A Prayer about Cancer

based on Psalm 79


God, cancer is invading the bodies of your people,

Our own cells are turning against us

Cells you created for good, building blocks of your temples

Cells that are threatening to reduce our bodies to rubbish

Your temples to dust


We are decaying inside out, the cells yes, but also by anger

Anger as innocent ones suffer

Anger as loved ones die


Cancer threatens our parents, aunties, uncles, cousins, neighbours, friends

Even our spouses

Even our children

Our present and our future – these are Yours, these are uncertain – can I trust You to care?


Hope is difficult to hold onto when your hands are fists, ready to fight the unseen.

I’m tired of fighting.


How long, God?

Will cancer be a part of our lives forever?

Will you stand up to cancer, tell it to sling its hook?

Sort the cells out, God.  You created them.

Show the wayward cells who’s boss.

Because cancer is laughing at you,

showing you up in front of its friends.

Maybe we shouldn’t have enjoyed tobacco or alcohol as much as we did?

Maybe we should have left the oil in the ground or refused the temptation of disposable plastic?

God, if we somehow caused cancer, we didn’t mean it.  We didn’t know.

Don’t hold our ignorance against us forever.

“Help us, God our Saviour,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name’s sake.”[1]

Why should anyone even need to ask,

“Where is my God in all of this?”

Show us where you are!  Pinpoint your exact location!

In the midst of appointments, tests, phone calls and scan results!

During the sleepless nights of sickness and the exhausted afternoons, where are you?

The doctors scan for the cancer, and they find it.

But God, we scan for You and struggle to see sometimes.


God, hear the angry, exhausted, anxious, yet determined cry of your people,

“We refuse to let cancer win!”

Will You stand with us?

“Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will praise you forever;
from generation to generation
we will proclaim your praise.”[2]



[1] Psalm 79:9 NIV

[2] Psalm 79:13 NIV


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