Praying for the Cure: A Powerful Prayer Guide for Comfort and Healing from Cancer224
Praying for the Cure: A Powerful Prayer Guide for Comfort and Healing from Cancer224
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|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)|
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Praying for the Cure
A Powerful Prayer Guide for Comfort and Healing from Cancer
By Mary J. Nelson
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2016 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved.
The Perfect Medicine
And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
My child, you are embarking on an unexpected journey, one that neither of us chose for you. It was never My plan that you should be afflicted with sickness and disease. It was never My plan that you should hear the words, "You have cancer." While you may be uncertain of what your future will bring, you can always be certain of My love for you. In the midst of your uncertainty, your brokenness, and your tattered emotions, I am with you.
Through it all, My child, I never once stopped loving you. I loved you before you were ever conceived. I made all the delicate, inner parts of your body, and I knit you together in your mother's womb (Psalm 139:15–16). I was there at your birth to hear your first cry, and I delighted in watching you grow into the beautiful person you are today. I know everything about you and everything you do. I have never taken my eyes off you. I know when you sit down or stand up, I know your secret thoughts, and I know every word you say before you say it. I am with you in all your comings and goings; I go before you, and I follow you from behind (Psalm 139:2–5). Yes, My child, I created you out of love, and I made you in My image. You are perfectly and wonderfully made, My precious masterpiece (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 139:2–5, 13–16; Ephesians 2:10).
Beloved, I was there when you received the news. It breaks My heart to think that cancer or any other setback would cause you to doubt My love for you. To help you understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep My love really is, imagine yourself standing on a beach with the sandy shoreline extending for miles and miles on each side. Now, reach down and scoop up a handful of sand and let the grains of sand slowly run through your fingers. Child, My thoughts about you far outnumber the grains of sand on the seashore of all the beaches in the world (Psalm 139:17–18)! Now gaze at the vast ocean in front of you and imagine My love stretching out as far as your eyes can see. My love is wide enough to cover your sorrows of today and long enough to cover your uncertain tomorrows. My love reaches up as high as the heavens are above the water and as deep as the ocean floor. It touches the heights of your good times and the depths of your despair. My love reaches the very root of the cancer that threatens to steal your hopes and dreams.
Dear one, it has always been My heart's desire to lavish My love on you, simply because you are Mine (1 John 3:1). My love for you knows no boundaries (Hosea 14:4). There is nothing you can do to earn it and nothing you can do to lose it. I proved the width, length, height, and depth of My love through My Son.
As you set out on this journey, may you experience My love, though it is too great to fully understand. Let it be the perfect medicine for your body and a soothing balm for your soul. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from Me.
Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
Lord, when evil plots against me, sometimes I forget that Your love is truly as vast as the heavens above. Thank You that Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds, that Your righteousness is as immovable as the mighty mountains, and that Your justice will prevail against the enemy who threatens to steal my destiny. As I walk through this valley of cancer, help me remember that Your precious love will uphold me through every decision, every treatment, and every challenge along the way. Thank You for an unchanging love that never fails, never runs out, and lasts forever.
* * *
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow — not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below — indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Your love is completely unchanging, unconquerable, and unconditional, Father. There is nothing I could ever do to make You love me more, and nothing I could ever do to lose Your love. Hardship, persecution, or even a threat against my life is never a sign You have abandoned me or stopped loving me. No, it is virtually impossible for You to withhold Your love from me. I praise You, Lord! There is nothing — not death or life, not angels or demons, not my fears for today or my worries about tomorrow, not the powers of hell, not even cancer — that can ever separate me from the love that You revealed for me through Christ Jesus!
* * *
O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
I am in deep trouble! I never expected to find myself in this battle. In the back of my mind, I always thought cancer happens to other people. I'm so sorry if I haven't always shown Your compassion for others facing this disease. Please hear my cry for help! I am desperate, Lord. I need You. You are so good to me, so ready to forgive and show Your mercy. Thank You for the promise of Your unfailing, abounding love. I trust You, Lord. I trust You will answer my cries for help.
* * *
Long ago the Lord said to Israel: "I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself."
Lord, You were so kind and merciful to Israel, Your chosen people. When they turned their backs on You countless times to follow their sinful nature, You were always eager to help them and draw them back to Your heart. Forgive me when I have done the same thing, when I have turned my back on You to go my own way. Thank You for Your unfailing love that always draws me back to You and welcomes me home. Thank You for loving me with an everlasting love!
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
My human mind can't comprehend that You would come to earth as a humble baby to pay the price for my mistakes — that You would carry the sin of the entire world on Your back! I simply can't grasp a love so deep. Some say it wasn't necessary for the Romans soldiers to nail You to the cross because Your love would have held You there. Lord, thank You for Your sacrificial love. You suffered a criminal's death at Calvary, and You would have done it just for me. You were mocked, bloodied, and beaten beyond recognition, all so I could be healed and set free.
* * *
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love — not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
I John 4:9–11
God, You didn't just create me to inhabit the earth at this time and place in history. You created me in order to love me. You love me so much that You want to live with me forever. You want to spend all eternity with me. And You gave me the freedom to choose whether to accept Your offer. Lord, I accept! Thank You for loving me in spite of my brokenness. I'm sorry for my failures and shortcomings. Come into my life and into the midst of this cancer. Thank You that nothing I have ever done or could ever do is beyond Your outstretched arms of love. Thank You, Lord, for real love.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:4–6 NIV
Thank You, Lord, for reaching Your nail-scarred hand into my darkness and raising me up from the dead and into the light. You not only saved me from a life of hopelessness and despair, but You united me with Christ and seated me with Him in the heavenly realms! Thank You for a love so great that I am made perfect in Your sight, because You see me through heaven's eyes. Because of Your great and merciful love, I am alive!
* * *
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
I John 3:1 NIV
Heavenly Father, when I think that You call me Your child, I am reminded of the great love earthly parents have for their children. Early in life, children are fully dependent on their parents for their every need. As toddlers, they stumble and make messes. As they grow older, their parents continue to nurture and love them despite their mistakes. How much more, Lord, do You lavish Your love on me? Even the best earthly parent isn't perfect, but You, Lord, are the perfect Father. Thank You that I am Your child, and You love me through all my stumbles, messes, and mistakes. Thank You for Your extravagant love that will carry me through this cancer.
"For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."
Lord, I am awestruck to think that the Creator of the entire universe delights in me so much that He sings joyful love songs over me! Thank You that You are not a disengaged Father who only loves me from a distance, but a mighty Savior who lives with me today — a Father who loves spending time with me, as a parent loves spending quality time with their child! Lord, thank You that Your powerful love calms all my fears. When I doubt Your love for me, help me to hear Your joyful songs!
* * *
"I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father's commandments and remain in his love."
Jesus, thank You for loving me just as Your Father loved You. Even when I drift away from my fellowship with You, You always remain in a relationship with me. Lord, thank You for Your abiding love that never fails! Help me to remain in the grip of Your steadfast love and to obey You, just as You obeyed Your Father. When nothing makes sense as I travel through this dark valley, please keep me from pulling away from You. Help me to remain in Your love, just as You remained in His love in the face of persecution.
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
I John 4:16
You do not merely love me, Father God. You are love itself. Thank You for agape love, a perfect, unconditional, and sacrificial love that is of You and from You alone. Love is Your very nature and drives all that You are and all that You do. Thank You that everything flows from Your agape love. If I have You in my life, I truly have everything I need. Lord, the only way I can respond to a love so sure and so complete is to place all my trust in You. Please help me to know You and fully depend on Your love as a little child trusts a loving parent. Help me to trust in Your love through every challenge this cancer brings.
* * *
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
I John 4:18
Lord, fear cannot coexist with Your perfect love. Thank You that I never have to live in fear of what my future might bring because You love me perfectly. I never have to fear condemnation and punishment because You took the punishment for me. Lord, please help me to fully experience Your perfect love! I know in my head that You love me. Please help me to know it in my heart. Help me to receive the fullness of Your love as I struggle with the reality of this diagnosis. Let Your perfect love expel my fear for today's tests, tomorrow's treatments, and all the future will bring.
Jesus replied, "The most important commandment is this: 'Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these."
I can love You only because You loved me first, God. You loved me in spite of my faults and failures, and You suffered and died to prove it. When I fully understand the scope of Your unconditional love for me, I can't help but love You from a grateful heart. Lord, I can only truly love myself if I believe that I am worthy of Your love. If there is anything standing in the way of my receiving the fullness of Your love, please show me! Thank You that I am made worthy by Your blood, regardless of my past! I want to be all in, Lord. I want to love You with all of me — my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength. Help me to love others as I am learning to love myself — with the same unconditional, infinite love that You love me.
* * *
Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.
You offer me the only love that is faithful and truly lasts forever. Even the people who are closest to me, those who love me most in this earthly life, will sometimes fail me and withhold their love from me. But You, Lord, will never fail me. Your goodness, kindness, compassion, and faithfulness will never run out. You loved me before I was ever conceived, You will love me through all my days on this earth, and You will love me throughout eternity. I give thanks to You, Lord! Your faithful love endures forever.CHAPTER 2
All the Time, I Am Good
* * *
You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees.
My child, I know you are wondering, "Why me?" "How did this happen?" Or even, "What did I do to deserve this?" As you ponder these questions, it grieves Me that you might think I am somehow the cause of this cancer. If you believe it's possible this illness came from Me, you might be tempted to push Me away in anger, or find it difficult to come to Me for healing and restoration. Even your past experiences with an earthly father or authority figure can distort your view of My goodness. I understand it can be difficult to trust Me if you think I'm mad at you or punishing you for something. It can be very difficult for you to come to Me for healing if you think your prayers might be contrary to My plans for you.
No beloved, I am a good God, and you belong to Me! You are My very own child. I am not a mean, cruel, and vindictive Father who makes people sick. From the very beginning, I have loved you with an unfailing, everlasting, and perfect love. It is not My nature or My purpose to cause you to suffer, but to give you a rich and satisfying life (John 10:10)! When I was here on earth, I didn't go around inflicting people with disease and calamity. On the contrary, I went around doing good! I healed and delivered every person who came to Me (Acts 10:36–38).
I understand how a serious diagnosis like cancer can tempt even My strongest, faith-filled child to doubt My goodness. But there is another whose purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8–9). If it steals, kills, and destroys, you can be certain it's not Me. Satan is behind the evil in this world and any sickness that threatens to destroy My children. That's why Peter warns you to stay alert and strong in your faith (1 Peter 5:8) and Paul tells you to be strong in My power so you can stand firm against Satan's strategies and tricks (Ephesians 6:11). One of his tricks is to distract your attention away from Me and cause you to doubt My goodness (Mark 4:14–19).
Yes, My child, it is true that I can use your suffering for My glory and purposes (Romans 8:28). I can take everything the enemy is intending for destruction and use it for your good. But I did not make you sick, and it is not My plan that you should suffer! I am not the author of sickness and disease. When you are tempted to doubt My love and goodness, think about this: If you are a parent, would you ever strike your own children with a devastating disease and then abandon them in the middle of nowhere as a punishment for their misbehavior? Is it in your nature to do such a thing? If your own children asked you for a loaf of bread, would you give them a stone instead? If they asked you for a fish, would you give them a snake? If you, as a sinful and fallible people, know how to give good gifts to your children, then how much more will I, your heavenly Father, give to you (Matthew 7:9–11)? My child, it is not My nature to be cruel, vindictive, or indifferent. I am a good Father who loves and cares for you, infinitely more so than the best earthly parent. I am good, and I do only good. All the time, I am good.
Excerpted from Praying for the Cure by Mary J. Nelson. Copyright © 2016 Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Introduction: When You Hear the Words "You Have Cancer" 9
Chapter 1 His Love-The Perfect Medicine 11
Chapter 2 His Goodness-All the Time, I Am Good 21
Chapter 3 His Word-Inspired by God 31
Chapter 4 His Kingdom-The Kingdom Is Near! 41
Chapter 5 His Gift-Too Wonderful for Words 51
Chapter 6 His Message-The Fullness of the Good News 61
Chapter 7 His Compassion-The Good Shepherd 71
Chapter 8 His Will-I Want You Well 81
Chapter 9 His Guidance-Perfect Alignment 91
Chapter 10 His Power-Totally Unlimited 101
Chapter 11 His Grace-My Grace Is Enough Ill
Chapter 12 His Mercy-A Fresh Start 121
Chapter 13 His Voice-A Gentle Whisper 131
Chapter 14 His Faithfulness-The Ultimate Promise Keeper 141
Chapter 15 His Peace-Not of This World 151
Chapter 16 His Righteousness-Through Heaven's Eyes 161
Chapter 17 His Sovereignty-All Things Work Together 171
Chapter 18 His Timing-Delays Are Not Denials 181
Chapter 19 His Presence-The Secret Place 191
Chapter 20 His Provision-Everything You Need 201
Chapter 21 His Glory-Enthroned on Your Praises 211