Asking God for Help
I want God to help me with my cancer journey, but I’m not sure how to ask.
How can a cancer sufferer trapped in the world of doctor appointments and chemotherapy, struggling to find hope and healing, possibly experience peace through praying to God? How can a caregiver or loved one seek the help of God on their behalf?
The peace of God is beyond human understanding.
It is a great mystery. It is beyond our human experience and comes into the midst of our trials and suffering to mount us up like the wings of eagles. God has told us this peace can never be completely understood, but it can be ours through prayer, or asking God for help.
This peace is a gift, but you must seek it.
God’s hope, strength, and peace are waiting for you. But you must ask. This asking, the words we say from our heart to someone greater than ourselves, is called prayer.
Prayer is not complicated, there’s no pat formula or religious words that you must say. Prayer is simply talking to God. But there are a few things we should keep in mind as we begin to seek the power of God in our fight against cancer.
1. God is waiting for you to pray.
That may be hard to fathom, but God has said (through the Bible) that he is standing at the door of our life and is knocking1. He will not come in unless we open the door—but if we do the one who created all the universe will come in and listen. Incredible as it sounds, this simple act of praying to God has brought comfort and hope and peace to millions over the centuries.
2. When asking God for help, God already knows everything about you.
Before you were ever formed in your mother’s womb, God knew you2. That’s what He says. So, when you pray you don’t have to explain things. You are speaking to the one who knows you better than anyone else.
3. God listens to your words but wants your heart.
Words are important, but there’s no pre-written formula, or churchy words. No, when asking God for help, God just wants you to pour out your heart3. He just wants to you to put every pain, every fear, every disappointment into a basket and hand it to Him.
4. God will help you pray.
If you do not know what prayer to offer or how to express it, don’t worry. Just ask Him to help you pray4. He has promised to do that. The God who wants to help you in your suffering wants to help you pray to him in a way that gets through, that communicates heart to heart. This is the key to asking God for help.
5. Remember who God is.
Look out on the night-time sky. The one who made all those billions of stars and all the galaxies wants to commune with you, to comfort you in the sighs and groanings of your life which are too deep for words5.
This Creator is your creator. And he loves you. Prayer connects you powerfully with his love, when you are asking God for help.
6. He wants you to pray again and again.
We’re not supposed to pray a prayer for help and then think, “well, I’ve done that,” and cross it off like an item on our shopping list. No, the hope, peace, and strength come as we pray again and again6.
7. He wants you to pray now.
Find a quiet place this moment. Focus on speaking your heart to the one who knows you best. It does not matter if you feel like you deserve the help or not7. Asking God for help may feel like a leap at first, but eventually it may even feel as natural as talking with a friend. Ask him for help to pray and then begin.
If you’d like help starting out, pray these words below.
“God, I’m opening the door. I need your help. I’ve never been so in need of help, so secretly afraid of what I’m facing. I don’t know what words will be pleasing to you, or which words will get through to you. So, help me, please. Give me the words to say as you promised you would do. You are the Creator. I want to know you. I need your help.”
After these words you could stop, or you could begin telling God all your fears and hopes8. You could ask him to be with you in your next chemo treatment or Pet Scan. You could ask him to help your family not to be afraid. Whatever is on your heart, pour it out.
8. Remember, when you have opened the door to God, he will not abandon you.
When you finish praying, you’re likely not going to see smoke or flashing lights or any of the Hollywood-like scenes that try to depict an experience with God. Instead, the hope, strength and peace of God comes slowly as we unload our fears and troubles day after day. Then, something begins to build inside us that we know is real.
It may sound trite and churchy to say so, but God works through people as well as prayers. The support of others who are lifting their prayers to him can help carry us through the tough times. When you pray, ask God to bring you into contact with others who are praying to him for help, too.
Where did we get these ideas?
They’re all paraphrased from the Bible. It’s not just a dull, dusty book. It is full of living power. If you want to know the references we’ve used in this brief outline, skip to the bottom of this page, to the footnotes section.
We don’t want you to go it alone.
To learn more about how to begin a relationship with God, see Knowing God Personally.
We look forward to connecting with you. We will be faithful to bring your requests to God as you do!
Note: We are not doctors and we cannot answer your medical questions. However, we welcome your questions about finding hope and knowing God.
(1) “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20 (NIV)
(2) For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13 (NIV).
(3) “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV).
(4) In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26 (NIV).
(5) When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Psalms 8:3-4 (NIV).
(6) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV).
(7) “He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.” Psalms 102:17 (NIV).
(8) “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV).