Prayer and depression

“God gave you this trial because he knows you can handle it. Pray about it.”

What does that mean? I feel like they’re saying if I fail to cope it means I’m not using all my tools to cope. At what point is a person failing to handle their trial? Obviously not when it kills them. Honestly not even if their trial leads them to commit all kinds of sins. God gives us tons of trials we can’t deal with on our own. I think depression has taught me a lot about empathy, and how to love people who don’t want to be loved. It has forced me to go very deep places to find my own worth. But if I kill myself, I don’t think that means I didn’t “handle it” as well as I could have.

Depression is a chronic illness. Nobody tells people with high blood pressure to pray it away. Maybe they should! Maybe it would help! However, telling people what they should pray about is not helpful.

Telling me to “pray harder” assumes I suffer because I am a sinner and my depression is punishment. Whether I am being punished or not has nothing to do with my mental illness. I cannot simply pray it away. If I choose, I can pray for help dealing with my depression. If I do not heal, it does not mean I don’t pray enough or don’t have enough faith. Even losing a battle with depression is not in any way an indicator of closeness to God. It is so dangerous to believe faith and recovery are causally connected. I would argue it takes more faith to not be healed. It is completely different from feeling afraid in a moment and praying for comfort. Depression is a different conversation and not being cured has nothing to do with faith. It takes a heck of a lot of faith to keep living when you really want to die. I personally do pray for help dealing with my depression. I believe these prayers, and the prayers of others, really do help me in my battle against depression. Answers to prayer came in the form of a wonderful therapist who helped me eat again, a diagnosis, a doctor who prescribed fairly effective medication on my first visit (which is honestly a miraculous event), and a support group made of friends who know and love me.

Not everyone in the world has to deal with the depression I face. I do not lack basic life skills. Coping is not the goal. I want to overcome. That isn’t necessarily going to happen anytime soon.

But what is coping? I think that if I am coping, I don’t cry and I don’t cut and I just put on a smile and go about my business without a complaint. If I had chronic migraines, sometimes I would want to lie down. I would be a little helpless. Would that make me bad at coping with headaches?

I was bad at coping with migraines my first time with a migraine. I was working a Friday night shift at a restaurant, and I had no idea what was happening. I didn’t understand it. I wondered why the room was spinning, why I was nauseous, why it was so painful to keep my eyes open. I tried to just power through. I kept on working, and when it became unbearable I asked for an ibuprofen, but continued doing my manual labor. I was doing more bad than good. I was dropping things, I was struggling to smile, I was not a worker you would want in your restaurant. I was trying very hard. But the longer I ignored it, the worse it gets. And my migraine was so bad. It was so bad that I threw up. Of course I prayed. The whole time I was working my prayer was “please help me deal with this pain.”

That’s a good prayer right? I didn’t ask for the pain to go away. I asked for strength to overcome. That goes right along with all the most admirable prayers in recorded history.

But I was not blessed with the strength to overcome the migraine.

Instead I was blessed with parents who came and drove me home, access to the more expensive migraine medicine, and a quiet dark room. My next migraine was not even comparable in pain. I knew what was happening and I knew what to do. Depression is different. I still don’t know what is happening or what to do. I am trying. But it is a worldwide mystery. Nobody knows yet.

In regards to depression, my prayers are usually “I hate this. I feel awful. I just want to die. I really really am having a hard time believing anything good right now. I really want to die. Please just let me die. I can’t do this anymore. Let me die.” and then I stutter an amen and kick myself for being awful at praying and give up on spirituality for the night.
Perhaps if I were not so wrapped up in the shame of how pointless this prayer appears, this prayer would bring me the help I needed. If I had faith in this wretched prayer, maybe I would have felt the unconditional love of God. Maybe I would have realized that I am worth more than all the pain and sadness in the world. It’s just hard to believe that my life is worth the pain. You know? It hurts a lot. And it really would be less awful to just be dead. But I am inherently worth the pain, no matter how exquisite.

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If you’re feeling depressed, remember that you’re not alone. God is with you always. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in your family, your church, or your friend circles. Ask them to pray with and for you, and continue to pray each day, asking God to draw you closer to Himself. If you’re feeling down today or if you’ve felt down for quite some time, pray this prayer today:

A Prayer for Battling Depression

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you never change, even when everything around me is changing and unpredictable. (Hebrews 13:8) Thank you that you are stable, even when I feel so very unstable. (Isaiah 33:6) It feels like Satan has been whipping me around! Please sustain me, protect me, and enable me to stand. (1 John 4:4; Psalm 28:7)

I know that because sin entered the world, all of creation is under a curse–all creation groans. (Romans 8:22) Because of this, I struggle physically, emotionally and spiritually. Thank you for how my body is made, and that it sends me warning signals to tell me that I need help. Right now my brain and emotions are telling me that something isn’t right.

Help me to see if there is something physical that is causing my depression. Help me to sift through my circumstances to see if there is a need for change in some way. If I am experiencing depression as a result of a spiritual battle, please bring that to light and show me the best way to fight that battle.

Please lead me to the right source for help. Thank you for understanding what I am going through (Hebrews 4:15), and thank you that Your Word tells me that even Your Son went through hard times emotionally. There were times that He was distressed, grieved, faced loneliness, experienced deep sorrow, and after the death of John He went into isolation (Matthew 14:13). He cried in prayer (Hebrews 5:7-9), and at times he was overwhelmingly sad (Isaiah 53:3). There was even a time that he was afraid his body would not survive the anguish he felt. (Matthew 26:38)

I pray that You would send someone to  help bear my burden. (Galatians 6:2) Thank you for again reminding me of how weak I am, and for the body of Christ that you have provided to help bear burdens when we grow too weary to bear them alone. I need someone to come along side me, take my arms, wrap them around their neck, and help me walk until I am strong enough to walk on my own. (Ecclesiastes 4:9)

Thank you for the grace that you have provided. (Hebrews 4:16)  I pray You will use this difficult time to cause me to go deeper in my relationship with You, and that You would get the glory for anything that is produced in me. (James 1)

Thank you for how you are going to use this time in my life and for all you are doing through this depression. Thank you that You have allowed my weakness to manifest itself in the form of depression, so that You can work more of Your image into my life. (Galatians 2:20; Galatians 4:19)

Thank you that I am not defined by this weakness.  Since I am Your child, I am defined by what You accomplished on the cross. Because of Christ’s death on the cross, I can wake up every morning and live life knowing that no matter what I do, think, say, or feel–the cross covers it. Because You offered up Your own beloved Son, I can have peace with You and can face each day with fresh hope and grace.  Help me to focus on what is true, and not focus on how I feel. As I sit before the cross, help me to gain a new appreciation for what it actually means for me on a daily basis.

Help me to embrace my weakness as a gift. Remind me that my weakness allows You to work through me even when I am so very weak and feel as though I can do nothing. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Through this time, I pray that you would enlarged my heart that I might love and obey You, and love others more deeply. (Psalm 119:32; Galatians 6:2; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Amen

A Prayer Against Depression

“Heavenly Father, please strengthen our hearts, and remind us to encourage one another when the troubles of life start to overwhelm us. Please guard our hearts from depression. Give us the strength up to rise up each day and fight against the struggles which seek to weigh us down. Amen.” ~ John Barnett

A Prayer For Escaping the Pit of Depression

“Lord, it seems as if my world has collapsed, hurling me into a deep, dark pit. I come to you in complete surrender. I am desperate for you, helpless and afraid. Please lift me out of this pit and show me the way, Lord.   In Jesus’ name, Amen” ~ Mary Southerland

Discover what the Bible says about depression and how to fight it. Find Scripture that will encourage us to find peace and joy in the midst of depressing circumstances and feelings.  – Bible Verses for Fighting Depression

This article originally appeared on GinalSmith.com. Used with permission.

Gina Smith is the author of Grace Gifts: Celebrating Your Children Every Day, and writes at her personal blog GinalSmith.com   She has also been featured on HSLDA’S Homeschool Heartbeat Radio. She has been married to her husband Brian for 29 years and they have 2 adult children. You can follow her on Instagramand Facebook.

This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.

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Are you in need of a prayer for depression? Healing the symptoms of depression can be a difficult and trying experience.

If you have serious depression, or thoughts of suicide, you should talk with your doctor about possible medication in addition to prayer.

If you are feeling depressed, feel welcome to post your prayer request at the bottom of this page.

A Prayer for Depression

God bless all who are battling those inner demons of depression, loneliness, unworthiness, and hopelessness. Shine Your warm Heavenly Light down upon all of us, Lord, who are looking for our soul mates. Guide us to find peace, happiness, and contentment in our lives and within ourselves.

Amen.

For Overcoming Depression

Dear Lord, I am suffering from depression and anxiety disorder. Thank you for giving me the medical attention that has helped place my soul back into my skin. Give all of us who suffer this stress the courage and strength to trust you and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us. You love and through your love all things are possible.

In Jesus’ name we praise you.

Amen.

Prayer for Renewal

Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

Relief From Depression

Praying to God often helps to relieve ones depression. Its good to know that we are not alone in this world, and that trying times can be overcome.

To be inspired, read these Inspirational Prayers.

Prayer Request: Post Your Own “Prayer for Depression”

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If you’d like, you can post your prayer below so the PrayWithMe community can help pray with you.

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Did you know that Christians can get depressed too?  Many people think that if you are saved and serving the Lord it is not possible for you to be depressed.

We would like to examine depression in the bible, give you the warning signs of depression, offer you a test to tell if you are in fact depressed and then give you some biblical solutions to get out of it.

First, let’s look at some of the signs of depression, a yes answer to more than 5 of these would be positive depression symptoms:

  • Are you always feeling sad?
  • Do you feel hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty?
  • Have you lost interest in hobbies and activities that you once loved?
  • Are you always tired?
  • Are you having trouble concentrating and remembering details?
  • Do you have insomnia ? Or you over sleep most of the time?
  • Have you had a drastic change in your weight due to overeating or not eating at all?
  • Do you harbor suicidal thoughts or think about death and going to heaven a lot?
  • Does your body ache, do you have headaches, digestive problems or cramps?.

If you would like to do an online depression test click here

In the bible several great men and women of God also battled bouts of depression.  Here is a Psalm written by King David that describes what he felt as he was going through his depression.

Psalm 42 (NLT)

1 As the deer longs for streams of water,

    so I long for you, O God.2 I thirst for God, the living God.    When can I go and stand before him?3 Day and night I have only tears for food,    while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,    “Where is this God of yours?”

4 My heart is breaking

    as I remember how it used to be:I walked among the crowds of worshipers,    leading a great procession to the house of God,singing for joy and giving thanks    amid the sound of a great celebration!

5 Why am I discouraged?

    Why is my heart so sad?I will put my hope in God!    I will praise him again—    my Savior and 6 my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,

    but I will remember you—even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,    from the land of Mount Mizar.7 I hear the tumult of the raging seas    as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,    and through each night I sing his songs,    praying to God who gives me life.

9 “O God my rock,” I cry,

    “Why have you forgotten me?Why must I wander around in grief,    oppressed by my enemies?”10 Their taunts break my bones.    They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why am I discouraged?

    Why is my heart so sad?I will put my hope in God!    I will praise him again—    my Savior and my God!

We see that David was broken hearted, deeply discouraged, his body ached, he was crying and sad.  We also see his solution to his depression which was to praise God.  Worshiping God brought him out of his depression.  We know that while you are going through the depression you may not feel like worshiping God but if the bible offers it as a solution I think it is something we should do!

Another great man of God who suffered from depression is Elijah.  He had just come out of the major victory of calling down fire on the false prophets and now Jezebel was after him.  What we learn from this is that after a great victory, or even sometimes going into a great victory, you may face depression.

1 Kings 19:4-5 (NLT)

4 Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”

5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!”

We see that Elijah was suicidal and the solution to Elijah getting out of his depression was basically for him to eat something.  We are not saying that it will be this simple for everyone because each person’s process is different but we are saying that there is a solution for you and God can show you what it is.

We see in this following verse the Apostle Paul’s discouragement and that God sent Titus to encourage him and his joy returned.

2 Corinthians 7:5-7 (NLT)

5 When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. 6 But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. 7 His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you. When he told us how much you long to see me, and how sorry you are for what happened, and how loyal you are to me, I was filled with joy!

Know that in the midst of your depression, God’s word offers hope and insight on how to get out of it.  Put your hope and trust in God.  Praise Him. Worship Him.  Put on some worship music and sing to God, ask Him to deliver you from that spirit of depression and know that He will do it.  If He did it for the great men of the bible, He will do it for you as well.

Say what you will about Joel Osteen, you would have to be blind to not see that he has the gift of encouragement.  Regardless of your denominational affiliation, watching one or two of his sermons if you feel depressed will surely lift you out of it!  That is his spiritual gift at work in the body of Christ and at times when you feel like you need it getting a word of encouragement from him will help. Here are some of Joel Osteen’s sermons

Here are some scriptures for you to meditate on to help you out of the depression:

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT)

8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Psalm 3:3 (NKJV)

3 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.

Psalm 34:18 (NLT)

18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Prayer for Depression

Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.

Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NLT)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen.

John 16:33 (NLT)

33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT)

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

Psalm 118:17 (NLT)

I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the Lord has done.

Here is a Prayer for Depression:

Holy Spirit you are the Comforter and I ask you to comfort my heart at this time.  Fill my mind with your wisdom and enlightenment to see a way out of this state of depression.  I ask that you would send forth your warring angels to bind the spirit of depression and evil around me.  Close every door that I have left open to this spirit.  Send your ministering angels to speak life, truth and hope to me.  Guide me on a path of revival and renewal.  Refresh my spirit and fill me anew with your joy.  May the joy of the Lord be my strength.  I repent for not trusting and putting my hope in you.  I pray that your grace will fill me and that I will have a renewed hope in Your word and Your promises.  Give me the gift of discerning spirits so that will see where and when this spirit of depression comes in and bind it up before it attacks. No weapons that are ever formed against me shall prosper and I know that I shall live and not die to declare the salvation of the Lord.  Fill me from the top of my head to the tip of my toes with your Holy Spirit, with Your peace and Your presence, in Jesus name. Amen

Here are some other prayers for you.  And some other spiritual warfare prayers.

www.missionariesofprayer.org

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