Mental illness can devastate individuals and their families. This is a prayer to be said on behalf of a mentally-ill family member. It recognizes the power and the pain of these diseases and the depth of the fear and anguish that family members often endure. Word and gender choices are identified with slashes. Optional verses are shown in [brackets]. One blank line is to include the name of the disease and the other the name of the person with the illness. This prayer appears in my book Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.
G-d of Old,
I call out to You
From the depths of confusion and pain.
Suffers from _________________________ [Name of illness,]
[Compounded by alcoholism/addiction/alcoholism and addiction],
A severe mental illness,
A disease of stunning depth and power.
I am afraid and ashamed.
I am sad and lost.
The possibilities are frightening,
Homelessness, poverty, an institution, jail.
[Sometimes he /she does not take his/her medication.]
[Sometimes he /she threatens me and my family.]
[Sometimes he /she disappears without a trace.]
[Sometimes it looks like we have lost him/her completely to this illness.]
G-d of healing,
Bless my [father/mother/sister/brother/son/daughter/friend/husband/wife/partner]
With comfort and relief,
Solace and peace.
Grant him/her healing of mind,
Healing of body,
And healing of spirit.
Teach me to care for myself [and my family]
In the midst of crisis and chaos.
Teach me to bring love and kindness into my day,
Especially when I feel hopeless or lost.
Teach me to trust Your will.
Blessed are You, G-d of health and healing.
© 2013 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: Here is a prayer “For Family Healing” and another for “R’fuat Hanefesh,” healing the soul. In the next few weeks I will also post prayers focused on alcoholism, depression and self-abuse.
Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.
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