Friday, August 29, 2008

praying liturgically when depressed

I've begun reading Edward T. Welch's book, Depression: A Stubborn Darkness: Light for the Path. I like everything in the book so far, and the entire book looks good and balanced in important ways. And written in a way to help a depressed person read it. And others of you who don't battle depression will benefit from it.

In it he "talks" very well about the help "liturgical prayers" can be for those in depression, and then wisely points us to the psalms which consist largely of prayers. It is true that in depression one often has no heart to do anything, prayer certainly included. We read psalms which express human suffering in ways we readily identify with when depressed. Welch has wise, helpful words for us on this.

Just a couple of days ago my depression was weighing heavily on me (yesterday, much lighter, sometimes hardly present) and throughout the day I began to recite over and over, the Jesus Prayer: "Jesus Christ, Son of God; have mercy on me a sinner." As I repeated it, I more and more entered into it, this prayer becoming my very own. The cry for mercy is seen often in the psalms. We do well in Jesus, to come with confidence to the throne of grace for mercy and help in our time of need. I did so through that simple, Scriptural prayer, and I did find God's help that day.

I'll be blogging more on this book, as I think it's an excellent read for those of us who suffer with depression. Even for those of you who do not, this book has value, since we all can be down over the troubles of this life.

Any thoughts you'd like to add here?


Crowm said...

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Welch's book Ted. I also continue to pray for your own struggle. Have a great weeked Bro!


Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Mike. It's a fine book.

Ted M. Gossard said...

...and you have a great weekend, too! All sun here through Monday, I just read. And not much humidity to speak of right now. Wonderful.

L.L. Barkat said...

I have recently begun to think of the great value of liturgical prayer for times when, for whatever reasons, including sadness, we cannot find words of our own.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I was certainly there the other day. And alot of times I think my words are pretty empty, anyhow. I need to learn the better use of liturgical prayer, myself.