• Julie Busler

A Psychiatric Ward Prayer

I shivered in a cold plastic chair that was weighted so that it could not be thrown in a fit of rage...or at least that’s what I was told. I nervously waited on two of my friends to walk through the normally locked doors during visiting hour. I was so scared to see them, or rather, I was so scared for them to see me so raw and unedited. There was no mask to hide behind and I’m guessing they had questions swirling in their mind as to how I ended up in the psychiatric hospital. They were loving and acted as normal as possible, and after one friend had to leave, the other lingered a bit longer. The way she loved without judgement ministered deeply to my scared, aching, confused heart. Just before visitors had to leave, I remember insecurely asking her to pray for me.

And she did.

She held my hands as we sat among other patients in an extremely awkward setting, and she prayed over me out loud. She didn’t say sure and then leave me wondering if she ever actually did. No, she stopped, took me in close, and confidently went to the throne of grace with me in my great time of need. I was broken and reeling from nearly losing my life a few days prior, and there she sat with me in my darkness, praying for His Light to break through. It was after her prayer that the Lord began repeating Psalm 23 to me in various ways in the hospital - if you haven’t heard this story, I’ll save it for another day.

It was after her prayer that I started hearing and seeing God again. Something changed. Even in a psychiatric hospital, I started walking out of the valley of the shadow death and into green pastures. He was restoring my soul.

Pray for your depressed loved ones. Let them hear your prayers. I am a living testimony to the power of prayer and how the word impossible is erased when we take requests to the living God. This friend has not fixed me and has admitted feeling helpless in the struggle, but I can say with confidence that her prayers mattered.

Be the person who will hold someone close and pray for them even in the middle of the chaos of a psychiatric ward. Yes, be that person.

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