Prayers about Anxiety, Mental Illness, Rest, and Society - 12 March 2023


(Anxiety and Mental Illness): LORD God of Sabaoth, you have recorded for us these words of deep comfort: “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you” (Isaiah 35:3-4). We pray for the anxious and the forlorn, those troubled with mental illness, and those with long histories of distress, especially these we know (…). Break through the dark walls that have been set up around their assessments; pull back the thick curtains they have around the eyes of their hearts; and bring the light of your face to shine on their lives that their weak hands may be strengthened and their feeble knees made firm. O Lord, hear our prayer. 

(Rest): With your servant, Augustine, we pray: “You awake us to delight in your praise; for you made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you” (“Confessions,” 1.1). Lord, we’re not very good at resting. Honestly, we own up to you that it’s our fault. We have too often sought personal significance, along with success and satisfaction in our careers, families, finances, feats, fame and other venues. We run and run, we go and blow, until we crack or implode. Turn our hearts homeward and bring us to settle down in your generous love, so that we may glorify you and enjoy you, and glorify you by enjoying you; now, forever, and always. O Lord, hear our prayer. 

(Society): LORD, your prophet, Isaiah, recorded the healthy instructions you once gave him: “For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread” (Isaiah 8:11-13). For ourselves, we pray that you would fortify us so that we would not call conspiracy what our compatriots call conspiracy; that we would not fear or dread what our society fears and dreads. Rather, may you always be our Rock and strong fortress. And we implore you to turn the hearts of our fellow citizens in this country around that they would no longer call good evil, and evil good. O Lord, hear our prayer.


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