John Waller – How Prayer Lifted His Depression

Prayer Lifted His Depression

 

Singer John Waller had a 20 year struggle with depression, but a depression that no longer lingers. But before his depression lifted, no one was able to help him, including his loving wife and three beautiful children.  Medication helped, but did not fully control his bouts of suffering.

 John relates“It was all in my family. It was a generational thing that was passed down and I believed I would always struggle with it.

So, how did he get over his old nemeses that darkened so many of his moods and days?  The healing started with friends from church came over to his house to pray for him.  Over time, Waller noticed that he had been transformed.

Since prayer lifted his depression and helped cause Waller’s transformation, this Christian recording artist loves to write songs that help others who are struggling to pray.  His songs are more than encouragements; they are actually prayers, the same kinds of prayer that started his own transformation, like the song below, My God Reigns. Waller has seen other people transformed whenever he sings it.  Take a listen, and then consider putting it on your play list.

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You can see more of Waller’s story on It’s Supernatural with Sid Roth:

If you would like to have a recorded prayer from our GodTest.com website prayed over you, click HERE.

How to Make it Through the Night

By Janet Perez Eckles:


Image by bulldogza / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 I tossed in bed. Those long nights, those awful nights that echoed what I lost. “If I could only make it through the night,” I thought between sobs.

But when morning light shimmered through the window, the reminder of my loss closed the drapes and to my dismay, sadness, deep sadness visited again.

Is that what people do when a child is gone? Is that what life will be from now on?

All those moments of grief plagued my days.  My family saw a Mom who dragged her feet, not walked with joy anymore. I had turned to a wife that sighed rather than laugh. And I saw myself like a discarded piece of garment in the closet of life.

But when the day came and God nudged, lifted my chin and whispered I wasn’t alone, I gave a long sigh, wiped my face, and brushed the self-pity from my heart. That was what I longed for—for company, for someone to walk with me, stay with me and give me encouragement. But the encouragement I thirst for was more than words. I wanted promises I could count on, that were solid and lasting.

And it was those promises through Jesus, which I let sink into my heart. I believed in the promise that He would provide the strength and energy to take that next step. They gave me the wisdom to know how to express my feelings and the grace to make it through the night into the next day.

Looking back, the fear I was alone in my pain was what brought added darkness to my grief. But when God’s promises danced in the sun rays coming from the window, my world changed.

The sun that shone was warm with God’s Word, His true Word that reassured He would be enough. His guarantee that He would not let me sink, let me drown in sorrow, nor stay down.

Instead, He would lift me up, and in a gentle voice, repeat what my soul hungered for—“you will never be alone.”

Fresh morning of freedom—His promises that prevailed brought down powers that pressed me down. And His constant companionship, counseled me with comfort. New confidence marked my days– joy trickled through, peace settled in, and laughter visited again.

For another article about Janet and the loss of her teen son (including a video) see Finding God in Grief When My Son Died.

Overcoming Suicidal Thoughts by Getting Involved

By Karen O’Connor:


Photo by anitapatterson

A friend of mine sent me a scary email a few months ago, saying her young adult daughter had locked herself in her room and wouldn’t come out. “I really am going to kill myself this time,” Jenna shouted from the other side of her bedroom door, “and you can’t stop me. No one cares about me and I don’t care about myself.”

Her mother had listened to her threats before but somehow this time she worried her daughter would follow through. She called the pastor of her church and asked him to come over right away. She hoped he could show Jenna how getting involved would help her overcome suicidal thoughts.

He responded immediately, suggesting that he and Jenna make a deal. He asked her to give him six months of service at his church—participating in the food bank and singing in the choir. And on the weekends, accompanying the visitation team on their hospital rounds. He told Jenna her skills could make a difference in other people’s lives and in hers––if she’d give herself a chance. She agreed.

Within the first two months, Jenna abandoned all thoughts of suicide and has led others back to church. This may seem almost too good to be true, but in her situation it is not. Instead of trying to talk her out of ending her life the pastor invited her to spend her life in service to others—while at the same time healing her depressing, suicidal thoughts.

“The pressures and hurts of many years can wear down a person’s self-esteem,” according to the mind for better mental health website “It can also be anger that is bottled up and turned inwards. There may be an incident or problem just before a suicide attempt – but this is rarely the real cause. Just as a sense of despair can take years to build up, so suicidal feelings often develop gradually.”

This was true for Jenna. Her father had died unexpectedly as she was about to start college and she became sick with anxiety about taking on adult responsibilities without him to guide her. She said later she felt like a lost child unable to put the pieces of her life together.

She expressed her fear and doubt to her mother but her mom was suffering from her own loss, so the two kept missing each other––until they both invested themselves in church activities. This may not be the answer for everyone, but in Jenna’s life getting involved and thinking of others helped her overcome suicidal thoughts.

Check out this excellent YouTube video from a young man who shares his courage in choosing life over suicide.

Life Saver

By Jeenie Gordon:

This excerpt was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye, Healing and Hope for Victims and Survivors of Suicide, and used by permission from New Hope Publishers and author Jeenie Gordon, licensed marriage and family therapist.

 


Life ring Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Never will I forget the day Anthony stumbled into my high school counseling office. Slamming the door until the windows were shaken, he collapsed in the chair beside my desk. Desperately he pounded his fists on my desk, cursing and yelling. All the while, tears splashed down his shirt.

Silently I waited.

Slowly he began to open up. His parents had split up, just before his high school graduation. What should have been the most exciting day of his life, he anticipated with gut-wrenching pain.

For two hours we talked.

As he was leaving, he commented, “I want you to know, Mrs. Gordon, that as I passed by your office window at lunchtime. I knew I had to talk to you. Actually, I was on my way home to blow out my brains.”

Three years later, with a bright smile on his face, Antony once again stood in my doorway. “Hey there, you remember me?”

I smiled and nodded.

In tow was an adorable, blond, blue-eyed two-year-old girl. Sitting on his knee, he stated.
“This is my little daughter. I’m now married and an electrician’s apprentice. Life is good.”

We had a long chat, catching up on his life, one saved from the death grip of suicide. He gave me a hug as they left.

With tears glistening in my eyes, I thought, if I had not been there for him, he would have missed all this. Thank you, heavenly Father, for using me.

A life was saved.

Many of us could actually be a life saver without our knowledge. We always have enough time to listen to a distraught person. Often it has nothing to do with our ability to guide, direct, or supply the right answers. It is just a listening heart – one attune to the pain of others and the willingness to take a few minutes to care.

Anthony told me he had planned to take his life, but often we do not have that information. But when we allow God to use us as encouragers, who knows, we may be a life saver.

Sexual Abuse from a Trusted Coach (Olympian Kayla Harrison)

By Dianne E. Butts:

Kayla Harrison, on having been sexually abused by her former coach and overcoming suicidal thoughts.

 

 

Image from Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Kayla Harrison started judo at six years old when her mother, Jeannie Yazell, a black belt, introduced her to the sport. She showed promise, winning two national titles before her 15th birthday. But behind the scenes, she was being sexually manipulated and abused by her judo coach, and that sexual abuse led Olympian Kayla Harrison to think about suicide.

The abuse started when Kayla was 13.

An article in the New York Times online, “For Judo Champion, a Painful Path to Gold” by Campbell Robertson revealed that “sexual contact led to sexual intercourse over a period of years, on trips to Venezuela, Russia and Estonia, until she was 16.”

In an article in The Telegraph (www.Telegraph.co.uk) titled “London 2012 Olympics: US Judoka Kayla Harrison overcomes horror of sexual abuse to aim for gold,” by Ian Chadband, Kayla said:

“When I was young, he would say, ‘We have to keep this between us or we will get into trouble’ and, honestly, as I got older, I was pretty brainwashed. I knew it was wrong but I thought I loved him. And I thought he loved me.’”

After three years, Kayla confided in her friend Aaron, who told her mother. Jeannie Yazell then “smashed out the coach’s car windows with a baseball bat” according to the NY Times article.

After Kayla exposed her coach as an abuser, she confronted him in court. Daniel Doyle was sentenced to ten years in prison and banned from the sport.

“I couldn’t look in the mirror and had no self-esteem. Now I can’t imagine not speaking up against that. It’s so wrong and I don’t want others to have to suffer what I did,” Kayla told The Telegraph. “One of the biggest things I’ve learned through all this is that you’re only a victim if you allow yourself to be. And though it feels like hell and it feels like it will never end, it will. But you have to have the courage to say ‘I won’t play victim’.”

Going for the gold in the Olympics kept her going. Her mother teamed her up with coach Jimmy Pedro, who helped her overcome the trauma of abuse and make the Olympic team. Her mother told the NY Times, “‘We just felt like she just had to get back to what she knew how to do… She could have control over what went on on the mat.’”

On August 2, 2102, Kayla won the first gold medal in judo for the United States.

But that’s not all. Kayla is now engaged to Aaron Handy, the friend she turned to for help. He’s a firefighter now. After the Olympics Kayla may return home to take the E.M.T. test and continue the process of becoming a firefighter herself.

Sexual abuse led Olympian Kayla Harrison to think about suicide. But she overcame abuse and suicidal thoughts to become a Gold Medal Olympian with a future filled with love, marriage, and a meaningful career. You can overcome your circumstances too, and have a future filled with hope.

 

Army Suicides on the Rise

By Karen O’Connor:

While waiting for my plane in the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky I picked up a copy of USA Today and was startled by a headline that indicated that Army suicides are on the rise

According to reporter Gregg Zoroya, “Soldiers killed themselves at a rate faster than one per day in July, the Army announced Thursday. There were 38 deaths either confirmed or suspected as suicides, the highest one-month tally in recent Army history, the service said.”

Suicides now claim more soldiers than death in combat or vehicle accidents. In the past, younger soldiers were more vulnerable but that pattern seems to be changing. Veterans are now taking their own lives. What can be done to reverse this terrible trend?

Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff, stated that the answer, in part, lies with other soldiers who can make a difference by reaching out to help a troubled friend. When peers begin seeing the problem in one another and step forward to talk to those in danger, things can change for the better.

According to a report from Robert Burns, AP National Security Writer, in an article for a Fox News station“Suicide is the toughest enemy I have faced in my 37 years in the Army,” said Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the Army’s vice chief of staff, who is spearheading his service’s efforts to find ways to halt the surge in suicides.

“That said, I do believe suicide is preventable,” Austin added. “To combat it effectively will require sophisticated solutions aimed at helping individuals to build resiliency and strengthen their life coping skills.”

One faith-based organization, Followme.org, as quoted on redOrbit.com, provides resources for families facing the threat of military suicide. “We at followme.org were shocked and dismayed to discover the extent of the suicide epidemic in our nation’s military. We extend our thoughts and prayers to those affected by the military’s most seditious enemy, suicide. But these statistics are not just the military’s problem, to be addressed by military experts and military psychiatrists.

“Rather, churches, community organizations, and non-profits need to proactively respond to the epidemic of suicide in our nation’s military. We, the members of these soldiers’ communities, need to be ready to reach out to soldiers returning from war, aware of the multifaceted enemies they may be facing—whether spiritually, emotionally, or psychologically.

“Followme.org believes that churches and community organizations cannot afford to be left out of the equation for healing our nation’s warriors, and we stand with our valiant soldiers.”

If you or someone you know in uniform has shared thoughts of suicide, encourage him or her to talk to you about it and to call the Military suicide hotline: 800-273-8255 for professional help so that army suicides now on the rise will turn in the other direction.

Check out this excellent YouTube video on how to help prevent military suicides.

 

Does Faith Help the Suicidal? How Can I Get God to Help Me?

 

Can Faith in God Help the Suicidal?

Have you noticed some things are no longer politically correct — like the fact that faith in God has helped countless suicidal people as well as others who are hurting?

And people are indeed looking for help from God. Thousands ask,  “How can I get God to help me?” on the web, every day.

It seems that many in the scientific community want to make science and medicine the only place to go to  get help.  And while it is a good idea to seek help from your doctor if you’re depressed, suicidal or have serious issues, please don’t discount the power of God’s love, mercy, and strength in your life.  Many people have found that turning to God has made a huge difference in their emotional well-being.  In fact, here’s what some of our readers have told us:

  • Thirteen-year-old   Brittany wrote, “Thank you for explaining God to me. I prayed tonight and asked for forgiveness of  sins. I’m so excited; I gave my life to Jesus!”
  • Thirty-two-year-old   Marie wrote, “Thank God your website is where it is. I was planning to kill myself, but I’ve decided to put my trust in God.”
  • Fourteen year old   Will writes, “I get taunted at  school and decided life was not worth living. But tonight I prayed and gave my life to God.”
  • Forty-two-year old   John wrote, “My wife left me for another man. It hurt so bad I wanted to die. But now, with God’s help, I’m going to try to walk through my pain.”
  •  Eleven-year-old   Tiffany wrote. “I told my dad I wanted to kill myself but he didn’t believe me. Will you believe me? I just   prayed and asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins.
  • God bless you and thank you once again for what you do for me every day. I am not exaggerating   when I say you have very likely saved my life.I found your site while searching suicide hotline pages. Since then I look forward to reading from you daily. I pray that God blesses you for all you are doing and blesses you again for what you have done JUST for me. Never become discouraged with what you are doing, please. I know that a vast majority of people will gladly accept what you do for them and even be grateful but never say a word in thanks. I am like that too at times and I try not to. On behalf of all of us.   — Carl

What are all these people praying to find such relief?  To find out, take our survey at:  www.GodTest.com

And to read more responses from our guests, click HERE.

And by the way, the research is in; turning to God in stressful, emotional, or even suicidal times can make all the different.  It’s the first step in discovering a God who loves you, and asking for his help, strength and guidance to help you make it through your pain.  And yes, if you are struggling, please seek help.  The medical community or suicide hotlines are wonderful tools and can make a big difference in your recovery.  But whatever you do, don’t discount faith in God.  Seek God and his help because he cares for you.

Listen to musician Steven Curtis Chapman (who lost his daughter in a tragic accident) answer the question, “Why Jesus?” Then decide the answer to this question for yourself.

If you want to learn more about faith in God, please go to:  www.GodTest.com

Suicidal after Abuse, Kayla Harrison Found Help and the Gold

By Karen Boerger:

Although Kayla Harrison felt suicidal after abuse by a former coach, with help, support, and love she chose to live. This week Kayla won a gold medal in the 2012 Olympic games.

 

The 2012 Olympics are now over, and how the world cheered them on!

Television sets were tuned day and night into the visual extravaganza covering many athletic games. Amazing feats were performed by the athletes. One such athlete was a U. S. judo star, Kayla Harrison.

Kayla was born in Middletown, OH, July 2, 1990. At the age of 6 Kayla was introduced to the sport of Judo by her mother who held a black belt. Two years later she was introduced to her coach, Daniel Doyle. By the age of 15, Kayla had won two national championships.

However, during that time her coach was abusing her. She eventually told a friend, Aaron Handy, about the abuse because she could no longer take it emotionally. Hardy told her mother, who contacted the police. Doyle was subsequently convicted and sentenced to a ten-year prison term.

Kayla admits that during those years she was an emotional wreck, severely depressed, and suicidal. “I hated my life!”

After the abuse was revealed, she moved away to train with Jimmy Pedro and his father. The new coaches took a “tough love” approach. Jimmy told her, “You know kid, it happened to you, but it doesn’t define you and some day you’re eventually going to have to get over it.” That sounded good, but it wasn’t that easy. Two weeks later her coach found her on top of a two-story building ready to jump and stopped her.

Kayla says, “You’re only a victim if you allow yourself to be. Even though it feels like hell and it feels like it will never end, it will. But you have to have the courage to say I won’t play victim.”

Her case fits the profile of the typical case of sexual abuse. Sexual molestation, as well as physical and emotional abuse, has currently become rampant in American families. About 90% of abuse victims know the perpetrator and in 68% of cases, the perpetrator is a member of the child’s family. Kayla’s coach was a friend of the family who babysat, enjoyed barbecues at their home, etc.

Kayla’s life is good now. The friend she told about the abuse, Aaron, is now her fiancé. She’s also bringing home a gold medal, while being ranked #1 in the world in her division. Congratulations, Kayla!

You can click here for a related story and video about Kayla.

Reminders of Loved One’s Death with Suicidal Thoughts

By Dianne E. Butts:

 Grief from Reminders of Deceased Loved Ones: Lesson 5 in 10 Things I’ve Learned About Grief.

 

It’s a main thoroughfare through where my Mom has lived for more than thirty years and so I’ve had to drive it often. But for years after the drunk-driver-caused crash that killed my brother, I couldn’t drive past that spot without noticing the big chunk missing out of the curb where his motorcycle ended up.

Sudden reminders of someone we loved who died can hit us when we least expect it, and these sudden depressing reminders can bring suicidal thoughts to our minds. Do you have reminders of your loved one’s death that make you think about suicide?

Here’s the fifth thing I’ve learned about grief. (See our other lessons in the category: 10 Things I’ve Learned About Grief.)

#5: Once you think you’re doing better and begin venturing out into the world again, your grief will hit you when you least expect it.  Driving past a familiar scene, hearing a church bell ring, the smell of grapefruit in the produce department—something special to you can suddenly remind you of your loved one and the intensity of grief can overwhelm you.

When this happens, you need to know this is a “normal” part of the grieving process. You might well up with tears. Try not to be embarrassed. The truth is, those around you will most likely understand—probably more than you’ll know (because they’ve been through it themselves).

Sometimes, when suicidal thought keep trying to push their way into a person’s mind, that person can see these reminders of their loved ones as a “sign” calling out to them. But they are not calling to you to commit suicide or join your loved one in death. These are reminders of the love you felt between you and the person you lost.

Sometimes we can make things seem the way we want them to seem—whether consciously or unconsciously. That can happen even when we talk to God. I once wrote an article about praying specifically in order to see answers to our prayers, but I also included some “Pitfalls to Praying Specifically.” When we desperately want to hear from God, we can not only make ourselves believe we heard from Him, we can also make ourselves believe we got the answer we wanted.  Some of the pitfalls to praying specifically are “Manipulating His Answers,” “Not Accepting His Answer,” or “Not Asking Because We Fear His Answer.” If we want to hear from God, we need to let Him answer and not “put words in His mouth” so to speak.

That article also includes some ideas to avoid prayer pitfalls, including keeping a prayer journal.

If you’re looking for a sign or want to hear from God, be careful that you’re really getting the message He wants to give you. And don’t let reminders of your loved one’s death make you think about suicide.

Video: Here is a wonderful song about Jesus’ death, breaking through darkness, and the fact that death and hell will never reign again. “Love was in the Room” by Booth Brothers.

Create a Plan to Survive Suicidal Thoughts

Create a Plan to Survive Suicidal Thoughts

 

Many people who feel suicidal are only temporarily suicidal. The good news is that if they can survive their suicidal impluses or thoughts, they will be okay. To help them survive these difficult periods, Suicide Lifeline Prevention says,

“Having a plan in place that can help guide you through difficult moments can make a difference and keep you safe. Ideally, such a plan is developed jointly with your counselor or therapist. It can also be developed with a Lifeline counselor who can help you write down actions to take and people to contact in order to feel safe from suicide.

“In general, a safety plan is designed so that you can start at step one and continue through the steps until you feel safe. You should keep your plan in a place where you can easily access it (your wallet or cell phone) when you have thoughts of hurting yourself.”

To see more, click HERE.  Also, please note that the Lifeline number this quote referred to is: 1-800-273-8255.

More good news! The Suicide Prevention Resource Center has developed a tool, or a safety plan that you can download as a PDF.  (You will find the link to this PDF as the end of this article.)

Here are the ideas you will find in the plan:

  1. Recognizing your warning signs.
  2. Developing your own coping strategies, even when you are alone, to help you not act on your urges to harm yourself.
  3. Creating a list of people or situations that can help you take your mind off of things.
  4. Creating a contact list of family or friends you can talk to when you’re under stress.
  5. Creating a list of numbers and/or locations of clinicians, local emergency rooms, crisis hotlines, like the Lifeline number listed above.
  6.  Removing implements, like guns, that could be used to harm yourself.

You can download the worksheet by clicking HERE.  However, please consider adding the following idea to your plan:

     7.  Write down, or print the following prayer to pray in time of crisis.

Dear Lord,

Help me!

I cancel the spirit of suicide, trauma, panic, depression, and emotional pain off of me, in the power and authority of the name and the blood of Jesus. Lord, in the place of all of these things, I ask for your peace and your strength to help get me through this period. Help me to have the courage to live.  I use the power and authority of the name and blood of Jesus to silence the voices and emotions that are tempting me to harm myself.

Also, Lord, cancel any discouraging thoughts, impulses, negative emotions, and/or voices off of me, in the power and authority of the name and the blood of Jesus. Replace these things with your  hope and encouragement. Lord, download in me the knowledge that you love me and have goodness and blessings for me. Thank you that I am not worthless. Thank you that because of you, I have purpose and hope.

Thank you for saving me Jesus!

In Jesus Name.  Amen

If you want to know more about developing a relationship with God, go to:  www.GodTest.com

Here’s a cartoon-ized story of a man who made a plan to live: