When Depression Hits: How to Pray Above Your Sorrow

“Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.” – Psalm 143:8 NKJV

I stand in the doorway trying hard to produce a smile as I wave goodbye.

It’s what I want my husband and kids to see as they drive away to work and school.

A smile. A happy mom. A happy wife. A momentary image of who I long to be.

As they go, I step inside and close the door. The smile I tried hard to form, quits too easily as a familiar blanket of sadness moves to greet me.

Within the four walls we call home, I let go of expectations and image-keeping and hard-to-make smiles. I sink down – against my will, into the reality of who I am on too many days.

A woman of sorrow.

God, how I hate this.

In the recesses of my mind, I wonder about time. How much time will have to pass before this shapeless gray lifts? A day? A week? Maybe a month? Once, it lasted over ten years.

But time and this pervading darkness are things I cannot focus on. And neither can you, my friend.

The truth is, our life calls us to the living.

We have people to love, memories to make, children to grow, faith to work out, and eternity to hope upon.

There must be a remedy to pick us up from the depths, a tonic to free our oppressed spirit.

Enter Psalm 143:8. A prayer to help us rise above our sorrow.

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.

Cause me to hear…

Too often, depression clogs our ears to kind and up-lifting words. But when we ask God to “cause us to hear” He will break through our darkness and help us to receive in ways we cannot do for ourselves. Lord, cause me…break open within me anything that inhibits full communion with you. Lord, cause me to hear…to forgive…to receive…to love…

Your lovingkindness in the morning…

The night can make a dark mood darker. Not only do we feel the darkness within, but now it is our physical environment. It’s here, where we must remember how night has an end and morning still dawns.

Charles Spurgeon, who suffered greatly from depression, once said…

Lovingkindness is one of the sweetest words in our language. Kindness has much in it that is most precious, but lovingkindness is doubly dear; it is the cream of kindness.

And so, it is this “cream of kindness” we ask God to cause us to hear each morning. A kindness, richer and fuller, to help us hope through our sorrows once more.

For in You do I trust…

We are not dependable when we are depressed. And in this undependable state we are keenly aware we do not have what it takes to lift ourselves to higher and brighter places. We must surrender to the trustworthiness of God. Trust His workings, His timing, and nearness.

Cause me to know the way in which I should walk…

Once again, we pray for God to give us an ability we cannot gain on our own. Not only do we need to hear His lovingkindness, we also need Him to “cause us to know” how to walk. How do I walk in truth? How do I walk in peace? How do I walk in obedience and relationship and surrender while I wander through these many dark days?

For I lift up my soul to You…

When depression hits, gravity seems to double. Basic tasks take so much effort, but the task of lifting our soul up to God only takes a prayer. Though we hate where we are and wonder how long it will last, we remember to love our God. We offer up our soul to Him for safe-keeping and rest in the assurance His grace will find us – even through the long and lonely shadows of our life.

If you suffer from depression, I am sorry. I understand the loneliness, hurt, and hopelessness it brings. I pray this post is as therapeutic for you as it was for me. May you always know how the light and love of God can pierce every darkened corner and every gray day.

2 Replies

  1. So Beautiful! Thank you for your words of encouragement!❤

    1. Raye Wortel

      You’re welcome, my friend!

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