Today someone submitted a request for prayer for depression and sadness. These are often times when words seem difficult to find in prayer. I have sometimes found that imagery works well during these difficult seasons. The image that immediately comes to my mind is a knot on the trunk of a tree where a branch has been cut off. Out of that space a new green shoot is pushing forth.
Is there a particular image that might became a prayer for depression for you?
In her book Praying Our Goodbyes
Joyce Rupp offers a Prayer of One Who Waits in Darkness that serves as helpful prayer for depression.
She uses the image of darkness and light and invites you to pray sitting for a time in silence and darkness. You are asked to feel the darkness in your life. After some time, you light a candle or turn on a lamp.
There is a reflection from Madeleine L'Engle's book A Wrinkle in Time
"Suddenly there was a great burst of light through the Darkness. The light spread out and where it touched the Darkness, the Darkness disappeared. the light spread until the patch of Dark thing had vanished, and there was only a gentle shining, and through the shining came the stars, clear and pure. Then, slowly, the shining dwindled until it, too, was one, and there was nothing but stars and starlight. No shadows. No fear. Only the stars and the clear darkness of space, quite different from the fearful darkness of the Thing."
Rupp offers Psalm 27 as a prayer: "Yahweh is my light and my salvation." She invites you to imagine yourself in darkness and then to see God as a great light come to light up all that is bleak and dark in you. She invites you to go through your days aware of the natural and artificial light in your life. Whenever you turn on a light, see headlights on a car, notice the sun, let this be a silent prayer for light to shine in your darkness.
Another Prayer for Depression might be to see your depression as a color or a series of colors. Perhaps you might want to get some colored pencils and depict your depression on paper. Sit with your depiction for a while. What do you notice about it? What might it be saying to you?
Then take some time to use the colors to depict what you desire for your life. Take some time to reflect on what you need from God or from life in order to live more fulling it the colors of this second coloring. Let these colors become your prayer.
Need Someone to Talk to?
I've been in email contact with several of the professional counselors over at LivePerson and have found them to be a very personable group of people. If you've got a depression you just can't shake, try connecting with one of the following therapists.