Depression is common among persons with neurologic disease.
God called Abram to leave Haran and come to Shechem. Abram was surrounded on all sides by aliens, likely enemies. Yet what he did is instructive. He built an altar (only the second altar in the Bible–Noah built the first). It was there that the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “This is the country that I am going to give to your descendants.”
Many generations later, after the Egyptian captivity, the Israelites take Canaan. Shechem is appointed a city of refuge and given to the Levites for their families. Joshua then calls all of the Israelites to Shechem, and they choose to follow God.
The place where the Lord appeared to Abram becomes a city of refuge, is set aside for those who attend the Ark of the Covenant, and is the site of a new covenant. When we build an altar to God, it later serves as a place of refuge, holiness, and renewed relationship with God.
We thank You for the gift of praise. We thank You that it loosens our shackles and unlocks our prison. We thank You that it breaks down strongholds. We thank You that song puts Your holy wind in our feet.
Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into Joseph, Sally, Chris, Lauren, Gaenor, Mark, Samuel, Erin, Isabella, Christy, Nick, Alan, and David so they may live in joy. Bring songs to their hearts and music to their feet.
When they are oppressed on all sides, teach them to build altars of thanksgiving, prayer, and praise so that they may always have a place of refuge and holiness and a covenant relationship with You.
Breathe, Holy Spirit, breathe! Knock down the strongholds of depression, grief, and insecurity. Break the chains of doubt and fear. Throw off the shackles of bitterness. Breathe, Holy Spirit, breathe!
Ezekiel 37:9-10, Acts 16:25-26