UN/Broken - Day 3

THE MYTHS OF FAITH & MENTAL HEALTH Myth #3 - Pray more and let it go

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray  about everything. Tell God what you need, and  thank him for all he has done. Then, you will  experience God’s peace, which exceeds  anything we can understand. His peace will  guard your hearts and minds as you live in  Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 6-7…verse of the  week)
The most common response I received from  people when I was diagnosed was to pray more,  sometimes citing the verse above. Along with  that advice came, “You have to let go of your  worry.” That’s great advice and all, but at the  time, and in my state, I had no ability to “let it  go.” Often, it was hard to pray; when I did pray,  all I could get out was the name of Jesus.
If you’ve never experienced an extreme mental  health challenge, it’s hard to imagine what it  feels like. In my anxiety, I couldn’t just pray it  away. That didn’t mean I lacked faith; that  meant I lacked the tools to know how to climb  out of the pit of my thoughts. I couldn’t “pray it
away” any more than I could grow a new limb.

That said, when it comes to prayer and mental  health, I have something I take great comfort in.
Throughout my life, but even more so during  my mental health struggle, the apostle Paul’s  thoughts in Romans 8 have inspired me. For years, I held onto this part of the chapter,  especially when my heart was too heavy, or  broken, to pray…
“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us  to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with  groaning that cannot be expressed in words.”  Romans 8: 26, NLT 

There have been times when my prayers  weren’t audible words but just moans and  groans. Knowing that the Holy Spirit interprets  those things in those times into prayers lifted up  to the Father has always been comforting to me.
However, it wasn’t until later on in my life that I  realized something in Romans 8 that had never  hit me before. According to Paul, the Holy Spirit  isn’t the only member of the Trinity who prays  for us when we can’t or as we struggle.

Paul writes, “…for Christ Jesus died for us and  was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the  place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for  us.”. Romans 8: 34

What?!? Jesus is also interceding for us? That  means every member of the godhead is actively  involved in praying for us, two interceding on  our behalf even when we can’t pray or don’t  know what to say, and the third listening and  moving heaven and earth to be near unto us  (just read Psalm 18: 6-19, for the imagery of a  God who moves creation to be near).
Mental health is not just cured by prayer,  though prayer can undoubtedly be a significant  part of your self-care. But know this: even when  you can’t pray, know that the godhead has you  because they care about you more than even  fully understand.

  1. Have you ever struggled with something  heavy on your heart, only to hear the  advice to pray more or give it to God? If so,  how did that make you feel? 
  2. Are there specific prayers you pray or  verses you quote when your mental health  struggles? What works for you? 
  3. How does it make you feel to know that  even when you can’t pray, two of the three  members of the Godhead are praying over  you for you?

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

Introducing the Sacred Echo Podcast

Bringing together the teaching team from Crosswalk Church (Paddy McCoy (PDX), David Ferguson (CHA), and Timothy Gillespie) to talk about the sermons and how the Holy Spirit is working to bring a message of unity between them as they teach and lead within the Crosswalk Global Network of Churches.

Thank You for Supporting the Ministry of Crosswalk

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