This evening I was asked to pray the Invocation for the 23rd Candlelight Service for the Mentally Ill. Here was my prayer:

Eternal God, giver of life we gather here this evening to pray for our community, for each other and especially those who suffer with a diagnosis of mental illness.

Among us this evening are those who live with mental illness, we pray for your healing mercies to touch them, strengthen them, love them.

Some among us suffer from the diseases of addictions that hold them captive, we pray for their healing.

We commend to your mercy and defense all who are contemplating suicide today, right now. Bring someone or something to intervene.

For the families who have lost a loved one to mental illness, bring them comfort in trusting that your grace accepts their ill loved one, despite the final desperate act that brought them into your loving arms.

Empower us to speak up for those who do not have a voice; save us from making peace with the injustices in the social systems that have failed them.

Guide those who do research for the prevention and treatment of mental illnesses; uphold them with your compassion and diligence.

For those who are in recovery and for treatments that enable them to return to full and rewarding lives, we give you thanks.

For those who work daily to bring healing, comfort and justice for those who live with mental illness we give thanks and pray they may have the strength to carry on their work.

Heavenly Father, Giver of life and health, we trust that in your time and way, you will dispel all darkness with your light, all confusion with your order, all fear with your peace. Shalom.