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…

Contemplate

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…

Healing Prayer

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.


28 responses to “Inner Healing Prayer with Psalm 46

    • Dear Chantal, I’m praying for you today for healing from the oppression you are feeling. Lord, I ask that you will bring an ambassador of You that will come alongside of Chantal that you will use to bring peace, comfort and freedom to her heart, spirit and soul.

  • Thank you for this, truly I need it. I feel so broken by my current storm I’m going through and I pray that this will be my umbrella through the storm. it hurts so so much I feel numb and I do not want this current situation to pull me away from God but rather pull me closer to Him.

    • Roxy, thank you for sharing your heart and I’m lifting you up in prayer today that our Lord will comfort, hold you close to Him and show you that He is your mighty fortress and strong tower.

  • I’m dealing with so many bad memories that led me to drug and alcohol addiction. Please come into my life dear Lord and rescue me from my nightmares.

    • Dear Candy, I am sad that you are dealing with these bad memories. The Lord does want to bring freedom to your life! When I read your comment the article that came to mind that you may find helpful is Healing Prayer for Harmful Images. It includes a Visualization Prayer Exercise to help free you from harmful images. Please get in touch with me here if you would like for me to send you any further resources. Lord, I ask that you will be with Candy today and show her that you are her hope for her future and you can bring peace in her day as well as her night. In Jesus name, Michael Ann

  • This is amazing I have some wounds in my heart following my past memories and I seriously need i need inner healing. Be blessed this is just great.

    • Josephine, we are grateful and blessed that you have been ministered to through this article. I pray our Lord will continue to bring his love, grace and freedom into your life. God bless you today! Michael Ann

  • my childhood was full of molestation, i married my first love, and was pregnant, he came from a background filled with disfunction, rejection and abuse, he had no father role model, and his mom rejected him, we both have been unfaithful to each other, now after 28 years of marriage i confessed my affair which happened in 1997 then continued in 2003, as a believer, he is struggling to forgive me, i have repented, he had 4 affairs, i am willing to forgive him, how do we help him to get past the betrayal. hes struggling with this, shirley

    • Dear Shirley, Thank you for sharing some of your struggle and I pray the Lord will intervene and guide the both of you to an ambassador of Jesus that the Lord will use to bring healing into your lives and into your marriage. You may benefit from Bill Gaultiere’s article “How Can I Improve My Marriage?” Please contact me here if you would like further resources.

    • Dear Naa, I hope that this article your friend shared with you has ministered to you. I’m sad that you are feeling broken and scattered and my prayer is that the Lord will guide you to an ambassador of Him who He will use to bring healing into your life. You may find this article helpful to you, “Good Grief: A Process of Emotional Healing” If you would like further resources, please contact me here. Lifting you up in prayer today. In Jesus name, Michael Ann

  • I need prayer I had 3 mini strokes cuz of my stress and anxiety I can’t stop thinking of my pass and my marriage is a disaster

  • Have family member with cancer and HiV very tortured w guilt over past mustakes on antidepressants and high anxiety praying for him every day under a lot of stress also have an elderly suck mother

    • Dear Lord, I pray along with Linda for her family member who has cancer and HIV. I lift them up today to you in prayer and ask that your healing presence will surround them and bring peace to their body and also to their soul and emotions. I pray that you will show them the love you have for them and that you offer grace and forgiveness to all who ask. We lift up to you also Linda’s elderly mother who is ill and pray your peace and love will rest on her today and always. That she will feel your presence and peace and bring your healing into her life. In Jesus name, Amen. Linda, you may want to share one or more of these articles on Healing Prayer and help with Stress and Anxiety. God bless your heart today, Michael Ann

  • Comment… um getting sick because of my marriage problems and now it seems like no one like i am always with my child only this real kills me

  • I am a sinner and I am repenting but finding no peace. My Parish Priest led me to healing of memories. I find this helpful.

  • Thank you for this encouraging words I just lost my brother at age 43 he had a massive heart attack on Dec 11,2016 never came out of hospital but I know God gave him a MIRCLE in heavens a new body. I’m trying to make peace of my inner self only God can heal me.

  • Am dealing with a breakup. my girlfriend broke up with me 1.5 months ago. This has thrown me into some indescribable state.. anxiety, some form of depression etc. I have tried reconciling but she won’t take it. Please guys pray for me and her that she softens her heart.

    • Dear Matt, I am sad that you are going through this and understand the emotions and pain you feeling. If you have not listened to Bill and Kristi’s podcasts they may be beneficial for you as you grieve this loss. Dear Heavenly Father, I ask that you will minister to Matt’s heart today and the pain of the loss he is feeling. I pray Lord that he will find a place near you to find his rest and peace and you will minister to his heart. In Jesus name. Amen.

  • Hi. I was verbally, physically and psychological abused by my family since I was (3yesr- 35). when I see abused creature I cried and feel weak and remember my family beating and assault. how can I pray to forget this. thanks and God bless.

    • Dear Haifa, I’m sad that you went through abuse as a child and those triggered memories are bringing you pain. Continue praying using this prayer and also you may find this article helpful, Healing Prayer for Harmful Images. If you would like further resources please contact us here. Praying the Lord will lead you to an ambassador of Him to bring healing to you.

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