Using Worship to Bring Light into the Darkness

Jeanette Hayden
September 28, 2022

My brain suddenly “shut down.” One minute I was working and the next minute I was crying

profusely for no apparent reason. I was having a panic attack. There was no way I could

continue functioning in the classroom the remainder of the day. I couldn’t let my students see

me in this condition, so I had to go home. This was the beginning of my journey through the

valley of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.

     I went home and went to bed. Once in bed, it became a major ordeal to get out of bed and

try to accomplish the simplest tasks. I didn’t feel like leaving the house

other than my doctors’ visits. My home became my sanctuary where I could isolate myself from

the world. I didn’t even want to go to church, even though I was the pastor’s wife. Some of the

medicine they prescribed had negative side effects which made things worse.

     It was while in this darkness of anxiety and depression that I discovered praise and worship

music. As I listened to the songs, an unexplainable calm would come over me. I believe this

calming effect was the presence of God. I began playing worship music over and over again

because it brought a sense of peace into my turmoil. I began to see a light at the end of the

tunnel. As I listened to the worship music playing, I would cry out to God to heal my soul, my

spirit, and my mind. It got my mind off my circumstances and onto my Father God, how much

He loved me, saw where I was, and how I felt.

     The Bible speaks of the calming effect of music. In I Samuel 16:23 it says, “Whenever the

spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come

to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.” David was a very expressive

psalmist who must have known how to effectively use his music to bring calm to King Saul. In

Exodus 23:25, God spoke to the children of Israel saying, “Worship the Lord your God, and His

blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.” Acts

Chapter 16 tells the story of Paul and Silas being stripped, beaten, and thrown in a dungeon

with stocks fastened to their feet. In this miserable place, Paul and Silas were praying and

singing hymns to God. As a result, there was an earthquake so severe that it opened all the

prison cell doors and freed Paul and Silas. The guard was ready to kill himself, but Paul told him

not to because all of the prisoners were still in the jail. None had escaped. The guard and his

family became believers. In this story, praise and worship became the literal tool of freedom

from a dark prison.

     Worship is an invaluable tool in the process of healing, whether it is a physical or a mental

healing. It can calm an anxious heart, alleviate a panic attack, or lift the spirit of depression if

we allow it to. It invites God into our world so that He can bring about the miracle we are

seeking for.

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