It is not uncommon for a person to experience at least one traumatic or stressful event in his or her lifetime. But because each person is unique
–has his or her own past experiences and own way of coping with stress– it is possible that out of twenty individuals who undergo the same traumatic event, only one would develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a psychological disorder that is developed through intensive and lengthy exposure to trauma, early childhood trauma or stressful life changes, mental trauma, couple with the absence of support from family and friends.
The most commonly known triggers are experiences like violence or combat exposure like those who’ve fought in wars or served in the military, sexual or physical abuse or assault, a serious accident, or a natural disaster.
If you are ever wondering what to pray for people who have family members in the military, this is one very important aspect that you should know about and also pray for them ahead of time so that it is easier when men or women return from serving in the war.
PTSD is diagnosed by a doctor or psychiatrist. But some of the observable symptoms include:
(1) Flashbacks or nightmares of the traumatic experience. This can come so vividly and unexpectedly in the middle a busy day, usually triggered by sounds or sights that remind them of the event.
(2) Avoidance of anything that reminds the victim of the experience. This may manifest as a phobia or irrational fear.
(3) Unusual numbness and difficulty in experiencing emotions like sympathy, love, joy or concern. The person may lose interest in people and activities that he or she used to enjoy a lot.
(4) Hyper-arousal or increased irritability. A loud noise may easily startle the person or bumping into someone may cause him or her to fly into a rage.
Treatment can be a combination of psychotherapy or counseling, and medication. But the best treatment would be counseling, which usually aims towards a better understanding of and dealing with the patient’s thoughts and feelings. For example, guilt feelings over not having prevented the death of a friend can be addressed through self-forgiveness.
Commonly felt emotions by individuals with PTSD are fear or anxiety, sadness or depression, guilt and shame, and anger and irritability. The symptoms mentioned above usually manifest because of these unsettled thoughts and emotions.
Now post traumatic stress disorder is experienced by many people but those who know the Lord and have a relationship with Him have at their fingertips God’s help!
But God is a God who is able to reach deep down into our soul – our emotions and thoughts and will – and bring healing and freedom! One can pray for a person suffering from PTSD by asking the Holy Spirit to bring transformation or renewal to his mind and healing of the heart and soul. This can help speed up progress in counseling, or even bring an instant miracle! The Holy Spirit is the best Counselor and Comforter (John 14:26). He is also our Healer.
This, however, does not mean that counseling should be forgone and be replaced by prayer alone. Because traumatic experience may have caused lies and fear to enter into the person’s heart and the painful incident, wounded the person’s soul, we could pray for healing or the soul and renewal of the mind. Finding a Christian PTSD treatment counselor is best but if perhaps there is a government funded program that does not have a Christian counselor on hand, then reading the scriptures and having someone pray will go a long way to helping with recovery.
There are so many passages in the Bible, especially in Psalms, that we can pray over a person with PTSD. He or she may even read them and declare them over his or her mind, heart, will, spirit and body. Having said that, here are but some Scripture-based prayers that can help. Search out the Bible for more if you wish. But for now, you can use this prayer by simply filling in the blanks with the name of the person you are praying for.:
Father, make Your presence known to ______ each and every single day, as the God who is near to the brokenhearted and who saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18) For indeed You are.
In Your name I speak healing and restoration upon each and every wound that was inflicted upon _____’s life. Thank You for healing and binding my friend’s wounds! (Psalm 147:3)
Holy Spirit, expose the lies of the enemy that have entered my friend’s life because of his/her trauma. Jesus, bring _____ to an encounter with Your Word. Reveal Your truth to my friend and let every lie be broken and let every mindset come into alignment with Your Word. God, wash _____ with Your Word. (Romans 12:2)
I declare that ____ will stand in agreement with Your word that says only goodness and mercy shall follow him/her all the days of his/her life. (Psalm 23, Jermeiah 29:11)
Abba, I release a revelation of the spirit of sonship upon my friend right now. You have not given ____ a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but he/she has received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom he/she can cry “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15) Reveal Your unfailing and everlasting love that conquers all fear!
Casts out fear from ____’s heart. (1 John 4:18a) Let Your love rain down upon him/her, bringing healing to his/her mind, emotions, will and spirit, even his/her body. Overwhelm ______ with Your healing power. Overwhelm him/her with Your loving presence.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is Your steadfast love toward ______; as far as the east is from the west, so far You remove ______’s transgressions from him/her. (Psalm 103:11-12) You have purchased my friend for a price and that is through the blood of Your Son Jesus. I declare freedom from every burden of fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame and anger, by the power of the blood of Christ! And I speak love, peace, freedom, wholeness, joy and thanksgiving. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Here is some additional information on Understanding PTSD and also here are some other prayers. If you know other scriptures that would be helpful to this group, please share them in the comments below.