Praying for Mental Health Issues 

People afflicted with mental illness, and their loved ones, are looking for comfort, hope, understanding and peace. They may experience hopelessness, loneliness, and uncontrollable emotions. They may be suicidal. Self-harm (cutting) might occur. "Bipolar" or manic-depressive disorder, is a diagnosis indicating extreme mood swings between severe depression and mania (high energy, giddy, compulsive decision making). Depression/anxiety may be situational or chronic. Some cases are due to chemical imbalances in the brain. Other situations are due to guilt related to sin, bitterness, or unforgiveness. Psychiatric medication may be required, however some are using chemicals to suppress unresolved emotions. Yet, expecting all people with mental illness to overcome it with God alone is similar to expecting a diabetic or heart patient to avoid medication.
Pray for discernment before answering the prayer request of a person dealing with mental illness, so that you will have power to decipher the nature of the problem and respond appropriately.
Possible things to pray for:
  • Healing for the mind, comfort for the heart, proper response to anxious thoughts
  • Wisdom for medical professionals-proper medication, behavioral therapy
  • Strength and peace for loved ones; insight for them to have empathy for the person with the mental health challenge; community support
  • Forgiveness of sin, relief from guilt and shame (IF the person admits to sinful behavior that preceded the depression/anxiety).
  • Deeper faith to believe God's promises of provision, protection and guidance; to trust in the character of God to know their needs
  • Power for the person to voice their cares to the Lord and leave them in His capable hands
  • Avoid judging them for feeling sad, ungrateful, etc. They can not just "snap out of it"; they may identify that they "shouldn't" be feeling the way they are feeling.
Verses to share:
"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." Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." Psalm 32:7 NIV
“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” Jeremiah 17:14 NIV

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV
"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 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.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." Psalm 42:11
"When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." Psalm 94:18-19
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14 NIV
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