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.

    • Frankk says:

      Hey, my name is frankk, my 33yr old pregnant wife is currently going through the same thing. Luckily she stopped the alcohol a month before the pregnancy… I pray for all including yours. May they find peace in their minds and may they get better soon. Sometimes i start to lose hope, but then i see stuff like this, and i thank god for everything good he has done and everything good he has yet to do. Our baby is healthy so far. God is good all the time, and he knows what he is doing, i trust him fully, even though sometimes i dont understand. ❤

  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.

  8. Falana says:

    I thank you for this prayer. I am a 47 year old mother of two men 28 and 29 of which whom both suffer from mental illness. They have been suffering since their teenage years. My 29 year old is on medication which is helping him after 12 years of trying to find the right meds that work for him. PRAISE GOD! My 28 year old has become a substance and alcohol user/abuser trying to self medicate due to his mental illness. He is in denial that he has a mental illness due to his witnessing what his older brother has endured (hospitalization, jail time, homelessness) throughout the years. I have family members who have given up on my children because they do not know how to deal with the illness and are in denial themselves that my children are suffering from mental illness. Just today, I have had to get an Emergency Custody Order “ECO” for my 28 year old in order for him to get help. It was hard for myself to do this as well as for the police officers to assist due to the laws that are in place to protect the mentally ill. However, I stood there and prayed for GOD’S GRACE and MERCY while having conversation with the officers. At that moment my son volunteered to go and get help, 15 minutes after they left with my child a police officer returned to my home and said that the Community Services Board “CSB” has agreed to accept him into their care. I SHOUTED! THANK YOU JESUS! The officer nodded, smiled and said have a blessed day! GOD is so good. This prayer is an awesome affirmation of the presence of GRACE and MERCY and how we all play a part in others lives directly or indirectly. Thank you so very much for your prayer.

    • Amy says:

      Falana, this is a very encouraging story! I know others will be blessed to hear that God answered your prayers and that your son has access to help. It sounds as if you have been through a lot as a family, and I pray you will continue to both your sons move toward health and strength.

    • Carlista Muse says:

      I want to thank you for your story because ours is very similar. I am 47 with a 28 year old son who is self medicating on alcohol and marijuana. He lives with me and my two daughters and everyone is scared when he has his episodes. I don’t know what to do. We just pray in our rooms.

      • Carlista Muse says:

        Sorry, by the way he is schizophrenic.

        • Amy says:

          Carlista, I’m so sorry to hear about your son’s illness. I know most parents in this situation experience some grief and a significant amount of adjustment as they come understand the ways life will be different from what they envisioned for their children. Have you seen a counselor? If not, I’d recommend it as one way to find someone who will listen non-judgmentally and help you make sense of the situation and perhaps figure out how to move forward as a family.

          Another idea is to find a support group. You may be able to find a group of people in your area who are dealing with similar situations and who will listen to you and share their stories and suggestions with you. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI.org) has branches throughout the U.S. and offers excellent education, support, and groups for family members of people with mental illness. You may also be able to find a Christian group. A couple of places you could check to see if they have groups in your area:



  9. Virginia e walker says:

    Please pray for my adult daughter and me she has a 15 yr old son too I try to fix everything god is my hope she struggles with bipolar thanks

    • Amy says:

      Virginia, I will pray for your family right now. I hope you are finding some help and support for yourself as well. A support group for loved ones of people with mental illness may be helpful to you. Sometimes it’s just really nice to know you’re not alone.

  10. C says:

    My son is homeless in TN . I let him know where he can get help there . We have tried for over 15 years to get him help . I pray he realizes the need for this help and seeks it . As always , the guilt is immeasurable . We adopted him at 9 wks and I always feel i let him down .
    It does not seem that the mentally ill is on anyone’s priority list… I’ve noticed more and more that there are more mentally ill in jail than other people . How can a humane society be so inhuman ?

    • Amy says:

      It sounds as if you and your family have been through an awful lot–and continue to go through it. You’re right, we desperately need to recognize what people with mental illness need and provide more humane solutions.

    • Gary Gosnell says:

      I’m. Sorry you are going through this, I don’t understand why sometimes but all we have is hope in God! Fo the best you can and PRAY.

  11. Ruth says:

    Wonderful, I know of a man who is mentally challenged, I have always wished that God heals him by bringing back his senses,,I do pray for him,,,is it possible that one day God will work on him?? Help me pray

  12. Chadnell says:

    I found your prayer while trying to figure out how to pray for my ex husband. The last 3 years has been awful trying to deal, help and fix him. I’ve realized that I can’t fix this. Its not for me to fix its God job and I had to learn that the hard way. Every time I tried he would turn on me when his mind turned on him. We have a son together who is only 9 and old enough to see the differences in his father. How do I explain mental illness to him while trying to keep his father in a good light. I never knew mental illness was such a beast and how someone you love can look and treat you like they don’t even know you and when the episode is over act like nothing ever happened. The cycle of they’re ok and then not ok makes me feel like I have one as well. How do I hold on to my sanity during his insanity

    • Amy says:

      It sounds as if things are really hard for you right now. I know this is a very difficult way to love, and sometimes it comes with excruciating decisions. It’s important that you find support for yourself. You’re right: you can’t fix him. And you can’t do this alone. So please consider finding a counselor to talk to and looking for a support group in your area. Here are few places you could look: nami.org; freshhope.us; mentalhealthgracealliance.org.

      You might also want to check out Sparks of Redemptive Grace, which has more prayers for loved ones with mental illness: sparksofredemptivegrace.com/

      Also, I have some posts on this blog that you might find helpful. Here are a few:

      Q & A: How Do You Have Hope and Perspective When a Loved One Has Mental Illness?

      Q&A: How Do I Get My Loved One to Accept Help?

      Hope for When Mental Illness Comes Home

      I hope this is helpful. God is with you and will not leave your side. And there are many others who have been down the same road and are willing to walk with you. Try reaching out for support with them.

  13. Luisa says:

    Thank you so much for this prayer.

  14. Sandy Horseman says:

    Thank you for this prayer. I have a 38 year old daughter who is Bipolar and BPD. I had always prayed she would not have children as she can’t take care of herself. I have had to get legal help for her on more than one occasion. She self medicated with marijuana. She didn’t get pregnant until she was 35 and had two children back to back,11 months apart. They are beautiful children and I love them dearly but constantly worry about them. She has been involved with Social Services and the children were taken away once but she got them right back. The system not only fails the mentally ill but children as well. I am constantly my daughter’s doormat and her bank. I don’t think 2 weeks goes by that she is not needing me to buy groceries, diapers, etc. At times I feel so lost. She guilts me all the time and tells me families are supposed to take care of each other. She lives with her boyfriend who she claims is trying very hard to find a job. It has been that way for more than 3 years. It pains me to her so miserable but she will not do anything to help herself making all the more concerned for my grandchildren. I pray for everyone who is affected by any form of mental illness. It is all too consuming and can break down the strongest of any of us. God Bless all that are suffering.

    • Amy says:

      Sandy, I’m sorry you’re living with so much anxiety and grief. I know what it’s like to lie awake at night and worry over someone you love, whose mental illness causes hardship and distress. I pray for you as well, and for all whose hearts have been broken in this way.

    • Sandy, there are non-drug music therapies that often can heal mental illnesses. The neurological paradigm I discovered when I healed our son’s schizophrenia is related to the work being done by psychologists at NICABM although I am not associated with them. Most music therapies, such as the Tomatis Method and Berard’s Audio Integration Training are very costly. My technique of Focused Listening is a self-help method that requires only headphones, a CD player, and some CDs of violin concertos. Or the person can use a computer and the music available from YouTube and other music sites. You can learn more at http://www.northernlightbooks.ca, which is a website I set up to teach people about their ears and how audio-processing deficits cause mental illnesses. Music is a powerful agent of healing that has always been used by Christians but without their understanding of how singing and listening alters the ear, which in turn gets more sound energy into the brain so it can function properly. It is being used in hospitals, nursing homes, by physiotherapists, and by people with no specialized training. Pray about this and get in touch with me if you need further help.

      • Sandy says:

        Thank you. I appreciate the insight and I will look into this. I know that my daughter will not as she is in denial about her illness. Thank you Amy and Laurna for the prayers. I will continue to pray as well for everyone that is dealing with mental illness.

  15. Nancy says:

    Thank you for this Prayer for People Living with Mental Illness…and your blog. I will certainly pass them along.

  16. Bill says:

    Thank you for this prayer and I wish I had come across it sooner. Today was one of those days where things started spiraling into the depths of my family member’s mental illness and needed to recenter myself before it became overwhelming. Then came across your website when looking for prayers.

    Thanks again.

  17. Carla Charles says:

    Thank you.
    I was a psych major in college.
    I realized that, there are person’s with mental illness.
    Throughout my life, I have dealt with issues myself.
    I pray a lot.
    I realize it is not time to judge.
    A person is a person no matter how small. (Dr. Seuss)

  18. Adeyemi Ajibade Josiah says:

    I am struggling with mental illness, is not easy the pain is too much i just pray that God should help me just to find Job that will keep me going, the stigma is too much…but i focus on God who can help all human being…so to other people who is suffering from mental illness like me i know that is not easy but the only things you have to do is to forget about the past focus on what you can do and continue to seek for help and always say positive things no mater how you are feeling and always take good care of your body and always tell yourself that am a son of God and don’t commit any problem, by doing all what i said people we love you and you will love yourself.

    • Amy says:

      Thank you for offering your words to encourage others. God is with you, and he will not leave you. Are you aware of Fresh Hope for Mental Health? They have online Christian support groups for people who have mental illness: http://www.freshhope.us

  19. please pray for me i have a mild mental illness and need healing with my thinking

  20. Janice says:

    Please pray for my brother, I’m really weeping right now as I pray for him. He has been struggling with mental illness and depression which was diagnosed after he completed medical school. He talks loudly to himself sometimes laughing when he thinks no one is watching. He talks to himself all the time and the things he says are not nice things. The devil is just trying to truncate his destiny, he wants to get
    married but has been getting lots of rejections so he’s really hurting. Please pray along with us for his miraculous healing and salvation and that God will come through for him so that he can lead the normal life that he desires and same for everyone hurting as a result of mental illness in their loved one. He is a really sweet soul . Thank you

  21. Abeba says:

    Thank you for the prayers I needed that my son is 25 years old and have mental illness.He was Diagnosed at the age 15 . He has A lot so struggling with his illness is been a rough years not getting better it is getting worse I need a prayer he’s name is Anthony please pray for him.Thank you.

  22. Purushothaman cs says:

    Please pray for my friend sakthipriya she was a patient she was admitted in hospital she had accident she’s hands and legs have fracture… And also she was a mental illness problems she had lot of depressions stress fears in his life so she had a mental issues problems she also had treatment for them the doctors should put operations in his head for his problem to get solved after the operations she forgot all the things in his she had memory loss she loss each and everything in his mind…. She didn’t remember anyone and anything in his mind she lose all…. Today morning she left in hospital at the outside all are searching for them anybody don’t know about where did she go all are searching my Dear Lord Jesus Christ please help me to my friend sakthipriya she wants ꓄ꄲ find very soon She wants to find very soon with the Grace of Almighty God and she wants to get normal condition she wants to return all his memories and his hand leg fractures are to be get normal very soon please bless my friend sakthipriya she wants to find very soon didn’t anything bad and any bad problems and bad situations to be affected my friend sakthipriya please save him and protect him from all the bad things please bless my friend sakthipriya In the Name of Almighty God Lord Jesus Christ I Pray Amen Thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ Amen please bless my friend sakthipriya she wants to find very soon

  23. Hello Amy! I just bumped into your site! Excuse me if my english skills are a bit poor as im not a native speaker. Im from Greece. So, i have a sister, named Christina, she is 37 years old. Im 6 years younger. Throughout these years, my family struggles with my sister’s weird personality. I think that she has a lot of issues, mental issues. She is not crazy, actually she is smart enough. But she has some really bad habits. She is jealous, she acts differently than most of the people, she is angry, she judges all the time,she is always on her own. During her adolescense we were all afraid of her because of her unexpected behavior. No social life, no job, no nothing. Me and my parents have given up on this issue and we just hope for the best. But i havent stopped looking for a solution. Because deep down inside i Know for sure that there is the answer and the solution for this family issue that goes on and on for so many years.
    Can you please pray for Christina? I would really appreciate it if you replied to me. Do you believe that there is hope? 🙂
    Looking forward for your answer. Take care Amy. God bless

    • Amy says:

      I will say a prayer for Christina right now. I don’t know your sister and don’t know what’s possible in her life. However, I know there is always hope for anyone in Jesus. He loves your sister more than you or your parents can. And if she does have a mental health problem, there is also hope in the treatments and support that are available. People can get better, recovery is possible, and many people live well with mental illness, even though it can be very hard. I encourage you to pray for your sister and to see whether you might be able to encourage her to find some help and support. Sometimes people are willing to get help if a loved one is willing to go with them. I pray you will have wisdom.

  24. Sherril says:

    I am an ICCU RN, worked in the heart transplant unit. My son became sick while in Boot camp for the Navy. He left and came home 1 week before graduation. They said he told them he had been using drugs since he was 8. They marked a notation that they thought he was bipolar. However discharged him for drug abuse. I’m sure that was so they would not have to give him benefits. He is so sick. Has been court ordered to take his meds again. He thinks he has a wife or I should say wives! He is just out of the hospital again and I believe they let him out too soon. I think he’s planning on a trip to California to get his wife who is a famous Rock Star. I don’t know her to stop him. I quit my job to take care of him and because I couldn’t handle the whole thing. Became very depressed myself and relapsed into using drugs myself. I weighed 93lbs, only crying and not eating. I asked God why would you give a recovered addict a sick child. I prayed for God to let me have the disease not him!!! He’s always been my sweet child. I’ve been taking care of him for 20 years now and I can feel it in my soul something bad is going to happen. He’s so delusional! I love him so much, every hair on that child’s head❤️ God please help him, he doesn’t deserve this!!

    • Amy says:

      Sherril, I’m so sorry to hear of this serious challenge in your life and your heartache for your son. I hope and pray he will soon stabilize with his medication. I want to encourage you to reach out for help for yourself. You may be able to find a group of people in your area who are dealing with similar situations and who will listen to you, care for you, and share their stories and suggestions with you. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI.org) has branches throughout the U.S. and offers excellent education, support, and groups for family members of people with mental illness. You may also be able to find a Christian group. A couple of places you could check to see if they have groups in your area:


      It sounds as if you may need support to stop using drugs as well. Al-Anon has helped many people, and you may be familiar with treatment programs in your area as well. Some counselors also specialize in addiction.

      Remember, you will not be able to offer good support to your son if you yourself are not healthy. The best thing you can do for him is to take care of your own health so that you can be a strong, supportive influence for him.

      I’ll say a prayer for you right now.

  25. Please I need help. I am aware of my own devastating struggle of dissociating mentally from myself and does not own responsiblity. It has caused havoc in my life since I cannot deal with past truama and overcome. I need help from God for healing for there is immense fear in me of being myself. I really want healing from to help me to face myself and admit mentally that it is me. I only admit to people that it is me with my mouth.

    • Amy says:

      Rosamund, I will pray right now the Spirit of the Lord will break through your mental barriers and show you clearly what is true about yourself, the world around you, and his immeasurable love for you!

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