Eight months after we stood beneath 100-year-old trees and promised to love each other in sickness and health, Xylon and I sat in front of a surgeon while he told us the biopsy results, “It’s cancer.” My husband would undergo 16 chemo sessions, a bone marrow transplant, radiation, and countless uncertain scans before he would reach the five-year mark when his doctor finally let us remove the surgical port inserted for his chemo.
This experience took us to places we never thought we’d go, and it taught me that things happen that would not otherwise happen without prayer. I’d pray for wisdom during doctor’s meetings. I prayed in the middle of the night while Xylon shivered from fevers caused by a weakened immune system. I praised God for another as we watched sunsets. And I cried prayers out in the car on long trips to-and-from the hospital.
Every season of intense suffering is a unique experience, but prayer is the key to walking through each of them. Countless scientific studies list how, especially in seasons of intense suffering, prayer benefits your health, reduces depression, makes you happier, and even speeds up post-surgical recovery. This list isn’t one of those lists. These seven reasons why prayer is the key to walking through intense suffering are based on my personal experience of praying my way through a unique season of suffering. I hope they will encourage you and give you strength to face your own season.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Naassom Azevedo