Tuesday, October 21, 2014

12 Things to Pray for Yourself as You Struggle with a Chronic Health Condition (from Rebecca)

Happy Tuesday y'all! I (Rebecca) wanted to share with y'all a post from my personal blog from several weeks ago! I don't know about y'all but sometimes I struggle in what to pray for myself in this journey with a Chronic Health Condition! So today I wanted to share 12 ideas to pray for yourself if you are struggling with a Chronic Health Condition. This is not a complete list of what to pray and is not a "formula" but I do hope and pray that it is a good "jumping off point" for you to be praying as you struggle with chronic health condition. 

[p.s.- You may notice that I have not included "pray for healing" in this list. I do believe that the Lord is a mighty and victorious God who is the great Healer (both emotionally and physically)]. At the same time though I assume that, like me, this is already something that you pray regularly. This list is to encourage you to expound your prayer life and is meant solely as a jumping point. *smiles*

1. Pray for Hope. I personally don't think that there is anything more discouraging then dealing with a chronic health condition day in and day out. It is impossible to explain to anyone how absolutely difficult and discouraging this is. You can't "escape" your body or pain and you literally are walking through a great battle all of the time. Don't lose hope sweet friends- pray for Hope and that the Lord will show it to you every single day. 
HE is the source of hope and will not abandon us.

"My soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For my heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name.  Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you."
-Psalms 33: twenty through twenty-two-

"One the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased."
-Psalm 138:three-

2. Pray that you will find purpose in your pain & illness.  I think one of the most difficult things about a chronic health issue is dealing with a loss of self and purpose. Many of us have had to leave jobs that we loved, give up our independence, have lost the ability to drive places, accept additional help, etc. and this is an extremely difficult part of being sick. You are heroes as you handle these losses with grace, courage, and faith. Pray that the Lord would not only comfort you but that you will find purpose in your pain & illness. 

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
- 2 Corinthians 1: three & four

3.Pray for Patience. *smiles* I don't think I even need to write the reasons out for praying for this. From issues with doctors offices, to frustrations with the length of this journey, to insensitive comments and detours in health plans, patience is something that we all have after fighting a chronic health condition! But at the same time I find myself needing to pray for more and more patience over a millions little things each day. At the end of the day I am learning that really I am learning a whole new way to surrender and trust the Lord. Maybe I am not alone in this? *smiles*

"Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act."
-Psalm 37:seven-

4. Pray that you will not lose sight of who you are in Christ. From a job loss due to health issues to losing ones independence to gaining/losing weight due to medicines, nothing tests the self-esteem as much as when you struggle with illness. Pray that the Lord would remind you who you are in HIM and that you are much more than what you did for a living or what you look like. He loves you sweet friends and nothing- not even illness or pain can change that!

"He performeth the thing that is appointed for me."
-Job 23:fourteen-

5. Pray to Let Go of the Past. Let go of the past sweet friends. It is so easy to "romanticize" the good of the past and believe that "before your diagnosis" things were perfect. Don't let satan tempt you to believe that the past was better. "THIS is the day that the Lord has made..." (Psalms) Grab onto Him, thank Him for the past, and pray for peace and help to look to the present and the future. Don't let the comparison of what you thought was perfect ruin the blessings among the pain of today.

"Do not say why were the old days better than this for it is not wise to ask such questions."
-Ecclesiastes 7:ten-

6. Pray that you will embrace each day without fear. There are so many things about dealing with a chronic health condition that can cause fear. I am convinced that satan is out to rob us of joy and life with fear. Fear that we will never get better, fear that we are alone, fear of the future, fear that we don't have enough money for what we need, fear of our dreams not coming true, fear of ____________ (fill in the blank). Pray against fear sweet friends.

 “ …Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
-Deuteronomy 31:six-

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she can laugh at the days to come."
-Proverbs 31:twenty-eight-

7. Pray that you will believe the truth of Joel 2:25. 
"I will restore to you the years the locust have stolen..."
-Joel 2:twenty-five-

"My God turns my darkness into light."
-Psalm Eighteen-

8. Pray for their Strength to meet Each Day. Dealing with a chronic health condition wipes the strength of each person. Pray for the strength to face each day.

"And as your days are, so shall thy strength be."
-Deuteronomy 33:twenty-five-

9. Pray through Un-forgiveness. One of the most difficult things of this entire journey for me personally was dealing with the fact that friends and family members that I thought were true and faithful friends left. It was heart-wrenching and incredibly hurtful. As I watched friends leave who I thought would walk this journey with me, as I had walked difficult times with them, the loneliness and pain was so difficult. I am so thankful for so many friends and family members who have stayed, been such a blessing and new friends who have come along on this journey but this unfortunately is a reality for those with chronic health issues. Deal with your grief and pray through it but don't let un-forgiveness work its way into your life. Forgive with the Lord's help and find refuge in Him. 

"I looked for sympathy but there was none..."
-Psalm 70:twenty-

"Whom have I in Heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you... But as for me it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge."
-Psalm 73:twenty-five & twenty-eight-
10. Pray for the Desires of your Heart.  Many times we have had to give up so much of who we are and have also had to give up dreams and desires for the future (or at least the immediate future). For me personally this has been one of the most difficult aspects of this journey and I hear that from others too. While many people are getting engaged, getting married, having children, finding their dream job, buying a house, traveling the world, going on vacation, etc. we are just trying to live each day. Pray for the Lord's comfort for the immediate grief but DO NOT STOP praying for the desires of your heart. God is STILL at work friends- even when we don't see Him. KEEP PRAYING.
"Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your Heart."
-Psalm 37:four-

11. Pray for their Symptoms (and Side Effects) to Go Away. When dealing with a chronic health condition a person might experience over a hundred different symptoms every day!! Many times necessary medication adds additional side effects that are very uncomfortable. Pray for relief of these symptoms and side effects to go away along with praying for complete healing.

 "In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears."
-Psalm 18:six-

12. Pray for Rest. Dealing with a chronic health condition is exhausting but often times it is difficult to sleep as insomnia is a common symptom with almost every chronic health issue. Due to certain chronic health conditions your symptoms may worsen at night or pain simply keeps you awake. Pray that the Lord will give you rest. 

"I stretch myself out. I sleep. Then I’m up again—rested, tall and steady, Fearless before the enemy mobs. Coming at me from all sides."
-Psalm 3:five-

I hope these ideas have been helpful y'all! If you would like a copy of these twelve things to print out please email me and I will send you a word document! I know sometimes that the pain and illness are so unbearable that all we can cry out is "Jesus". That is okay friends!! The name of Jesus is POWERFUL. Keep crying out to Him and keep coming to the cross. He is answering friends and will continue to answer as we cry out to Him!!

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