Mental illness can seem overwhelming to friends and family members. It’s overwhelming to those of us living through it, but at least when we talk to someone else with a similar diagnosis, we understand each other. Someone who has never experienced major depression or bipolar mania or (fill in the blank) has no frame of reference for what we’re going through. But if you love us, you want to help us.
One of the best things you can do for a mentally ill loved one is pray for them.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not suggesting anyone replace professional, medical help with prayer. I firmly believe that God uses doctors and other professionals to help people. Prayer can get your loved one to the care they need. And prayer can give the professionals insight into the best treatment. And prayer can keep your loved one alive until the treatments take effect.
Ask God to intervene in their behalf.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
It may not seem like your prayers will make any difference. Pray anyway.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
What if you don’t know what to pray for? Pray anyway.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
If they refuse to listen to anything you have to say? Pray for God to send people into their life that they will listen to.
“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
And ask Him to open their ears to hear what He’s telling them.
Ears that hear and eyes that see—
the Lord has made them both.
But they have a free will. What if they refuse to make the right choices? Pray for God to soften their heart.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
God wants His children to come to Him and ask for what we need. And He is faithful to answer our prayers.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
We don’t have to know how God will answer our prayers. We only need to believe that He loves us and that He will be faithful to His Word.
How has God answered other prayers you’ve prayed? Use those victories to build your faith to believe that He will answer your prayers for your mentally ill loved one.
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