There’s a melancholy strand in my DNA.
It’s not as pronounced as it used to be, but it still reminds me that it’s there.
I know others struggle with depression and depressive tendencies.
There’s a couple in ministry that I’ve never met, but as I read of their struggles to settle in the place where God has called them, as I read that one does this dealing with depression, my heart aches.
I know how empty words of consolation, encouragement and counsel can be. Really, I do.
It reminds me that the smartest thing that Job’s friends ever did was sit in silence with him. They only made a mess of it by speaking.
But there is prayer. Pastor Scotty Smith has been there. He’s walked with the black dog.
This is his prayer for others who still do. It’s my prayer as well.
A Prayer About Depression
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Most gracious and kindhearted Father, my heart goes out and my prayers reach up today on behalf of those who struggle with various degrees of depression. There are people I deeply care about who live all along the axis of mild seasonal melancholy to the relentless pangs of suicidal depression.
Father of mercies and God of all comfort, lead me in my praying and my caring for this wide range of friends. Thank you for rescuing me from a way too simplistic view of depression by which I used to judge those who experience darkness and despair of soul. It saddens me to realize the pressure I put on people to get better… to “get over it”… and just to be happy.
But David asked the right question, Father—the question I want to ask as I seek to love well. What are the various reasons for a downcast disturbed soul, and what does hoping in you look like for each?
Father, for my friends who are depressed for no other reason than living with a grace-less gospel-less heart… keep them miserable until they rest in the finished work of your Son, Jesus. May they despair of their own unrighteousness and their wanna-be-righteousness, until they are driven to the righteousness that comes from faith in Jesus.
Father, for my friends who suffer from depression generated by anatomical anomalies, lead them to the right kind of medical care. And help us in the community of faith be patient and understanding of the complexities involved in their care. The risk of abusing “meds” is always there… give us wisdom together.
Father, for my friends who suffer from demonic induced depression… I really need humility and wisdom about this one. A part of me doesn’t even want to acknowledge this is a viable issue, but how can I read your Word and dismiss the demonic so lightly? I know his condemning… blaming and shaming voice is enough to generate the deepest forms of despair. But teach me more about the “schemes of the enemy,” and how to care for those under the spell and sway of the “defeated-yet-fury-filled” one, who knows “his time is short.” (Revelation 12:12)
I do and I will yet praise you, my Savior and my God. My hope is in you, Father—for me and for all of my broken-hearted friends.
So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus’ compassionate and victorious name.
And I will say no more.