Before these young ones are even old enough to discern good and evil, or respond to any call of God, their lives and souls have been destroyed or wounded, almost beyond hope. The Lord Jesus Christ has a heart of great compassion towards such ones, and He really does have a heart to draw them to Himself, to save them and to thoroughly redeem them; to make all things new within them.
Yes, these ones need to deal with, in thorough repentance, all their own areas of sin. However, in helping to disciple the greatly abused who come into the Church, we do need to realise that they have been greatly sinned against. They need, nevertheless, to be able to forgive their abusers from their hearts. They are in God’s processes, and healing within takes time.
Only the truth of the Word of God, Jesus in person, and the written Word of God, can set them free and heal them. Only the Holy Spirit can do the work of healing, comforting and leading them into all truth. Compassion and patience is needed on the part of pastors, without departure from the fundamental and uncompromising truth of the Word of God.
One thing which I have found helpful is to encourage those with much to overcome, to pray the Word of God -- out loud. And to keep on doing so until the breakthrough comes. Romans 10:17 tells us, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
As the Word is heard, as it is prayed out loud, faith is increased. Breakthrough comes when faith has been sufficiently increased, and the person doing the praying actually believes wholeheartedly the words that are coming out of the mouth.
I have discovered, in my own life and in dealing with others, that even though we have to walk in the Spirit, and not in our souls, it is important that the soul is made whole, restored, renewed and conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in His Word. Denial of the soul, and a lack of dealing with its wounds in the Biblical way, makes us very vulnerable to the enemy and unable to walk in the Spirit.
Psalm 23:2&3 says, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” I remember the Lord once saying to me long ago, “I need to make your soul whole, in order for you to walk in the Spirit.” Here, though, I would hasten to add that He desires to make the soul whole in His ways and in accordance with His Word, and not in the ways and wisdom of the world. When the soul has been healed, it is better able to come into the place of submission to the Spirit.
Praying the Word is a vital and helpful key to seeing the battered being restored and set free to live for, and to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Kindergarten stuff this? Yes, and no. We would all benefit greatly from times of drawing beside still waters and praying the Word of God, looking to and waiting on the Spirit to cause us to rise up with the wings of an eagle.
You can compile your own Word-based prayers for yourself, and others. There is, however, also a helpful series of books called Prayers That Avail Much by Germaine Copeland, which is available at most Christian bookstores. Here is her, Word-based prayer for “Healing From Abuse:”
“Lord, You are my High Priest, and I ask You to loose me from this ‘infirmity.’ The abuse I suffered pronounced me guilty and condemned. I was bound -- in an emotional prison -- crippled, and could in no wise lift up myself. You have called me to Yourself, and I have come.
“The anointing that is upon You is present to bind up and heal the brokenness and emotional wounds of the past. You are the Truth that makes me free.
“Thank You, Lord, for guiding me through the steps to emotional wholeness. You have begun a good work in me, and You will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus.
“Father, I desire to live according to the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. This Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing me from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of abuse.
“Since I am now free, it is my desire to forget those things which lie behind and strain forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize (supreme and heavenly) to which You in Christ Jesus are calling me upward. The past will no longer control my thinking patterns or my behaviour.
“Praise be to You! I am a new creature in Christ Jesus. Old things have passed away; and, behold, all things have become new. I declare and decree that henceforth I will walk in newness of life.
“Forgive me, Father, for self-hatred and self-condemnation. I am Your child. You sent Jesus that I might have life and have it more abundantly. Thank You for the blood of Jesus that makes me whole.
“It is my desire to throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, I let my Gardener, You Lord, landscape me with the Word, making a salvation garden of my life.
“Father, by Your grace, I forgive my abuser/abusers and ask You to bring him/her/them to repentance.
“In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.”