The holidays were really bad for me, because my company laid off a number of employees (including me) just a few weeks before Christmas. I'll get unemployment benefits and all that, but I feel so useless and depressed. You'll probably tell me to pray, but I don't even feel like it. What should I do?


You’re right: I do urge you to pray — because when we pray, we’re admitting that we’re helpless and can’t solve our problems on our own. Isn’t that your situation?

And sometimes we need to pray the most when we least feel like it. You’ve just had a deep emotional shock, and it’s not surprising that you feel useless and depressed. But even if you don’t feel like it, turn to God and trust your life and your future into His hands. You may think your situation is hopeless, but God doesn’t! May the Psalmist’s experience become yours: “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord…. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy” (Psalm 130:1-2).

What should you pray for? Pray first of all that you’ll begin to see yourself through God’s eyes, and not just through the eyes of your circumstances. God made you, and you are not useless in His eyes. No, I don’t know what He has in store for you in the future, but don’t believe the lie that you’re useless or of no value — because you aren’t.

Then ask God to guide you in the future. Perhaps He has another job for you, or perhaps He’ll open up opportunities for retraining. In addition, ask Him to use you to help others right now — volunteering in your community or church, for example. Use these days also to draw closer to Christ through prayer and His Word.