Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2. Prayer

Here we are with item #2 from Do Not Despair.

Catch up if you need to:
The beginning
1. Repentance

The second item President Benson discusses in his article is prayer. How fundamentally, monumentally, drastically vital it is in combating depression!

There's a hitch, though. Many people (me included) feel like their minds have been swapped for spaghetti when depression strikes.

I remember way back when I was pregnant with the twins and realizing how deep and dark of a pit I was in. As two year old Jonzy napped, I shut myself in my room with my scriptures; hoping to drive away the darkness with some spiritual light. Only I couldn't read. I'd stare at the same sentence and try and try and try to read it, but three or four words in my mind would jump to something else, then something else, then something else. I wish I could describe it better than that.

I sat on my bed and stared at my open scriptures, so insanely confused at why I could no longer read. So I decided to pray.

I lumbered the three of us off the bed and onto the floor. But I couldn't pray either! Every thought was suffocated in an Olympic sized pool of other random thoughts; none of them able to complete before being interrupted by another. I'd been struggling with jumbled prayers for a while, but it didn't hit me until right then that I'd lost my ability to pray.

*I never thought to pray out loud. That probably would have really helped me at least complete a sentence, if not an entire prayer.*

I knelt there by my bed and tried to deal with the shock. Why, when I had this problem I knew could be helped, were two of the main sources of help blocked from me???? I argued with Heavenly Father for a long time about that one and honestly I still don't understand it. "That's not fair!" I told him. "I NEED those! Please please please give them back."

Fortunately, I found I could still pray if I kept my thoughts super short. So my prayers became a jumbled mess of random thoughts interspersed by as many, "please help me's" and help me's" as I could stick in there.

I found that the more often I prayed, the more breaks from the dark I got. I love what President Benson said: "...prayer—persistent prayer—can put us in touch with God, our greatest source of comfort and counsel."

Persistent prayer!

The more I filled my days with my simple plea of "help me, help me, help me..." the more I would get that answer he always gave me: "It'll be okay, Lindsey. Remember, I love you." And just knowing he loved me would give what I needed to go on.

After some years passed and I learned more about depression and my experience with it, I have been able to get into the scriptures more and prayer more deeply about it. It's been such a light.

The more I study the scriptures and pray for protection and help, acknowledging that this is a temptation for me and I really really need help, the better I feel.

I'd like to share two of the scriptures I found in my studies of prayer that have really helped me this last year.

"Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name; And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be give unto you."
3 Nephi 18: 18-20, emphasis added

"Yea, and I also exhort you, my brethren, that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day; for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing."
Alma 34:39, emphasis added

I love them both. The first gives me hope. The second warns and reminds me that following the temptations "rewardeth [me] no good thing."

That's all I have to say about that.

I hope these posts are inspiring, enlightening, encouraging, etc. If you have thoughts to share, feedback, or whatnot please do:)

1 comment:

Jar and Steph said...

LOVE this, Lindsey!! Prayer is amazing, there is strong power that comes from faith coupled with consistent prayer. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts :)