Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Prayer For The Dying

It's amazing how many verses in the Bible have come alive since I had cancer.  For example, I became familiar with Psalms 118:17 while I was undergoing chemotherapy in 2006.  It states, "I shall not die, but live, and tell of the works of the Lord".  What a great encouragement for those undergoing cancer or any other major illness.  As a matter of fact, I now wear this verse on a bracelet wherever I go.  It has become my life verse.  It's a verse which proclaims that God had a purpose in my healing from Stage 3 bladder cancer, even though my oncologist felt my chances of surviving were fifteen to twenty percent.

Found another great verse the other day.  Psalms 79:11 says "Let the groaning of the prisoner come before Thee; according to the greatness of Thy power preserve those who are doomed to die."  What captured my attention was the last phrase, "preserve those who are doomed to die."  It appears to be speaking to prisoners, especially those in the dungeons who have no hope of release.  Perhaps they are scheduled for execution.  Yet, the psalmist asks God to change the circumstances of those with no hope. 

For many people who are diagnosed with cancer, chances of recovery, as occurred in my life, are limited.  The doctor may state that the treatments may only provide temporary relief, not ultimately remove the cancer.  In relation to this, I believe the oncologist told my mother when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer years ago that his purpose was to "extend her life", not cure her.  In other words, it was hopeless.

Yet, my prayer today for anyone experiencing cancer is exactly what the psalmist said, that God would "preserve those who are doomed to die".  Although I can't understand God's ways in many situations, especially in the lives of those suffering with cancer, sometimes He does choose to heal in accordance with His plan. 

Furthermore, if He does preserve some one's life out of the dungeon of cancer, perhaps they, too, will one day be able to proclaim the truth of Psalms 118:17, "I shall not die, but live, and tell of the works of the Lord".   

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