Prayerful Purpose

I have a question. You told me you were praying for us, but for what were you praying?

Were you praying for a cure? Were you praying for a prolonged life? Did you pray for a change of heart, that he would pursue chemotherapy?

Or were you praying that we all may accept God’s will and stop creating our own? Were you praying for a peaceful end, a peaceful departure? Did you pray for unity in the face of a divide?

Prayers are appreciated, but take a moment to think about your reason for praying. When the phone rang from a doctor with a diagnosis, I prayed to wake up from my nightmare. I wept in agony when he said it did not seem that we could pursue treatments for this cancer. I prayed to keep my dad with me forever. And ever. I prayed to keep him.

As a firsthand witness of his distress, I slowly began to realize that these prayers were selfish. My prayers were actually not in my dad’s best interest but rather in my own. I was praying to keep him because that was what I wanted, not what he needed. Of course I want my dad with me forever and ever, but I do not want that at the expense of his internal misery. I want him to be healthy and back to normal, but I have accepted that is not our reality. The reality is that my dad is dying in hospice. Praying to keep him for my own benefit was perhaps the most selfish thing I have done.

I now pray for his comfort. Every night I pray that he will sleep well enough to have some energy for the day ahead. I pray for his pain to be as little as possible, or maybe even not be there at all for a few moments in time. I pray that he knows in his heart how deeply loved and cherished he is.

Cancer sucks. Cancer sucks so bad. I utterly abhor cancer with every inch of my being. I wish my dad did not have cancer, but he does. That is a fact, and it is okay. It is okay because I believe in the power of prayer. I have decided to channel that power to his peace and benefit, not my own. I hope you make that decision, too. When we think we are praying for someone else, we may really just be praying for ourselves.

5 thoughts on “Prayerful Purpose

  1. I AM SELFISH, this I know! I discovered this truth when my mom and oldest brother Tom died within 4 months of each other. Each time I pray for my little brother, I lift him and his family up to GOD asking for THY WILL to be done, while thanking HIM for the strength HE is giving this family to walk in HIS WILL. I do beg for a miracle everyday, but more than anything in this world I ask GOD for the assurance that my brother has accepted JESUS CHRIST as his LORD and SAVIOR, that he believes JESUS died on the cross for him and that HE rose from the dead 3 days later, just as HE promised HIS followers HE would. I pray that he knows the HOLY SPIRIT lives in him.

    I have always felt and shared with Charlie many times, “GOD whispers in your ears and you have listened, that is why you have done well. You have helped HIS children, those he has sent to you, without judging them, you are Honest and your word is Trustworthy, you are a good, faithful and an obedient servant of GOD,” this I am sure of!
    As Isaiah 30:21 (NIV )says:
    Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; Walk in it.”
    My selfishness prays that he not walk in it this time. Please forgive me for being selfish!

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  2. Danielle you are a strong young lady. You write beautifully. Thank you for your wise wise words I will remember to pray for your dads comfort. He is a great man! David and I are grateful to know him and your family. I will also pray for you and your mom’s continued strength. I was so sorry to hear this news.

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