Prayer is difficult under the best of circumstances, but it is more difficult when one is nervous or sad. During such times, most of us find it difficult to focus, we believe God is far away, and we lose hope of God listening or assisting us. All of this makes prayer difficult and depressing.
In such dark and troubling times, how can we make prayer simpler and more encouraging? When individuals are nervous or sad, I tell them five words to assist them to understand how to pray:
One minute of true, focussed prayer is preferable to fifteen minutes of distracted, wandering prayer.
Try to recite these little prayers throughout the day to stay in touch with God. Set your phone to an hourly timer.
Pray to your loving father as though you were a wounded kid. Complex theological compositions are not required.
When you can’t think of anything to say, turn to the words God has supplied in the psalms, the Lord’s Prayer, or Paul’s petitions.
When you are unable to pray for yourself, ask someone to pray alongside you. Perhaps they can pray with you over the phone, and you can ride on their words to the seat of grace.
If these five words assist us to understand the how of prayer, here are five sentences to help you understand the what of prayer.
What Makes You Unique
For Christian depression and anxiety cause us to become self-centered and even preoccupied with ourselves. We see all of our shortcomings and pains. Prayer encourages us to place God at the center of our life, which not only provides us something greater to gaze at than ourselves but also helps us to see everything else, including ourselves, more clearly.
That is why we want to begin prayer with worship, remembering who God is and what God has done. We honor him by describing his characteristics and utilizing scriptural imagery of his character. This alters what and how we perceive, providing us with a God-centered perspective on our environment and ourselves. That is an uplifting and reassuring viewpoint in and of itself.
I am a
We may then confess ourselves and what we are and are not after starting with a God-centered perspective. Confession is just telling God who we are and where we are in our lives. In fact, God already knows without our telling him, yet he still invites us to pour out our hearts to him.
It acknowledges God as the sympathizer with our frailties and the forgiver of our misdeeds. Hearing ourselves explain ourselves in the face of the God who recognizes our frailties and forgives our trespasses is therapeutic for us.
Depression and anxiety impose an enormous burden of guilt (both false and genuine guilt) on us, crushing our spirits and closing our lips. Being open and honest about it before God starts to move the burden from our shoulders to Christ’s.
What I’m grateful for
Depression and anxiety draw our attention to what we lack, so it’s crucial to recall everything that God has given to us and done for us, both in redemptive history and in our own particular histories.
Ask him to assist you in seeing what you are frequently blind to or take for granted. Simply go about your kitchen or yard and thank God for all you see and have. Thanksgiving is a life-giving holiday.