At the end of April 2009 Rabbi Ed Weinsberg was asked to offer a prayer to "kick-off" the annual "Relay for Life" in the Bradenton-Sarasota area of southwest Florida. This was one of thousands of cancer relays around the country aimed at raising the spirits of patients, survivors and their families, while raising funds for the American Cancer Society. Feel free to use this prayer privately or in a group setting.
We thank you, God, for the blessing of great health, when we have it, And for relatively good health while it's still ours! O, Lord, teach us to recognize that for most of your creatures, The cup of life is filled only mid-way. May we learn to see it as half-full and not half-empty!
Provide wisdom and skill to those who minister to our needs In hospitals, In medical offices, and in our homes. Grant patience and strength to those in our families Who share our lives in good times and when we're ill.
Bless those survivors who've been cured of the cancer that's afflicted them, And keep them out of harm's way. For those of us who have not been cured, give us the wherewithal to keep on going. Meantime embolden the efforts of those who labor on the front-lines of scientific research, As they seek to find the means to end pain, stress, disease and death.
Reinvigorate our bodies and spirits with Your love, O Lord, For You are the Healer of all. As it is said in the Bible: " Ri-fa-ay-nu vi-Ni-ra-pay - Hebrew for: Heal us and we shall be healed."
For in the relay of life, You are the source of salvation and help, For us and for all humanity. And let us say: Amen.
Ed Weinsberg, Ed.D., D.D., is a prostate cancer survivor, healthcare educator, and rabbi with a doctorate in gerontology. He sits on the executive committee of the Sarasota, Florida, branch of Man-to-Man, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. He is also the author of CONQUER PROSTATE CANCER: How Medicine, Faith, Love and Sex Can Renew Your Life. For tips on coping with prostate cancer, its treatment and side effects, visit www.ConquerProstateCancer.com or contact the author at Rabbi-Ed@ConquerProstateCancer.com.