05_Elijah: Digging Out of Depression – Premium Content

Elijah was one of God’s two greatest prophets, and he dealt with extended depression over what God was not doing in his life and ministry. He experienced fear, suicidal tendencies, excessive tiredness, and feelings of rejection for over two months, well past the time modern doctors would diagnose clinical depression. Elijah was angry at God.

In Romans 11:2-5, St. Paul uses Elijah as an example of how God considers our complaints against the people we serve, and our dejection when we think He’s not busy “doing something.” Find out how God helped Elijah dig out of depression.

Thank you to my newest Friends of the Show, Stacey B; Eddie R; Rodney H; Melanie T; and Erin B, for loving and lifting me!

LOVE the Word® is a Bible study method based on Mary’s own practice: lectio without the Latin. Get the book based on her method in the right margin, How to Pray Like Mary.

L – Listen (Receive the Word.)

If you’d rather watch the video, you can do that here. 

O – Observe (Choose one or more of the following personality approaches to connect the passage to your life and recent events.)

F | Franciscan – Step one in God’s treatment plan was to send Elijah to His Word. Do you have a daily scripture habit?

I | Ignatian –  Step two in God’s treatment plan for Elijah’s depression was to go to Mt. Horeb, a type of “church,” if you will. 

Science confirms that that attendance at a house of worship is related to lower rates of depression and anxiety. Prayer and meditation have been shown to lower the risk of depression and heart disease and improve immune function. Time alone with God in prayer and Bible study is a powerful anti-depressant.

Do you go to Mass at least every week?

A | Augustinian – Twice, God asked Elijah, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (I Kings 19:13). Hear God ask you that question. What is your answer?

T | Thomistic – Take a look at the following studies on depression and faith. What do you learn?

  1. Smith et al, 2003. “Religiousness and depression: Evidence for a main effect and the moderating influence of stressful life events”. http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/129/4/614/.
  2. Dew et al, 2008. “Religion/Spirituality and adolescent psychiatric symptoms: a review”. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18219572.
  3. Law et al, 2009. “The Effects of Church Attendance and Marital Status on the Longitudinal Trajectories of Depressed Mood Among Older Adults”. http://jah.sagepub.com/content/21/6/803.abstract.
  4. Blazer, 2011. “Religion/Spirituality and Depression: What Can We Learn From Empirical Studies?”. http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleID=181239.

V – Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)

Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word® journal. Or, get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.

E – Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)

O Christ Jesus, When all is darkness, And we feel our weakness and helplessness, Give us the sense of Your Presence, Your Love and Your Strength. Help us to have perfect trust In Your protecting love
And strengthening power, So that nothing may frighten or worry us,
For, living close to You, We shall see Your Hand, Your Purpose, Your Will,  through all things (St. Ignatius of Loyola). Amen.+ 

*Find out your prayer temperament with this quiz! LOVE the Word® exercises are offered according to FIAT: the four personalities, or “prayer forms,” explored in Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey: Franciscan, Ignatian, Augustinian, and Thomistic: FIAT! These prayer forms correspond to the Myers-Briggs personality types.

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You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript here, when it becomes available, courtesy of Dora Donovan who does our transcripts for you.

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