Thursday, September 26, 2013

guest post: ideas to help you get praying when you're depressed

As promised in last week's guest post, here are the daily prayers of a pastor who struggles with depression. Katherine Orr says, "I’ve found this really helpful to read through and adapt when it’s too hard to pray my own prayers."  

Praise / Confession
  • All praise to you gracious God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for your glory, holiness, power, love, compassion and faithfulness.
  • “You are my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge.” [Psalm 18:2]
  • Thank you for the world you have created, for the way you sustain it.
  • Thank you for your overflowing love and mercy to us in sending Jesus to shed his blood on the cross and be raised in order that I may be cleansed of my sin. Thank you that because of that I can come and talk to you as a dearly loved child of God.
  • Thank you for the truth revealed by your Spirit in the Bible, for your gospel plan for the nations, for your church, for the hope of Christ’s return, and for the glory of your coming kingdom.
  • Thank you that you are unchangingly reliable.
  • Thank you that you are a rock to come back to again and again.
  • Thank you for never giving up on me and for the times when I see glimmers of hope and feel a lightness that reminds me of the hope of life without pain and suffering.
  • “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” [Psalm 139:23-24]

  • Heavenly Father, I trust that I am dearly loved by you, knit together by you and known by you, more intimately than I know myself.
  • I trust that you are “gentle and humble in heart” and that my weary soul finds lasting and perfect rest in you, through Jesus.
  • I trust your Word when it says “You hem me in, behind and before, and you lay your hand on me,” and that “you have engraved me on the palms of your hands.” I am safe with you.
  • I find it hard to understand and accept, but I trust that your grace is sufficient for me, that your power in made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:9) and that you will bring glory to yourself through my life.
  • I trust that you will use the Bible to teach and transform me, and that you will hear and answer my prayers. I trust that Your words would be a tonic, good medicine that fights against the distorted thinking that comes with depression.
  • I trust that you will direct me to do the good works you have prepared for me to do with the wisdom, gifts, time, energy and health you have given me, and that you will help me to love and serve others as I’m able.
  • Today I offer myself to you, to serve you and honour you.

  • “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you.” [Psalm 55:22]
  • Heavenly Father, hear my prayer. All is dark in this valley I’m in. I feel useless, unloved, lost, rejected, tired and without hope. I wonder if this feeling of depression will ever lift. At times, I want to sleep and never wake up again. I have no hope but you. See my tears and hear my prayer, that I may again know joy.
  • Give me delight in you as the greatest treasure of my heart. Keep me desperate for you and acknowledging my full dependence on you in everything whether well or ill.
  • Help me to be discerning when things seem cloudy and vague. Work in me through your Spirit that I might be guided by Your light rather than my darkness.
  • Keep me hoping in you when joy is absent, my strength to fight is gone and I feel abandoned. Keep me trusting in your good purposes and in your wise, strong and loving hands to hold me securely in the palm of your hand. Help me to persevere when I want to give up and to look to what Jesus has done through his life, death and resurrection – forgiving us and giving us a living hope and bringing us into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept for us in heaven. Help me to keep believing this truth and hope objectively, even when my feelings tell me the opposite.
  • Help me to remember that none of my works contribute to pleasing you in a way that will cause you to love me more than you already do. Help me to repent and pray regularly. Help me to make every effort to pursue holiness, and to set my hope fully on the grace to be given us when Jesus Christ is revealed.
  • Guard my tongue, and keep me from slander, lies, untruth and from causing unintentional hurt. Please rule my mind, heart, life, listening and speaking.
  • Give me self-discipline in eating, drinking, sleeping and exercising.
  • Help me to value good friends, yet not be too dependent on them. Please help me to be satisfied with your love and acceptance.
  • Help me persevere faithfully to the end in life.

The structure and some of the content of these prayers is thanks to Rev. Peter Adam

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