Unhealed inner hurts and wounds build altars on our hearts. What does that mean? Let’s look at what an altar is first.
What is an altar?
An altar is a place that serves as a center of worship or ritual. It’s a place of consecration to the Lord. In Moses’ time, people made altars out of available materials, such as rocks, to commemorate an encounter with the Lord. It signified the event between the Lord and the person at that time. Examples include:
- Abram in Genesis 12:7
- Isaac in Genesis 26:24-25
- Jacob in Genesis 31:13
- David in 1 Chronicles 21:26
- Gideon in Judges 6:24
Note: Altars weren’t unique to the followers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Many other pagan religious practices involved altars to gods, where they worshipped and honored their god(s).
How can inner hurts and wounds become an altar?
Inner hurts and wounds can become an altar consciously or subconsciously. Failing or refusing to deal with inner hurts and wounds in our life can eventually become an altar.
Conscious altars are when we revisit or replay a negative memory. If you find yourself going back to the same memory, it’s in danger of becoming an altar.
Subconscious altars show up in our emotions and reactions. These are more hidden but can indicate a place we’ve set up an altar. Our minds may not go back there, but our emotions and reactions do.
Psalm 63:6 says, “On my bed, I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.” See, David is MEDITATING on the Lord and worshipping Him for His faithfulness and goodness. He was revisiting the memories of how the Lord had satisfied and sustained him even in the wilderness. The keyword is “remember” in this passage.
It’s what we focus on and meditate on that rudders the course of our lives. I believe it’s one of the reasons the Lord commands us to take our thoughts captive to make it obedient to Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:5)
We can erect altars to God, or our wounds.
Instead of creating space for inner wounds and wounds to form altars in our lives, let’s build “altars” for God and remember what God’s done rather than roam around the graves of woundings. We do that by getting healed and dismantling the altars that inner hurts and wounds have created.
How do unhealed inner hurts and wounds affect us?
Experiences in life, whether good or bad, cause us to see and understand life according to our experiences. We store them into a permanent memory section of our minds. Harmful experiences crush our will and shatter our emotions. They serve to control us by affecting our behavior and binds us to negative patterns in life by the stored pains of the past.
Unhealed wounds can cause:
- Poor Self-Image
- Low Self-Esteem
- Lack of Confidence
- Lack of Motivation
- Unreasonable or Irrational Fear
- And More
The stored, painful memories affect our actions and reactions. They cripple us and make us avoid relationships and life situations that God desires for us. We may think that we are reacting to the current circumstances, but in reality, we are more than likely reacting from an attitude created by our past unhealed memories.
These patterns must change for us to walk in Kingdom freedom.
When someone hurts us, it’s like being shot with an arrow. Forgiving and releasing from our heart plucks out the arrow. It’s the first step to removing the bitter root. The arrow is gone now, but there’s still a gaping, oozing wound that needs attention to keep the bitter root from returning.
The Good News
The good, no great news is that you CAN HEAL! Healing our wounded heart is a provision of the Word of God. We have only to ask in prayer, believing in the heart and confessing with the mouth, and it is done. For some of us with severe experiences in our past, it may be helpful to pray specifically for the healing of our wounded hearts. It may also be very helpful to pray with another godly person. (James 5:16)
By an act of our will, we must choose to stop relating to stress from memories. Although the decision to be healed is ours, it’s Christ who does the work. We must NOT continue to meditate the memory and pray for God to heal us someday. We must stop giving in to the victim mentality that says, “I’ll never get better! I’ll never be normal!”
We aren’t asking for Jesus to provide healing for us. Healing is already fully provided. We are coming into agreement with what Jesus has provided and appropriating it, or grabbing hold of it, into our lives.
Are you ready to choose to stop relating to stress from memories and get healed? Let’s get started!
Prayer for Healing
Instructions: Say this prayer OUT LOUD! The enemy cannot hear your thoughts, and there is power in the spoken word. When you get to the blanks in the prayer, allow the Holy Spirit to bring a memory or feeling up and speak them out until you feel peaceful.
Heavenly Father, in the Name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I release to You for healing all the wounded, hurting, or negative memories of my entire life, whether conscious or subconscious, from my conception through my birth, the first few years of my life, my childhood, all my adult life, and to this present moment. I specifically release the memory (or feeling) of ______________, _____________, _____________, and ______________, (list more if needed)…….
Father, I release all these memories to You and ask that You heal every inner hurt or wound, every negative memory, any scars that I have suffered, and carried as a result of the offenses committed against me by other people. I also ask that You heal all inner wounds suffered because of my own sinful or foolish acts. Heal and renew my mind, memory, and emotions right now, I pray. (Rom. 12:2)
Father, the inner wounds I suffered have prevented my emotions and decision-making processes from developing in the way you would like. But You, oh Lord, are the one who binds up the brokenhearted. You are the one who proclaims liberty to the captives and opens the prison door to those who are bound. (Isaiah 61:1)
I ask that You release me from all the stress, anxiety, and negative patterns of behavior that I developed as a result of my inner wounds. In the Name of Jesus Christ, I rebuke the victim mentality that kept telling me I will never get any better; that I’ll always be miserable; and that I’ll never be able to change! I reject those lies and choose to believe that, in Christ Jesus, I am more than a conqueror! (Romans 8:37) As an act of my will, I never again choose to receive stress, anxiety, fear, anger, condemnation, shame, guilt, or depression from any of these memories. In faith, I boldly ask Father, that You supernaturally restore, right now, all those things that may have been missed in the normal development of my emotions and thought processes, and my ability to develop and maintain proper relationships with other people. Father, from this moment forward, enable me to live my life in a way that is pleasing to You.
Thank You for healing me. I declare that by the stripes Jesus bore for me, I am healed of all these hurtful memories, in Christ’s Name. Thank You, Father, for healing me. Help me with any reprogramming that needs to be done in my mind and reactions to people and situations so that I never again fall back into any of the old patterns that I’ve now been healed of. (Romans 12:2)
In the Name of Jesus, I make this command and declaration to all the powers of darkness: From this moment forward, you may never again use any of these old memories to bring stress or condemnation into my life or affect my life in any negative way! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Note: If these memories try to return to haunt you, you can say out loud, “I don’t receive this. I’m healed and whole In Jesus’ name.” Do this as many times as it continues to try to invade your mind.
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