Jan. 13. Devotional: Many people deal with depression and heaviness of heart for many reasons. I thought I would post some thoughts & a prayer dealing with this subject.
Everyone of us has troubles and issues in life and our feelings and emotions are valid. My heart is moved with compassion every time I read a prayer request and see what others are going through! I know that you cannot discern that simply through reading a written message such as this one, but my goal is to not just show compassion, but also teach you how to regain the victory and peace of mind that is yours in Christ Jesus. So I always teach principles of scripture and then offer a prayer. Please know that it is not my intention in any way to make light of anyone's personal struggles, pain or heartache.
Scripture says "Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad." (Prov. 12:25) Anxiety comes from Fear and the Bible tells us that these things cause depression. When ever there is depression, often there is something else going on, too. A spirit of heaviness works with the spirit of fear to produce discouragement, but first we must ask ourselves what has given Fear an entrance into our life. Fear and depression are the result of unbelief in some area of our life. Remember, in as much as we all have issues in our life that cause us grief, hurt, worry and frustration, our choice is to succumb to the voice of fear and unbelief or shake ourselves and force ourselves to believe the word of the Lord. When we truly believe God is for us and will handle the things that make us worried and stressed out, it not only reassures our heavy hearts but it also makes obedience easier.
Now that I've said that, if depression or discouragement is a burden you are carrying today, ask yourself some important questions. Is there a lie I've been entertaining that is producing anxiety or fear? If so, what is it? You can ask Holy Spirit to reveal it. Is there any area where you might be out of alignment with the Lord? Is there anyone you need to forgive, perhaps? Fear that brings torment is the result of holding unforgiveness, and the by-product of these things is that the weight of our own sin is actually what is causing our depression. Now this is challenging, because depression feels so...depressing. It almost seems unfair to be presented with the question what is causing it and are we at fault? Please don't be offended. I have been there too, and that is why I present it to you to ask yourself and bring it before the Lord. I have found in my own life that every time I was depressed, I had been listening to the voice of the enemy and to words of discouragement. I was entertaining lies and throwing my confidence towards the Lord right out the window! I had to sit myself down and ask myself what I really believed. I had to search my heart. I did not always hear the answer to my questions but when I decided to believe God and hold on to His promise regardless of the evidence, my confidence towards the Lord returned and the depression lifted. Faith must have the last word, and as we make a choice to believe and speak God's promises, depression and heaviness must obey and leave us. This is how we submit to God and take back our authority.
Ask the Lord to search your heart and show you whether your issue is hormonal or spiritual, if there is something you need to confess or if there is someone you need to forgive. If there is and you are having difficulty doing it, ask the Lord to give you a different perspective on the issue. God can give anyone the gift of His grace to enable them to forgive, but you need to be willing to ask for it. Even other emotional and mental health issues such as bi-polar disease, comes from a root of double-mindedness. Faith and unbelief are at polar opposites from one another, hence the term bi-polar. The waivering between two mind sets causes an emotional roller coaster with highs and lows. The Bible tells us that the root of all sin is unbelief, which is why these things must be renounced. Depression, discouragement, apathy, inferiority, isolation and feelings of hopelessness can be off the charts. Fear and Heaviness are the strongmen at work, and we can bind them and tell them to go! But, to be successful we must first honor the principle found in James 4:6: First submit to God, (through our act of obedience), then resist the enemy and tell him to go and he must obey!
Pray: I lift up those who are struggling with oppression, grief, depression and discouragement. I pray for each one of my family members, those in my workplace, neighborhood, community, and city of _____. I am anointed to console those who mourn and give them beauty for ashes, (Is. 61:3). Father, today I ask for the opportunity to share my own testimony of how you comforted me. Bring someone to me today where I have a personal experience that they can relate to, and let Your Holy Spirit bring the conversation up so that I have an opportunity to share about You. Hit the pause button so that there are no interruptions while You give me a chance to minister to the person You bring across my path. Give me Your words, Your love and the grace to speak to whomever You know needs my testimony or Your words of encouragement. I am just Your vessel, Lord. I yield to you. Fill my mouth with Your words and give me boldness to speak when the opportunity is presented. I command the spirits of fear, insecurity, unbelief, double mindedness, heaviness and discouragement to be broken now, in Jesus name! Let a spirit of faith and forgiveness come upon them now in Jesus name! Show people what they personally must renounce and repent from so that they can receive their healing.
I declare that because I love righteousness and hate wickedness, therefore my God has anointed me with the oil of gladness more than my companions. (Ps. 45:7). I am anointed to give others the oil of gladness in exchange for their mourning, and give them the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness, according to Is. 61:3.
I bind the spirit of heaviness from all who cross my path. When I walk into a room, across the street, through the parking lot, into my office, into a restaurant or wherever I go, I declare that the spirits of fear, anxiety and heaviness are bound in the name of Jesus and rendered paralyzed, impotent and powerless. A spirit of joy and gladness will unexpectedly overtake those that are in my presence. I release it into the atmosphere now and ask that Holy Spirit overflow the joy of the Lord upon anyone I encounter. Let rivers of joy flow in dry places! Let rivers of living water flow in their innermost being, according to John 7:38. For it is written, "If anyone thirsts, let them come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, 'out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water,' ".
I declare the joy of the Lord to be our strength, and will overtake others in my presence. Your word says laughter is like good medicine. Let your joy and laughter break out unexpectedly and be medicine to the souls of those around me. There is joy unspeakable and the glory of the Lord in Your presence, and I declare a release of Your presence into the very atmosphere wherever I go, in Jesus name.
Note: There are other articles and prayers that might be helpful, such as "God's Power to Heal the Brain," which also deals with brain chemical imbalances.