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October 5th: National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Prepare your hearts and minds this day for The National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding. Please visit

Celebration of The Day of Prayer

There is not just one way that this day should be celebrated You are encouraged to do so in a manner in which you and your fellow parishioners are comfortable.

It would be wonderful if you are able to arrange to have a prayer service on the Tuesday of Mental Illness Awareness Week. Equally wonderful would be for your congregation to have a special prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Wellness in a regular worship service during the first week of October each year.

Having those with a mental illness and their families lifted up in prayer is important. Prayer does work.

Service Ideas

Hopefully the interfaith bulletin insert and responsive reading copied below will give you ideas for your congregation. Also, please click the link under "Related Resources" to download a document assembled by Mental Health Ministries containing a responsive Prayer of Confession, a Pastoral Prayer, and a litany for a candlelight service.

For additional examples of services please explore NAMI FaithNet's website (, particularly the Worship Services and the Faith & Mental Illness pages. Also please explore the all the excellent national networks listed on NAMI Faithnet's Related Links page and particularly the websites of Pathways to Promise (www.pathways2promise), and Mental Health Ministries (,

Bulletin Insert Suggestions

Prayer: Margaret Ann Holt, UMC

O, God, we gather here together today, as people from many different faith communities. We come before You, remembering all those persons whose lives have been touched by mental illnesses. We give thanks for those persons here who have given of their time and talents to do what they are able to help persons who are dealing with mental illnesses in their lives and in the lives of their families and friends. We give thanks for the improvement in medication and treatment programs that have enabled persons with mental illnesses to live productive lives. We pray that our society would do everything possible to make early diagnosis and treatment a standard operating procedure. We pray and ask that stigma be removed, so that persons and their families would get the appropriate help as soon as symptoms appear. Guide each one of us, and help us, as we endeavor to bring help and hope to those families and individuals. Amen

Read in unison:

The faith community says to those people who suffer from the symptoms of mental illness, and to their family members:

We will walk with you. And God walks with you. You will not go through this alone.

Pray in unison:

O Lord, you have searched us and known us
You know when we sit down and when we rise up,
and know our innermost thoughts.

You search out our paths and know all our ways.
Before we speak, you know our words.

When we were knit together in our mother's womb
You knew us as woman, as child, as man.
Wherever we go, Your hand will lead us.

So guide us along the pathways to hope,
that night becomes bright as day.

So lead us on our walk together,
that darkness is lifted from our hearts.

So encourage us that our sisters and brothers
Who have mental illness shall know that
they never walk alone.



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