"Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and God saved them from their distress."
Prayer can be a grace-filled aid on your healing journey. It helps you to center when you are feeling overwhelmed by memories of abuse or by the stress of everyday triggers. It allows your body to relax so that your physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds may heal. Perhaps most importantly, it is a reminder that you are not on this journey alone. God is with you.
Here is a helpful prayer practice for anytime of day:
If you have just a few moments, bring your attention to your body. Feel your feet on the ground. Notice your breath. In and out. Breathe from your belly. In...and out. Take time to breathe, knowing you don't have to rush. In...and out. Choose a prayer phrase that brings you comfort or affirms your healing such as "The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want." or "God is with me. I feel safe." Say this prayer phrase ten times as you breath. Pray the first line as you breathe in. Pray the second line as you breathe out. When you are done, take notice of any gentle shifts in your body. Do you feel a little more relaxed, focused, or peaceful? Thank God for being with you and close your prayer with an "Amen" or "Blessed be."
"Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved."
-Jeremiah 17: 14
One's healing journey is a lifelong process. I often speak about "healing" with an "-ing." It is not about a one-time healing, but a lifetime of moments and seasons in which we grow and heal.
In this passage from Jeremiah, the author cries out in trust, "Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed." Sometimes we do have days, even minutes sometimes, when it seems something shifts, whether physically or emotionally. These moments, whether they happen over a few minutes or a few months or even a few years, are what make up our healing journey.
It can be easy to get worried that healing isn't happening...so this month, consider looking back over your life and remembering a time when you did experience healing: from an illness, a shift in perspective or a change in behavior. When you find yourself in despair, remember the moment of healing and trust it will happen again.
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Along the healing journey, consider talking with a trusted friend, family member, minister, or counselor. You are not alone. In moments of despair, remember to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800.273.8255 or go to your nearest emergency room.
If you need other support, consider calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network, or other resources that can be found here.