Tag Archives: prayer

Prayer Does Not Cure ADHD

Prayer and ADHD

Things That People Have Said To Me About ADHD:

Have you tried praying that your ADHD will go away?

When you’re distracted, pray.

God can heal your ADHD.

Are you sure you have ADHD?

I thought only children had ADHD.

I came upon this blog post by Andy Lee  http://wordsbyandylee.com/how-to-focus-adhd-prayer/.

I’m not sure if she has ADHD, but she titled her post “How to Focus ADHD Prayer.” She listed the following symptoms checklist:

Do you have trouble focusing your thoughts when praying?

Do you pray the same prayers everyday?

Do you get bored when praying?

Do your prayers get lost in your plans or worries for the day?

Her solution: “If you struggle praying, if focus is impossible, there is a very good chance the enemy is running interference. Put on your helmet. Tell Him to go away in Jesus’ name.

She and others who take this approach are certainly people of faith. They have met spiritual interference and battled it with the help of God’s mighty spirit and strength. This is great, but ADHD is not a spiritual battle. It is not a sin. It is not something that can be prayed away.

Those of us with ADHD do need God’s help when dealing with the symptoms of ADHD, but I must be clear in stating that ADHD is not a spiritual disability.

Distraction A Warning

If we keep our focus solely on our disability instead of focusing on our abilities, yes, we will eventually beat ourselves down spiritually. If we don’t keep our emotions in check we can end up believing things that are not from God such as thinking:

-we are not good enough

-we don’t have gifts and talents to offer the world

-there is something wrong with us

-we are less godly or spiritually disciplined than “normal” people

If you have ADHD please know and believe that you do not have a spiritual disease. While spiritual disciplines and faith in God can help you manage your symptoms, it cannot “cure”, “solve”, or “get ride of” ADHD.

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ADHD Prayers: God, Did You Get That?

 

Confession time! Sometimes praying together in groups is really difficult for me. It’s not that I don’t care about the prayer requests of others, it’s more of an issue with paying attention and staying focused.

There were times when I would be in a group of at least ten people. We’d be sitting in a circle, each of us presenting our requests for prayer. Each of us with a back story to our requests for divine intervention.

As I mentioned, I care about each and every individual that asks for prayer, but by the second or third person my attention span would start diminishing. I once made a habit out of writing down every request in a mini-notebook so I could remember everyone’s needs during the week, but even that began to take great efforts in focusing. Doodle, doodle, write, doodle, doodle, write…grocery list, to-do lists, and…back to writing prayer requests.

Eventually it would be my turn to share. I would start out on point but within a few sentences I would be on my ADHD rabbit trail of thoughts. Sometimes I would pause and think to myself, “What was it again that I’m asking for prayer about

Soon it would be time to pray out loud. Prayer time would take on a stomach turning feeling. It was knowing that I would have to sit silently listening to between ten and twelve people praying. I would now have to be still in my seat, or worse, sitting on someone’s living room carpet, cross legged, toes numb, trying my best to sit upright and not doze off.

Were these thoughts and actions appropriate from a Christian woman in the midst of prayer?  No, they weren’t; but the reality is these were the thoughts, actions, and feelings I experienced. I wish ADHD was an excuse, it’s not, but it certainly is a cause and a reason for my struggles with staying focused and paying attention during group prayer times. There were people who told me confidently that this issue was a spiritual battle; it was spiritual warfare they said.

I would love to blame my issues with focusing on that ever-so distracting horned devil and his pitchfork, but the real issue is and remains a problem resulting from ADHD. Having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not a spiritual attack from some evil supernatural force. As I continue to work on mindfulness and meditation techniques, my ability to focus during prayer has increased, but I still have a long way to go. There are those with ADHD who have no struggles with staying focused during long sessions of prayer requests and praying; I consider those of you in this category lucky!

Power of Prayer - Max Lucado

ADHD becomes a spiritual battle when you let others convince you that your symptoms are not real. Or when people accuse you of not “trying hard enough”. It becomes a spiritual battle when people call you lazy. The spiritual battle continues when you fall into the vicious cycle of self-doubt, resulting from years of embarrassing mistakes or a series of memorable failures. The spiritual battle is sometimes that feeling of rejection and loneliness because you once again unintentionally pissed someone off and are now filled with anxiety, guilt, anger, and hurt. You can say, “I’m sorry”, but you can never say, “I won’t do that again,” or “This is the last time I _____,” because you know that with ADHD it is never the last time that you’ll be late. It is never the last time that something stupid, embarrassing, or oops, will ever come flying out of your mouth. It will never be that last time that anxiousness, worry, and fatigue has made you a prickly person to be around.

You see, it’s not ADHD that is a spiritual battle, it’s the emotions and feelings that result from dealing with this disorder that create spiritual struggles. Your disorder is not a sin.

Thankfully God is everywhere, and He is always there to listen to us in prayer. I may not have been able to be fully focused during group prayer times, but God is understanding. I trust that my prayer time, regardless of how often I have to refocus myself, is welcomed by God. He is faithful to us, even those of us with ADHD prayer requests. The disordered thoughts of our prayers exit our minds and mouths, and get straight to God all clear and in order.

Adhd and faith challenges

ADHD: Spiritual Discipline of Confession

Spiritual Disciplines and ADHD: A Series

Part 4 of the ADHD and Spiritual Disciplines Series: Confession

Confession:Self-examination is a process whereby the Holy Spirit opens my heart to what is true about me. This is not the same thing as a neurotic shame-inducing inventory. Instead it is a way of opening myself to God within the safety of his love so I can authentically seek transformation. Confession embraces Christ’s gift of forgiveness and restoration while setting us on the path to renewal and change.” Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

It seems as if our culture has shifted towards a society of people who avoid acknowledging personal wrongs, or when they do, they justify their actions with self-esteem boosting excuses. There isn’t a human being on this earth who isn’t perfect; and knowing this should hopefully make it easier for us to admit what we have done wrong.

As Christians, God doesn’t embrace our excuses for why we have sinned, but we can have peace knowing that we are not doomed. He doesn’t accept our excuses because He is a loving God and He wants us to approach Him with integrity, honesty, and a heart of repentance. The results of approaching God with honesty is a clear conscience, a deeper relationship with Him, and the transforming wisdom that will come from God’s response to our confession.

Having ADHD means that we will often unintentionally commit wrongs against others on a regular basis; it is the negative results of having challenges with executive functioning, irregular moods, anxiety, and the increased stressed of having attention deficit. God knows the true circumstances and reasons behind the thoughts and behaviours of each person; He knows how ADHD effects individuals and can easily lead to a variety of wrongdoing. ADHD isn’t an excuse for sinning, but it certainly helps to explain why certain habits prove to be more difficult to overcome.

Confession helps those with attention deficit deal with the aftermath of wrongdoing. It allows us to be honest with God and others about what we have done and seek ways of making changes in our self. The act of confession won’t eliminate ADHD, but it can certainly help believers manage their symptoms.

True confession helps lift the shame that those with ADHD unnecessarily burden themselves with. Confession doesn’t bring shame, because God does not shame us, instead He embraces us and reminds us that we are forgiven. He blesses us with his Holy Spirit who empowers us to continue moving forward in the life long process of spiritual transformation.

REFLECTION:

If you are looking for additional resources to help you with this specific spiritual discipline, the following is a link to a Catholic resource on confession. Even if you are not Roman Catholic, there are some great prompts listed for self-examination for you to consider. http://www.netusa.org/guidetoconfession/

 

Joy of confession and forgiveness

ADHD & Serving Others

Spiritual Disciplines and ADHD: A Series

Spiritual Discipline: Service

For the second discipline in this series on practicing the Spiritual Disciplines while living with ADHD, we will be looking at acts of service. Service is also known as volunteering, giving, sharing, servant hood, helping, and a variety of other words.

Serving others is a major part of any Christian community. Servant hood is what allows many churches to operate without having to have a large number of paid staff. Without volunteers, churches would be unable to provide many of the community programming that they offer, especially during the holiday seasons.

The book of Acts makes mention of different acts of sharing within the newly forming Christianity and its church communities. In his letters St. Paul places a heavy emphasis on caring for each other and lifting each other up as part of the foundation of being Christ-like and living in brotherly (and sisterly) harmony. In fact, St. Paul saw servant hood as an expression and sign of one’s love for Christ.

Do small things with love

With ADHD there can be a variety of challenges that come with having a servant’s heart. We cannot ignore these vulnerabilities and need to take into account certain factors that affect our ability to help others.

ADHD caution:

  • Over committing
  • Difficulty in saying “no” to requests for your time
  • Issues with managing time (e.g. showing up late, last minute cancelling, forgetting to show up)
  • Fatigue or irritability due to one’s medication wearing off
  • Signing up to do things that are difficult for you to focus on
  • Extra responsibilities causing you additional stress
  • Volunteer coordinators not respecting the limitations caused by you having ADHD
  • Feelings of insecurity about not being able to “do it all” or comparing your acts of service to that of others

When offering to volunteer, it is important to consider any issues your ADHD might cause. Limitations don’t mean you can’t do good deeds for others or your community, it simply means you have to take extra caution that your service does not lead to more harm than good.

It is perfectly alright to say “no”, “yes”, or “maybe another time”. You can only give what you already have. God is not sitting in heaven with a score board counting how many times you have helped others. Our Father knows our heart and is perfectly capable of telling the difference between our being selfish vs. taking time for self-care. As human beings we can only do so much on an individual basis, this is why we are each called to contribute to serving one another. Serving each other is meant to prevent burn-out and stop us from trying to carry burdens on our own.

God wants us to have enough energy so that we will be alert enough to see the needs of others and then meet them.

If you are unable to directly meet someone’s needs, be kind about it, and if you are able to direct them to someone else or a service that will be of help to them, then do so; this is still a form of helping. You might feel guilty, but in referring them to someone else who can help, you are doing them a favour. Again, God knows your heart and He knows you can’t do everything yourself.

ACTION: Pray that you will always be aware and alert to the needs of others. Pray for discernment so your kindness and resources will not be taken advantage of. Pray that you will take care of yourself so you can also provide care to others. Pray for a Christ-like heart so that you will lovingly serve others without bitterness. I pray all of these alongside you. To those of you who are out there serving with your heart and your abilities; High Five!

Do all the good you can

Verses:

Isaiah 58:7

Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

Matthew 22: 37-40

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

ADHD Forget Me Not!

adhd forgetfulness

The ADHD Promise

Psalm 119: 15-16 “I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.”

Sometimes people with ADHD are known to not be consistent with following through on their promises. There are a variety of reasons for this such as becoming overwhelmed with over commitment, hyper focusing on one activity and losing track of time, not remembering appointments and meetings, and a number of other reasons.

As Dr. Sam Goldstein explains in an article from Everyday Health online, “By its nature, ADHD leads to forgetfulness. People with ADHD have problems doing what they know in a consistent, predictable, independent manner. They often miss the cues in the environment necessary to shift or adjust their behavior. This leads them to forget things, things they know they should do. We now understand that the biggest problem for people with ADHD is not so much an inability to pay attention but an inconsistency in paying attention, which leads one to forget.

Working Memory
Source: adhd101.com

Forgetting is a part of life, even the important things are sometimes forgotten, even an important activity like spending quiet time with God.

I wish I could say I was consistent with my spiritual quiet time, but I am not. There are times when I am consistent with setting time to connect with God in prayer and devotional reading and then there are those days when I only remember as I am rushing out the door, or just hitting the pillow in exhaustion.

I can’t stress enough the importance of having our spiritual quiet time. For those of us with ADHD it is even more imperative to our well-being that we not forget to take quiet time to connect with God and recharge. Through these connections we allow the Holy Spirit to slow down the racing thoughts in our minds or step away from our hyper focus. Time with God helps us to develop wisdom, discernment, patience, joy, and peace. Our time of prayer and devotion is a way to strengthen our character and bring some sense of order to our day.

God is not like humans, he will not be angry or upset with us for forgetting to meet with him. Unlike others, he will not text us non-stop or call us with a frustrated reminder that we forgot to meet him. With God he is always with us, therefore, the onus lies with humans to make the move towards connecting with God.

God doesn’t go anywhere, we do!

Let’s make the most of having this constantly loving God who is always full of grace. Make it a priority to not forget to spend time connecting with him on a daily basis. There doesn’t have to be a specific time or method; what’s important is remembering to make time for God.

Some ideas:

  • Find a consistent time of day for prayer/devotionals. To avoid missing this time, set an alarm (on your phone, computer, watch, etc.) and when it goes off, stop what you are doing and tend to your prayer time.
  • Use your smartphone for bible or devotional reading. By doing this you will have your “bible” and devotional reading with you wherever you go.  You can even send yourself emails and texts and when your notification makes that noise, you’ll stop to check your phone and bam!, it’s a bible verse or devotional for you to read.
  • Place different bible verses on your desktop. While at your computer, you can take a break and meditate on a verse from your desktop.
  • Stick verses/devotionals on your bathroom mirror and have prayer time while you brush your teeth or remove your makeup at night.

You know yourself best, find a method that works for you, and remember, even if you forget about God, he never forgets about you. There is no punishment, just unending patience, grace, and love on God’s end.

Psalm 119: 15-16

It’s Not Me (ADHD), It’s You (Environtment)!

Frustration

It’s Not Me, It’s You

One of the common problems that comes along with having ADHD is heightened emotional sensitivity. Whatever it is that we are feeling, be it happiness, anger, frustration, or any other emotion, we tend to have a more difficult time controlling, regulating and suppressing that feeling. It takes time and serious commitment to change reactive behaviours.

This week I found myself having to explain to someone that my constant frustration with a certain group of people was not some sort of psychological issue. I was able to reflect on why I had reacted towards a group of peers in such a negative and distancing manner. I won’t blame my ADHD for the way that I reacted because in doing so I would be saying that to react the way that I did was due to a disorder; what I truly believe is that my reaction was a result of being constantly targeted and harassed by a fellow classmate.

I thought about it for days and I reached the conclusion that anyone, ADHD or not, would eventually become upset with a person who was harassing them. This person was the official class gossiper and I made sure not to let her know anything about me other than my name. This lack of information bothered her and she spent 6 months of our time as classmates, gossiping about me and starting trouble on an almost daily basis.

Frustration chart

I was ready to play the blame game and attribute my reactions to her as coming from my ADHD, but I realised that not everything we do stems from this disorder. If someone is doing certain things that bother you, it is normal to become frustrated. However, what is important is how you react towards the person frustrating you. Our reactions are where we have to pay close attention to ourselves so as not to overreact or say things that are intended to hurt others.

There’s no need to think your behaviour is always linked to ADD. Sometimes books and movies are boring, and we lose interest like any other person would. If there’s an occasion that calls for hootin’ and hollarin’ then go wild, it’s an appropriate time to do so; you aren’t being overactive. If your work schedule and duties involve a lot of multitasking then it would be expected that employees will eventually become overwhelmed; it’s not necessarily a result of your ADD.

I could give plenty of examples, but I think you get where I’m going with this. As a person with ADHD, it is totally o.k. if from time-to-time you have to say, “It’s not me, It’s you!” Of course I wouldn’t say it exactly like this to someone as this could make a bad situation worse. It’s important to be able to distinguish between ADHD being the cause of your problem or the environment being the issue.

Here is a great link to an article on how to deal with heightened emotions when you haveADHD.

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/02/27/coping-with-heightened-emotions-when-you-have-adhd/

Frustration Prayer

Praying Into Good Habits

When we want to change the negative habits that come with having ADD/ADHD it can be overwhelming. Where do we start? The most helpful place we can start is with prayer. Be brave, be vulnerable, be courageous and ask God to reveal where you need to start. Even with the best of intentions it can be difficult to see clearly the habits that are causing the most damage in our lives. We may think we need to change habit A, but in reality the root of the problem is habit B, or K or S!

The following is a prayer from Joyce Meyer Ministry from Facebook 02/06/2014.

From Joyce Meyer Ministries
From Joyce Meyer Ministries

Spring Cleaning

Keeping up With Cleaning and Organizing Your Home and Personal Space

People are often surprised when they find out that I tidy my room everyday and do some sort of cleaning at least twice a week. My room is by no means neat and tidy. I have a half organized closet, a few boxes of goodness knows what under my bed, and a shelving unit that holds even more boxes of who-knows-what.

On a regular basis I walk into my room, look around, and sigh. I’ve given up telling myself that the room needs to be organized and cleaned from corner to corner. I’m by no means a hoarder, far from it, but I was easily on the path to becoming one. I had to discipline myself to stop becoming a collector of various items. I got rid of my angel collections, my DIY projects, and multiple cookbooks. I closed my Ebay account and stopped collecting Blue Mountain Pottery. By giving up collections, I was able to free myself from a lot of clutter and the endless maintenance and organization that is required.

cleaning insanity

I was fortunate enough to find some very simple and spiritual based home organization books. One book only required 15 minutes a day to become a more organized person and live a simpler life. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name, but the purpose of the book was to live a simpler life by ridding one’s self of clutter and unnecessary household stuff. I followed the prompts in the book and slowly over time I was able to become better organized, decrease clutter and live a simpler life. Things had changed so much that for the first time in years, I was able to move to a new home in one trip using only one truck!

For those of us with ADHD it is more of a challenge to maintain an orderly and clean home. There are plenty of books available for home organization, but most of them are not well suited for people with ADHD, as authors Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadeau write, “People with ADD often try to head “EAST“, doing Everything At The Same Time (EAST). They may begin multiple organizing projects with great enthusiasm – purchasing storage boxes, shelving, and paint but months later shelving hasn’t been taken out of the boxes, and the paint cans are still unopened. To change this self-defeating habit,  remember EAST is least successful.” Instead, the authors suggest taking on one project to get started, and complete it.

How do you decide which one to choose? I can only speak for myself, but I tend to address what ever mess is costing me the most problems in life. For me that would be the mess on my desk. If my desk is messy I am unable to complete my work. I need desk space in order to complete my assignments. Everyone is going to have a different mess that is a number one problem; find your biggest problem and start cleaning up that area.

Before even deciding what area to address, it is important to bring your intentions to God in prayer. It is easy to become overwhelmed, filled with anxiety or ignore the clutter; this is why we need to take this problem to God in asking for proper insight into seeing what needs to be done and the spiritual strength to get the work done.

Attached is a great blog post from Deb Wolfe over at Counting My Blessings. She addresses Hoarding from a spiritual point of view, but what she writes can easily be applied to the cluttered surroundings experienced by those with ADD. Her page can be accessed by clicking the page link below.

http://countingmyblessings.com/hoarders-jesus-and-prayer/

Lord I'm Overwhelmed direction today

The worry of ADHD

Anxiety

For many people with ADHD anxiety is not a stranger, “In fact, about 30 to 40 percent of people with ADHD have an anxiety disorder, which includes “obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, social anxiety and panic disorder,” according to Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. The Anxiety Disorders Association of America even estimates the figure to be almost 50 percent.” (source: psychcentral.com 05/2014) 

For Christians with ADHD worry is an additional problem because we are told by God not to worry, He provides comfort by inviting us to hand over our worries and anxieties to Him. The process of bringing our anxious thoughts to God is not an easy one. After so many years of a life filled with anxiety it becomes second nature that our automatic thoughts are to worry rather than turn to God with our fears.

God is not sitting by in anger, He is there waiting patiently with open arms repeatedly asking us to trust Him with our thoughts of fear. He wants to ease our mind. It’s difficult for us to have a peaceful mind if we don’t invite God to ease our worries.

Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling nervous
  • Feeling powerless
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Having an increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry (Source: Mayo Clinic Online 05/2014)

anxiety looks like

If chronic anxiety and stress isn’t dealt with properly, the following can occur:

  • Suppression of the immune system
  • Digestive disorders
  • Muscle tension
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Premature coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack (Source: WebMD 05/2014)

There are a variety of ways and methods for dealing with anxiety and reducing stress. For a short  list of suggestions visit the following link at WebMD.

One of our best spiritual responses to anxiety is to ease the mind with prayer. When we pray, the cause of our fear may not go away, but prayer does decrease anxiety.  The following is prayer for anxiety, may this bring some peace and comfort to you.

prayer against anxiety

anxiety prayer