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Healing depression through prayer

THERE is a way out of depression, a sure and permanent way to be healed. That way is through the spiritualization of thought that results from prayer. I can testify to the effectiveness of such prayer. I was healed completely of depression. My healing came about through spiritual discipline, through turning to God and allowing His goodness and love to form my thought -- my hopes, my desires, my expectations. Whatever shape it may take, doesn't depression stem from the basic belief in a mind and a life apart from God? The sufferer is as one hypnotized, thinking thoughts that are not his own but that are a product of what St. Paul termed the ``carnal mind,'' the false, downward-pulling, materialistic sense of life that claims to separate us from God and His care. The healing of depression through prayer, then, involves unmasking this error through a realization that God alone is Mind, the true source of our thoughts and feelings, and resolutely holding to the spiritual truth of our perfect, God-created selfhood as the likeness of the one Mind.

Through God's help we can succeed in turning away from aggressive evil thoughts. Healing comes when we yield to the joyous and hope-filled thoughts that God, perfect good, imparts ceaselessly to bless man.

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Through Christian Science I found the courage to resist every suggestion from the carnal mind, from this illusory evil thought-source, this pretender to be my consciousness. The dark thoughts diminished and finally disappeared as I persisted in the spiritual yearning to know God, to please Him, to recognize His blessings, to have no other Mind.

The apostle said, ``Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.''1 When we resist and reverse courageously each devilish suggestion on the basis of God's allness, we begin to find peace and restore order to our thinking.

My prayer revealed the important fact that God, who is divine, omnipotent Love, could never be the source of ungodlike thoughts. Therefore such thoughts, though seeming to come to and through our own mind, must be from a bogus source. Since there is no other god beside God, good, as the Scriptures assure us, there is no real second thought-source, no second mind warring against God and His creation.

This realization gave me the courage I needed to understand and resist the hypnotic pull of depressing thoughts. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``No person is benefited by yielding his mentality to any mental despotism or malpractice.''2

Mental depression is a type of despotism. It claims to capture our thinking, to have the power to force fear and evil upon us. But I discovered that the awful thoughts I was battling were impositions and not my true thoughts at all. Through prayer, diligent study of what God is, and through the discipline of accepting only those thoughts that I knew could emanate from God, who is omnipresent Love, the pall of depression left me, never to return.

The remedy for depression is to flood thought with spiritual love. I learned not to analyze or yield to evil thoughts but to challenge them; not to examine or to mull over error but to accept as my real thoughts only what I knew could have come to me from a loving, pure God.

By clinging steadfastly to God in prayer, I proved for myself that depression is only shadow. It has neither substance nor permanence. It is not part of man, nor has it ever been, and on that basis we can be healed of it.

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1I John 4:1. 2Science and Health, p. 375.

You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

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