By Jolene Underwood, Crosswalk.com
One of the hardest things about being human in this broken world is experiencing pain without quick-fix answers. We all face challenges that feel overwhelming. The reality is, more and more people are struggling with anxiety, depression, and addictions. While it's vitally important to seek professional help for mental illness and begin seeing a good therapist, it's also equally as important! While it may seem obvious and important to pray over someone's physical health, we often neglect the power of praying for mental health and illnesses.
God doesn't guaranteed beautiful endings or perfected situations. Our desires aren’t automatically fulfilled. No matter how much we want things to be perfect, we live in an imperfect world full of imperfect, even harmful, people. Even so, there is hope and goodness that we can experience. Through prayer, God's presence and offer strength in our struggles and comfort in our suffering.
If you’re feeling depressed and anxious, or weary and worried, please know that God wants to meet you through prayer. Prayer isn’t meant to be the be-all and end-all. It’s meant to bring us close to the One who holds it all. This collection of prayers for mental health can help guide your thoughts as you bring your needs and struggles before God. Scripture reminds us that Jesus knew pain and suffering well. God understands the deep cries of our hearts. As you say these prayers, may you remember that God knows us intimately and cares about what we need.
May these ten prayers encourage your heart no matter what mental health struggles and illnesses you may be facing.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/ijeab
A Prayer to Trade Anxiety for Abundant Life
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Lord, you give life and life abundantly. I don’t always experience the goodness you have to give. I don’t even know how good your goodness is. But I want it, Lord.
Sometimes what I think should happen isn’t actually good. My limitations, my inabilities, my refusals, my attempts to get things my way make it hard to receive what you want for me. I’ve struggled and pain is all too familiar. The enemy wants to destroy me, and he has taken much.
I ask for more of what you have to give, Lord. Help me experience the power of your life at work in me, and your beautiful life flowing through me. Replenish what’s been stolen or lost. Fill me to overflowing with what comes from you. When I feel troubled and unable to do simple things, I choose to receive new strength. You are fully alive and renew my life. Thank you.
When abundant life seems impossible, and my thoughts take me down with reminders of all I lack, renew me with glimpses of your love in this life. Remind me of what I have because of you. Help me see there is more to enjoy than what I know now. You have more to give and more for me to embrace with you. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Shane Rounce
A Prayer for Compassion in Mental Struggle
They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Lord, thank you for being a God of compassion. When I feel hungry or beat down by the heat of this world, you offer refreshment. With you there is nourishment for dry and hurting places. May I see where you provide for me, because sometimes I don’t notice it. Sometimes I reject it. But Lord, I admit that I need your refilling often.
When I feel shaken, you are not. You never cease to offer love and compassion for those who are weary. When I can’t figure out what to do and it feels like everything I do is wrong, your arms remain open to receive me. I can’t understand your acceptance and love, but you offer it. Help me accept it.
Have compassion for my doubts, fears, actions, thoughts, and the wrestling that happens in me. Show me new ways, Lord. Help me see your care and kindness, especially when I feel empty and alone.
Lord, I need compassion from others. I need compassion for myself too. Help me notice and embrace compassion offered to me. Help me extend compassion to myself and others, especially when it’s hard to do. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Fizkes
Prayer for Relief from Loneliness and Isolation
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
In my struggles, Lord, I often feel alone. You say you are with me, but I can’t always feel it. Sometimes, I can be with people and still feel alone. Others don’t understand what I’m going through and it’s hard for them to know what to do. When this happens, I feel even more alone.
You created us because you love us and want to be with us. You designed us to need you and others. Help me receive your loving presence. Help me see when you are moving on my behalf, whether it’s through other people, through hard steps I’ve taken, through your created beauty in nature, or through some way I would never expect. I need reminders, and I need revelations of your presence with me.
Help me reach out to others when I need help, encouragement, and fun. Give me courage to ask for what I need and the courage to offer the same for others.
Heal my heart and mind in all the areas that keep me closed off, isolated, withdrawn, or defensive in relationships. I ask for your wisdom and spiritual discernment so I can see when you and your creation provide relief from loneliness. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Wavebreakmedia
Prayer for Courage and Faith Instead of Fear
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Lord, all around me and swirling within me there are things that are scary, hard, and painful. When I feel afraid and too small to do the hard things I need or want to do, give me courage.
Like you did with Peter, and so many others, show me where you are and where you want to take me. When you call me out of my places of self-protection, help me trust you fully.
Give me courage to focus on you and not the fear I feel. I am reminded that you will not sink. You will not fall. You love me even when I doubt and am afraid. You offer courage to move ahead anyway. I need to see you reaching out for me and know your solid foundation under me.
In the middle of my stormy fears, show me you are near, and you hear. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Benjamin Davies
Prayer for Courage to Take the Next Step
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
God, sometimes I tremble and shake from not knowing what to do. Sometimes, it seems as if I’m frozen in time. There are times when it feels as if I’ve tried everything. I’m at a loss for what may be next.
When I cannot see beyond what I see now, remind me that you see more. Give me vision for the things you have for me. Give me willingness to trying something new. If I need to try again something I’ve tried before, give me courage to do so. Help me to rely on you and trust that you will be with me even if I get it wrong.
When the next step feels tremendously big, or far too small, help me take it anyway. If I need assistance to take that step, show me where I can find it.
Sometimes I feel like I cannot move forward. Sometimes I try to take action on my own when I need to rest. Help me to discern what is your best in this moment. If I get it wrong, you will not leave me.
God, I need your guidance. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Hydromet
A Healing Prayer for Mental Health
Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
Lord, I am struggling. Sickness is not your design. Where my mind and body struggle to function the way they’re designed to do, I ask for healing. May you bring health to every cell. I don’t know if I’ll ever live fully well while on this earth, but I ask for wholeness in every way possible.
When my mind spirals and my thoughts are filled with negative things, nudge me towards you and what you have for me instead. Strengthen my mind.
Give me guidance to know where to turn for help when I need it. Give me strength to endure difficult processes that lead to greater freedom and healing in body and soul. I ask for your powerful healing touch in my body. Help me trust you whether healing comes the way I want it or not. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/KatarzynaBialasiewicz
A Prayer of Responsiveness to God’s Voice
1 Samuel 3:8-9
A third time the Lord called, ‘Samuel!’ And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’ Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, ‘Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
Lord, you call to me often.
I’m not always able to hear you. Sometimes, I ignore you. Sometimes, I don’t know it’s you. Help me to hear your voice and be ready to listen whenever you call to me. Help me to remember that you see more than I do and desire to help me through whatever I’m going through or is ahead of me.
When I’ve grown expectant that you will do things my way, help me to respond to your way instead. Help me to recognize when the voices I listen to aren’t from you. May I hear your voice above all others and be willing to turn towards you. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Simon Lehmann
A Prayer to Give Yourself Grace
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.
Lord, you give what we need as we need it. Your grace is not something we can make happen, and like the manna in the dessert, it’s available on time, for me, every single day.
Sometimes I forget to give grace to myself. I struggle to receive the grace you give me. You give me time and space to feel the hard things and rest when needed. Help me to recognize when I need to receive your grace.
In all the challenges I face, your grace never departs. May I know this more fully. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/YoriHirokawa
A Prayer to Rest in God's Love
Dear Lord, In the midst of my struggles with mental illness, I come before You seeking Your comforting and healing love. I feel the weight of this burden, and I long to find rest in Your presence. Lord, I know that Your love is a love like no other—unconditional, unwavering, and all-encompassing.
When the storms of anxiety, depression, or any mental health challenges rage within me, I ask for Your peace that surpasses all understanding to guard my heart and mind. Help me release the grip of fear and uncertainty that often overwhelms me. Remind me that I am Your precious child, and nothing can separate me from Your love.
I pray for strength to endure and for the courage to seek help and support when needed. Let Your love be a beacon of hope in my darkest moments, guiding me toward the path of healing and restoration. Surround me with compassionate individuals who can walk alongside me on this journey.
May I find solace in Your Word, knowing that You are the Great Physician who can mend the broken pieces of my mind and heart. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, the Comforter, and grant me the grace to rest in Your love, trusting that You are working all things together for my good.
In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/ijeab
A Prayer When You're in Darkness
The darkness has taken hold me and I can’t find my way back to the light. In this moment, ending it all seems like the best option, the only option, the only way to escape. Yet, there is something in me that wants your light to snuff out the darkness. So I ask, Lord, that you would do just that. You are the only light that can shine in the darkness. I know when I’m consumed with thoughts of death I’m believing lies from the enemy. I ask Lord that you would remind me of these truths: when I feel alone, you are with me; when I feel invisible, you see me; when I feel worthless, my value is knowing you and being known by you. Amen. - Beth Ann Baus
Encouragement for Those Suffering from Mental Illness
T are many Bible verses that provide comfort for those struggling with mental health and illnesses, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, ADHD, and more.
Psalms of Lament (Individual) include Psalm 3, 4, 5, 7, 9-10, 13, 14, 17, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, 36, 39, 40:12-17, 41, 42-43, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 61, 64, 70, 71, 77, 86, 89, 120, 139, 141, 142
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV): Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV): “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
1 Peter 5:10 (NIV): And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
Isaiah 40:31 (ESV): But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Romans 8:38-39 (ESV): For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Peter 5:6-7 (ESV): Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
You can find other verses here.
What does the Bible say about mental illness? The Bible tells us that our God is big enough to overcome whatever we are facing. It may not be easy, but He will be with us. Whether we are a 12-year-old child or 72--year-old adult, God is our strength in every situation. As Eva Marie Everson writes, “We must pray for the courage to look deep in our own heart and soul—pray for the strength to begin a journey that quite possibly may change our own life—and pray for the wisdom to make new choices in our own life.”
(excerpt by Tammy Kennington, Surprising Things the Bible Says About Mental Illness)