My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds

teen_depressionThis is a difficult prayer for parents and children facing a horrible set of addictions: self-injury. This can often manifest as “cutting” or a food addiction. I’ve included a broad set of self-destructive behaviors in the choices suggested for this prayer, which appear in [brackets] including alcohol, drugs and sex. This prayer appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds
How deep is the pain,
G-d of Old,
That my daughter/son/child
Commits acts of violence against his/her/their own body
With [food][a blade][alcohol][drugs][sex]?
I call out to You
From the depths of confusion and fear.
What balm will ease this suffering?
What consolation will guide her/his/their journey
Back to wholeness, to self-respect, to love?

G-d of healing,
Bless my child
__________________________ (full name)
With comfort and well-being,
Solace and relief.
Grant healing of mind,
Healing of body,
And healing of spirit.
Teach me to see her/him/them through Your eyes,
Eyes of love.
And teach her/him/them to see the world through Your eyes,
As a place of joy and adventure.

Well of Hope,
Grant __________________________ (first name)
The ability to be gentle and forgiving of herself/himself/themself.
Lead her/him/them to new ways of expression,
On a path to happiness and peace.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: Other prayers for mental health include: “My Depression” and “Mental Illness.” Each of them appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

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.

Photo Source: Swarthmore College Bulletin

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