Within Our Darkest Night

A Prayer with Sung Refrain for All Affected by Mental Illnesses

Refrain: “Dans nos obscurités/Within Our Darkest Night” Taizé, LUYH 417

God, our Creator,

who spoke light into the darkness,

we gather to offer our sacrifice of praise.

While it is right to give you our thanks and praise,

we acknowledge that there are some in our midst enduring a deep pain

and for whom joy and praise seem impossible.

Wherever we find ourselves today,

you welcome our presence and our honest prayer.


[for those who experience mental illnesses]

For some of us the darkness is overwhelming,

and our days seem like endless nights,

steeped in despair and hopelessness.

We find ourselves paralyzed by fear and fall silent,

or we cry out for your presence and relief.

Lord, hear our cries;

meet us in our silence;

ease our suffering.


[for caregivers]

We pray for those of us

who walk alongside individuals living with mental illnesses.

Grant your strength and patience to family members, friends, and loved ones

who find themselves walking with those of us straddling light and darkness,

hope and despair.

May we all seek to be companions for one another on this journey,

kindling a light for others when they cannot see it themselves.


[for those not now affected by mental illnesses]

We also admit that some of us here have never known

and may never understand overwhelming darkness.

We haven’t wrestled with ourselves to get out of bed in the morning,

and we cannot fathom the energy it takes

for some just to be present here today.

But we believe that you understand brokenness and isolation.

Help us to become more like you,

living lives marked by patience, compassion, and unconditional love.


[for all of us]

Send your love and healing as we seek to be a community of refuge and respite.

Give us faith to trust in your promises

in times of light and in times of darkness.

We pray all this in the strong name of Jesus Christ,


Listen to Dans nos obscurités/Within Our Darkest Night

Melissa Haupt, who wrote the prayers for this article, is a Ph.D. candidate in practical theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Reformed Worship 128 © June 2018, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.