A Prayer For The Depressed
What can the depressed person say to God?
“Depressed” is to vague, let’s do better. What can the […overwhelmed, sad, numb, condemned, doubting, fearful, anxious…] person say to God?
Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 86:4)
Gladden the soul of your servant. Our sad souls are designed to be made glad by the Lord. We’re not (necessarily) talking about a change in circumstances, and we’re definitely not talking about putting on an artificial happy face. We’re talking about our innermost being made to experience joy and happiness.
Does gladness seem far away? Remember who God is…
For you, O LORD, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me. (Psalm 86:5-7)
Good. Forgiving. Abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon Him.
The depressed soul feels alone and isolated, the exception to all the promised goodness around them. Truth is – the depressed soul that calls on the Lord is not alone, he/she is part of the “all” who receive the abounding steadfast love of the Lord.
The depressed soul feels as though no one hears them. Truth is – the Lord hears the plea for grace and in the day of your trouble, he answers.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. (Psalm 86:12)
Thanksgiving is the evidence of trust.
The Psalmist models this for us as he merges the prayer for gladness and thanksgiving to the Lord in the same Psalm. We must fight the urge to continue to turn in toward ourselves so that we can lift our eyes to God. Thanksgiving may seem more like a forced discipline before it seems like natural response. Use thanksgiving to drag your soul up toward the Lord when it wants to spiral down into despair.
Where can the depressed soul begin?
- “Lord, gladden the soul of your servant.”
- “Lord, thank you.”