Teen suicide rates are on the rise in the US.  The economy and workplace situations are worsening, as many people are forced to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, causing in loss of stable schedules, often minimal benefits, health insurance, and vacation time.  Depression and anxiety is commonplace, and the pressures of 21st century life can be crushing when exacerbated with social media.  To these and similar challenges, our new Prayer Book presents a number of Occasional Prayers that can direct our attentions and affections, and possibly ease the weary soul.  There are three I want to point you to today, on pages 663-665.

#59 FOR THE DISCOURAGED AND DOWNCAST

O God, almighty and merciful, you heal the broken-hearted,
and turn the sadness of the sorrowful to joy,
Let your fatherly goodness be upon all whom you have made.
Remember in pity all those who are this day destitute,
homeless, elderly, infirm, or forgotten.
Bless the multitude of your poor. Lift up those who are cast down.
Mightily befriend innocent sufferers,
and sanctify to them the endurance of their wrongs.
Cheer with hope all who are discouraged and downcast,
and by your heavenly grace preserve from falling
those whose poverty tempts them to sin.
Though they be troubled on every side, suffer them not to be distressed;
though they are perplexed, save them from despair.
Grant this, O Lord, for the love of him who for our sakes became poor,
your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

#62 FOR THOSE AFFLICTED WITH MENTAL SUFFERING

Almighty God, whose Son took upon himself the afflictions of your people:
Regard with your tender compassion those suffering from anxiety,
depression, or mental illness [especially _______];
bear their sorrows and their cares; supply all their needs;
help them to put their whole trust and confidence in you;
and restore them to strength of mind and cheerfulness of spirit;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

#63 FOR THOSE IN BONDAGE TO ADDICTION

O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you:
Look with compassion upon those who through addiction
have lost their health and freedom.
Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy;
remove from them the fears that beset them;
strengthen them in the work of their recovery;
and to those who minister to them,
give patient understanding and persevering love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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