Monday, July 22, 2013

How to pray when you don't feel like it & 7 Great Prayers

Sometimes, when you need it the most, you just don't feel like praying.
When my depression is really bad, I have a very difficult time with prayer.  I feel like I don't deserve to be talk to Our Lord.  I feel unworthy.  I also feel like my prayers are not effective.  I did this or that so I deserve to be depressed.  I don't deserve happiness.  Why then should I pray for healing?
I found these words on Beliefnet:
"When you're depressed, you may discover that the shadows and tempests of that depression alter the way you look at God and the way you believe God looks at you. When you pray, you may be unable to sit still or to keep your mind focused for more than a few moments. Everything may appear to be a huge gaping hole of silence--all so useless. God may seem to be mocking your attempts to pray."
The unfortunate truth is that the very nature of the disease is hopeless.  The main symptoms of depression are feelings of worthless and uselessness.  So, of course, it would seem that anything, including prayer, would be in vain.
However, even though it seems fruitless, prayer is so important.
I think that when I became depressed, I stopped praying becasue I didn't know how to pray anymore.  Depression changes things.  When you are suffering with depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses, your life changes immensly.  Hence your spiritual life will change as well.  Don't make the mistake of chucking it out altogether.  You just need to tweek your style.
The key is to remember that it won't be perfect, don't be so hard on yourself, and keep going and NEVER give up!
How to pray when you're depressed (from Beliefnet):
Find a quiet place, put on soothing music, or go for a walk.
Remember others who are hurting in your prayers; there is strength in numbers.
Hold onto the crucifix, a rosary, the Bible, or another physical, tangible sign of the faith; even if you don't say anything, just close your eyes and hold tight.
If your mind is racing, repeat one phrase over and over again.  For example, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".  Or if you need something shorter, "My Lord, and My God".
If you find yourself in church and you can't "pray", just be in the presence of the Lord.
7 Wonderful Prayers for Dealing with Depression
The Courage Prayer
Dear Jesus, lay Your Wounded Hand
Upon my weary head,
And teach me to have courage
In the paths that I must tread.

Bless me, and bless those whom I love,
And give us grace to see
These crosses bravely borne by us
Will keep us close to Thee.

And if at times a shadow falls
In unexpected ways,
Put Your gentle Hand in mine
And guide me through the days.

So bless my people, one and all,
With Thy protecting grace,
And impart to them Thy Wisdom
Ere they meet Thee face to face.

Prayer Against Depression -By St. Ignatius of Loyola
O Christ Jesus,
when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love and strengthening power
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand, Your purpose,
Your will through all things. Amen.
Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Prayer for Acceptance of God's Will
O Lord, I do not know what to ask You. You alone know my real needs, and You love me more than I even know how to love. Enable me to discern my true needs which are hidden from me. I ask for neither a cross nor a consolation but simply wait in patience for You. My heart is open to You.  For Your great mercy’s sake, come to me and help me. Put Your mark on me and heal me, cast me down and raise me up. I silently adore Your holy will and Your inscrutable ways. I offer myself in sacrifice to You and put all my trust in You. I desire only to do Your will. Teach me how to pray. Amen.
The Serenity Prayer (Original Form) -By Reinhold Niebuhr
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Deuteronomy 31:8
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Prayer for Those Coping With DepressionDear Lord, you are our refuge in good and in bad times. In your infinite mercy, bring peace and comfort to those of us who face days sometimes filled with pain and depression. Help us to realize that through you there is joy and the promise of lasting peace. Help us through the rough times. Walk before and beside us so that we may walk in your footsteps and reach out to you in our journey on this earth. Help us to focus on our blessings rather than our misfortunes, dear Lord. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayers. Amen


  1. Hi,again!

    I have to say I do "see" that you have come far even from the short time I've discovered your blog from Tiny Buddha. I sense more confidence in your tone and in your general out look in your progress and how much you have embraced YOU as a whole person ~ I really do think you have made much progress. For me, I do NOT believe in perfectionism because it's an illusion that keeps us often stuck and makes us suffer greatly.

    Take care,

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Jinhee! Thank you for your very kind words. I am my own worst critic. It is reassuring to hear someone's opinion from the outside looking in. Cheers to all our flaws! It's what makes us beautiful, right?