What is depression?  When we are suffering from depression we are unable to feel any positive feelings, including feeling that when we say our prayers to God that God is still there or that God still cares or that he hears us.  Praying for healing from depression can be a difficult undertaking.   Those of us praying for loved ones with depression experience stress because we are unable to understand what our loved one is going through and aren’t sure what to do to help or how to pray for them.

My mother was a very deeply devoted Christian who suffered from depression for the last 20 years of her life.  She felt that as a Christian she shouldn’t have to ask for help.   Thankfully, when she did seek help she was helped tremendously by the right medications, which I feel were God’s answer to our prayers for healing.  I have written the following prayer to help us all pray for those we care about who suffer from depression.

A Prayer for Healing from Depression

Dear Heavenly Father,

We pray today that you will lead our loved one who is suffering depression on your healing paths for their hearts and spirits.  We intercede on their behalf because depression blocks our ability to feel your presence.  We take comfort in the fact that many of the strongest saints of the ages have gone through this same kind of “dark night of the soul.”   We acknowledge that being a Christian does not exempt us from depression and that being depressed is a disease, not a failing.

Right now our loved one feels as if they are walking in darkness and it’s very hard for them to see even a glimmer of the light of your presence because of their inner oppression and pain.  Thank you for their continued faith.  They feel that their faith is weak, but actually it is so much stronger than ours because they are clinging to bind faith that is not based on any positive feelings of being blessed or loved or worthy of help.  We stand with them on the truth of your love and claim your promise in Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous…for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

We thank you that even Jesus, your only Son who was closer to you than anyone who ever walked the earth, felt abandoned on the cross when He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  (Matthew 27:46)  Dear Jesus, please join your own wounded heart of compassion with the empty and lonely heart of our loved ones in a redemptive way that we cannot understand.

We thank you that depression is a treatable disease and that, with your help, our loved one can get better.  Thank you that you know the root physical and psychological causes of their condition.  Please build a healing team of caring doctors and counselors who know good treatment options.  Help us, their families, friends, church families and communities, to support and love them during this time.

Because our heart aches for our loved ones, sometimes we try hard to fix them.  Too often we find ourselves saying or doing the wrong things.  We desperately need patience during their healing process.  We need your strength to carry the part of their normal workload that depression makes them unable to manage.  We need your power to be truly present with them.  We need a wise mentor or friend with whom we can talk about the difficulty of our role as a caregiver. Teach us to rely closely on You.

We claim the promise of the return of the joy of life for our loved one from Psalm 126:5,6 “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.  He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.”  In the name of Jesus our savior we pray, amen.

Copyright Karen Barber 2012   All rights reserved.

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