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Friday, January 9, 2015

A Prayer for the Mentally Ill In Our Midst

Many of us have struggled with mental illness, whether it’s a periodic bout of grief-laden depression, anxiety, trauma-related conditions, or clinical depression. And, if there’s one thing we ever learned, it was that we could not just snap out of it.
Our biochemical structure was misshapen and needed remediation. Our spirituality had suffered a cataclysmic rout. Possibly our thinking was severely compromised. Our past was informing the future too much. Or, we struggled with the conditions of life re-adjustment.
Whatever we experienced, we knew the ferocity and veracity of our foe.
Perhaps we are controlled by the nemesis today. It could be these words that are all too familiar.
If we are in that place of feeling so out of control it’s scary, we don’t wish it upon our worst enemy. We really, really do not like what we have to face each and every hour of each day – some horribly worse!
But, maybe our task is to pray for the one who is afflicted before us – a friend, a family member, a son, a daughter, a husband or wife, a mother or father.
Our Father,
Covenant carer of us all. We beseech You in Your Son’s name. We implore You... that You might extend Your hand of favour to the ones we are worried about today, Lord.
Grace the person I pray for with the strength to endure the day. Give them a flicker of hope; a little portion of joy... to get them through.
For that person I’m unaware of who is holding onto life by a thread – the person who is considering giving up – the person who has given up – call them by Your name. Give them a reason, or enough reason, they cannot ignore; reason for life.
For him who is racked with anxious horror, who is encamped by panic, give sufficient wherewithal that he can regulate his own relief – give peace in that moment of torment. For her who is depressed beyond measure, enervated and purposeless, and possibly suffocated of hope, give the grace to afford one moment’s perspective – and then another (and another). For him or her overcome by sorrowful memories, make the past less painful by the hour and day.
Give all sufferers good sleep, Lord.
For the family members who try so terribly hard to bring relief and to provide the basic needs; give them respite, an hour or a day off – and sufficient support. Give them a joyous strength in the midst of their personal, ambiguous suffering.
For those in the medical fraternity and in the health sectors, grant them wisdom and understanding, and a real heart to help. Give them protection from their own incapacities, and protect them from attack.
And for the health care systems that must support our mentally ill, my prayer is that more and more funding and expertise would be available for treating sufferers and for educating our society so prejudices are much less prevalent.
Last of all, I pray against the generational factors that continue to propel people toward mental illness. I pray that the generational forces would be seen and attended to, one parent at a time – with courage, honesty, humility, and great faith.
I pray all this under the covering of Jesus’ name, AMEN.

© 2015 S. J. Wickham.

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