At church someone asked me to pray away my ADHD

I think there was a how to adhd vid on this, saying how its not that we have any issues its just that modern society was created for neurotical brains so its like a fish trying to climb trees when it should be swimming.

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I think my problem with the “pray x away” is that it assumes that a person is “less” for having their disability or issue. That they need “fixing”. Especially here in the US there are a lot of Christians who have this basic belief that if you are a good and faithful Christian, then you will be prosperous. It’s called the gospel of prosperity. Unfortunately this means that they also believe the corallary, that if you are poor or sick or otherwise need help in life, then it must be your fault. You only need to “try harder” to be a good person to avoid problems. Our VP Pence is a proponent of this theological teaching. Its a terrible belief, and harmful to those faithful who are struggling with problems outside their control.

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I was at Barnes and Nobles, and I was looking at Pyschology books, because they are fascinating. I saw a book on how to heal your ADHD and to basically become “normal”. People are crazy sometimes.

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…but I bet you at least read the back of the book, if not the table of contents. I know I’d have to! Then again, I bought the ebook of “ADHD Does Not Exist” not because I thought he might be right, but because I just had to see what his arguments were. For the record, it’s not a great read :).

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Yeah, I read an interview with the author. To be fair, he doesn’t say it doesn’t exist, he just doesn’t want to call it that. He lost me spinning Big Pharma conspiracy theories, though.

I’m now reading a German book that’s just the opposite. It’s called, roughly translated, “Getting Things Done Without a Shred of Discipline”, and while it’s not aimed at brains, it’s all about finding ways to organize ways of getting necessary things done, to ignore the baloney that you’re also supposed to get done, and to tell the difference.

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Part of the reason that I started reading it was because the author (Richard Saul) is quite forthcoming that the symptoms of ADHD are very real and cause people lots of strife. His argument is that ADHD is mostly misdiagnosed from other causes of these symptoms, or comorbidity is really just one disorder. e.g. You don’t have OCD and ADHD, it’s the OCD that’s causing the ADHD symptoms.

I don’t think that he’s 100% wrong. It’s accepted that other things (e.g. thyroid issues) cause ADHD-like symptoms. However some of the causes he mentions, like substance abuse, could be ruled out in most cases by the lack of symptoms at a young age (unless there was a 6 year old with a cocaine habit).

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I have sooo much to discuss on this thread and yet I can’t at the moment, as I have to leave the office… But I’ll be back with an ADHD Pastor’s perspective later. In the meantime, I do agree with many of the posters above, especially the one that said FIND A NEW CHURCH ASAP! :joy:

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I like the title of a book for ADHDers more, “driven to distraction.”

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Well, let’s examine this. What I identify with ADHD is emotional dysregulation, distractability (short term memory problems, and hyperfocus. What else could that be?

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Yes I like that title, too, but does the book have a chapter about “everything you need to know about time management” that’s just a blank page?

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Me, I boil it down to the dopamine thing. You can have either of the symptoms (as well as several or maybe even all of them) from other causes but if your dopamine balance is off, that’s its own thing.

The fact that we’re all different within the tribe and react differently to the meds actually speaks in Saul’s favor: Maybe what we call ADHD is really just a group of different disorders and maybe with more precise diagnoses, we won’t have to find our treatments by trial and error anymore? I’d welcome that kind of progress. Although I don’t think we’ll get it from a place of poo-pooing the current criteria or claiming Big Pharma conspiracies.

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I just wanted to share a few thoughts that came to mind as I was reading through this thread. I’ll start by saying that I did not read everything that was said too carefully, since its hard to give that much attention to everything that was said (hmm… I wonder if anybody here can relate to that?).

First, I will say it is a pleasure to “meet” you. I started on this forum when it was relatively new. At the time, I did not see many people who indicated that they were Christian or church-goers. So it nice to see you posting here.

I am a pastor of a church in Michigan, but most importantly, I believe and have trusted that the Lord Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again according to Scripture-- and that his death happened in our place so that we, when we trust and believe, can be saved solely by the grace of God.

I really appreciate what Kayla said here. Though I do not think that God directly gives us ADHD or any other “impairment,” I do think he allows these things and that his will is greater than ours. It is so true that ADHD and so many other things can be a strength or give us great opportunity to be strong and overcome.

Though the theme of healing is clearly a part of Jesus ministry, I do not believe such healing is for today. I know, even in this thread, that there are those who would disagree with me on that issue. I’m happy to have that discussion elsewhere. But I did want to stop and say that those who “believe that if you’re sick, you’re just not being a good enough person” are wrong. For one, the Bible teaches that none of us are “good,” since we are all sinners. The amazing part is that God does not require us to be good for the salvation of our very souls! So, the notion that God would require us to be good in order to avoid the flu, but not in order to be saved is, at best, not well thought out. But often times this thinking, even if well-intentioned, can have devastating consequences, as Kayla pointed out.

Again, I don’t believe that this sort of healing is something that we are meant to experience today. I think Christians should pray for healing for others-- though the prayer should be for God’s will above all else. This does not mean, however, that God gives us the power of healing as was seen in the early parts of the New Testament. Now, I don’t say this as an attempt to change you or anybody else’s mind on a theological issue. You cannot simply pray something away or be healed because you “believe enough.” What exactly are you supposed to believe in more? And how is the strength of that belief to be measured?

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@PastorJared Holy crap, thanks for your nuanced response!

I’m not sure these two ideas can go hand in hand without causing either “pray away the X” or causing people to lose their faith…

I came to appreciate prayer through the lens of data on actively engaging in gratitude. Here’s that cool data. Basically, if you keep a gratitude journal, you’re happier. Period. You don’t have to go back and read the journal. You don’t even have to journal every day. You just kinda journal… Whenever you feel like it. The only rules are to be specific, and not to be repetitive.

Prayer shouldn’t be much different. When prayer is a way to engage in gratitude - thanking the Lord for meals, friends, family, health, opportunities - you’re basically engaging in the same practice as gratitude journalling. From a psychological standpoint, at least. That’s great! You get all the same benefits: peace of mind, better relationships, and happier days. This is why praying when you are in bad health or struggling helps you feel better, even if nothing really changes day to day. (This could be viewed as science, in the way Berkeley frames it through Greater Good In Action. Or, this could be viewed as God’s intentional design feature for human happiness; he can’t always give you what you pray for, because there may be a different plan, but he can at least wire you to feel good from praying.)

Of course, this backfires when shame is introduced through others using prayer as a guise to pass judgement on other’s behavior/lifestyle/whatever. Having ADHD and seeking treatment from a doctor, in the case of this thread. @Pizzatom52’s church community can keep praying for his healing, but when he’s been healed by doctors to the best possible degree for our modern age, it moves over into the territory of shaming.

I guess what I am saying is that praying for healing is, at it’s core, a good idea. But, when a culture views something that doesn’t need healing (or can’t be healed further) as something that does, things get weird.

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Thanks. I appreciate all the comments. I feel that we should be able to share with others that we are on the spectrum and to be proud that we think differently and that we contribute differently than others. Neurodiversity is what powers the age of the internet. Some tech firms hire our brothers and sisters that have autism because of their neurodiversity. And like the Liam Neeson quote, “ I do have a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career.”

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“I will look for you. I will find you. And I will procrastinate you.”
Kinda doesn’t have the same ring to it, though. Maybe with hyperfocussing. That could be scary.

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Same here😀

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Thanks for your response!

In regard to those two quotes of mine of which your said this:

I’m not sure if I completely understand why these statements would necessarily lead to one of those two conclusions. That’s not to say they wouldn’t. I just mean that I do not understand. Perhaps the best I can do in response to that is to state (hopefully) more clearly and specifically what I believe.

  • God can and does heal people, though not through the miraculous power of Christians. His healing comes indirectly through medical science and brilliant people in the health industry. His healing also can come via ‘supernatural’ means by his action, not ours.
  • Christians should pray for people to be healed, but this is not a way of God healing people through our prayers. It is our way of asking God to intervene or work through one of the above-mentioned means.
  • Christians should also pray for God’s will to be done above our own. That is, when we pray, we can ask God to bring healing, but should also recognize that healing may not come in that situation because it is not God’s will for there to be healing.
  • Christians should recognize that if healing does not come because it was not God’s will, this does not mean that God does not love or care for the sick. Often times, God uses suffering, pain, and sickness for our good. For those who are familiar with the Bible, there are plenty of examples of this: Paul and his “thorn in the flesh,” Joseph and his betrayal by his brothers, or Jesus and his gruesome death. This is not to say that God makes us sick or is the cause of suffering. It is when we believe that people will be healed because we pray, “lay on hands,” or believe “enough;” that people are prone to lose faith. This is terrible, since the faith they should be losing is their faith in that unbiblical view of God and healing.
  • People should not pray for healing from something that cannot be healed. For example, there should not be people trying to “Pray the Gay Away” or “Pray the ADHD Away.” That being said, I have known people who were attracted to others of the same sex and who claim that, as a result of their faith, that attraction changed to those of the opposite sex. Whether that was God’s doing or a strong psychological/biological change or both, I cannot say. But, I also know far more gay and lesbian Christians who do not feel the need to stop that attraction-- some of them abstain from sex and some do not. Regardless, those are some amazingly faithful people.
  • As will all my posts or sermons, that was far longer than I planned or that any of you likely wanted it to be. So I will move on.

Thank you for the link! I have a Bullet Journal that I use, but have never successfully added space for somthing like this. Perhaps I will try again!

I’ll start with one point on how I disagree with this sentiment because 1) I’m a “Bad News First” kinda guy and 2) I think my disagreement is based off things you may not have intended to imply.

I think prayer should be a “daily” activity.

Phew, now that that is over; I can move on to what I think is so beautiful and good about what you said. I think the greater point you are making is that you journal/pray when you feel led to do so. For many people, I think this is great. Prayer is not mean to be a ritual done out of obligation. It is a gift given by God for us to enjoy and know him better. And it should be done as we feel led to do it and hopefully, that is something that happens throughout the day (often quite briefly). For those like myself who do not pray as often as we probably should, some sort of ritual can be good. I know that I am best at “just kinda praying” and doing so often when I make sure that I have some structured reminders/cues to keep me in communication with God.

I think that there is no need at all to separate them. There are so many ways that God has made us to naturally desire that which is good for us. Of course, as sinful people, there is much desired that is bad for us, too. But, praying is a great example of this. It feels good to do it, and there is scientific, observable evidence to back this up. Another example is food. As I sinful man who struggles with impulsivity and what very well might be an addiction to certain foods, I do not eat well. My body craves all sorts of things it should not have. Or, perhaps, it would be better to say that my brain craves those things. My body does not because it clearly tries to tell me that it does not like what it is taking in. Our bodies naturally desire healthy sources of food energy. And when we have that, we feel better and healthier. Of course, this example means little to a naturalist or materialist. But, I see it as one example of God’s wonderful wisdom in creation.

So well said! Those that practice and teach what is sometimes referred to as “Faith Healing” are an abomination. There is a little less nuance for you as I think of these people who con others into giving them money and trust to the point where their victims, believing they will be healed, end up poor and often dead (if they choose to believe that believing enough is better than going to a doctor). That shame you mention is a path that leads people to early deaths, often as doubters of God. To say that someone should believe more in order to be healed is to make God the scapegoat for the disastrous results of a wicked lie. Okay… I should probably stop now. Or earlier. But I’ll pretend my backspace key does not work.

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Wow younger me thinking 15mg was expensive…I’ve upgraded since then…

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Get the hearing aid. I have mostly skimmed over the responses here. Christians can be funny about mental illness and neurodiversity (I say that as a Christian myself). I have heard so many people say that depression and ADHD can be “prayed away”. Are there any diabetics at your church? Anyone with glasses? Can those be prayed away? Do the people with these conditions have enough faith to forgo insulin? Glasses?

I am struggling with the people of the church right now, and with so many of these idea people get about things they are not going through. God did not promise us an easy life, yet so many want to believe that lie.

My understanding is that as Christians we need to walk through life showing love and acceptance to our neighbors, not just our brothers. I have seen so many people expecting everyone in the world to ascribe to the tenant of Christianity without becoming a Christian. That is utter foolishness, and I think the foundation of hypocracy in our faith.

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aah religion i find that religion gets in the way of lifes natural ways and spirituality can heal most anything thats all i can say with out offending ppl also wanted to thank you 4 your feed back

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