Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Praying Tips from a Cancer Fighter

Karen D, the wife of one of our elders had surgery and starts chemo tomorrow. Being a young church, this is new for a lot of us at Crosspoint.

Here's What She Asked Us
Since we may not know what to pray, here's what she asked us to pray. (And for other cancer fighters you may know too.)
  1. Pray for peace and courage during the actual treatments. She gets nervous around needles. Her blood pressure can get high. Pray for peace.
  2. Pray she will not have any allergic reactions to the chemo.
  3. Pray that she will not get any infections. Her immune system will be really weakened. We don't think about how hard it would be to fight off a cold or flu. She will have to monitor her temperature all the time.
  4. Pray that the chemo kills the bad cells and leaves the healthy ones. I thought this one the most interesting way to pray for a cancer fighter.

So pray that God guards His her heart and mind while healing her body. "Do not be anxious about anything but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:6-7)  

And Pray that God Annihilates the (Cellular) Enemy
Another family in Crosspoint that faced cancer years ago prayed that the Holy Spirit would directly guide the chemo to the cells where it would be kill the cancer. And they prayed that the Spirit would protect the healthy cells.

Makes sense to pray on a cellular level, right? God sovereignly controls every atom.

Karen too has been praying against her enemies, the cancer cells, like Asaph prayed against national enemies in Psalm 83. 'With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cheirsh.... Make them like tumbleweed, O my God, like chaff before the wind. As fire consumes the forest... so pursue them with your tempest.'

Karen is one whom the LORD cherishes because of Christ Jesus. She's not claiming to deserve to be healed or to be fighting a national enemy, but she's asking the LORD to pursue her cancer enemy and destroy it. He is LORD over all things.

Practical Help and Support

This is going to be painful and potentially lonely season for Karen. Chemo causes muscle aches, cramps and sometimes mouth sores. She's going to lose her hair quickly ("Just when I got a hair-style I liked!") which will be kind of freaky. She won't be at church as much. And David has tax season and works long hours.

So call, email and visit too. She may not feel like talking long, but it will help her fight loneliness. Visit if you are healthy. Plan to stay for just a little while. Check about bringing food too.

How do you know if you should try to visit? If the thought, 'I wonder if I should go see Karen?' goes through your mind, take that as a prompt from the Holy Spirit. Pick up the phone and see if you can come by for a minute. If there's no answer, leave a message. Pray for her out loud on the message.

Keep Her In the (Prayer) Loop
The loneliness can be compounded by the idea that she's not 'doing anything' so she asked us to send her prayer requests. She said, 'I'm going to have lots of time to pray, so let me know what you need prayer for.'

Fighting the emotional battle means keeping a focus on glorifying God in the midst of trials. Praying for others is her plan to stay worshipful and missional. Even if she feels really bad.

So Crosspoint and Church, let's have faith together that God can do big things in Karen and other cancer fighters. And in us. And in the people we meet because of this fight. Let's pray big that God will become more famous for His awesome healing power and His great love for sinners.

1 comment:

David and Red said...

Thanks for this Jim - it's wonderful to know how to pray and love on her.