People battling cancer and suffering from its often-harsh treatments don’t have much physical energy. They can’t benefit from many of the ways we’d like to help them. They might not have the appetite to eat meals or treats, for example. They might not be able to visit for very long.


But spiritually, cancer patients usually are very, very receptive to prayer. It makes them feel connected and cared about better than just about any other response you could make. Prayers delivered via email are a good idea because they can open an email and read it any time that’s convenient. Email does not disrupt their rest but lets them know you are thinking of them with love and concern, which is the best healing “salve” they can have.


So consider sending the following email prayer series to someone you know who is dealing with cancer right now. You can send the person with cancer these prayers and Bible verses verbatim, one-a-day. Or key off the Bible verse for each day and write your own prayerful thoughts in your own words.


It’s a good idea to share these prayers with any prayer circles you may have operating in your church, or at your friends’ churches, to increase the number of voices being lifted up on the sick person’s behalf. Be sure to use the person’s first name and last initial only, to preserve privacy, when you seek this prayer privilege. And always follow up with all those who prayed, to let them know of big developments, good and bad, and remind them to keep up the prayer support.


You might start your prayer week on the next Sunday. You can either type out the Bible verse for each prayer, or suggest that your friend with cancer read it for herself in her own Bible. Let’s say these prayers are for a woman named Ann:


SUNDAY: Romans 8:28. Lord, thank you that Ann has the maturity and insight to accept that this disease is happening. Of course she is fighting, and she will not give up, but continue to grant her the blessing of being realistic about this trial. Help faith step in now, to shape her experience of this process to the point where she can recognize how good You are, and how You are sending her love and caring even in the midst of the suffering that comes from living in this fallen world. It is amazing how God is able to work out every single problem we go through into something that does good for both us and others. Help Ann see all the good that is coming out of this trial, as people come forward to pray for her, help her and show her love.


MONDAY: 2 Corinthians 1:4-7. Father, we are grateful for all the ways that Ann teaches others about life and the many things she knows how to do. We pray that You will use this cancer battle to teach her how to be comforted, and to receive that comfort eagerly and often. Your purpose might be to use her as a mighty comforter for someone else who battles cancer in the future, because she will have “been there.” We are so blessed and proud that she is not shutting the world out as she goes through this, but is helping all of us to more deeply understand the challenges and more clearly see how we can help and comfort others, as we are commanded to do as Christians.


TUESDAY: Philippians 4:6-7. Thank You for making Ann so brave. Thank You for the tremendous example she is setting with her courage and her insistence on not worrying or seeing only the dark side of things. If we didn’t have illness in this world to deal with, how would we ever know what a priceless treasure good health really is? We pray that Ann will find the inner strength to transfer any worries and concerns she may be feeling onto Your back, in prayer, and that she will never be afraid to tell others how she is feeling. But grant her the peace that comes from knowing that You, God, “have” this on her behalf, and she has nothing to fear.


WEDNESDAY: Psalm 90:12. We pray that Ann’s friends and family will recognize how every moment they share with her, in person or on the phone or via email, is of the utmost importance to Ann. Make her encounters with others just as big of a blessing as possible, to underscore the truth that it is the quality of our relationships, not the quantity of our days, that makes for a blessed life. Help all the meaningless details of everyday life kind of fade away, and let the people and words that come into Ann’s heart right now all be totally excellent and a blessing to her.


THURSDAY: James 1:2-4. It is often hard for us humans to grasp this, Lord, but in times of suffering, we can grow and gain the very most. Yes, it’s fun on the mountaintops of our life’s journey – when everything is wonderful and going well – but the things that please You the most – the growth in love and character – take place in the low points – the valleys of our life’s journey, like Ann’s fight against cancer. Thank you for making Ann very tough, Lord, though she may not see that she is. Grant her increased endurance, stamina and perseverance, to be able to withstand treatment, and flourish in recovery.


FRIDAY: Romans 8:26, 38-39. Savior, when we are very sick, it sometimes feels as though problems are zinging at us from all directions. If we focus on the negative things – as real as they may be – it prevents us from seeing or feeling the positive things. But it is at the times when we are at our lowest and most vulnerable that we need to know that Your Holy Spirit is right there within our bodies, with us every step of the way. Help Ann focus on the certain knowledge that NOTHING can separate her from Your love, because of the work of Your Holy Spirit, the Comforter, who will never leave or forsake her.


SATURDAY: Philippians 4:4-9. There may not be a happier person anywhere than someone who is going through a difficult trial . . . but remembers that God is on her side, and is right there with her during the struggle. It’s a deep, abiding joy that defeats anything fearful or scary, because it is the knowledge that the most powerful Person in the universe has got your back. Lord Jesus, this is the certainty and the joy that we plead for Ann to have. Grant her Your joy and Your peace, Master, to rest in Your arms and prepare for the joyous and healthy days ahead.

By Susan Darst Williams | | Heart Lessons | © 2017