Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Ps. 43:5
Dear heavenly Father, my heart goes out today, and my prayers reach up, on behalf of those who struggle with different expressions of depression. I have friends who live all along the axis from mild melancholy to the relentless pangs of suicidal depression, and I’ve experienced the agony of a distressed and disconnected heart myself. Father of mercies, teach me how to love in the dark places.
Thank you for rescuing me from simplistic views of depression I used to embrace. It’s not as simple a condition as I used to think. I grieve the ways I used to counsel the depressed, and it saddens me to realize how much pressure I put on them get to out of bed and get better; do more, try harder and “get over it.”
David asked the right question in his season of duress: “Why, my soul, are you downcast?” (Ps. 43:5). Indeed, Father, what are the various reasons for a downcast, disturbed soul, and what does hoping in you look like for each? Show us, and prepare us to love sufferers to your glory.
For friends who are depressed for no other reason than they are living with a graceless, 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 wannabe righteousness, until they are driven to the righteousness that comes from faith in Jesus. It’s good to be miserable unto mercy.
Father, for friends who suffer from depression generated by anatomical anomalies, lead them to the right kind of medical care and counsel. Help us in the community of faith to be patient and understanding of the complexities involved in their care. The risk of abusing medications, and dis-using them, is always there—give us wisdom, together, to care for them appropriately.
Father, for my friends who suffer from depression fueled by demonic influence, I really need humility and wisdom. A part of me doesn’t even want to acknowledge that this is an issue, but how can I read your Word and dismiss the activity of the powers of darkness? His condemning, blaming, and shaming voice is enough to generate the deepest forms of despair. Yet those things don’t exhaust his evil arsenal. How are we to care for those under the spell and sway of our defeated, fury-filled foe (Rev. 12:12)? Please lead us.
I join the Psalmist in praising you in the middle of complex caring giving. 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 brokenhearted friends. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ compassionate and victorious name.