For the first time in my Country Squire Magazine career, I have received a prayer request (and, please, Dear Readers, send as many requests as You wish by using the contact page of the website). The request came from Andrew Moody, who writes film reviews for the magazine. Andrew describes himself thus:
“Andrew Moody attended the top non-private grammar school in the UK and by age 17 had written and performed his first rap track, MIDDLE CLASS WHITE BOY, with his sights set on a career as a novelist. Two years later he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, and remains under the care of the NHS – even now, sixteen years later.”
I hadn’t realised it until I asked but Andrew writes most of his work from his hospital ward. He finds the writing is an escape. It helps him focus his mind and – reading what he has written – he is obviously a gifted fellow.
Mental illness is everywhere. According to the charity MIND, approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.
So, this week, I suggest the following prayer for Readers. I wish You all well, especially Andrew. And I trust that You have an excellent and lucky week ahead. God Bless.
For people with mental illness–may they find hope in you and feel your longing for them.
For parents of children with mental illness–may they know the limits of their power both to cause and to cure.
For children of parents with mental illness–may they know you as loving parent and find places where they can grow up in safety, no matter how old they are.
For friends of suffering people–may they resist the temptation to try to “fix” their friends and recognise the simple power of their loving presence.
For spiritual leaders–may they deny both helplessness and overconfidence, courageously serving as first responders and faithful shepherds.
For people who need treatment and don’t receive it–may they recognise their need, believe life can be better, and find people who can help.
For those burdened by shame and stigma–may they walk into the light and find compassionate people.
Lord, I pray for light in the darkness. I pray that people with vulnerable minds will find hope and help among followers of Christ who will love them and point them toward what they need while letting them live with that need. I pray for acceptance and grace–the same kind of grace you offer so freely to all. I pray that many churches will embrace the opportunity for messy and sometimes thankless ministry among the marginalised, in the name of the one whose love knows no margins. I pray especially today for Andrew Moody, who has requested this prayer – that he find recuperation.