Two minutes silence.
The season of remembrance. A time to remember the many people who
gave their lives during war and conflict. A time for memories of the loved and
Memories. Memories can be both reliable and unreliable. Accurate
and embellished. Reassuring and frightening. Clear and unclear. Timebound and
Memories of an encounter or a place cheer the soul. Memories make
us laugh and cry. Memories can be private and can be shared. Memories can be encouraging
and demoralising. Memories may be reinterpreted and gain a different meaning.
Memories shape what we do – be that improvements because of bad experiences or the ubiquitous ‘I’ve always done it that way.’
Memories of a critical comment may stop us from doing something: or
make us do it out of fear of repetition.
Memories of being bullied at school or work influence current relationships:
feeling we’re bring criticised or having our faults pointed out – even though it
Memories of getting
lost make us doubt where we are another time.
Memories of lost friendships may cause us not to seek new ones.
Memories remind us of who we used to be.
The memories we have – whether inaccurate or accurate, helpful or
unhelpful – influence how well we live life and relate to others. While some memories
fade and disappear, others retain the accompanying pain.
So, when did we last give ourselves two minutes’ silence? When did
we take time to remember?
Praying for the healing of painful memories can be very
beneficial. Like with praying for healing from a physical or mental health
problem, some elements, some symptoms if you like, may well remain but with
prayer for inner peace and wholeness, the ability to live life and relate to
others can improve. (It’ll take more than two minutes, though.)
In a book that was influential in my own experience, David
‘In this special prayer, we allow the Spirit to take us back in
time to the actual experience and to walk through those painful memories with
us. It is then through the use of our sanctified imaginations, that we pray as
if we were actually there at the time it took place, allowing God to minister
to us in the manner we needed at that time.’ (Healing of Memories by
David Seamands [Victor Books 1985] now available as Redeeming the Past [David
C Cook 2002])
To pray for such healing requires the setting aside of time. Time which
won’t be interrupted or foreshortened. Time to recall the memory. Time for
In a context of prayer, open to the Holy Spirit, we carefully relive
what took place. To remember the words, the actions, the people, the detail, the
consequences, the pain.
As we recall the memory, we bring the person of Jesus right in to the midst of all that took place. Imagining him there for you and any others involved.
To ask for God’s forgiveness. To forgive those involved. To forgive
To reach out to God for healing of the pain.
To receive God’s love.
To listen to God as the pain is healed.