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My Answer: Prayer can help, but don't ignore medical intervention

May 31, 2013|By Billy Graham

Q: Our daughter (who's in her late 20s) seems to be suffering from deep depression, and we don't know what to do. She even talks about ending her life. She says she's a follower of Jesus, and we pray a lot for her, but it doesn't seem to help. Could you ask people to pray for her? — Mrs. N.G.

A: I'm sure many people reading this column will pause to pray for your daughter, for they can sense your deep concern for her as she bears this heavy burden. The Bible commands us to "pray for each other so that you may be healed" (James 5:16).

I strongly urge you to seek the best medical advice you possibly can find for your daughter, if you haven't already done so. Prayer is important, but sometimes God answers our prayers through other people, including those to whom he has given special gifts and abilities. This includes men and women with scientific and medical skills.

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One of the Apostle Paul's closest companions was Luke, whom he referred to as "the beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14, NKJV).

I'm not a doctor or psychiatrist, of course, but I understand that depression can have many different causes. Some (such as chemical imbalances in the brain) often respond to treatment, and you should do all you can to be sure your daughter is properly diagnosed. Your pastor or family doctor may be able to suggest the best options in your community.

In addition, let your daughter know that you'll always love her, and that God loves her also, whether she "feels" His love or not. May she also find daily strength in the promises of His Word, the Bible. "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens" (Psalm 68:19).

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Q: My children are upset because I've moved in with a widower friend in our retirement village. We're not married, but we enjoy each other's company, and anyway, it's cheaper to share a unit, so what's wrong with that? I got angry and told them to mind their own business, but maybe I shouldn't have done that. — Mrs. S.J.

A: Getting angry with your children wasn't wise, because they love you and have your best interests at heart. And someday you'll probably need their help, so why alienate them? The Bible rightly warns, "Stirring up anger produces strife" (Proverbs 30:33).

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