I couldn’t get the event out of my mind. It had happened more than five decades ago, but for two days as I drove to and from a Pure Freedom conference about sexual purity, this memory dogged me.
I kept thinking–it’s such a small event. Why do I keep replaying it in my head? It was like a brick that I’d carried with me since childhood and just couldn’t throw away.
When I was a child, an older boy chased me across my front yard, a neighbor boy egging him on. When the older boy caught up with me, he touched me inappropriately and boasted as the other boy laughed.
I can’t remember ever feeling fear as I had that day.
But then I got away–into the safety of my home. Over. Done. No harm. Right?
So why did it keep coming back to my mind?
The afternoon of the second day of the conference brought a time of prayer. Truth Prayer time.
Truth Prayer involves asking God to show you which emotion you’re experiencing that He wants to deal with. When you identify the emotion, you look back to the incident when you first felt it.
You find that the disturbing or traumatic incident caused a wound that you carried with you. An influence in your life that marred other places throughout your journey.
You move from the emotion to the memory to the lies that you believed because of the memory. Those lies are the basis for the ruts you’ve experienced in your life journey. From there, you move to forgiveness. And from forgiveness to a breaking of the soul ties formed because of the lies and experiences–because of relationships–good or bad–healthy or unhealthy.
Next is a renouncing of the strongholds Satan has built in your life.
Lastly, you replace the lies you believed with truth you can carry into your future–hence the name Truth Prayer.
I didn’t leave the conference with any great feeling of change. But the event in my yard with the boys stopped coming to my mind.
It might sound a bit hokey or a little too mystical. And a secularist might discount any healing of a haunting emotion as the simple therapeutic process of having talked it out.
But if a traumatic event or a bad life choice has created ties that pinch years later or led to a series of bad decisions producing even more pain, such a talking out would provide only temporary relief.
The ties and strongholds would remain in place. And they would literally come back to haunt you.
Such views–dismissal as hokey or too mystical or just therapeutic–deny the power of the Holy Spirit to heal us through prayer and the holy communion of fellowship–the bearing of one another’s burdens.
But there is danger in such a prayer. Ideally, three people would be present: a prayer leader, someone to record the events, and the person seeking healing.
Necessarily, all three would be Christ followers. One seeking healing–two others seeking only to see God work. Any other combination could lead to more harm than good.
This summer when the conference returned to our area, I went back too. Last year’s prayer time had been the laying down of a brick I’d carried with me since I was a child. It was the bottom brick in a pile I had stacked through my life–some of them heavier than that first one.
Over the course of the year in between, I came to recognize the pile of bricks that had accumulated over the years. The year in between was the unfolding of a healing process that culminated in another prayer.
This year, I unloaded the pile as far as God helped me identify the bricks I carried. Removing the bottom brick made possible the unloading of the rest.
We sometimes carry burdens for years without realizing how heavy the load has become. And we don’t need to have a conference to unload our bricks. Just a couple of committed Christians willing to walk with us.
Sometimes, without realizing it, we build the bricks we carry into a wall around us.
Tear down the wall. Realize and refuse the lies.
The truth will set you free.