Questions and Answers
Regarding Prayer




Sender:  Vincent, Loredo, Texas

"I am going through a depression and discouragement.  It seems that I do not have faith.  I have tried medication and nothing works.  I wonder if prayer will help me to beat all of this.  

When I pray, I get discouraged, and I even fear the Lord I pray to.  I want Him to deliver me, but I do not know what to do.   I feel this carving and cringing in my my lower belly.  Can prayer help me?  

The issue you've described with depression, discouragement, fear of God's judgment and condemnation, etc., tells me that you are under heavy spiritual attack.  That's not surprising, though, since spiritual warfare for the minds and souls of human beings has been going on since the Garden of Eden.  The good news is that Jesus -- in his death, burial and resurrection -- has provided forgiveness of sins; deliverance from spiritual oppression; and the righteousness, peace and joy that accompany salvation.  What that means to you is that you do not have to live with condemnation, guilt, depression, anxiety or the physical problems resulting from these emotional struggles. 

When you put your faith in Jesus as your Savior and Deliverer, you are saying "no" to the temptation to put your faith in yourself to cure yourself of the ills your have described.  As long as you and I try to measure up to God's standards and gain His good graces, we will forever fail. For, as the Bible says, our own righteousness is like filthy rags in God's site -- totally unacceptable.  (See Isaiah 64:6.)  When Paul wrote to the Philippians that we "rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3b; KJV), he was saying that we can be joyful because Jesus alone has provided for us total acceptance with God, and this is something we could never do for ourselves through our own striving to gain God's favor. We cannot place confidence in ourselves to earn God's favor, but we can place full confidence in Jesus who has provided us with God's favor as a gift that costs us nothing but that cost Him everything.

There are two things I would recommend to you to break free from the thoughts, that are causing the emotions, that are causing the physical illness you are experiencing. 

First, you need to constantly renew your mind. By that I mean keep telling yourself the truth over and over again until you believe it.  The Bible says that faith comes by continually hearing the Word of God.  (This is the meaning of the Greek text of Romans 10:17.)  The truth is that by faith alone in what Jesus has done for you, your sins are forgiven, you are accepted into God's favor, and you are blessed with salvation and all that accompanies it -- including (among other blessings) a rested soul, a peaceful mind, and a healthy body.  Compare Isaiah 53:4-5 with Matthew 8:16-18 for biblical assurance that you have a covenant basis to embrace these blessings through your faith in Jesus. 

Second, I would recommend to seek out a local ministry where group prayer for individual needs is practiced and where those who pray believe in prayers of breakthrough or deliverance.  Sometimes we need the concerted prayers of other believers to break through the stubborn mind-sets (i.e., demonic strongholds over our thinking) that so strongly work against our believing in what Jesus has done for us.  You are welcome to send your prayer request through the appropriate link on the home page of this Web site.  However, I believe you would also do well to receive regular, "saturating" prayer from a local group of believers with whom you can meet personally for prayer ministry.

These two suggestions -- renewing the mind with God's truth and receiving corporate prayer for spiritual breakthrough -- will surely bring you to a place of freedom and deliverance.

Here's a final though for you.  On one occasion, Jesus was ministering to a crowd of people who had followed him by boat to Capernaum.  They asked Jesus, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" (John 6:28)   Jesus answered: "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." (verse 29)  That's God's answer to everyone who struggles to please Him, and that's God's answer to you and me.  He is saying:  "Stop struggling to earn My favor, which you can never do.  Just believe in what My Son did for you in His death and resurrection.  As you believe in Him and ask Him to be Savior and Lord of your life, He will actually come to live IN you by His Spirit and He will live out His life through you.  The favor He has with Me will be the favor you have with Me."  You will learn in your personal experienced what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote:  "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."  (Galatians 2:20b)  It is then that your life will progressively change to one that reflects the good pleasure of God which He has ALREADY GIVEN YOU as a gift of His love. We receive the grace of God as a gift, and then we begin to grow into the grace that we have received.

I know this answer to your question will help you as you take it to heart. 


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