Many of us are becoming increasingly aware of the issues surrounding mental health. In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at loneliness and finding some prayers for loneliness.
One of the hardest things we face as humans is thinking that somehow, we’re different from everyone around us, that somehow there is something wrong with us, and that it is shameful. We sometimes feel that if people really knew what we were like they wouldn’t want anything to do with us. Do you ever feel that way?
But what if the biggest secret was that we all felt the same? What if one of the enemy’s greatest tactics was to make us feel unloveable and all alone?
If you have ever felt lonely, you are far from alone. A recent report from Harvard University said that 36% of us feel serious loneliness, that includes 61% of young adults and 51% of mothers.
Nothing can protect us from loneliness, not money, friends or keeping busy. No one is immune from loneliness. Robin Williams famously said: “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.” Feeling lonely is part of the human condition, but as John Donne said, “No man is an island”. We may all have different circumstances but we’re in this life together.
Over time, we have become a more individualistic society, and the Coronavirus pandemic has only served to make this more obvious, with many working from home and the need for social distancing.
Social media also has a part to play. It is easy to feel that we are connected because we see a representation of other people’s lives, but it isn’t actually real. HelpGuide.org reports that social media use has been directly linked to poorer mental health: “Nothing reduces stress and boosts your mood faster or more effectively than eye-to-eye contact with someone who cares about you.”
Neither fame, money, nor love can protect you from loneliness. So what can?
We Are Not Alone
Hebrews 4:15 reminds us that: “We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses.” Jesus suffered in the same way we do – He knew loneliness too. Jesus was alive on earth, He went down to the depths of hell, and felt every pain we could feel – loneliness and heartbreak, sorrow and despair.
The wonderful truth is that as Christians, we enter a new reality. Even though Jesus left this Earth to go and be with His Father, He said in John 14: 16-18: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
What Can W Do When We’re Feeling Lonely?
As well as saying a prayers for loneliness, there are other strategies to help. These things are considered the bedrock of good mental health: physical exercise, sleeping well, eating healthily, drinking water and spending quality time with loved ones. Make sure that you try to prioritize these things and managing difficulties like loneliness should feel a little easier. Helpguide.org provides a great guide on steps we can take to improve our own mental health.
Instead of focusing on your loneliness, fill your life up with things that you value and love – here are some questions to guide you:
Have you focused on the relationships that are important to you? Is there anyone you could reach out to and encourage?
Have you made time to exercise?
Is there anything you could do differently at work to feel more connected to your colleagues?
Could you make eating well a focus? Could you share a meal with someone? Are you drinking enough water?
Is there a new interest that you have been wanting to pursue? Perhaps this would help you to make new friends?
Write It Down
Bullet journaling is a way of setting all your goals ahead of you for the week. It helps you to visualize your week and to verbalize your goals, which brings them into the realm of reality. If you know the things that do you good are eating well, seeing friends and exercising, then make it a priority to do these things. Schedule a dinner or coffee with a friend. Make sure you allow time for exercise – maybe even arrange to meet a friend to exercise with as this will help you to stick to your goals. The point is that when our goals are right in front of us, they are harder to ignore. If I have a mental to-do list that includes – ‘go for a run at some point when the weather’s nice and I feel like it’, then I’m never going to do it! See my point? This great blog post is all about using bullet journaling for mental health. Remember you can also use your bullet journal to note down your prayers for loneliness. Be sure to check out our other blogs on mental health too.
Bible verses about loneliness
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” Psalm 23:4
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.” Psalm 139:7-8
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:2
Prayers for loneliness
“Father God, thank You that You did not leave us on earth as orphans but You sent the Holy Spirit to be with us. Thank You that You can empathize with everything we go through on earth and even though it may be hard, You walk with us in the lonely times. Amen.”
“Father, You see how alone I feel right now. Holy Spirit, come close and let me feel You are near me. Send me companions for this journey, because the weight of life is sometimes too much to bear alone. Amen.”
“Father, I feel alone. Take the weight of this feeling and replace it instead with Your yoke that is light and easy to bear. Amen.”
We hope that this blog helps you to remember to say a prayer in times of loneliness, and hope that it has helped you to see that even though you may sometimes feel alone, you are not. The Holy Spirit came to earth to comfort and encourage and He is walking with you day by day.