How Can Prayer Help a Cancer Patient?

How Can Prayer Help a Cancer Patient?

Homebird sing, fly me high on an angel’s wings.

My pastor, Father Jim, was a cancer patient.  From the pulpit he encouraged all cancer patients to pray for God’s help.  Though for a time his prayers and his treatment kept Father Jim with us, he died, almost two years ago.  But his insight stays with me and his answers to the question, how can prayer help cancer patients, might surprise you. Father Jim stated:

  • Of course ask God for support; don’t be afraid to ask him for anything you need to fight and deal with your situation;
  • Then be silent; surrender yourself to God; listen for God’s answers.
  • Doctors listen to your heart and lungs, use fingers and hands to palpate and percuss, more listening.
  • If doctors do all that, surely God is listening to our prayers when we need Him.
  • If we are willing to listen to God’s answers and accept them, prayer can help us through our treatment and recovery, through whatever stage of cancer we are experiencing.

Powerful words.  And I believe that Father Jim listened and when he discovered God’s answer, he allowed the flow to occur, his movement from life into death.

We live in a culture of instant gratification.  We are eager for things to happen: fix it now, Doc; get me better sooner than later, God.

Father Jim knew that cancer patients often have to step back and wait.  The answer to their prayers might be a new plateau of health, not perfect, but still purposeful living.

Often cancer patients renew their intent to praise life, ever thankful for each day, hopeful for more time.  Maybe this therapy will work.  Maybe I will achieve a new normal.

Prayer can become an intimate part of a cancer patient’s life—if, as Father Jim said, you can let your prayer go up to God and then patiently live, waiting and listening for God’s answer.  It’s a skill that can serve us well in our physical and spiritual lives.

Whenever I hear the song by Foy Vance, HOME BIRD, I think of Father Jim, certain that he is at peace in his new life.  Here are some of the lyrics:

Jimmy could not wait to get home

Homebird sing
fly me high on an angel’s wing
Homebird sing
leave out nothing tell me everything

Everywhere we went just looked the same to me
the skys were blue and the grass was green
I wonder how different I might see them now
yet I see them somehow

through the fallen memories when that angel baby sings
Oh the little magic that his solo brings
making up songs and words and singin from the soul
oh the stories told
none but him and Jimmy could know

Homebird sing
fly me high on an angel’s wing
Homebird sing
leave out nothing tell me everything

So pray and pray a lot.  Ask others to pray for you.  Prayer works and guides and often gives one peace.

Thanks to Google Images