7 thoughts on “Praying Through Depression

  1. I have depression. How I pray varies depending on how much I trust God at that moment….
    Also, concentration tends to vanish, so most prayers are very short, often along the lines of “Hi God, I’m feeling rubbish today. Amen”
    I find ‘mantras’ (short prayers which can be repeated over and over) helpful. They take on a rhythm of their own and don’t need much concentration. They are also quite calming. I usually use “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner” – this is really good if doing cross-stitch, as the rhythm goes with the stitches…
    I also use phrases from the hymn ‘Be thou my vision’ – often “be thou my vision” “thy presence my light”
    If I’m having a not trusting God spell, then “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me” helps – it reminds me Jesus went through it too…
    I find reading the Bible difficult when depressed, it’s too easy to misinterpret things, especially the verses that people usually think are encouraging. If I’m depressed, if I read anything it’s Ecclesiastes, as it makes me feel better knowing there’s someone more depressed than me out there.
    Helen

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  2. I’ve often recommended Ecclesiastes to people going through tough times, the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene too. Sounds counter-intuitive, but there’s nothing more insufferable than glib ‘cheer up’ quotes when life is tough. Not empathetic in the slightest. But there is a high priest who can empathize with us and meet us in the mess, because he’s been there.

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  3. I have had depression bouts since a kid. I love reading Job as it expresses the despair beautifully ahaha. Like Helen mentioned in a crashingly bad time of depression it is hard to focus to read Scripture. I play music and just repeat the scripture “i will never leave you nor forsake you” – Jesus. Half the time I feel dubious He means me but you know… that’s depression for you. You just roll on through it… else it will nut you down. Well at least the godly had crashingly bad depression and hell times in the bible… Actually i am at a new point in my life where I don’t know if i believe in God anymore… how depressing ahaha But i still pray and still believe in a way but the cynicism is there too.

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  4. matt that maybe I have duped myself into believing and don’t really believe… Like maybe necessity to believe caused me to believe BUT then i remember all this stuff that was real to me at the time…I experienced God outside of church stuff thankfully so no clutter with recall. It is the aftermath of becoming a christian that is the total headcase stuff =’s churches, religious waffle, demands, expectations… My closest friend is an atheist. In face my most trusted friends bar one or two who are churchified types, are not remotely christian but great ppl. So this all leads back to wtf did i go through all this stuff for – for years… Striving and so on. I am reading atheist stuff on and off…It is quite refreshing and parts of the critique are true and the other parts … well u know… Is not doubt part of faith? I think it is. Cannot be bothered pretending to be more. thats it…. weep travail for the near backslidden one – o dear God it be me ahahaha if one didnt laugh one would SCREAM.teehee there ya go

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  5. I’d have to agree that glib “cheer-up” comments from “insensitive” cause more harm than good.
    Maybe doubt is part of faith… it’s certainly part of the journey of life. Intelligent critique is one of the signs of how fearfully and wonderfully made we really are. Striving can indeed be empty of satisfaction at times. There’s always the advice about ‘striving to enter rest”…
    Although I have felt very sad about some things and been deeply moved by people and circumstances at times, I am extremely grateful that I’ve never had to contend with that black dog of depression. My mother was a neurotic depressive (a series of about 10 nervous breakdowns), my father had a nervous breakdown, my brother also, but not me, thank God! So I have had several primary relationships with people suffering that way and have several friends who go through the cycle on a regular basis of various depressive conditions, even not so long ago losing a friend to suicide.
    My Christian friends who deal with depression seem to get up and keep going… maybe I’ll ask them what prayers help them through… I do know that several of them are intimately acquainted with the Scriptures and that one of them in particular has devised a Christian Meditation system called Cara Mayan, so I don’t mind giving a plug for a good cause.
    http://www.caramayan.com
    Oh, and Mary, you’ll often catch me screaming WITH laughter (when I’m not passionately upset about the abuses and pitfalls of institutionalization)! Enjoy your friends and keep your humour… true friends and kindred spirits on the faith journey seem to be hard to come by these days…

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  6. Mary
    Similar to Lucy, I think facing doubts is important, so I want to affirm you in that. Suppressing them only harms. But I would suggest you take those doubts to God in prayer. Here’s some stuff I’ve said about doubt previously, that I think you may find pertinent.
    http://mattstone.blogs.com/christian/2007/09/faith-and-doubt.html
    http://mattstone.blogs.com/christian/2006/10/should-doubts-be-silenced.html
    Be real, yes. If God is real then being real is actually what God asks of you. Ignore the ignorant who say otherwise.

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