In Lights part 1: Peace I mentioned that I was going through a depressive spell at the time but that God was guiding me through it. I’m better now, but as I think about it I can clearly see He was with me, beside me and walked in front of me. It is time for me to share another light: Prayer
There are two parts to prayer in the life of a depressive or anyone going through a tough time; your own prayers and the prayers of others for you. Let me first discuss the latter.
I have the best parents in the whole world and the greatest husband as well. They intercede for me every day. My husband is more the “pray for me in my moment of distress” type and my parents are more the “pray for me continuously” type. Both are valuable and neccesary. My husband’s prayers are, most of the time, immediately effectual in terms of calming me down or lifting my spirits. With my parents, their prayers cover many areas of my life but they mostly pray that God would be with me and strengthen me. Their prayers carry me through each day. Here is what my mom dearest had to say about their prayers for me:
“For us it is a priviledge that we can contribute to Charlotte’s wellness and God’s working in her life. We are thankful that she trusts us with her journey and allow us to support us. we rest in the knowledge that God loves her more than we ever can and that our prayers therefore do not fall on deaf ears. I think it pleases God to see us stand in unity as a family against this illness. Most importantly though, it brings us relief in knowing we can do something to help since we live far away from her. Through our prayers we are also empowered since we know our hand together with God’s hand is upon her when we pray. Distance is not an issue with God.”
Now concerning my own prayer life. A lot of my prayers are captured in my journal. (I write in my journal daily, quite obsessed with it) My prayers flow out of my conversations penned in there, I would be talking about my upcoming experiments or something and then turn to pray for help or I would be writing about something good, like how faithful God is and just there write a love letter to God. A similiar pattern can be seen right through my day. I talk to God often as I go along.
As i tackle a task, I ask Him for His guidance and strength. There are also times of focused prayer, this happens mostly in the mornings in the bath while staring at a burning candle (very calming btw) I also pray myself to sleep. There is so much to say about prayer, but like I promised, I will turn to Timothy Keller’s chapter on prayer in his book “Walking with God through pain and suffering”:
“The Psalms are filled with teaching about God, ofcourse, but they are also, in the main, prayers. And they are prayers that cover almost the entire range of human experience. They show us people processing their condition before God-they are “praying” their situation instead of merely thinking about it. We see the psalmists praying their tears, their doubts, their fears, their griefs, their hopelessness-as well as their joys and blessings. There is no better place to wait for God than deep inside the Psalter.”
During my hospital stay March last year, I spent my days reading Psalms, it brought me great comfort in a very dark time. The Psalms help me explain myself when I don’t understand what I feel, I have seen my own struggles in it so often. One of my favourites is Psalm 3:
A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah. But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah. I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. Arise, O LORD! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people! Selah.
I end with this thought, if it weren’t for prayer, I would have felt that I had been abandoned. Praying reminded me that I was not alone in this, that Someone else had gone through this before me. Jesus suffered, much more than I do now and unjustly as well. Therefore I can freely talk to Him about my pain and know that He understands. That’s already enough for me. But He doesn’t stop there, He responds in ways I cannot comprehend and quite honestly do not always recognise for what it is. He loves talking and with Him you have unlimited free airtime, literally 🙂 .