Counselors often have their clients write letters. Letters to people who have hurt them, letters to people they have hurt, letters asking others for help, letters to themselves. Letters allow us to say things we find difficult to say to someone else in person.
Here’s what : Anne-Marie Alger (Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Supervisor, MA, MBACP), a counsellor/psychotherapist says about writing letters.
“Writing a letter encourages you to stand back from trauma, creating perspective and providing you with an opportunity to analyse what has occurred. It can help to harness and process strong emotions. Aspects that have not been dealt with you either independently or in the therapy session can be brought into conscious awareness to explore your personal schema (your way of thinking about things) and explore the feelings, in order to develop alternatives to your story.
It should contain all your emotions, your needs, your demands and your condemnations towards the person or object as the letter forms an internal dialogue. You can be explicit, truthful and express whatever you want to say in a raw, naturalistic and crude form. Written from past, present or future, letters are often written as a way of seeking closure, saying goodbye, or searching for acceptance...
Ultimately, writing gives you a voice, particularly if you find it difficult to put your experience into words, it can become a medium for someone who is reluctant to open up face-to-face. It also ensures that you have been accurately heard, providing you with the freedom to define your own experience, uninterrupted, and at your own pace. A letter written, but not sent, not seen by anyone else, is yours. Just yours. All yours." - From Writing a letter as part of your therapy
Many times when we are going through a time of struggle it’s hard for us to put our feelings and emotions into words. Yes I know that when we don’t know what to say the Holy Spirit speaks for us
Romans 8:26-27 (NKJV)26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
But there’s something about our own words that allows us to get “unstuck” so that we can move on in our relationship with others and with God.
Jesus I Need You ,from Zondervan Publishing is a devotional that uses prayers written as letters to Jesus. These letters are examples of another way that we can communicate with our Savior. Just as He speaks to us in different ways depending on what’s going on in our lives, letters to Him will help us express emotions and feelings that we are reluctant to express in spoken words or thought.
The following are the Editor’s Note and two sample devotions. They blessed me and I know that they and, the entire devotional will bless you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going through a time of heartache or a season of joy, a time of questioning or a time of deep gratitude, the prayers in this devotional will be “right-on-time”. Jesus I Need You would be a perfect gift for yourself or to anyone seeking daily conversation with Jesus.
To get a copy of it it click on this LINK or the image of the book at the end of this post.
Jesus, I Need Your Grace
From Jesus I Need You
Editor's Note: Have you written a love letter to Jesus? Or cried out a prayer for help? Do you have conversations with Him regularly? This new devotional, Jesus, I Need You, is a collection of prayers to Jesus, written as letters, that will inspire you to have unwavering faith in any circumstance, in every season. Each letter is followed by a short devotional and encouraging message. We pray that this inspires you to write your own letter to Jesus this week - He longs to hear from you!
That Difficult Person
Dear Jesus, I need Your help. Someone is making my life difficult. I have tried to be kind and patient — You know I have, Lord. But there have been times when I’ve lost my temper — You know that too. I’ve said unkind things and thought even worse things.
Our relationship needs healing; it needs You.
Jesus, show me what to do. I pray for You to step in and make this right. Teach me, Lord. How would You handle this person? Please take away these feelings of anger and hurt and replace them with grace and love.
“Seventy times seven”: That’s what You said to Peter when he asked how many times he should forgive the one who sinned against him. Am I capable of forgiving that many times? Oh, but how many times have You forgiven me?
Soften my heart, Lord, and help me forgive as You have forgiven me.
If anyone can mend this relationship, Jesus, it is You. Guide my every word and every action with Your perfect love. I need You, Jesus. We need You.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. — Romans 12:18
At some point in your life, you’ll encounter a difficult person — someone who, no matter what you do, makes your life miserable. When you run into such a person, call on Jesus. He understands and will know just how to help. As you think about that difficult person, ask yourself if you’ve contributed to the strain. Are there things for which you need to seek forgiveness? Come up with at least one thing you can do to bless that person’s life — and then do it.
Dear Jesus, Sometimes it’s really hard to love people, especially when You ask me to love those who hate You and do evil things. I know You love them, but I struggle to follow Your example. Please show me how can I hate the evil while still loving those who hate You.
Jesus, when You were beaten, mocked, and crucified, You could have rained down wrath from Heaven, but You didn’t. Instead, You asked God to forgive Your enemies because they didn’t know what they were doing. That is pure love. Fill me with that kind of love.
Jesus, You are always in my heart, guiding me and leading me to be more like You. And for that reason, I must pray for those who hate You and do evil things. I don’t love what they do, Lord — but I want them to know You. Please, Lord Jesus, open their eyes to see You and their hearts to accept You. They need You so much... and so, Lord, do I.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” — Matthew 5:43-44
Love doesn’t mean that you accept acts of hatred and evil, but love does require that you pray for those most in need of salvation. Consider Paul. He didn’t begin life as a disciple of Christ; in fact, there was a time when Paul — then known as Saul — hated Christ. Read Acts 9:1-19 to discover how he changed. How might you be an Ananias to a Saul in your life?
Excerpted with permission from Jesus, I Need You, copyright Zondervan.
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.