Posted by: healingseeker | November 5, 2010

Seeking the best way to pray for a friend with terminal cancer

Cancer Prayer

Cancer Prayer

Introduction: You learn that someone you love is in the hospital. You are told that he or she is not going home. What is the best way to pray for someone with terminal cancer? How do you make your peace should you have to say that final good-bye?

I am seeking the best way to pray for a friend with terminal cancer.

I met this dear woman and her husband at the monthly cancer support group I attend. She was one of the ones who made me feel so welcome when I first walked through those doors in February of 2010. It was clear that she and her husband shared a very strong and supportive bond. She had such vitality, a very strong and loving spirit, and a great sense of humor.

She cheered me on as I went through chemo, a double mastectomy, and radiation. She was so happy for me when I went into remission from breast cancer. In other words, there is no more cancer in my body.

She has traveled one cancer journey and then was in remission for 40 years. Then she got another type of cancer and went in remission from that. After more than three years, that cancer re-surfaced. So once again, she started going through chemo treatments.

Suddenly, she started getting ailments that the doctors could not get a handle on or diagnose. They ran test after test after test. In a matter of weeks, she seemed to get worse. Finally, it was discovered that the cancer has spread to her liver.

Her husband came in halfway through our most recent cancer support group the first Monday of November 2010. He told us her room number. He told us more about what she was going through. He had rushed home to pick up a few more things. He asked for our prayers. Then he rushed off to be with her again.

So the question is, how do we best pray for someone with terminal cancer? It is a dilemma.

I went to visit her in the hospital two days ago and again yesterday. I will go back today. Her husband took me out into the corridor and stated that unless there was a miracle, she was not going home. The doctors were not even venturing a guess how long she has left. He stated, “She is my whole life.” He was only getting three and a half hours of sleep a night. He remains strong while sitting with her. When he gets home, he cries.  I cannot even imagine what he is going through.

The good news is that she is not in pain. She has trouble catching her breath and she coughs some. She is praying for a healing.

I had recently completed a prayer shawl and prayer square using some very soft and fluffy yarn. I asked God to place his healing energy in both. I gave her the shawl and her husband the 4 inch by 4 inch square to keep in his pocket. It made me feel a sense of relief to be able to offer some tangible form of comfort.

But still, my dilemma is, how do I best pray for someone who has touched my heart so dearly?

I finally settled on the following philosophy: I know that we are all God’s children and God loves all his beloved children equally. God loves this woman, his daughter, as much as He loves me and all his other daughters. He loves her husband, His son, as much as He loves all his other sons.

I guess we pray that if it is in the highest order of things for her to return to the home she shares with her husband, then that is what I want to see happen. If it is in the highest order of things for her to go home to live with God, then please do it in such a way that she is pain-free and having lovely quality moments with her husband and the other people she loves in the meantime.

I ask for this dear woman to be healed. I know what outcome I most want to see happen. I want her to be healthy and whole where I can see her and share a hug. God knows the actual outcome. It is truly in His hands.

Healing can come in many forms. Healing can come from a reversal of cancer where it is no longer metastasizing in the body. Healing can come in the spirit, where the person can feel a strong sense of peace and comfort that it is time to go home to God. Healing can come is so many other ways. In whatever way it is possible and in whatever way it is for her highest good, the highest good of her husband, and the highest good of all, I ask that healing come to her.

I also ask that healing comes to her husband and all the people who love her when and if we truly do have to say that final good-bye. May God comfort us and bring us a strong sense of peace.

So what about you, if you have ever had to face saying good-bye to someone you love, whether he or she be a family member or a friend, how did you pray? Plus, how did you make your peace with having to say that final good-bye? I am open to ideas.


  1. I am very happy to say that she was doing much better today. She was less yellow from the jaundice, less blown-up from the steroids, more lucid, having an easier time catching her breath, and feeling stronger. I was praising God all the way home.

  2. Thanks, Ellen! I appreciate your feedback!

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