By Jack Smith
Tonight my heart is heavy. It is heavy with pain and angst for many who are hurting.
I pray you will comfort those who are suffering in silence from an insidious sickness, an invisible illness that turns the brightest of your days into the dark night of the soul.
Wrap your loving arms around the millions of mentally ill men who sit hopelessly in our jails, not because they are criminals but because they are homeless, because they are sick with mental illness and because they can’t find treatment anywhere else.
Bring peace to confused children who don’t understand why their father can’t get out of bed.
Shower serenity on the devoted wife who wonders if the man she married will ever come home.
Shine your light on the heart of the 19-year-old loner who tonight is planning his suicide, his bipolar disorder unknown even to him.
Comfort the mother who feels like a failure for feeling nothing but pain and emptiness when holding her newborn baby.
Quiet the fears of the elderly man whose failing health has brought on the black cloud of depression.
Bring hope to the teenage girl so desperate for the pain to go away that she cuts her arm again and again.
Strengthen and revive the families torn apart by the demons of addiction and illness.
Hearten and encourage the exhausted mother and father whose child has lost hope in her darkest hour of need.
Hear my prayer, Great Physician. Help me get stronger, Lord, so I might shed this selfish cloak and help others who suffer as I do.