If your soul is seriously out of whack, and everything is raging within you and around you, practicing the Presence of God is probably the last thing you feel like doing, and you may simply be too weak to. You may also be having problems getting things from your "head" to your "heart." In fact, if you're wallowing in deep confusion, you may have difficulty believing that God is even there (or possibly that He even exists), and your conscious mind may already be strained to the breaking point, so the additional mental effort of "practicing the Presence" might actually make things worse. So, Payne uses "practicing the Presence" as a panacea almost, but in this kind of situation I'm not sure it's always that helpful. Better advice is found in an article from the Web: "If we are overwhelmed by depression or hopelessness or fear and we are unable to pray or read God's Word, we can ask the Holy Spirit to speak to someone to pray for us. The Lord knows that many times we are too weak to pray and that we need the body of Christ, the church. 'Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven' (Matthew 18:19)." 3) She states that healing of the soul is always about confessing sin and receiving forgiveness for sin. She states that binding and loosing does not refer to demons, which is correct, but rather to freeing people from the effects of sin, which is wrong. 7) She states that, when facing a difficult battle: "We invoke and practice the Presence of God and find that, 'Wherever Jesus is, the storms of life become a calm.'" This too is simplistic. Now, practicing the Presence of God is always good, but nowhere are we promised that it will lead to instant calm. For your average Christian, though, I would recommend the teaching CD "The Glory Light of Jesus Heals Your Soul" by Katie Souza. She even touches on a few things that Payne does not: 1) Souza states that focused times of praise and worship are a great avenue for the healing power of the Glory Light of Jesus. 2) She says that God will often give you a "target" wound that needs healing, usually from a dream (or vision). In fact, I wonder if this Light thing even works!' Instead, God will tell you, 'OK, let's focus on this wound first. Once we're done with that, then we'll take this one over here,' etc., because He knows the right order for you to be healed." 3) She says that it is perfectly fine to ask God for some sort of confirmation that a soul wound that you've been soaking in the Light has in fact been healed.
It's a book that would be of benefit to so many Christians--there's something in it for just about everyone. I'm not sure exactly what caused the split between the two, but afterward, Bergner and his book were persona non grata at Payne's PCM schools, even though he had taught there regularly for years.
Mrs. Payne has been active in the ministry of healing prayer for over thirty years.