When cancer comes back or you have a cancer recurrence prayer can be an important part of your treatment plan.   Prayer for guidance in cancer recurrence is vital because of the decisions about treatment options that need to be made.    Prayer is also extremely important to maintain a positive, hopeful attitude when cancer comes back.   Prayer also serves as a healthy emotional outlet and helps you know that you are not alone.  Prayer  helps you recall and meditate on how God gave you strength in the past. And finally, prayer is a safe place to talk honestly with God about the things that you worry about.

Prayer When Cancer Comes Back

John wedding 203Dear God, I come to you again seeking your healing help because my cancer has come back.

I begin by thanking you for the strength you gave me to get through the good and bad days during my initial cancer treatment.  I thank you for all of the doctors, medical staff, family members and friends who were there for me during my treatments.   I now name the wonderful people who were there for me and recall in prayer the thoughtful things they did for me that showed their love and concern ________________________________________________

I thank you for the medications and treatments that slowed down and stopped the spread of the disease in the past and helped my cancer go into remission.  I thank you for the time I enjoyed when I was able to go on with my life.

I thank you for those who prayed for me and with me.  Here are some prayers I particularly remember with  gratitude___________________________________

I thank you for the life lessons and the values I learned during my past cancer treatment.  As I remember these lessons I pray that you will be able show me how to apply what I‘ve learned to my new situation _________________________________

Having thanked you for what you have done for me in the past, I now pray for your “once again” power during this new phase of my treatment.  I meditate on the following verse in the Bible where people used their past experiences of help and deliverance to give them strength, hope and encouragement for their present problems:

“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.  You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.”   (Psalm 71  :20 ,21 NIV)

And so with confidence I pray that once again you will walk with me through this new time of treatment and recovery.

Although I am trying to stay positive, you know the things what I fear and dread deep down inside.  Here are the things that I fear about my cancer coming back _______________________________________

There were things that I found really hard to deal with during my first treatment.  Here are the things I need your help with going forward __________________________________________________

There were physical pains and side effects that I had to endure last time.  Here are the ones that bothered me the most ______________________________________________________

My family had many things to deal with last time around.  Here are the struggles that my family had that I pray you will spare them from and help them with this time around ________________________________________________

I pray that you will give me clarity of mind when my doctor talks to me about treatment options.  I thank you that there are new drugs that can be used and I thank you for the new medical breakthroughs that are being discovered.

alaska 131I pray that you will give me the grace to deal with the fact that all cancer cases are different and that the doctors cannot give accurate guesses about what will come next.    As I face this uncertainty, help me to keep focused on the things that I am certain about that I now claim:

I am certain that you love me.  (Jeremiah 31:3)

I am certain that you are with me always, even to the end of the age.  (Matthew 28:20)

I am certain that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

I am certain that I will some day be with you in paradise.  (John 14:2)

I am certain that you have a plan for my life. (Jeremiah 29:11)

I am certain that you will guide me.  (Psalm 32:8)

I am certain you will hold me up when I am weak.  (Isaiah 41:10)

I pray that you will give me the ability to talk honestly and openly with my family about my treatment options, about my quality of life decisions and my personal wishes concerning treatment.  Help us be able to listen to what’s inside of our hearts so we can decide together what’s right for us as a family unit.

I end this prayer walking by faith because my outcome is so hard to predict.  Help me to learn to trust, rest and love.  Help me to still my soul as it says in the Bible, “I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.  But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.   O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.”  (Psalm 131:1,2,3)


Further prayer and meditation about treatment options:

Here are some specific treatment options that you can discuss with your doctor.  Then meditate and pray for God’s specific guidance to discover what’s right for you:

What is the purpose of a suggested treatment?   (cure? Maintenance? making me comfortable?)

Should I get a second opinion?

Do I want to participate in a medical trial?

Who are the important people in my life who can help me make treatment decisions together as a team?

Is there someone who can walk with me, listen to me and help me gain perspective during this time?

Chaplains, ministers and counselors can be of great help during a cancer recurrence.  Another source of help is Stephen Ministries. Churches of many denominations have Stephen Ministry groups where individuals have been trained in giving emotional and spiritual support to those going through a crisis period.   This service is free of charge and you are paired with someone who will meet with you weekly to listen to you and pray with you.

My personal experiences

I am a trained volunteer Stephen minister at my church and one of my assignments a number of years ago was to partner with a woman who was going through breast cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment.  We were together for more than a year during her time of treatment and recovery and continued on until she returned to her career.  Once the crisis period was over, we ended our weekly Stephen Ministry meetings.

However several years later my friend’s cancer recurred and I again engaged in a formal caring relationship with her.  I was very impressed with the treatment options that were available this second time around and their effectiveness in stopping the further spread of cancer.  I observed that my friend was much more confident during this recurrence of cancer because she had developed an excellent relationship with her doctors and their staff.

She was also better able to express her thoughts, feelings and ideas to me and talk honestly about her fears and her worries about her family.  She was a person who never liked surprises, not even good ones, so she wanted to talk about death and what it might be like.  I didn’t know much on the subject, so we found and read together an excellent book Crossing the Threshold to Eternity.

DSC01249In addition to all of this, my friend’s faith had grown by leaps and bounds during her first cancer treatments, her family had become excellent caregivers and supporters and she realized how many good friends she had and she knew the ones were she could count on for whatever she might need.

My friend also had discovered coping skills that worked for her during her first cancer treatments that also served her well during recurrence. One way that my friend coped with her problems was to find what she called “distractions” which really meant finding something else to do that was positive to keep her mind from dwelling on her problems.  Since her first cancer treatment, my friend had been blessed with a new grand baby to enjoy – and playing with him became a true means of joy for her.  Plus she filled a whole room with thrift store bargain toys for him.  Going to thrift stores and buying the toys became a fun mission for her.

After her first cancer recovery, my friend started a prayer comfort blanket ministry at our church that is still going strong today.  She was able to inspire many volunteers and she also enjoyed  spending hours at fabric stores finding soft colorful fabrics to be made into blankets.  This ministry has reached thousands all over our community and beyond.

Other Helpful Articles

Prayer for Healing

A Prayer for Order When You Need to Know How to Manage Change

Finding an Answer to Every Prayer

Intercessory Prayer – Praying Your Pain with Christ’s

How to Do Meditation in Nature in Christian Meditation

Strong Biblical Prayer for Healing for You and Your Loved One

How to Pray Crossing Over Prayers with the Dying

All I Need is a Miracle Prayer


Copyright Karen Barber 2016.  All rights reserved.