EarthBasic. Take care. Bless many.
His soul was swallowed up in sorrow. (Matthew 26: 38, see footnote in CSB). Swallowed up. Consumed. Engulfed by a pervasive sadness that disturbed and challenged His soul (mind, emotions and will). A torrent of thoughts of His pending scourging, crucifixion and separation pummeled the door of His heart, until His emotions followed suit, carrying the stench of death and challenging His will. (Matthew 26: 38, 39, 42 and 44). In fact, the assault on His soul caused such great distress that it is likely that His capillaries burst to release drops of blood through His sweat glands: a condition known as Hematidrosis. (Luke 22: 44). In this space of soul distress He counted it wise to pray, and to do so fervently. (Luke 22: 44).
Pray that Your Soul May be Well
To pray is to engage in a divine exchange with God. It is to turn our mind determinedly to the object of our faith--Jesus Christ our Lord. It is to fix our thoughts on He who is the embodiment of what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4:8). We pray, not in the abstract but, with expectation that we are being heard by our God who rewards those who diligently seek Him and have an expectation set on the truth of who He is and what He has promised. (Hebrews 11:6). And His reward to us as we fix our thoughts on Him is His peace: the peace that surpasses all understanding and guards our hearts and minds in Him. It is a peace that quiets the internal storm of our soul so that we prosper whether circumstances change or not. (Isaiah 26:3 and Philippians 4:7). Prayer changes us!
The Bible records that Jesus made it His practice to pray. Luke's account begins, "He went out and made his way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him." (Luke 22:39, CSB). This is crucial: what is done before the crisis determines how we will engage when in crisis. Jesus made it His habit to pray so that, when there was great pressure, it was in Him to incline His thoughts heavenward to His Father. To reap the benefits of prayer in crisis, it must be your default in the high seasons.
Pray that Your Body May be Well
Prayer is a form of meditation, which shifts our focus from the onslaught of negative thoughts to the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ. As the mind is held captive by the beautiful reality of God, it comes to magnify Him. He grows larger as, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you fix your eyes on Him. When God increases in your mind's eye, the hyperactivity in the medial prefrontal cortex, also known as the "me center" is disrupted.
"The mPFC [medial prefrontal cortex] is often called the "me center" because this is where you process information about yourself, such as worrying about the future and ruminating about the past. When people get stressed about life, the mPFC goes into overdrive." This region of the brain then interacts with the "fear center" of the brain, responsible for fight-or-flight, causing depression."The me center gets worked up reacting to stress and anxiety, and the fear center response leads to a spike in cortisol levels to fight a danger that's only in your mind." (How Meditation Helps with Depression, Harvard Men's Health Watch).
The peace that comes to guard your mind, through Christ-centered prayer, also comes to protect your body from the physical manifestations of depression: constricted blood vessels, increased likelihood of heart attacks, increased pain sensitivity, fatigue, weight fluctuations, and a weakened immune system that makes you more susceptible to illness. (The Effects of Depression in Your Body).
Depression: Get the Help You Need
Prayer is a means to commune with God through our spirit man and this communion brings us in the presence of the God who is life! (John 14: 6). God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all we could ever hope, think or imagine! (Ephesians 3: 20 - 21). Be attentive to hear the witness of the Spirit to you. He is the ultimate Doctor and your touch of faith may result in Him inviting you to experience healing in collaboration, with a team of professionals who He has equipped by His Spirit. Remember, all good things come from God. All. All. All. (James 1:17). So, the willing service of mental health professionals that will support you in receiving help that addresses the symptoms and causes of your depression is one of those good things. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts please call this hotline or follow this link to receive the help you will need: http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and in our commitment to support women in wholistic self-care, we will be making available to you several resources to encourage you to prosper mind, spirit and body. Get a head start on May's offerings! And remember, share the good news with a friend!
Subscribe to Be-Held: Peace of Mind here.
Be-Held: Peace of Mind - A monthly publication providing Christ- centered mental health resources that raise awareness about mental health issues, end stigma around mental illness and point persons to hope in Jesus Christ.
Get access to your Peace of Mind Self-Care Kit here.
Take care by downloading our FREE Peace of Mind Self-Care Kit. Setting up your personal Peace of Mind Self-Care Kit is a proactive measure you can take to safeguard your mental health. Many of the suggested components can be engaged on a daily basis to foster mental health. However, many are specific for valley seasons and are helpful when you sense that your mental health has been compromised.
Get access to the mental health awareness guide for your church here.
This guide includes the following:
Happy temple building!
Take care. Bless many.
Jeanette Bailey is a believer in Jesus Christ, who believes that health, wellness, healing and wholeness is obtainable with a Christ-centered and evidence based medically sound approach. Her life's mission is to help individuals, families and communities
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a lover of Christ with a passion for sharing her gifts and happy findings with others. She is so excited about this addition to Be-Held, which will provide practical, sustainable, Christ-centered and well researched resources to support women in cultivating a life of holistic self-care: spirit, soul, and body.