I was once asked to pray with and for someone who had just ended a relationship in which she had been abused. She felt that her body had somehow been “contaminated” and was no longer hers. When we met to pray I used part of psalm 139 and a prayer I had written based on that psalm. I offer it here in case anyone else might find it helpful.
O Lord, you have searched me out and known me;
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You mark out my journeys and my resting place
and are acquainted with all my ways.
You encompass me behind and before
and lay your hand upon me.
For you yourself created my inmost parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
marvellous are your works, my soul knows well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was made in secret
and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my form, as yet unfinished;
already in your book were all my members written,
As day by day they were fashioned
when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139 vv 1; 2; 4; 12-16
Prayer for healing after physical or sexual abuse
* Heavenly Father,
we thank you for your intimate and loving knowledge
of who we are and how we are made.
In Jesus you know the damage that can be done
to our bodies, our minds and our spirits
when we are mistreated by others.
You know what it is to be humiliated, shamed and forsaken.
We bring to you our whole selves: body, mind and spirit.
We pray that
where there is hurt you will heal us;
where we are broken you will make us whole;
where there is shame and self-loathing
you will restore dignity, self acceptance
and a knowledge of ourselves
as your beloved children;
Where there is loneliness and isolation
pour out your Holy Spirit to make known to us
your loving presence in our lives.
We thank you that we are wonderfully made
and we ask you to restore in us
unity of body, mind and spirit
within the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
* Addressing God as “Father” can be off-putting and unhelpful to some so we might want to use other words e.g. “Loving God ….”