Prayers for physical wellness fill our prayer chains, but what about prayers for mental health?
We all face struggles that threaten our mental well-being. Anxiety overwhelms us. Depression crushes us. Addiction entices us. We walk out of psychiatrists’ offices with new and frightening diagnoses, and it’s hard to know where to turn.
Does praying help with mental illness?
In our pursuit of mental health, we sometimes forget to pray. We find good counselors and take helpful medicines. We take walks for wellness and deep breaths for calmness. In the process of seeking many good avenues for help, we sometimes forget to make God the center of our pursuit.
God does not promise mental wellness, but he does promise to be with us in our mental pain. If we draw near to God, he will draw near to us (Jas 4:8). Through prayer, God’s meets us in our suffering, points us towards his promises, and answers our cries for help.
I offer here a collection of prayers for mental health—prayers drawn from Scripture and written for people who feel uncertain about how to pray through challenging mental health struggles. Read through the prayers and find one you can relate to. Let it guide you as you speak to God today. May you be reminded of God’s presence with you, Jesus’ love for you, and the Spirit’s power within you as you face hard days.
A prayer for dependence on God
He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:9–10 NIV)
Lord, some days this anxiety is beyond my ability to endure. My depression is beyond my capacity to explain. My mind feels broken. My relationships are strained. My spirit feels weak. Lord, even my body feels this mental pain.
In my weakness, I turn to you and remember that your ways are different than my own. I see weakness as a flaw, but you say it is my greatest strength.
Weakness keeps me honest. I was never able to do it on my own. I always needed you to sustain me, and now I wake up aware. I’m desperate for you to empower me. My suffering reminds me that I need you. My daily struggle throws me on my knees in dependence on you. How else will I make it through the day?
Lord, you are my firm foundation. You are my hiding place. Be my strength in times of trouble and refuge in days of exhaustion. Enlighten the eyes of my heart to see the incomparably great power you offer to those who believe (Eph 1:18–19). For when I am mentally weak, then I am spiritually strong.
A prayer to feel God’s love for you
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. (Ps 147:10–11 NIV)
Lord, I feel like I’m not doing enough. My suffering consumes me. The ups and downs overwhelm me. Many days I have no energy left to give.
At times I feel like a failure. In my worst moments, I feel worthless. Everyone seems to have life figured out, and I can barely function. I’m tempted to keep trying harder and harder, but deep down I know that isn’t the way.
Lord, instead, I look to you and remember how you look at me. Help me to see myself the way you see me. Your delight in me does not rest on my performance. Your love for me is not contingent on my mental stability. My worth does not depend on my capacity. Lord, you delight in me when I fear you and put my hope in your love.
Give me faith to believe that your love does not lessen when I am depressed. It does not disappear when I am anxious. Your delight in me does not falter when my mood shifts, when my thoughts spiral, or when my body collapses in exhaustion. Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ (Rom 8:35–39).
Lord, help me to grasp with my heart what I know in my head. On my best days and on my worst, your steadfast love remains.
A prayer for spiritual rest in mental struggle
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. (Matt 11:28–30 NIV)
Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly await the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will sustain you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus, I thank you that my struggles with my mental health can’t stop me from finding rest in you. The rest you offer sits right beside my grief and mental pain. It mingles with my sadness and fear. Rest in you is far superior to a good night’s sleep. Your rest is available even when my body is triggered, my emotions are troubled, and my thoughts spiral out of control.
Jesus, I come to you for rest that only you can offer. My mind and body are in turmoil. But my soul? Lord, my soul is safe with you.
Lord, I want to experience the mystery of a soul at rest amid mental turmoil. Meet me in my sadness. Come sit beside me in my fear. I give you my exhaustion and uncertainty, my irritability and my shame. I set aside my self-condemnation, for you condemned Christ in my place and are gentle toward me in my pain.
Place your easy yoke upon me. I want the path of obedience. I long for peace with you, God. Mentally I’m a mess, but spiritually you’ve given me everything. Some days I struggle to hold on, and then I remember that you’re the one who is holding me. I rest knowing you will sustain me to the very end.
A prayer for courage to ask for help
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal 6:2)
Lord, I’m struggling. I can’t do this by myself. I’ve built my life on a crumbling foundation of self-sufficiency, of pushing through. For too long I have pretended that I can and should handle life on my own. Lord, give me courage. Help me to ask for and receive help.
I’m scared. I’m uncertain. Who should I go to? How will they respond? Will people judge me, misunderstand me, or offer unhelpful advice? Send safe and wise people into my life who will graciously respond to my distress.
When I fear how people will respond, direct me towards fear of you. When people don’t respond perfectly, help me to rest in your perfect understanding. My trust in you gives me courage. With you as my safe place, my refuge, and firm foundation, I cry out for help.
I rest knowing that it pleases you when people help carry my burdens. My needs are not shameful, my problems are not a disgrace, and my mental anguish is not a sin. Give me courage to believe this is true. Give me courage to ask for help.
A prayer for faith in times of doubt
I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. (Ps 77:3 NIV)
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 NIV)
Lord, I’m scared to say this out loud, but sometimes thinking about you makes me more upset. Sometimes reading your Word only brings me more turmoil. Meditating on your promises used to bring me comfort. Thoughts of you used to soothe my soul. Now, I remember you, God, and tears fill my eyes.
I’m grasping for faith. Lord, please make my life make sense. I look at my pain and see unanswered questions. I look at my life and see unfulfilled promises. You could take this anguish away and you haven’t. Do you love me, God? Did you forget me? Are you there?
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.
In my desire for certainty, I rest in your mystery. In my grasping for answers, I acknowledge that some secrets belong only to you (Deut 29:29). Help me to trust that you work in ways beyond my understanding. Grant me mercy when I doubt (Jude 1:22). Make your Word a comfort to me once again.
A prayer for hope in persistent mental illness
And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you. (Ps 39:7 NIV)
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. (2 Cor 4: 17 NIV)
Heavenly Father, I see no end in sight. The days are long, and the nights are even longer. I’m not sure this suffering will ever go away. I’ve tried everything and nothing fully fixes it. I don’t know what to do next. Please, heal me. I won’t give up hope for relief. But, Lord, I need more hope than that. Hope for healing isn’t certain. Hope for relief can’t sustain me.
Lord, some days I wait for healing when I should be waiting for you.
This suffering feels unbearable. It consumes every part of me, and yet you say it is but a drop in my eternity. What feels vast is small. This suffering that feels unending is but a moment in time. This mental affliction is light and momentary compared to the eternal glory you have prepared for me.
Lord, I’m waiting for you. Every part of me anticipates the day you will make all things new. My mind will be clear. My body will be well. My faith will be sight. Today and for all eternity, I put my hope in you.
Pray your own prayers for mental health
As you read through the prayers above, hopefully you found one that describes how you feel and points you towards divine promises in Scripture that you need. As you continue to navigate experiences of anxiety, depression, or mental illness, you may want to create your own prayers for mental health. If you struggle to know where to start, draw your prayers from Scripture.
What Bible verses should you pray for mental illness?
1. Pray Bible verses that describe your experience
As you read through the Bible, you will find statements and stories that give your mental struggle a voice. Scripture is filled with narratives, prayers, and passages that describe the suffering we face in life. One great place to begin as you look for descriptive verses is in the Psalms, especially lament Psalms. As you read through the Psalms, you will find words that can help you feel less alone and guide you in articulating your suffering to God.
2. Pray Bible verses that speak God’s promises into your mental struggles
In times of despair, God’s Word offers hope. Search for Bible words that describe God’s promises to us in our mental suffering.
3. Pray Bible verses that offer wisdom and guidance
God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. It shows us how to live and what to do as we navigate life. Find Scripture that offer wisdom as you face mental illness. Look for Bible verses that give guidance as you seek mental health.
As you consider these categories, you may immediately think of Bible verses that you want to pray. Or, you may struggle to know where to start. If you struggle to identify specific Scriptures, you can use the free Logos Bible Study Platform to guide your search towards relevant passages that describe your experience and offer wisdom for your situation.
God invites us to “rejoice always, pray continually, [and] give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess 5:16–18). As you seek mental wellness, invite God into your struggle. Tell him how you feel and ask him for help. Keep your mind on the Lord and look to him for peace.