When You Don’t Know What to Pray, Just Say Jesus

What my therapist described as “mild to moderate” depression symptoms (accompanied by anxiety) quickly spiraled into being unable to sleep at night, uncontrollable tears, difficulty getting out of bed, and keeping food down due to nausea. 

My mind and body felt completely out of control. 

I forgot how terrible this feels, I thought. 

My mind, heart, and soul felt as dry as a desert. Completely parched. No water in sight. I couldn’t simply shake this feeling as desperately as I wanted to. It brought me to my knees each day, begging for divine intervention. 

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

All of this stress on my mind and body made me spiritually thirsty. A type of thirst and need that only Jesus Himself can satisfy. I knew this to be true deep within my bones.

As a woman who usually has tons of words to say — I had none. Zero. Because it hurt so bad. But I knew that my cries of agony were heard by a loving and faithful God.

“Jesus, help me,” I muttered in a soft whisper of a prayer. I felt God’s presence with me and knew He would help me rise up again out of this depression; I could feel it.

Ironically enough, I hopped on a plane for a brief vacation to the Arizona desert because I knew the change of scenery would help me with a new perspective. And God would be with me. 

I spent time focusing on slowing down – no social media or news on my phone allowed – just to simply be. I prayed fervently. Meditated on God’s truth in His Word. I was awed at the beauty of His creation around me.

I loved plants and specifically cacti but hadn’t seen them in their natural environment. This notion excited me, but the anxiety threatened to steal my joy.

I wanted to be as present (and quiet) as I possibly could, being open to hearing from God and letting Him speak to me. I needed to hear His voice above all of the noise in my head. 

Slowly, God’s peace and stillness washed over my parched soul like a rush of water. 

Tears cried in agony weeks earlier turned into tears of joy and hope.

God made Himself known to me in the desert. He satisfied me and revived my soul. 

I thought about the Israelites groaning and crying out to God to deliver them from being enslaved in Egypt. In Exodus 2:24 it says that God heard their groaning and remembered His covenant with Abraham. God delivered them from slavery exactly as He promised. 

But seventy-five days later, they groan and complain that they are hungry. And God provides for them again

Because God is loving and faithful. And He sees you. 

I want to encourage you to take whatever challenge you’re facing today and to run right to the Ultimate Source of living water, truth, peace, stability, and provision.

Be submissive and humble, acknowledging that you cannot conquer this alone. You need God’s hand on you through this journey. 

There is power in saying His name.

Just say, Jesus.

There is unlimited power in using the name of Jesus again and again. He knows exactly what you’re thinking and feeling and most importantly, He cares deeply for you.

Just say, Jesus.

His well will never go empty, so you can revisit it to fill it up again and again. Allow His everlasting water to quench the spiritual thirst of your soul. And continually remind yourself that God will always make a way and provide for you. 

Author: Kelley Spencer

Kelley is a Christian author, gardener, recovering perfectionist, overthinker, mental health advocate and mother of two boys (and one angel) living in the Midwest. She loves tacos, being active outside and planning weekend getaways. Her story, Radical Obedience, was published by Dayspring in Sweet Tea for the Soul. Kelley has God-sized dreams of publishing several books and Bible Studies designed to reach others for Christ in their most vulnerable, painful circumstances.

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