Prayer for Those who are Addicted

The Spirit of the Lord is upon us
bringing good news to the oppressed,
proclaiming liberty to the captives,
releasing the prisoners.
Great Redeemer, we need your good news
for all of us who are captive to addictions.
Good news for people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs.
Good news for people who are addicted to gambling.
Good news for people who are addicted to tobacco or food.
Good news for people who are addicted to pornography.
Good news for people who are addicted to work.
Grant liberty to all who are bound by the chains of addiction.

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Psalm for those Living with Mental Illness

Oh God, you are my God!  I seek you!
I am feeling heavy and tired,
I am troubled and empty.
From this place of pain I cry out to you!
I have never felt so sad,
I am totally overwhelmed,
I am facing despair.
People around me say,
“You’ll feel better tomorrow.”
They say I lack faith,
they are irritated with me and say,
“Pull yourself together!”

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Litany for Mental Illness

God, you are the great Healer.
Today we pray for those who live with mental illness. 
For those crippled by depression and anxious feelings,
                bring healing, bring peace.
For those who suffer from the high and lows of severe mood swings,
                bring healing, bring peace.
For those who are tormented by voices and hallucinations,
                bring healing, bring peace.
For those who find it difficult to cope with tasks of daily living,
                bring healing, bring peace.
For those who struggle with suicidal thoughts,

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Breaking the Chains: A Prayer for all who are Addicted

Lord Jesus, you are the one who came to set captives free.

Today we pray for all among us who are slaves to addictions,

fettered in body and mind to behaviours that destroy.

We call out for one more;

one more bet, one more illicit meeting,

one more cigarette, one more snack,

one more year of working this hard,

one more hit, one more downloaded picture,

one more meal to be purged,

one more little drink that won’t hurt anyone.

Open our eyes to the chains that bind us

and the destruction it is causing in our lives

and the lives of those we love….

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Prayer for Sick Children

Something is not right.

The fever that won’t break,

the lump that we never noticed before,

the appetite that’s disappeared,

the weight put on, or off,

the persistent headache,

the seizure, the flushed face,

the voice crying, “It hurts.”


Parents flocking to doctors,

holding babies, hugging toddlers,

arms around adolescents,

hanging on to the hands of teenagers….

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Waiting in the Waiting Room

A loved one’s heart attack is like a closed door;

he is on that side and we are on this side.

The door opens with the sudden collapse.

Ambulance attendants act as ushers.

Now we are in the waiting room waiting

and he is on the other side of the door

in ICU having a heart attack.

The waiting room is suspended in time….

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Dementia 2

Crippled by a mind

that sees menace in every corner

and malice in every look,

the anguished soul cries, “No more.”

At the last,

her sigh a white flag,

cheek resting on her hand,

weary beyond measuring,

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Dementia 1

Today I’m praying for one

imprisoned in their own mind,

locked behind bars of anguish

that no key can open.

Are you the God of the disordered mind?

Do you watch as ropes of anxiety

already tight pull tighter still,

making death seem a sweet release?

When being is misery, Lord,

the gift of life is torture.

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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