When asked “What are you praying for these days,” nearly half of Americans who responded listed either financial relief or a new job, according to a new online poll by Guideposts.com.
“Financial Relief,” the top response, was cited by 32 percent of respondents. Meanwhile, 20 percent of those polled said they were praying for the “United States and our leaders.” For 15 percent of respondents, a “New Job” was the most pressing prayer topic.
The level of concern that people have for their finances, jobs, retirement accounts, and relief from money problems is starkly evident by how prominent it is in their prayers.
“I now offer you the outline of the plan they have suggested. Let an association be formed to be denominated ‘The Christian Constitutional Society,’ its object to be first: The support of the Christian religion. Second: The support of the United States.
“I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.”
Most people have to deal with a period of depression at some time in their lives. It may be brief or last for months, but most of us have experienced a time when our outlook on life was obscured by a troubled soul within. Then there are those of us who have a genetic predisposition to melancholy. Chemicals and enzymes in the brain are somewhat out of balance and can produce the effect of depression when the body is worn down by stress. The existence of spiritual depression should not be overlooked either. To deny this is to deny the existence of evil influence in the world.
Typically, a person who is depressed wants to rest but seldom does. Sleeping leaves such a person still tired or often awake through long periods of the night. Depression sometimes produces an irrational fear which stimulates adrenaline and a restless energy.
There is often a desire to be alone and this may be the worst thing for a depressed person. Encouragement and support from the body of Christ is important during these times. A depressed person’s desires and perceptions are often not rational. It is definitely not a good time to make important decisions. This is why counsel from a Christian brother or sister is so important. The depressed person often tells himself that he can handle his moods and in the process wears himself out emotionally.
Most importantly, this person (if a Christian) must place his trust in Christ and rely on Him to give the strength needed for perseverance. We can do nothing without our Savior’s hand. The depressed person must stop thinking about himself and devote his attention to knowing God. God is the source of our hope. Where there is no hope, the heart grows sick. The Christian may trust in God.
God changes things. You may weep through the dark night, but there is great joy waiting in the morning (Psalm 30:5). God would have us forget the things behind and press forward (Philippians 3:13-14). Thus He restores our strength and soul. He enables us to go on under great burdens. There is great power in His words. He lifts our hearts when none else can. Depression is difficult to endure, but the Christian has hope. The God of our salvation is with us.