I love that the Book of Common Prayer has specific prayers and thanksgivings for just about anything — for travelers, for artists, for the unemployed, for the aged, and so on. But, I don’t see many prayers looking closely at mental health. So, I decided to write a few.
For a Person Experiencing Anxiety
Heavenly Father, you know what we need. Teach us, when we worry about all manner of things, to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness and to find that all these things will be added unto us. Calm the churnings of our minds and bodies, as you calmed the sea, so that we might know your grace and spread forth your peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For a Person Considering Self-Harm
Almighty God, you created us and called us good. When there is guilt, grant us grace; when there is self-loathing, love; when there is loneliness, communion with you and with our neighbors. Guide us to care for our bodies as tenderly as you did wash the feet of the disciples; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For a Person Considering Suicide
Lord Christ, who faced death fully and rose to new life, enter into our thoughts of death and breathe into them life. Restore to us assurance of your good plans and purpose for our lives, grant us courage and resources to seek help, and prepare those who might help us; that we might continue to live for you, who did prepare for us in advance good works to do through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I hope these prayers could be words of comfort for individuals who wrestle with mental disorders, which can all too often leave us at a loss for words to say — much less words to pray.
Moreover, I hope you might try to write your own prayers for the concerns that you or your loved ones face. I found it to be a very challenging and very rewarding experience, especially since I tried to follow the traditional pattern of collects, which goes:
- invocation of God as Father, Son, or Holy Spirit
- acknowledgement of a divine attribute related to the petition
- petition for a specific needs/s
- aspiration (the desired result)
If you write one or find an interesting one written, let me know!