A Prayer for People Living with Mental Illness

This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week in the United States. This is important because mental illness is one of those things people don’t know that much about unless they need to–either because they’re mental health professionals or because their lives have been shaken by their own illness or the struggle of someone they love. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know I often write about the church’s opportunity and responsibility to help people living with mental health challenges. I believe we all need a level of awareness and competence that will allow us to love and support the people in our midst.

But for some of us, awareness isn’t a problem. Today I’d like to mark this week with a prayer for people who can’t help but live with a high awareness of mental illness because it affects them every day. Will you join me in this prayer today?

A Prayer for People Living with Mental Illness

Loving God, I pray for all whose brains have been hurt by disease, injury, stress, trauma, and other factors of human life in a hard world. I pray for all who love them and want to help. I pray for your comfort in their grief, hope amid loss, and the balm of community with people who understand.

For people with mental illness–may they find hope in you and feel your longing for them.
For parents of children with mental illness–may they know the limits of their power both to cause and to cure.
For children of parents with mental illness–may they know you as loving parent and find places where they can grow up in safety, no matter how old they are.
For friends of suffering people–may they resist the temptation to try to “fix” their friends and recognize the simple power of their loving presence.
For spiritual leaders–may they deny both helplessness and overconfidence, courageously serving as first responders and faithful shepherds.
For people who need treatment and don’t receive it–may they recognize their need, believe life can be better, and find people who can help.
For those burdened by shame and stigma–may they walk into the light and find compassionate people.

Lord, I pray for light in the darkness. I pray that people with vulnerable minds will find hope and help among followers of Christ who will love them and point them toward what they need while letting them live with that need. I pray for acceptance and grace–the same kind of grace you offer so freely to all. I pray that many churches will embrace the opportunity for messy and sometimes thankless ministry among the marginalized, in the name of the one whose love knows no margins.


  1. Barb says:

    Wonderful prayer and AMEN!

  2. Pat Franklin says:

    Thanks for reminder that people need love, and that it is not our task to “fix” them.

  3. Katy says:

    Thank you for this prayer. As the adult child of a mother who has long struggled with mental illness, I was just today overwhelmed by life and just wanting a “mom”. I didn’t know if I’ll ever get over that feeling of need even though I’m now too old to have that need in the way i had it as a child. But I’m thankful to always have a truly good, safe Father.

  4. Ummy says:

    I see so many people roaming the streets unwell, oblivious of their surrounding and the cause being mental illness and my heart goes out to them. thanks for this prayer for them.

  5. Forever Caring for My Son says:

    I am the mother of a 21 year old with Mental illness..i pray for his peace of mind, for now, i am limited by what i can do because of his age..i am there for him, his friends, but NOT his Fathet, the root of the problem psychological and emotionally…We Love him Dearly and Support Him, He is truly trying to help himself now.
    I Pray for Encouragement for those effected by Mental Illnesses it is a Concerted Effort to help those who are struggling.

    • Amy says:

      I’ll say a prayer for you as well. I’m sure you need encouragement too. It’s hard to be in your shoes, loving and caring about someone who has mental illness. God bless you.

  6. Kirby says:

    I have a friend who has been diagnosed with Bipolar II. Unfortunately I believe she also has an alcohol addiction illness which rears its ugly head once and a while, most likely as a result of the mental health issues in which she is reluctant to seek help. It pains me to know that this friend is suffering and I cannot convice her that there is so much help available. I turn to prayer and God to guide me in my pursuit to assist my friend, and it alleviates my own distress. I know that God does care about her. But God cannot solve every problem and sometimes we just have to accept what occurs in life just as we accept faith unconditionally.

  7. Diane Hooper says:

    On this anniversary of Columbine, I was searching for a prayer for the mentally ill and was led to yours. It is lovely and compassionate and hopeful for those who suffer from mental illness and those who support them. I will put it in my prayer book and say it often. Thank you.

© 2016 Amy Simpson.