How can I encourage a cancer patient?



How can I encourage a person who is suffering from cancer? What words should I use? I would like to use the Bible to encourage. What should I say? Saying, “I am so sorry . . . ” will not help. What can I say in this situation?

Use encouraging words

Knowing how to use encouraging words is very important, especially when dealing with a sick person, and especially when you speak with a cancer patient. The Bible teaches the following:

Pleasant words are a honeycomb , Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)

There are few people who know how to share words that bring healing to the soul, that are as sweet as honey to a sick person.

I am going through a situation where a dear person to me is suffering from a serious sickness. I think that it would be helpful to share some of my personal experience with this person.

Visit the person as much as possible

On the day I learned of her sickness, I went to the hospital to visit her. I had a bouquet of flowers in hand and did all that I could to encourage her. I sat and listened to her and spoke to the doctors as well. After hearing all of the diagnosis, I sat with her and prayed for her physical healing. I told her that there is no sickness that God cannot heal, if it is His will.

Fast and Pray

Since finding about the sickness, my family and I have been praying for healing. Whenever we get bad news about the patient, we hold a fast as a family and encourage all of our relatives to join us. This has been of great encouragement to us, to our family members, and our sick relative because God has intervened.

Encourage the person to be patient

I have continually encouraged her to have patience, especially when she was going through a difficult treatment. I continue to encourage her not to give up.

Read the Bible together

When the treatments were the most difficult, I would go and visit her so that we could read the Bible together. I would explain the passages to her and then we would pray together. God’s Word has great power, even to heal the sick and calm those who are suffering, especially when taken on faith. Therefore, it is very important to read the Scriptures to the sick and suffering as well as praying with them. I recommend that you read the Psalms, 23 and 91.

Study passages about sickness and healing

We must also help the sick examine their relationship with God. One of the main causes of sickness and disease  (not always the reason for beings sick though) is sin. That is why it is necessary to help the sick understand what God has to say about sickness and disease, and what a person must do to receive healing. I would recommend that you study “Lord I want to know You“, written by Kay Arthur and specifically focus on the chapter entitled “Jehovah-rapha” (the God who heals). This lesson will greatly help and encourage the sick person to find answers to many of his or her questions, difficult questions connected to the disease.

If it is possible, you can invite the sick person to a conference or camp where the Bible will be taught. I invited our sick relative to a summer camp and the pleasant atmosphere and Bible study helped her health greatly. Now we pray that God will continue to bless her and heal her body and soon we will see her healthy.

Challenge the person to get right with God

When a person is sick and struggling to get well, it is very important to help that person get right with God. If the person has never entered the New Covenant with Jesus Christ through repentance and faith, then you need to help that person clearly understand the message of the Gospel and lead him or her to the sinner’s prayer so that he or she may be born again and receive forgiveness of sins. This is the only way that a person can know for sure that he will inherit the kingdom of heaven. Each and every man needs to understand this so that he can make peace with God because all of us will stand before God one day.

At the beginning of this week, our church council meeting was held downtown in Chisinau. As we were waiting for one another, we were standing near a construction site and witnesses a 20 something year old man fall to his death. Did this young man realize that he would stand before his Maker so soon? Was he able to make peace with God before standing before Him?


Challenge all people, both sick and well not to harden their hearts but instead to open up their minds and hearts to the Gospel by repenting of their sins so that they can receive forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. May the Lord help us.

Translation by: Erik Brewer