Prayers Aren't for Everyone
For me, it was shocking to learn that prayers aren't for everyone and that not all people going through cancer treatment wanted prayers. It may seem counter-intuitive, but when someone told me that they were going to pray for me while I was going through Chemo Therapy, I thanked them and then asked them specifically to thank God for my healing. In my belief, if we were asking in faith for healing, we only needed to ask once. Otherwise, we weren't in faith.
While this topic is controversial, my intention is to bring another understanding of what others may be feeling. Compassion is working to understand another in a difficult situation.
Lynda Wolters, author of Voices of Cancer, addressed this topic in her blog and book. Lynda has a unique and powerful perspective on healing, cures, and terminal cancer. Here is her excerpt, " Since my diagnosis, I have met all types of people from all walks of life, including those with a belief in God and those without, as well as those somewhere in between. I learned a good lesson from a cancer patient who was formerly Catholic turned agnostic of what NOT to say to a cancer patient. She told me it was troubling, almost burdensome, when people tell her they will pray for her. She explained that while she generally just thanks the person and goes on her way, she wishes that people would not assume just because she has cancer that she has an automatic belief in God.
I learned from an atheist that he understood that the offer of prayer was meant to convey something positive. However, it has been his experience that it tends to lean toward, “I am going to talk about being positive to you instead of actually doing or saying anything meaningful.”
So, what then, do you say in place of, “I will pray for you,” to someone who has cancer? It seems that most of us say, “I’ll pray for you,” with or without the sincerity of meaning it. If we were honest, how many of us just say those words as a matter of course and never follow through with the prayer?
If you know the person’s religious belief you can obviously be respectful to that, if however, you don’t know, here are some suggestions that may be less offensive and still convey your desire of best wishes:
I will keep you in my thoughts
Sending you love and light
I wish the best for you
I hope you have the best health possible "
At Chia's Silver Lining, we have a wonderful collection of inspirational gifts. We have both Christian specific journals and pens, as well as books to show love and gratitude. We have thoughtfully curated them to take the guess work out of gift giving.
My advice: Don't hold back your heart for caring. Love always rules!