Why This Christian CNN Writer Says Prayer Isn't Always Enough to Defeat Depression

LaKeisha and her family (Facebook / LaKeisha Townes Fleming)

LaKeisha Fleming—known for her writing on CNN and her work in the film industry, including with Tyler Perry Studios—says it's not enough to just "pray" depression away. It's almost paradoxical to some Christians that someone can both have Jesus and have depression, but Fleming says that it is possible, and it's OK. We just have to make sure we continue to stay close to God and in Christian fellowship.

Her journey with depression started after she had miscarriages and only continued as her husband lost his job and more bad things seemed to pile on, one after another.

"I will say that sometimes prayer is not always enough," Fleming says. "However, that absolutely does not negate the power of prayer. Prayers are a pivotal component in every arena of our lives, and especially when we're suffering and dealing with sickness and other traumas and tragedies. But a strong believer in God with strong faith in Jesus can deal with depression, because we're human. ...

"And I feel like for the journey from depression, anxiety, fear, sickness, whatever you're dealing with—that journey from that place to healing just involves being honest with God, honest with yourself, then starting to seek help and solutions and medicine, supplements. Some people have operations for sicknesses, even therapy, physical therapy, psychological therapy. We're blessed that God has given us a multitude of resources, in addition to prayer, to us. And so now it's our job to find what resources will help me go from this place to wholeness."

For Fleming, one of those resources is ensuring she incorporates self-care into her lifestyle, she says on the Charisma News podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. It's important that we take care of our physical bodies to the best of our ability.

"I can't help and minister to and love anyone else if I'm not full, if I'm completely empty and depleted," Fleming says. "I would even find at times that I was struggling more with depression and those types of thoughts when I wasn't getting enough sleep; when I wasn't eating well enough, you know, just grabbing something on the go; when I wasn't taking my time that I needed to pray and worship God and meditate. ...

"So what I've done to try to ensure that I take care of myself is once a week, my husband will scoop up the boys and they'll go out somewhere and I'll just take a few hours, take that time for myself. I may soak in the bath, I may read a book. I may just take a nap, but something to rejuvenate. ... It's really been invaluable. I don't know how I did it for so long without it."

To listen to more of Fleming's story, click here for the entire episode.


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