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Prayers for people with cancer

Providence Associate Diann Neu, liturgist, psychotherapist and co-founder of WATER, the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual, in Silver Spring, Maryland, shares the following prayers to aid those living with cancer.

A Litany of Fears

Spirit of Life,
Transform my fears.

Fear of dying,
Fear of living with cancer,
Fear of losing my hair,
Fear of losing my energy,
Fear of losing my mobility,
Fear of losing my temper,
Fear of losing my job,
Fear of losing a part of my body,
Fear of losing ______________,
Fear of not being able to adjust to a new life.

Spirit of Life,
Transform my fears
that I may be joyful.

***

Prayer for Healing

O God! Grant me healing.

Healing in my eyes, healing in my ears;
Healing on my skin, healing in my blood;
Healing in my bones, healing within me;
Healing on my tongue, healing in my feet;
Healing in front of me, healing behind me;
Healing above me, healing below me;
Healing on my left, healing on my right.

Divine Wisdom! Grant me healing.

Healing in my hands, healing on my face;
[Healing in my breasts (or where they were);
Healing in my ovaries (or where they were);
Healing in my womb (or where it was);]
Healing in my lungs, healing in my heart;
Healing in front of me, healing behind me;
Healing above me, healing below me;
Healing in my body, healing in my soul.

Companion on the Journey! Grant me healing.

***
Lamentation for Hair Loss

How long, O Divine Wisdom, how long?

When my hair falls out, strand by strand, bless me.
When my eyebrows and eyelashes disappear, bless me.
When I hold clumps of my hair in my hands and weep, bless me.
When I try to hold onto vanity, bless me.
When I feel so desperate and depressed, bless me.
When all seems lost, bless me.
When you seem so far away, bless me.

How long, O Divine Wisdom, how long?

Take my hairless head in your hands
And brush my scalp with your blessing.
Take my hairless body in your arms
And hug me with your blessing,
For I know you are near even when
my spirit is broken.

How long, O Divine Wisdom, how long?

Invite a friend to help you shave your head.

***
Breath of Life

Breathe in healing.*
Breathe out cancer.* (3x)

Blessed are you,
Breath of Life,
For you give me life,
And you will take it away
some day.

Breathe in healing.
Breathe out cancer. (3x)

* You can pray this prayer in many ways. For example, “Breathe in peace. Breathe out fear.”

You can breathe your prayer throughout the day by focusing on one word as you inhale and another as you exhale.

I have personalized this prayer by inviting a community to pray for one of their members with cancer. For example,
Breathe in [name of person].
Breathe out love.

***
Prayer to Begin and End Each Day

May all be loved.
May all be healed.
May all be sheltered.
May all be free from fear.

May I be loved. *
May I be healed.
May I be sheltered.
May I be free from fear.

* I have personalized this prayer by inviting a community to pray for one of their members with cancer. For example,

May [name of person] be loved.
May [name of person] be healed.
May [name of person] be sheltered.
May [name of person] be free from fear.

***

Blessing for the Flow of Chemotherapy or Radiation

Blessed are You,
Compassionate One,
For giving me
these droplets of ________
(name of chemotherapy drug
or radiation treatment).

Like refreshing dew
and healing rain,
may they save my life

***

© Diann L. Neu, D.Min., “Seasons of Healing,”
dneu@hers.com; www.waterwomensalliance.org

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Diann Neu

Diann L. Neu is a Providence Associate who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. She is a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, a former Sister of Providence, and co-founder and co-director with Mary E. Hunt of WATER, the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual, http://www.waterwomensalliance.org

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1 Comment

  1. Judy Barad on January 14, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you so much for these prayers. My husband has just been diagnosed with cancer of the bone. Since he is neither spiritual nor religious, I am going to adapt these prayers for me to say on his behalf. However, since you are so gifted in formulating these prayers, it would be wonderful if you could come up with prayers specifically for those of us caring for a loved one with cancer. like the one you offered for the community to pray for a person with cancer.

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