A Prayer for Our Friends Struggling with Depression

     Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5

     Kindhearted Father, my heart goes out today and my prayers reach up on behalf of those who struggle with various expressions of depression. I have friends who live all along the axis of mild melancholy to the relentless pangs of suicidal depression.  Father of mercies, teach us how to love in the dark, disconnected places.

     Continue to rescue us from naïve and inadequate views of depression. It’s not as simple of a condition as I used to think. I grieve the ways I used to counsel the depressed—encouraging and exhorting them just to run to Jesus and “get over it.”

      David asked the right question, in a season of great duress. “Why are you downcast, O my soul?” Indeed, Father, there are multiple reasons for a downcast, disturbed soul. Please show us how to care for our friends, and ourselves, when descending into the different expressions of sadness and hopelessness.

      Father, for our friends who are depressed for no other reason than living with a grace-less gospel-less heart, keep them restless and disturbed until they rest in the finished work of Jesus. May they despair of their unrighteousness and their self-righteousness, until they are driven to the righteousness that only comes from faith in Jesus. Bring the grace and truth of the gospel to bear with great liberating power.

     Father, for our friends who suffer with depression generated by anatomical anomalies, lead them to good physicians and the right kind of medical care. Grant us the grace we need to be patient and understanding of the complexities involved in their illness and care. The risk of abusing “meds” is always there. This can be a very difficult and long journey. Give us your compassion and strength.

     Father, for our friends who suffer from depression fueled by demonic influence, grant us wisdom and courage as we enter the warfare for their souls. Satan, our fury-filled foe (Rev. 12:12), is relentless and ruthless. His condemning, blaming-and-shaming voice is enough to generate deep despair and thoughts of self-destruction.  Equip us with the arsenal of the gospel as we wrestle in prayer and walk with our targeted friends.

     How we long for the Day of no more darkness, depression and despair. Until that day, we put our hope in you—our loving Savior and faithful God. So very Amen, we pray, in Jesus’ compassionate and victorious name.