By heatherericksonauthor.comThe Erickson Family

Praying for Someone who has Cancer

Praying for someone who has cancer

This week we got the news that my husband’s recent scan was not good at all. We will eventually be going down to the Mayo clinic to see what they recommend in the way of an experimental treatment. In the meantime, he is doing relatively well, despite how bad is insides look. People often ask what they can do. I say, “Just pray.” I don’t mean that to sound like it’s some last resort. It’s really truly uplifting to know that people are praying for us. If you are a Christian, praying for someone who has cancer is the best thing you can do. But how? With a problem so big, it can be hard to find the words.

Here’s a list of ways you can be praying for someone who has cancer

It isn’t long, but it is powerful. I would recommend really personalizing this in your prayer time. Think about what, specifically, your friend is facing, and pray for that. This list is more of a mind jogger.

You may want to pray for one of these areas each day, or if something, in particular, is causing the most trouble for your friend, focus on that for a few days. Our family sometimes divides these areas between us at our evening prayer time. Each of us is interceding for a different part of our friend’s life.

Use these ideas in any way that works best for you. And listen for God to respond in your heart. Often, He will call you to be the answer to the prayer you pray!

Things to keep in mind when praying for someone who has cancer:

Facing Cancer as a Friend
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  • Wisdom: For decisions that the patient, their family, and their caregivers, both professional (medical) and non-professional (family and friends)must make.
  • Financial Needs: For provision to meet bill payments, and the daily needs of the patient and his/her family
  • Physical Needs: Including comfort and healing. Pray specifically for any physical problems the patient is facing
  • Emotional Needs: For the peace of God to transcend the fear that cancer can cause for the patient and his/her loved ones
  • Spiritual Needs: For God’s presence to be felt, undeniably, in the midst of this difficult time. To be at peace with God
  • Practical needs: That friends and family would come alongside the patient and his/her immediate family to lift their burdens. This can be done through, meals, acts of service gifts, and encouragement. Also, pray about how God can use you to participate in this.

More ways to help a friend with cancer

If you feel up to helping with some of these needs, but aren’t sure how to go about it, read Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer, available on It’s full of ideas to help you use your gifts and skills to help others in a way you’re comfortable.

What are YOUR thoughts?

I’d love to hear in the comment section, below. I appreciate my readers as well as the writing community. To show that appreciation, I use Comment Luv. Just leave a comment below and your latest post will get a link next to it. Thank you!


In 2012 doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan, with stage IV lung cancer. Since then, our family has been learning what it means to face cancer. I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace.

My book Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer, is available on

Also, check out Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer.

Also, put your memories into words with The Memory Maker’s Journal.

I also blog at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker





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4 comments on “Praying for Someone who has Cancer

Amy Bronkhorst

This is great, Heather! I love how your ideas are so simple and straightforward, yet things we may not think about. And my favorite is, “often, he will call you to be the answer to the prayer you pray.” I say the same thing to people who are praying for foster parents!


Thank you, Amy. The hard things that people undertake, whether becoming a foster parent or living with cancer, that require the prayers of others and the practical help that can be offered along with those prayers. We are thankful for both. One thing that has really become alive to me through this is the power of prayer to lift us up. I always knew there was power in prayer, but having felt it, I will never doubt it again.

I’m so sorry to hear the more recent scans weren’t good. I’ll be sending good thoughts his way.


Thank you, Liz.

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