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Help, I am a Christian and I am depressed.

“I find myself doing the motions of a believer, but inside I feel numb. I lack the strength to do anything that matters, I feel alone and there is nothing I can do to fix that. I cannot find any reasons to continue living. I feel like I am dying inside.”

Help, I am a Christian and I am depressed.

My tears have become my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, “where is your God?”

These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God, with the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God for, I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. O my God, my soul is in despair within me; therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

Psalms 42:2-6 NASB

“I find myself doing the motions of a believer, but inside I feel numb. I lack the strength to do anything that matters, I feel alone and there is nothing I can do to fix that. I cannot find any reasons to continue living. I feel like I am dying inside.”

Depression is “a constant feeling of sadness and loss of interest, which stops you from doing your normal activities. It is a mental condition characterized by feelings of severe hopelessness and misery, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by a lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep.” Contrary to popular belief, the opposite of depression is not happiness, it’s vitality. Vitality by definition “in both the physical and mental sense refers to a feeling of aliveness. The word itself is derived from vita or "life". In the physical sense, this vitality refers to feeling healthy, capable, and energetic.” Psychologically, this state of aliveness brings a sense that one's actions have meaning and purpose.

As Christians, one common misconception is that depression is not real. It is not a real illness, it does not require real treatment, and real believers do not feel it. We think only the unbelievers face depression because they are being punished for living in sin. In reality, depression is a real clinical syndrome that is faced by many people in and outside the church. The same way when someone has a flu, we do not deride and tell them what they are feeling is not real but we care, pray, and nurture them back to health.

Though causes and reasons for depression vary, one underlying factor is disappointment. Every day, a number of things and people bring disappointment into our lives. We live in a fallen world and because of that our expectations of what we want are never met. We are hurt when our loved ones die, we are hurt when someone we thought we could trust betrays us, and we are hurt when the reality of our efforts does not result in success.

Depression is most often caused by the culmination of one or two factors bringing us into such a broken reality that we lack the energy to foresee any hope in our circumstances. This is real, the pain you feel, the disappointments you face, are real and bring in real consequences, one being depression. In the Bible, we are introduced to several Godly people who battled depression. One being the psalmist who wrote Psalm 42. He suffered under the oppression of being in exile. His external circumstances of being in exile led him to deep and internal pain. In verse 5, he describes himself as “disturbed” and “in despair.” In verse 3 he says, “My tears have been my food day and night.” He is so discouraged to the point of crying day and night.

God never comes in and tells the person to get it together, stop complaining and pray. I believe this is what we often hear, and I am not discounting it, we are called to pray at all times, but our pain matters too. God does not just want servants to work for him; He craves that deep relationship with us. If we testify that He is love and He wants that loving relationship with us then we ought to believe that He wants to be there for us when we cannot bear it anymore.

If the psalmist's cry made it into the bible then you can be sure that God heard it as well. God does not cut us off when we go through depression, he does not push us aside until we get it together. Know that God wants to be there for you too, speak out your emotions and tell him your pain. He can take it, most of us have been ashamed because our friends and family did not understand what we are going through and we never have the courage to talk about it again. However, God can take it, He made you and He knows you, that means, whatever you think no one else can understand your creator will.

Healing takes time, often depression is exacerbated when we feel like we are taking too long to pull it together. We think God is disappointed because we are weak and slow, but God says in His word that He is patient, kind, enduring, and never-ending. Perhaps while in that depression, God is using you to connect with others who never felt comfortable enough to speak to you because you had it all together. However, when people see that you suffer like them you are able to bridge that barrier and connect in ways maybe no one else could. So in that season of lamentation, you can still be a bridge for people to see the love of God.

Trust that God is still Good enough:

Hopelessness in depression makes us feel like we can never be well again. However, we have to trust that God is good enough to want to heal and restore us. We have to understand that His power is not limited to heal in only one way, so if you prayed and still do not see Him moving that does not mean God does not want to heal you. It is very possible for God to lead you to people who can bring you out. Reaching out to counselors and getting professional help is not unbelief. God has set people aside for that purpose of leading us back to Him. Christians visit their doctors when physically unwell. The same wisdom applies to your mental health. Cry out, do not suffer in silence.

If you are suffering from depression know this:

God cares deeply when you suffer. You are in pain; you may wonder where God is. He is right there with you, just as He always is, whether you can feel it or not. God understands, when you are so depressed that your prayers cannot be articulated. He is with you and hears your heart’s cries.

I want you to be encouraged because we do not serve an high priest who can not relate to our suffering, but we serve a high priest who went through depression as well. When His friend betrayed Him and run then away from Him, and He knew He was going to suffer pain. He understands you, He knows you. Run to the Father and let Him hear you.

Further Resources:

· To The Depressed Christian

· Spiritual Depression in the Psalms

· How to find hope in the Midst of Suffering

Reach out to anyone in your closer circle, your pastor, priest, or mentor.

And again, I will say do not suffer in silence. God wants to see you well. Amen.

Click here to watch the video on youtube

Jemima Malaika Telli

Jemima is a medical student, passionate about the things of God and seeing Christians have a healthy relationship spiritually and physically.

Praying Like Jesus

Prayer is one of the most misunderstood subjects in Christianity. Many people might not understand what prayer is all about, which may lead them to think that prayers only happen when facing challenges or need. Therefore, these kinds of people may go for weeks, months, or a year without praying.

Praying like Jesus

Prayer is one of the most misunderstood subjects in Christianity. Many people might not understand what prayer is all about, which may lead them to think that prayers only happen when facing challenges or need. Therefore, these kinds of people may go for weeks, months, or a year without praying.

What is prayer?

I define prayer as a two-way communication between God and man. Man is expected to both speak and listen.

For a Christian, prayer is not merely talking to God but responding to the One who has initiated toward us. This is not a conversation we start, but a relationship into which we’ve been drawn(David C. Mathis, 2016).

In summary, prayer is not just about us asking and getting things from God but is about spending quality time with God, knowing his voice better, etc.

Different aspects of prayer – ACTIS

1. Adoration--- Praising and worshiping God.

2. Confession--- Confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness.

3. Thanksgiving--- Giving thanks to God for the things that are happening and others (people).

4. Intercession--- praying for others.

5. Supplication---- making a specific request.

We can see the greatest example of this in the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew 6:9 - 13

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, you will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

How do we discipline ourselves to pray?

Ø Set a time in a day to pray

Jesus used to pray in the morning,

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed - Mark 1: 35 NIV.

Ø Follow the lead of the Holy Spirit

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for,

but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express - Romans 8: 26 NIV.

Ø Make it regular

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer - Romans 12:12 ESV.

Pray continually - 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV.

Ø Incorporate prayers in every aspect of your life

The scriptures point us back to Jesus by showing us he had an excellent prayer lifestyle to the point that he prayed even when he was about to take the last breath.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” - Luke 23:34 NIV.

Pray continually - 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people - Ephesians 6:18 NIV.

Ø Pray with other people (join prayer meetings, friends, and family)

Jesus prayed with his disciples, and this culture of corporate prayers continued even after he ascended to heaven.

When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them - Acts 4:24 NIV.

It’s important to pray with others because it helps you grow in your prayer life. It helps you focus and pray for a longer time. It helps you develop a selfless prayer lifestyle.

Errors in prayer:

1. Wrong motives

When you ask, you do not receive that you may spend what you get on your pleasures because you ask with wrong motives - James 4:3 NIV.

2. Pride and boastfulness

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' - Luke 18:10-13 NIV.

3. Wrong attitude

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full - Matthew 6:5 NIV.

4. Not knowing how to ask

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son - John 14:13 NIV.

Click here to watch the video on youtube

Lidia Ivone

Lidia is passionate about prayer, loves to serve the body of Christ, enjoys writing poems, sharing tips of growing a natural hair, and trying her hands on designs.

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