Our church puts names of people needing prayer on the back of the bulletin at least once a month. There’s a section for those suffering chronic diseases which lists names and specific maladies. There’s a section for those who have family members who suffer illnesses; another section for those who recently lost a loved one; yet another for those who are in the military. Then there is this line: Pray for those who struggle with mental illness. Not surprisingly, no names are listed there.
Just a reminder how its okay to let people know you have cancer, chronic fatigue, family members who are not believers, etc. But it is still not okay to let people know that you struggle with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, schizophrenia, and the like. While the largest explanation for this is how society as a whole treats individuals with psychological problems. But, I also think we don’t put names there because we don’t want to be identified as spiritually weak. We don’t list those who are faithless, who are fearful, who are struggling with bitterness, pride, pornography, marital conflict, etc. Those struggles aren’t for the public to know about. We keep those to ourselves until it is too late to do something about it. And though I’ve just been somewhat sarcastic here, I must admit I don’t think we’re ready to put the names of folk in the bulletin who struggle with mental and relational illnesses. We’re too prone to gossip and treat them differently than those who struggle with physical illnesses–even those maladies that are caused primarily by gluttony and hard living (as my mother would call it).