When we want help with depression, we need to learn to pray. The Bible speaks a lot about how God wants to help with our despondency that has resulted from our emotional pain and crushed hearts. But the way that God is most effective to bring us relief is when we take that step of humility and just ask.
…you know how to give good gifts to your children. So how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him? – Matthew 7:11, GW
To those of us who have children, we know how much we have given them things that they have asked for. "Mommy, daddy, can I have a candy bar. Pleaaaase!" Whatever it is, we all have given in and given them their requests. Not for everything, of course, but every good parent gives things to their children when they ask. Do you think that God is any different? He is our heavenly Father. He is our creator. If you are His child, He wants to help you with many of your needs and wants. God's good gifts are not necessarily candy bars and other physical things. God can give us relief in our hearts and souls–when we pray.
The prayers of the Psalmists
As God inspired the psalmists to write their songs, they taught us the principle of asking God for help with depression and other problems.
Our souls are bowing in the dust. Our bodies cling to the ground. Arise! Help us! Rescue us because of your mercy! – Psalms 44:25,26, GW
When we are depressed, we don't feel like moving. We want to just curl up on the floor and enter a state of despondency. It is then that we need to ask God to rescue us. The psalmists taught that God knows about our emotional pain. When we cry, He knows about every tear we shed. We need to cry unto God, and He will be there for us.
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? – Psalms 56:8, ESV
O LORD my God, I cried out to you for help, and you healed me. – Psalms 30:2, GW
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him from all his troubles. – Psalms Ps. 34:6, HCSB
You called out in distress, and I rescued you. – Psalms 81:7a, HCSB
God is willing to heal, save, and rescue our hearts when we are distressed. We just have to pray, ask, cry out, or call out to God.
Prayer from a right heart
There are two principles to remember when it comes to prayer. First, God is not a "genie in the sky" who's there to meet our every need and desire for the asking. If we are God's children, we need to understand God's standards. All of us have been children, and never got everything we asked for from our parents or guardians. God, as our heavenly Father, doesn't give us everything we ask for either.
Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. – I John 5:14, HCSB
So, God hears our prayers when we ask Him for things that are within His will for us. When it comes to help with depression, we can certainly expect that God wants to help us. God has our best interests at heart, and the Bible teaches us that one of the good gifts that God has for us is happiness. We will learn more about that in article nine.
The second principle to remember is that God hears the prayers of the righteous. Now, none of us are perfect. If we were, we wouldn't even get depressed. We would handle every trouble and lousy circumstance. We are messed up humans. Only with God's help can we have a right heart. Only through faith in Christ, can we pray with a right heart.
The LORD is near to everyone who prays to him, to every faithful person who prays to him. – Psalms 145:18, GW
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. – Psalms 34:17-19, ESV
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – John 15:7, NIV
In the above verses, we read that God is near to "faithful" people when they pray. God hears when the "righteous" cry for help. He wants to help the afflicted, brokenhearted and crushed in spirit when they pray. We just need to "remain" in a right relationship with God. Even if you are already a Christian, ask God to forgive anything you've done recently that offended Him. Then pray for your needs.
If we are in a state of despondency or emotional pain, God wants to help. As we read more about how God wants to be there for us when we are depressed, just remember to pray, ask, cry out, or call out to God.
Next article: Help with depression Bible-style II, God's fatherly love