What have you done with the painful things you’ve experienced in your past? How might they be influencing you today?
We may try to forget painful memories and move on but in that case the problem lives on deep inside us, affecting how we relate to God, others, and ourselves in ways that we may not realize. Anxiety, depression, addiction, and chronic relationship problems usually have roots in a history of being rejected, abused, or growing up in a dysfunctional family.
Common problems like insecurity, anxiety, self-condemnation, or chronic tiredness may also be related to wounds or conflicts of the past that we haven’t healed from. Even physical problems ranging from serious illnesses to common headaches may be caused in part by internalized stress and repressed emotion. How we respond to the painful situations of life is a BIG deal.
Inner Healing Prayer
Inner Healing Prayer is a way to invite the Spirit of Christ to minister to the inner parts of our person that have been damaged. Sometimes this is called “Healing of Memory Prayer,” but usually the problem is less about the memory and more about the wounded or conflicted personality. (What makes the memory especially important is that it gives us access to the inner wound or conflict and how our personality may have been malformed.)
Typically inner healing prayer is done in conversation with a counselor or other prayer minister who offers God’s compassion and discernment under the leading of the Holy Spirit. The key to benefiting from this process is opening your mind and heart to Jesus to allow him to enter into the memory or hurt place to minister his grace and truth. Many people experience significant breakthroughs into personal freedom or healing by connecting profoundly with Jesus through this kind of inner healing prayer.
(Here are some more Soul Shepherding articles on “Healing Prayer.”)
Another way that we have invited Jesus to heal our hearts and the hearts of people we minister to is through praying a Scripture passage contemplatively while remembering the painful event from the past. To pray contemplatively is to Be Still in God’s presence as you marinate yourself in the Word.
Drinking From the Psalm 46 “River That Makes Glad”
Psalm 46 is a wonderful tool for inner healing prayer. It is such a gift to us! It has some famous lines that are well-known by most earnest followers of Christ. But the real benefit comes when we meditate on the whole psalm, especially if we memorize it because that helps us to meditate further on it and makes it more profoundly available to us for personal prayer. If we take the words, insights, structure, and rhythms of Psalm 46 into our bodies and minds and then we open up our heart to God in a special time of prayer it is truly remarkable how God can use this psalm to bring us his healing!
1st Meditation: Listen for a Word
“There is a river that makes glad the city of God.” And it is here in Psalm 46!
Pray Psalm 46 s-l-o-w-l-y to help you drink from God’s living waters. As you do this, notice that there are three sections, each ending with a “Selah.” Selah means pause quietly to reflect and pray. Selah helps you to drink from the still waters of God’s love by hearing his Word to you. Selah helps you to be still and enjoy God’s presence.
As you read Psalm 46 now what word or phrase from Psalm 46 does the Holy Spirit especially impress upon your heart? Let this word come to life inside you…
2nd Meditation: Imagine the Scenes
Read and pray Psalm 46 again. This time use your imagination to picture the images and scenes of the Psalm. Notice the sharp contrasts between the distressing physical circumstances and the encouraging spiritual realities. Observe the differences between the government of people and that of God.
In Psalm 46 we see and feel frightening images of an earthquake, tidal wave, uproar amongst the nations, and war. Maybe you have been through fearful things in your past? Maybe you are experiencing conflict or great stress now?
As we already said, Psalm 46 offers us the river that makes glad the city of God. This is part of the Kingdom of God, the ultimate and eternal refuge and fortress for all who call on the Lord. Indeed, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.”
But when we go through suffering it may feel like God hasn’t been our refuge. When do we experience God’s help? We find that indeed God is our refuge when we look beyond our circumstances into spiritual reality and submit to his kingdom rule. What blessed peace is ours when we see and trust the invisible Kingdom of God in the midst of our visible world at war! Indeed, our personal anxieties and hurts can give way to God’s word of peace: “Be still and know that I am God.”
Try imagining the scenes of Psalm 46, especially the Kingdom of God, as you re-read it now…
To help you enter more deeply into the Selah rest of Psalm 46 contemplate just these three key verses that minister God’s presence and kingdom to us:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble… Selah…
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God… Selah…
Be still and know that I am God… Selah…
Now it’s time to recall a painful memory or struggle and invite Jesus to minister God’s healing power to you. Ask God to help you…
Imagine what happened. See yourself as a child or vulnerable person in that situation and deep inside of you today. (The child of your history may be the child in your heart today.) Feel your emotions and needs…
Consider that during that painful situation the risen Christ was present with you in Spirit, but probably this was in ways that you didn’t notice or appreciate. At that time you weren’t able or didn’t know how to put your confidence fully in the Lord and enter into the spiritual reality that God’s kingdom truly is your refuge. God is in the eternal now, where past, present, and future are one, so ask the Lord Jesus to come to you in this memory and show you how he was and is present for you…
Take as much time as you need to be quiet and still before the Lord. You’re offering your painful memory to God as if it were a movie screen. Look and listen for Jesus, paying attention to any images, thoughts, or sensations that he may bring into your awareness…
It may help you to calm your thoughts and keep your mind and heart open to God if you return to contemplating on one of the lines the from Psalm 46 (e.g., “God is our refuge… There is a river… Be still…”)…
Continue in God’s Healing
Inner healing prayer for a particular memory, wound, or conflict is an ongoing process that deepens with time. So it’s helpful to repeat this Psalm 46 meditation. Furthermore, to fully absorb and integrate into your personality God’s blessing you need to appreciate it. So make sure to give thanks to God for any ways that your Psalm 46 meditation has helped you to experience him as your “refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.”
The other way to further your healing from Christ through this Psalm 46 meditation and prayer is to talk to someone you trust about your experience.
Here is a very powerful prayer for Inner Healing. All of us have lot of negative experiences submerged in our unconscious mind. Only the Lord Almighty can free us from all those experiences. While you say this prayer, close your eyes and surrender to Lord all experiences you want to forget. The Almighty Lord will cleanse our thoughts with his precious blood and give us a new life.
Jesus, my healer and my Savior, I invite you to enter my heart and touch all those life experiences which need to be healed. Lord, you know me much better than I know myself. Lord, pour your love into my heart.
Jesus, come to the very moment when I was conceived in my mother’s womb. It may have been a moment of anger, rejection, revenge or a state of animality. Cleanse me Lord with your precious blood and wipe away all negative experiences.
Lord, all through the nine months and nine days in my mother’s womb, whatever negative experiences have come to me from my mother and now remains in my unconscious mind, wash it away in your precious blood and heal me.
Praise you Jesus. Thank you Jesus. Amen
Prayer for Inner Healing
When you are anxious and in a state of inner turmoil, your body’s systems interact in ways that are not good for your health. Conversely, when you’re in a state of inner peace, the body is in a calmed state. Your body functions well and good physical health is promoted. In order to achieve this inner peace, it’s important that you trust God in the process. If you are looking for inner healing, turn to this prayer:
Almighty and everlasting Lord, I come before You now in great need of Your mercy. You are the doctor and physician of my soul. I humbly ask You to send forth Your healing power into every area of my inner-woundedness. I surrender to You all areas of unforgiveness, especially those hurtful past events where anger and bitterness have been allowed to fester, causing harm to my physical health. By act of my free will, I choose to forgive everybody including the people who have hurt me the most. I release my desire to receive an apology, my need to be justified in my actions and my need for others to acknowledge the injustice. I surrender the entire debt of all my injuries into Your merciful hands. I denounce all forms of anger, bitterness and resentment, and command every evil spirit that has entered my body through the lack of forgiveness to leave now and go straight to the feet of my Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer for Comfort
God promises His people relief from all troubles in this life and in the next. Faithful people throughout the centuries witness to dramatic deliverance from sickness, financial woes and all manner of troubles. In times of discouragement and sorrow, we can turn to the Bible and prayer to be encouraged and consoled by the God of all comfort. If you are looking for comfort right now, turn to this prayer:
Dear God, some days feel too hard. I’m hurting, struggling, fighting fear and worry at every turn. But in the midst of it all, you haven’t left me to fend for myself. Forgive me for doubting You are there. Forgive me for thinking you’ve forgotten. Forgive me for believing that I somehow know the better way. You are fully trustworthy. You are all powerful. You are able. You are Lord over every situation no matter how difficult it may seem. You are Healer and will never waste the grief I carry today. Anything is possible with You. I pray not only for my own grief, but also for those who grieve today. I ask for Your comfort to surround those who weep. I pray for the peace of Your presence to cover our minds and thoughts, as you remind us, the enemy can never steal us out of Your hands. Amen.
Prayer to Heal a Friend
When we have friends who are ill, the first thing we want to do is help to ease their suffering, but it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s important that we pray for their deliverance and recognize that there is no healing that is too hard for the Lord, if it be His will. If you are praying for the healing of a friend, turn to this prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you that You love us. I know that You hate what this illness is doing to my loved one. I ask, in the name of Jesus, that You would heal this disease, that You would have compassion and bring healing from all sickness. Help me to trust in You. Amen.
Prayer to Mend What Is Broken
When you allow God to heal your broken heart, amazing things happen. Instead of wallowing in hatred and being better, stop focusing on the bad memories and tell yourself it was all for the best and that it was a great learning lesson. If you are looking to mend what is broken, turn to this prayer:
Heavenly Father, I call on You right now in a special way. It is through Your power that I was created. Every breath I take, every morning I wake and every moment of every hour, I live under Your power. Father, I ask You now to touch me with that same power. For if You created me from nothing, You can certain recreate me. Mend what is broken. Let the warmth of Your healing love pass through my body to make new any unhealthy areas so that my body will function the way You created it to function. Restore me to full health in mind and body so that I may serve You the rest of my life. Amen.
While doctors and medicine are a gift of God and He certainly uses them to bring healing – His power is infinitely greater than any human wisdom or prescription. If you or someone you know is suffering from a disease, illness, injury or emotional distress, remember that God is with you. The Holy Spirit is readily available to help us in every situation.
PRAYER FOR INNER HEALING
Lord Jesus, You came to heal our wounded and troubled hearts. I beg You to heal the torments that cause anxiety in my heart; I beg You, in a particular way, to heal all who are the cause of sin.
I beg You to come into my life and heal me of the psychological harms that struck me in my early years and form the injuries that they caused throughout my life. Lord Jesus, You know my burdens. I lay them all on Your Good Shepherd’s Heart.
I beseech You — by the merits of the great, open wound in Your heart — to heal the small wounds that are in mine. Heal the pain of my memories, so that nothing that has happened to me will cause me to remain in pain and anguish, filled with anxiety.
Heal, O Lord, all those wounds that have been the cause of all the evil that is rooted in my life. I want to forgive all those who have offended me. Look to those inner sores that make me unable to forgive. You Who came to forgive the afflicted of heart, please, heal my own heart.
Heal, my Lord Jesus, those intimate wounds that cause me physical illness. I offer You my heart.
Accept it, Lord, purify it, and give me the sentiments of Your Divine Heart. Help me to be meek and humble.
Heal me, O Lord, from the pain caused by the death of my loved ones, which is oppressing me.
Grant me to regain peace and joy in the knowledge that You are the Resurrection and the Life. Make me an authentic witness to Your Resurrection, Your victory over sin and death, Your living presence among us. Amen.”