Sunday, October 23, 2011

How to Pray When You're Depressed

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Normally I'm not a big fan of Belief.net. Too "ecumenical." But they got me with this one. I'm not particularly depressed, but if I am somewhat ill, even hospitalized with pneumonia like I was 18 months ago, I find it much more difficult to pray than when I am feeling fine.

10 spiritual techniques to help Christians find your prayer voice even in your darkest hours.

By Kathryn J. Hermes, F.S.P

When you're depressed, you may discover that the shadows and tempests of that depression alter the way you look at God and the way you believe God looks at you. When you pray, you may be unable to sit still or to keep your mind focused for more than a few moments. Everything may appear to be a huge gaping hole of silence--all so useless. God may seem to be mocking your attempts to pray.

I know people who have gone three, five, ten years without "praying," though they were faithful to setting time aside for prayer regardless of its seeming uselessness. In the haunting darkness where all communication had gone silent, they found loneliness, boredom, frustration, anger. Were they praying? Yes.

If this is happening to you, try these forms of prayer and contemplative love. Belief.Net




How to Pray When You're Depressed

10 spiritual techniques to help Christians find your prayer voice even in your darkest hours.

By Kathryn J. Hermes, F.S.P

When you're depressed, you may discover that the shadows and tempests of that depression alter the way you look at God and the way you believe God looks at you. When you pray, you may be unable to sit still or to keep your mind focused for more than a few moments. Everything may appear to be a huge gaping hole of silence--all so useless. God may seem to be mocking your attempts to pray.

I know people who have gone three, five, ten years without "praying," though they were faithful to setting time aside for prayer regardless of its seeming uselessness. In the haunting darkness where all communication had gone silent, they found loneliness, boredom, frustration, anger. Were they praying? Yes.

If this is happening to you, try these forms of prayer and contemplative love.

1. Find a Quiet Place

Put on some soothing music. Keep it soft and gentle. Take a few deep breaths, holding each one for a few seconds and then slowly exhaling. Relax. Feel the chair you're sitting on, your feet on the floor. Smell the scents in the room. Imagine Jesus coming toward you with a smile on his face. Tell him how you are feeling right now-anxious, uncomfortable, fidgety, distracted, wanting to focus. Tell him what things are like for you today. Open your heart to him. Feel his presence very close to you. Let his love into your heart. Thank him for this gift.

2. Go for a Walk

Take some pleasant music with you. As you go, notice the sky, feel the season. Recognize what is around you. Feel at home right now. Offer your heart to Jesus, even if your pain is deep. Though you may be alone on your walk, Jesus is in your heart. Tell him what you see...the beauty around you. Tell him how you feel...even if it is dark. Remember he wants you to tell him everything in your life...joys and pains.


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