Two of the shortest verses in the Bible are the most powerful against chronic depression. Not to mention stress, fear, anxiety, anger, etc. This will, at first, be harder when you begin from the middle of a bout. But start. Start now.
“Rejoice Always” (I Thess. 5:16)
Rejoice is a pretty commonly known but less understood “Christian” word. It may be helpful to understand that the “re” at the beginning of rejoice holds a great clue. To rejoice means to recall to mind the joys and blessings in your life from the gracious and powerful hand of the Lord. Keep bringing those joys to the surface of your mind and heart. By the way, emphasis is added in this verse by repeating the charge a second time. That’s how important it is.
“Pray Without Ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17)
Although Our Heavenly Father loves to answer our requests, the primary purpose of prayer is establishing a love connection to Him with our heart, not to do our bidding. He serves us, but He is not our servant. Interestingly enough, the primary source of the Islamic prayer pattern finds it’s roots in early Judeo Christian ethic. The Hebrews and the Early Church consciously prayed several times a day toward Jerusalem. Islamic prayer turned that to 5 times a day toward Mecca. Without offering this as a point of condemnation, let me ask the question, “Would it not bode well for blood bought New Creation children to return to a more conscious devotion to such a primary link with their God?” Without a sense of “legalism” a more “face set like flint” to pray – even multiple times – daily must come back in vogue for the child of God.
This will become increasingly appealing when…
Prayer is much more than crying out crisis requests. The reason…
Crisis cry requests have the need as the focus of heart and mind. Whatever one focuses upon grows in their consciousness. Worship, embracing God kind of prayers nurture the awareness of God’s greatness. Trust begins to overtake the discouragement. Peace begins flooding the soul. When peace floods the soul, there isn’t room for anything else to occupy the space.
That’s why the habit of continued rejoicing and prayer builds a great defense against the onslaught of discouragement. That’s why the defeating of discouragement best happens before it attacks.
I hope this simple lesson will be powerful in your daily life as you begin to practice it with me.