Home > Scripture Reflections, Theological questions > A prayer when cancer is the enemy

A prayer when cancer is the enemy

Being present this week with my sister who is dying of cancer has pulled me back to Psalm 86. You can pick up the tone of the Psalm in verse 1:

“Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.”


Opening the door by Beatriz Pitarch

Re-writing v14 to reflect cancer as the enemy.

“O God, an insolent disease has arisen against me
a band of ruthless cancer cells seeks my life
no respecter of persons or of God.”

In Psalm 86, the Psalmist cries out to God for help (“preserve my life”, “save your servant”, “be gracious to me”, “gladden my soul”, “Give ear to my prayer”, “listen to my plea for grace” and more. But he does so because he trusts in  the character of God.  A key point since we often doubt God’s character when circumstances turn dark.

  • you are good and forgiving 5
  • abounding in steadfast love 5
  • none like you 8
  • you are great 10
  • you do wondrous things 10
  • you alone are god 10
  • great is your steadfast love toward me 13
  • you are a God merciful and gracious 15
  • slow to anger 15
  • abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness 15

Back to cancer as the enemy–Psalm 86 closes with my version of verse 17

“Show me a sign of your grace and goodness
put this cancerous disease to shame
help me
comfort me”

  1. Jose Perez
    October 8, 2011 at 7:03 am

    I can fully understand, my sistero also has cance

  2. Anonymous
    October 12, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Praying for you and your sister

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