PTSD affects our bodies and our souls, so we should treat both sides of the trauma wounds. Along with proper medical care, I am a strong advocate for the spiritual care of PTSD. Part of this spiritual care is nourishing our souls through prayer. We should pray for those afflicted by PTSD and those who care for them. A husband should pray for his PTSD afflicted wife. A parent for a child, anyone who cares about anyone else with PTSD should pray for them and themselves. In prayer we all can heal, body and soul.
But, if you don’t know how to pray, then what? Well, welcome to the deep end of the pool! No time like the present! In the previous post I spoke to the question, Is there hope for someone with PTSD? Yes! There is! When I visit with trauma survivors or their families, I am sometimes told that they would pray if they knew how. Prayer nourishes our souls and the souls of those who are afflicted with PTSD. It is a win-win activity.
Below I have offered three prayers that you can use.
First, something short to be said at any time you think of the person you love.
Lord God, Protect (Insert Name Here). Amen.
Second, something a touch more developed.
Please restore (Insert Name Here).
I miss him/her.
Please protect us all from PTSD
and thank you for the gift of our lives.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
If you are troubled by the name of “Jesus” then place the phrase “In the name of the divine I pray,” in its stead.
The point here is not to turn all of my readers into Catholics, but to ask the eternal Truth and Reality that is God to restore and protect us from PTSD.
Third, something a bit longer still.
Lord God, Creator of All Things,
Thank you for life and love
Please restore (Insert Name Here) to health.
Please heal his/her memories
Return his/her identity to renewal and love
Return our trust
Return our forgiveness
Cleanse our hearts, resuscitate our spirits
Give us courage to love one another as you love us
When others see our wounds,
let them know compassion and not denial or scorn
Enable us to carry one another’s burdens,
Burdens of mind, spirit, body, and soul
When I am burdened with my wounds,
Lead me to accept the help of others
In seeing suffering, let me learn compassion,
So as to better help those in need
And to further heal myself.
I love/care for (Insert Name Here),
Help my love to heal him/her
To be a light out of the dark valleys
And out of the bitterest memories
Just as your Love continually lights our paths
and heals our souls.
Restore us all to Life and Love in You.
For the renewal of (Insert Name Here)’s soul
And the healing of our relationships,
I pray in the name of Christ Jesus my Lord.
One can also pray the Our Father or the Hail Mary and have the intention that it benefit the well-being of someone you care for. This too, helps those afflicted with PTSD.
Whenever possible, refer to the person by name in the prayer. If you have a picture or mental image of them, that too is beneficial. You can think of names and images as trying to get just the right frequency on the radio dial. It helps us focus, or dial in our intention to help the person for whom we are praying.
There is much to be said about prayer. It helps both the person we pray for and it helps us. The more we risk praying, the more we risk becoming ever more authentic human beings.
Prayer is like a muscle. Just as a marathon runner trains for his events, so does a spiritual athlete prepare for her events. We should pray as a serious athletes trains.
Sometimes I simply pray to learn better patience with myself and others. PTSD certainly provides my spirit numerous opportunities to learn patience. I am grateful for those who are patient with me, whether it is due to my PTSD or not.
PTSD, as awful as it is, allows us the opportunity to learn and live compassion. It allows us to find out who we really are as we recover our own identities and discover who we are. Prayer is part of this process of discovery.
Feel free to offer your own prayers in the comments section.
Semper Pax, Dr. Z