A Prayer of Endurance for Chronic Illness
Living with chronic illness involves so much more than a physical struggle. It can weaken our minds and spirits, leaving us vulnerable to dangerous thought patterns. Mix that with questioning whether things will ever get better, and it’s enough to cause depression or even hopelessness.
As I listened to the doctor’s diagnosis, words like pain management, lifestyle changes, and your new normal faded into a vacuum of information that was just too much to process. He wanted us to work together to come up with a health plan for the future, but this question kept running through my head. How do I get through the pain of today, much less deal with the residual effects of this illness for who knows how long?
Living with chronic illness involves so much more than a physical struggle. Yes, there is pain that begs to be managed somehow. But pain can be a sinister foe. It can weaken our minds and spirits, leaving us vulnerable to dangerous thought patterns. When we realize we can’t do all the things we used to do, we grieve over losing what once was, or what might have been. Mix that with questioning whether things will ever get better, and it’s enough to cause depression or even hopelessness.
Honestly, I’m not a fan of the word chronic. Even though I deal with the lasting effects of cancer treatment every day, I don’t want to give that struggle a name. Especially not a name that has no end to it. I want to hold onto hope that no matter how long the illness persists, I can continue to live the fruitful life God offers. Still, I am also aware chronic illness is something many of us face every day. It’s a battle no one deserves, so we shouldn’t pretend it’s not there or minimize it in any way. Thankfully our loving God promises to never leave us, even as we endure chronic illness.
Moving forward with positivity while facing chronic illness may seem impossible, especially when we’re right in the midst of the hurt. But we can do it with the help of the One who strengthens and comforts us in our time of need. Hebrews 13:6 tells us God is our constant helper. “So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear…’” When we trust the truth of this verse, we can begin to live as overcomers as we walk the path through chronic illness.
Has dealing with ongoing sickness left you feeling discouraged over things you can no longer do? Have you wondered if God can still use you, or if He even hears your cries for help? If you are battling chronic illness, know this. You are a true warrior, my friend. The following prayer is for you. As you pray this prayer, I am also praying for you. That our faithful God will give you the endurance you need to keep loving, keep hoping, and keep fighting. You are valuable to God, and your journey offers great hope to others. Let’s pray this prayer for endurance through chronic illness together:
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A Prayer of Endurance through Chronic Illness
Dear Merciful Father,
Thank you for your promise to never leave me nor forsake me, even through the excruciating effects of chronic illness. Sometimes the pain is so great, I can’t think beyond my current struggle. On hard days, please ease my pain and help me focus on Your goodness one day, one hour, one moment at a time. Let Your overwhelming peace wash over me and remind me Your mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). There are days when I lay in bed, begging you to take the pain away. Days I just don’t have the strength. In those desperate times, I ask for Your unending strength to sustain me. I can’t do it alone, but with You all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
Lord, constant pain causes my mind to sink into places of despair. I question why a good God would allow suffering, and I wonder if things will ever improve. Letting my mind wander to these terrible places causes me to attach my identity to this illness instead of what You say about me. When discouragement threatens me, help me remember the truth of Your word above all else. Galatians 4:7 says, “Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” Thank you for showering Your love and kindness over my weary spirit and reminding me of my royal position as Your beloved child. My worth is not found in a diagnosis, but in Almighty God.
I know you are with me, Lord. Even though sometimes it feels like You aren’t hearing my prayers for relief. In those times when I feel alone, thank you for the promise that You always hear me. “But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer” (Psalm 66:19). I understand Your ways are not my ways, and that even though my prayer hasn’t been answered the way I think it should, You are working on my behalf. You never stop loving me and directing my steps. It encourages my heart to know, “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him” (Psalm 37:23). In pain or sorrow, I delight in You, my God.
Lord, I ask for healing from this illness. I know You will heal me according to Your will and Your timing. I also know sometimes we go through trials that strengthen us and teach us to trust in You. This verse brings me hope as I remember to have faith, even when it’s hard. “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). Even as I experience lasting effects of chronic illness, I also feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, refreshing me on the inside. Allow Your Holy Spirit to breathe new life into my parched spirit.
It’s easy to regret not having the energy to do everything I used to do. Forgive me Lord for spending too much time focusing on the wrong things. When I focus on You and not what I can’t do, I feel a renewed sense of purpose. Reveal new ways I can serve you, even though I can’t do all the things anymore. Teach me how to pray, encourage, and reach out to others. Renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10). And as I connect with others who are dealing with chronic illness, give me the words to say to offer encouragement and hope. Help me share my experience to be a blessing to others.
Thank you for the words of Romans 5:3-4, which give us the inspiration we need as we endure chronic illness. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Even as I speak these words of prayer, I feel better. Thank you for Your promises that give us joy, strength, and peace. We have the assurance of a future hope while enjoying a fruitful and abundant life, all because of You.
In Jesus’ name,
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Kristine Brown is the author of the book, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan, and the companion devotional for teen girls. For more resources from author Kristine, including prayers and mini-studies to help you “become more than yourself” through God’s Word, visit her website, kristinebrown.net. Yo
This article is part of our Prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.