In April 2008 I published an article “Scripture and Depression: Psalm 143,” which proved to be one of the most frequently viewed posts on the LifeBrook site. In that article I mentioned how scriptures can often help us as we deal with our chronic feelings of depression, despair, and especially aloneness.
Evidently, the post rang a bell with many readers – sincere Christ-followers who are afflicted with genuine depressive disorders that are of a chronic nature and, at least from time to time, can seem overwhelming. Often, counseling and/or medication is needed to deal with these sorts of issue and I would encourage anyone dealing with depression seek professional help. Along with that type of professional intervention, I have found scripture in general and especially the practice of “Praying the Scriptures” to be especially helpful.
My own experience with depression, and well as the experiences described by many clients over the years, point to the fact that a major component of ongoing depression is a chronic sense of aloneness and isolation. We often feel cut off from the rest of the world and this sense of estrangement only makes matters worse. From a spiritual standpoint, we even feel cut off from God. I know there were times when I felt like God was in a universe far removed from the dark, desperate world I lived in.
From a Christian perspective, it is important to understand that we cannot trust our feelings and our thoughts at times like these. Our depressive state colors our thoughts and perceptions with hues of negativity and despair and this only serves to dig us in deeper. Instead of turning to our thoughts and feelings, this situation is a time for turning to scripture and prayer. What follows is a prayer that I composed some time back, and it is based on scriptural themes that assure of God’s love and his presence in our lives, particularly at those times we feel totally isolated. Based on Romans 8:28, 37-39, I encourage you to pray these words often and also spend time reflecting on what they mean and how they apply to your life.
Lord, I now take possession of the reality that, as you have promised, all things work together for the good of those who love you and have been called according to your blessed purpose. I am positive about the future because I know that an overwhelming victory is mine through the love of Christ. I am convinced that nothing can ever separate me from your love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our concerns about tomorrow.
No, Lord, I know in the depth of my being that not even the powers of hell can separate me from your love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, not one thing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
In Christs Name and Light – Amen
(c) L.D. Turner 2010/ All Rights Reserved