Depression is real, and if you are fighting it you are not alone. Depression seems to have been the bane of many of life’s great leaders. In the Bible, Moses, Elijah, David, and Job all had to deal with it. In the secular world, Sir Winston Churchill used to call depression his ‘black dog’, and Ernest Hemingway referred to it as ‘the artist’s reward’.
President Abraham Lincoln battled depression and suicide all his adult life. There were times when for his own safety Lincoln would not allow himself to carry a knife, for fear that he would hurt himself, or worse. Read about Lincoln turning to the Bible to relieve his depression. Let the Scriptures help you just like they have helped so many of us. Sometimes depression can be a purely spiritual thing, read this – Depression Is a Spirit – It Must Be Fought with the Word of God.
Depression is the physical and emotional result of hopelessness – the ‘feeling‘ of hopelessness. We live in a world devoid of hope, and depression is the emotional product of that reality. The only thing that will actually change one’s life sufficiently as to destroy the cause, mechanics, and effects of depression is God’s hope and His word of hope. The answer is to get God’s hope back inside of you.
Hope will let you again see the ‘future positive possibility’ of your life. Without seeing it you will have no motivation or strength. The good Word of God, and the good word of others to you, can change the outlook and condition of your heart. Fight for God’s outlook with all you have. Fight it with the Word of God. (Also, confess the scriptures on Hopelessness.) Anyone who is among the living has hope.
God’s hope encourages, motivates, and keeps you on the road to faith, peace, and victory. And if you suffer from deep ongoing depression, get help. And please read this – Helping Others Is God’s Prescription for Depression. Send me a comment, we love you and we want to help you. You are important and you have value. You are not alone. With God’s help, you will climb out of this hole.
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down (depression), but a good word cheers it up. Proverbs 12:25 Holman Christian Standard Bible
These scriptures on depression will give you hope and will build your faith. Confess and meditate on them to win the fight against depression. The key is not losing Hope. Allow the hope of God to seep back into you. Remember, there is a real Person (God) behind each and every one of these promises. He promised them to you for a reason – to help you.
Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Deuteronomy 33:27 – The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
2 Samuel 22:17-22 – He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters; (18) He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me. (19) They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. (20) He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me. (21) The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. (22) For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
2 Samuel 22:29 – You are my lamp O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.
Ecclesiastes 9:4 – Anyone who is among the living has hope.
Psalms 9:9 – The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Psalm 27:14 – Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalm 31:22,24 – You heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help… Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
Psalm 34:18, 19 – The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (19) A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.
Psalm 37:23-24 – If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumbles, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
Psalm 43:5 – Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God.
Psalm 55:22 – Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
Psalm 62:5 – Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
Psalm 126:5 – Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
Psalm 143:7-8 – Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I’ll lift up my soul.
Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 145:14 – The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
Proverbs 12:25 – Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down (depression), but a good word cheers it up.
Isaiah 26:3-4, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusts in Thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength. (Perfect means complete. If I keep my part of the promise by staying steadfastly focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, He will keep His promise to give me His perfect peace. See also Philippians 4:6-7 below)
Isaiah 35:10 – And the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away
Isaiah 40:31, But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 53:4 – Surely he took up our sicknesses and carried our sorrows.
Mark 9:23 – Everything is possible for him who believes.
Romans 4:18-22 – Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall they seed be. (19) And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: (20) He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. (21) And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform. (22) And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
II Corinthians 7:6-7 – Nevertheless, God, that comforts, those that are depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus; (7) And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.
Philippians 4:6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
James 4:8 – Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:10 – Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
2 Peter 2:9 – The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials.
1 Peter 4:12 – Dear Friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.
1 Peter 4:13 – But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed
1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Read how Lincoln Turned to the Bible to Manage His Depression and other articles: Scriptures Against Hopelessness – Scriptures Against Worry – New Testament Scriptures on Faith & Believing – Do God’s Promises Cover What You Want?
Photo by Leland
When anxious and fearful thoughts come flooding in, it can be very difficult to quiet your mind and connect with God in prayer. In the middle of a panic attack, the last thing on your mind is getting alone with God. But, prayer can be very helpful in stopping those confusing and terrifying thoughts.
Learning how to pray can calm an anxious mind and fill your heart with peace:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6, 7).
When anxious thoughts, fear, panic or worry come against you, present your requests to God. Pray and petition him, and as you do, his peace which goes beyond all understanding will guide your hearts and mind in Christ. This is more than just a recommendation—it’s a truth that can transform a fearful mind into a mind of peace.
Here are some steps that have helped me connect with God:
Faith is essential. Without faith, it’s impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). We must believe that God will respond to our prayers. If we doubt, we are like a wave tossed about by the sea, unsettled in all our ways (James 1:5). Here’s how Jesus explains it:
Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I assure you that you can say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and your command will be obeyed. All that’s required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart. Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it” (Mark 11:22-24).
2. God hears you
I think we’ve all wondered, “God, do you really hear me?” We pray and pray and it seems like nothing changes. We beg for freedom, we cry out for a respite of peace, but it seems so elusive. We hear a thought in our head, God does not hear my prayers and we think it’s our thought. Quietly, we agree with this subtle attack of the devil. The enemy constantly accuses us and lies to us. He is the father of lies (John 10:10) and he spews his lies and confusion all over of us to thwart God’s beautiful plans for our lives. We cannot give into this voice that says God does not hear our prayers. God listens.
Another subtle lie from the enemy is that we are not worthy enough for God to hear our prayers. It’s just not true! When you receive Christ, you are instantly made worthy. He took our sins and we took his righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says it this way, “God made who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Now that you are righteous in Christ, you can boldly come to the throne of grace in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
3. Know who you are in Christ
Too often, we approach God in prayer with a sinner mentality. “Lord, I’m a wretched sinner. Woe is me! I’m not worthy to come before you.” This way of thinking is wrong. Once you receive Christ, you are no longer a slave—you are a child of God!
“You are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you” (Galatians 4:7).
In Christ, you are a child of the Most High God. You are special! You are cherished, loved, protected and pursued by God. You are his child!
4. Words carry power
We must be very careful about the words we speak. Words carry incredible spiritual power. Death and life are in the power of our words (Proverbs 18:21). Salvation comes when we confess with our mouth and believe in our hearts (Romans 10:9). Whether good or evil, people speak what’s in their hearts. Jesus said it this way, “Whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil heart” (Matthew 12:34, 35).
If you want to experience peace, don’t speak evil, doubting words. If you feel an anxious thought coming on, don’t say, “I’m probably going to have another panic attack.” No! Don’t speak those words. Rather, pray something like this, “Father, my body feels anxious right now, but you said that you will give me perfect peace when my mind is focused upon you. Right now, Lord, I fix my thoughts upon you. I trust in you!”
5. Build your prayer muscle
Prayer is a lot like a muscle. You need to work on it, strengthen it and build it up. Don’t wait till you need it to start strengthening it.
A professional athlete doesn’t start working out the day before a big race. It takes months and months, even years, to develop the ability to race well. In the same way, we should pray daily, flexing and strengthening our prayer-time muscle.
“Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next” (1 Timothy 4:8).
Prayer: Father, this week, teach me to pray effectively. Show me how to build and strengthen my prayer muscle so that when anxiety, panic or fear hits, I can rest in the confidence that you are with me.
Here are some encouraging books on Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I know that somewhere in the past my family’s DNA was damaged so that depression has been passed down through the generations. I also know that Satan has taken advantage of this vulnerability to torment my family line.
I acknowledge and confess that my ancestors have sinned, and as a result my DNA has been damaged and I have become vulnerable to Satan’s attack on my mind.
Jesus, as the current representative of my family, I repent on behalf of my ancestors for their sin that brought depression as a curse or iniquity into my family line and damaged our DNA.
Specifically, I repent for any involvement by my ancestors in witchcraft or occult practices such as séances, fortune telling or divination. I repent for their memberships in associations that required oaths and promised curses for breaking those oaths. I repent for any unholy vows they have made. I repent for my actions that have allowed these curses or iniquity to continue.
I forgive my ancestors for their sin and for how they have brought depression and other curses and iniquity into my family. I now renounce all unholy agreements that have been made by my ancestors or me. I renounce any agreements I have made with this curse and iniquity. I now break off any and all generational curses and iniquity that may have come down to me. I break all generational ties to the occult and witchcraft, and sever its influence over my family and me. I place the cross of Christ between me and the sin and genetic damage that has been running through my family. Lord Jesus, I take back the ground and authority that has been given to the enemy. I cancel all assignments and bondages the enemy has against my generational line and me. I take back all authority and control of my life and turn it over to You.
Lord Jesus, please wash each generation with your blood, and I call forth the blessings that have been blocked to come down through all the generations; past, present and future.
I acknowledge that our family DNA may have been damaged as a result of traumatic events in the lives of my ancestors.
I forgive the people who caused the trauma. I forgive my ancestors for agreeing with the fear caused by the trauma and for believing the lie that their minds were permanently damaged. I forgive myself for believing that I cannot escape from the curse or iniquity of depression. I repent for everything my ancestors did in response to this trauma that has brought depression into my generations.
Use the following section as an example of how to pray every day.
I repent for basing my identity on the diagnosis that I have depression. I choose to forgive anyone including myself who has convinced me to believe the lie that my identity is my diagnosis and that I will have this for life.
Through the blood of Jesus, I renounce agreement with the lie that has attached my identity to something other than who Jesus says I am. I break your power in Jesus’ name.
I receive the truth that you, Jesus, have made me in your image, totally accepted, fully loved, and created with a destiny and a purpose. I choose to forgive my mind for failing to work correctly so that I have not been able to control my thoughts.
I repent for believing lies that you won’t heal me, that I will always be depressed, and it will always be in my family. I repent for agreeing with the expectations that my illness is a life sentence. I repent for any vows I have made or curses I have spoken to myself in response to this illness. Jesus, forgive me for believing the lies and agreeing with them, thereby empowering them in my life. I instruct my soul and my spirit to embrace the truth that I will not always be sick.
I repent for everything I have done, said or thought based on those lies. I repent for using depression as an excuse for sinful behavior. I repent for every time I have hurt someone physically or emotionally, including myself because of depression.
I renounce every agreement I have made with the spirits of depression and I command them to be loosed from me and go to the foot of the Cross in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I hand to you, Jesus, the identity I assumed as a depressed person.
Lord Jesus I take back the ground and the authority that I gave to the enemy. I cancel all assignments and bondages the enemy has against any in my generational line and me in the past, present and future. I take back all control and authority of my life and return it to you, Lord Jesus. In the name of Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the authority of the blood of Christ, I command all spirits attached to depression and to the lies that I have believed to leave me now in Jesus’ name. Specifically, I command the spirits of depression, fear, insanity, death, suicide, addictions, torment, self mutilation, self hatred, shame, humiliation, inferiority, low self esteem, discouragement, rejection and self pity to leave me now. I speak now to my DNA, “Be healed in Jesus name.” I speak to the nerve cells in my brain, “Be healed in Jesus name.” I declare that I have the mind of Christ. Jesus, I now receive your healing into my body, soul and spirit. Amen.
Whenever you are tempted to return to old thinking patterns or temptations, use these prayers to fight back against the spirit trying to lure you:
I know what you are trying to do to me.
You have no power over me.
I refuse to give in or agree with you.
I send you to the foot of the cross for disposal.
Jesus, what do you have for me in exchange?
Remember to focus on God’s truth in His word, not the lies of the enemy. The verses in Swatting the Fly of Depression are a good starting point.