“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” – Saint Augustine
*discalimer: this is not a backhanded way to get things or make anyone feel badly, rather, observations coming from years of prayer requests and a genuine interest in improving quality of life for people with chronic illnesses and their families and caregivers.
Prayer is a valuable thing. While we cannot put a numeric value on it, we also cannot underestimate people joining together to uplift someone who is sick or experiencing hardship. Yet I am convinced that prayer is best done in workboots. I mean that when praying for my own situation and when praying for others. If you’re a prayer warrior, I believe you are such with a responsibility to pray with a mind toward how you can make a tangible difference in the matters about which you’re praying.
If you’re stuck for ideas, well today is your lucky day, because I’m full if them, so here we go! This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive list, rather a jumping off point.
*A note or email of encouragement, going beyond saying, “I’m praying”. Adding details of what you’re praying for and giving a few uplifting words goes a long way.
*Respite. If you’re low on cash but have time, many people caring for chronically ill loved ones feel tied down. The gift of even a single hour of time is an enormous blessing.
*A helping hand. This winter a friend faithfully helped with snowblowing. I don’t know if it was a big deal to him, but it was a big deal to us.
Low cost ideas:
*Donations. If everyone who ever said they were praying for Ben made a $1 donation to a reputable organization which either researches medical advances or provides assistance to families with cancer or other chronic illnesses, thousands of dollars would be given.
*A care package. It doesn’t have to be costly. If you have a baked goods recipe that you’re darn proud of, share it with someone you’re praying for. Things like tea, flowers, candles and personal care items also make lovely care packages, especially for women, and most importantly they know you really care.
*Meals. This one is tried and true. After a long day at the doctor’s office, time and energy lag, and meals are a big deal.
If you have more money than time:
*Gas or grocery cards are a godsend. Health care and driving expenses add up quickly.
*A donation to a charity in honor of the person you’re praying for.
*A touch of luxury. Whether a restaurant or spa gift card, or an indulgence of another kind, parents and other caregivers of people with chronic illnesses are short on self care, and a free indulgence can remove the guilt of doing something really nice for themselves.
As I said, this list is far from comprehensive. Please feel free to add suggestions in the comments!