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:
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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)
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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Publication date: May 3, 2017
Reprinted from Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach with permission of Pauline Books and Media.
St. John Vianney, the famous Cure of the tiny French village of Ars, is most popularly known as the holy and humble priest who spent sixteen to eighteen hours a day hearing confessions and giving advice to long processions of people. He practiced extraordinary penances and fasts for the conversion of sinners and was subject to diabolic persecution all his priestly life. It is said that the devil revealed once that if there were but three priests in the world like the Cure of Ars, the devil would lose his kingdom.
What is less known is the overwhelming depression that weighed upon John Vianney’s soul without relief his entire life. Though he was the most sought-after man in all of France, he seemed incapable of seeing the immense amount of good he was doing. Despite the tens of thousands of pilgrims who traveled to Ars each year in the hope of receiving the sacraments or a word of advice from him, he believed himself useless. The priest who had reawakened the faith of a village and set all France aflame through his preaching and holiness felt God so far from him that he was afraid he had no more faith. He believed himself to have no intelligence or gift of discernment. It is as if God drew a veil over his eyes so that he could see nothing of what God was doing through him for others. The Cure feared he was ruining everything and had become an obstacle in God’s way.
The root of John Vianney’s severe depression was his fear of doing badly at every turn, and the thousands who traveled to Ars increased his terror. It never occurred to him that he might have a special grace. Instead, he feared that the long line of penitents to his village church were a sign that he was a hypocrite. He feared facing the judgment with the responsibility for all these people on his conscience. There was not a moment when he felt that God was satisfied with him. A great and profound sadness possessed his soul so powerfully that he eventually could not even imagine relief.
Whenever the tempests of depression seemed to have enough power to drown him in the vision of his own miseries, the Cure would bow his head, throw himself before God like “a dog at the feet of his master,” and allow the storm to pass without changing his resolve to love and serve God if he could. Yet he kept this pain so private that except for a few confidantes, most people saw only tranquility and gentleness in his bearing.
Jesus Is in the Darkness with YouYou may discover that the shadows and tempests of depression alter the way you look at God and the way you believe God looks at you. When you pray you may be unable to sit still or to keep your mind focused for more than a few moments. Everything may appear to be a huge gaping hole of silence, all so useless. God may seem to be mocking your attempts to pray. I know people who have gone three, five, ten years without “praying,” though they were faithful to setting time aside for prayer regardless of its seeming uselessness. In the haunting darkness where all communication had gone silent, they found loneliness, boredom, frustration, anger. Were they praying? Yes.
“Praying the Rosary remained a great help to me during my worse times of depression,” Joseph, an employee of a large chain of bookstores, said. “I acquired books that had various mysteries of the Rosary, Eucharistic mysteries, Marian mysteries, Passion mysteries, Holy Spirit mysteries …. It gave me a lot of variety, and that helped me to keep focused on prayer and remain somewhat calm. It instilled some peace and quiet in my heart.”
Recognizing agony in a void that is filled only with darkness and absence calls a depressed person to be present to the Now, even if the Now is darkness. There is a God in that void, the God of Jesus. To be present to this God, to know that Jesus is in the darkness with you and for you as prayer, even were no words or act of love to pass through your heart. God’s abiding love is deep within, never forsaking you in darkness. You are alone in the void with the Son of God-both of you keeping silent. Suffering with you is Jesus, the abandoned Son on the cross. When it is impossible to hold on to a thought or to pray, Jesus is praying and contemplating within the one who is suffering from depression. Day by day, moment by moment, groping in the darkness, you are not alone. Jesus is struggling with you. He is there feeling it all. Nothing goes unnoticed by him or his Father. Through Jesus’ Spirit who is in you, you can hope for peace.
Ideas for Praying When DepressedSt. Gregory Nazianzus wrote these words during a time when he found anxiety and depression crowding out any space for prayer in his soul:
The breath of life, O Lord, seems spent. My body is tense, my mind filled with anxiety, yet I have no zest, no energy. I am helpless to allay my fears. I am incapable of relaxing my limbs. Dark thoughts constantly invade my head ….Lord, raise up my soul, revive my body.
If this is happening to you, try these forms of prayer and contemplative love:
1. Try to find a quiet place. Put on some soothing music. Keep it soft and gentle. Take a few deep breaths, holding each one for a few seconds and then slowly exhaling. Relax. Feel the chair you’re sitting on, your feet on the floor. Smell the scents in the room. Imagine Jesus coming toward you with a smile on his face. Tell him how you are feeling right now-anxious, uncomfortable, fidgety, distracted, wanting to focus. Tell him what things are like for you today. Open your heart to him. Feel his presence very close to you. Let his love into your heart. Thank him for this gift.
Prayer When Your Are Depressed
By: Dr. Walter L. Weston
God, life seems so bleak and useless right now. I don’t have any energy. I have no ambition to do much of anything. I am really feeling down. I feel “down on” myself and “down on” everyone around me. Even as I pray, I don’t sense your presence. I am going through the motions, knowing that you are still with me.
I know that I am sacred and precious but they are just words right now. I know that my life has been worthwhile, full of many wonderful people and experiences, much happiness and joy. I feel little of this right now. God, all I can do is affirm the goodness of life and try to hold on until the darkness is replaced by your light and love.
Help me to spot the lies that my depressed emotions are telling me. Life is good. I am good. You are good. Grant me hope. My loved ones love me. Life will be beautiful again. Soon, I will see the beauty around me again. Soon, I will again know vitality and purpose, happiness and love. Until then, give me the strength and hope to survive this day.
Help me to smile and laugh, even if just for a moment. Be my strength and salvation. I ask you to restore me and make me whole. Fill me with the Word and the Spirit that I might be recreated anew. I praise and thank you. Amen.