Prayer in Cancer

What the Patients Said

Authors

  • Gregory Brown University of Divinity
  • Jim de Jong Uniting Church Australia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.37067

Keywords:

Cancer, prayer, well-being, storytelling, grounded theory, qualitative data analysis, practical theology

Abstract

How do cancer patients pray? This article presents research into what was found within stories published by 160 cancer patients. A grounded theory methodology was used for this study. Almost equal numbers of men and women provided evidence of praying. A positive association of prayer with well-being was found. Some cancer patients utilized poetry or scripture or meditation. Others used petitionary prayer, for others it was intercessory prayer. However, thanksgiving prayer was the most common form. Women were found more likely to thank their friends whereas men thanked their families.

Author Biographies

Gregory Brown, University of Divinity

Gregory Brown is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Divinity, Victoria, Australia.

Jim de Jong, Uniting Church Australia

Jim de Jong is a lay preacher with the Uniting Church Australia. His research draws on his practice of medical radiations science and pastoral care.

References

Aldridge, D. (2000) Spirituality, Healing and Medicine: Return to the Silence. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Alcorn, S. R., m. J. Balboni, H. G. Prigerson, A. Reynolds, A. C. Phelps, A. A. Wright, T. Bal-boni (2010) “If God wanted me yesterday, I wouldn’t be here today: religious and spir- itual themes in patients’ experiences of advanced cancer”. J Palliative Medicine 13: 581–88. https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2009.0343

Avis, N. e., e. Ip and K. L. Foley (2006) “evaluation of the Quality of Life in Adult Cancer Survivors (QLACS) Scale for Long-term Cancer Survivors in a Sample of Breast Cancer Survivors”. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 4(92): 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7525-4-92

Bazeley, P. (2009) “Analysing Qualitative Data: more Than ‘Identifying Themes’”. Malaysian Journal of Qualitative Research 2: 6–22.

Beare, H. (2009) God in the Present Moment: Prayer in the 21st Century. mulgrave, Victoria: John Garratt publishing.

Bredle, J. m., J. m. Salsman, S. m. Debb, B. J. Arnold and D. Cella (2011) “Spiritual Well- Being as a Component of Health-Related Quality of Life: The Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy – Spiritual Well-Being Scale (FACIT-Sp)”. Religions 2: 77–94. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel2010077

Bringer, J. D., L. H. Johnston and C. H. Brackenridge (2004) “Using Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software to Develop a Grounded Theory Project”. Field Meth- ods 18(3): 245–66. https://doi.org/10.1177/1525822X06287602

Brown, G. m., and De Jong, J.W. (2018) “Cancer Storytelling: A Study of Well-being expres- sions made by Cancer Patients”. J Pastoral Care & Counseling 72(1): 37–44. https://doi.org/10.1177/1542305018754796

Carroll, B. (2001) “A Phenomenological exploration of the Nature of Spirituality and Spiritual Care”. Mortality 6(1): 81–98. https://doi.org/10.1080/13576270020028656

De Shakya, y. (2011) “The Prayer of a Zen Buddhist Atheist. Available at http://www.hsuyun.org/chan/en/essays/essays-from-clergy/byyinde/730-the-prayer-of-a-zen-buddhist-atheist.html

Dossey, L. (1993) Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine. San Francisco,CA: Harper Collins.

eib, L. (2002) When God and Cancer Meet. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publisher.

eisenhardt, K. m. (1989) “Building Theories from Case Study Research”. The Academy of Management Review 14(4): 532–50. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.1989.4308385

Fernández, W. D. (2010) “Using the Glaserian Approach in Grounded Studies of emerging Business Practices”. Available at https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/82890

Freeman, L. (2010) A Short Span of Days. London: medio media.

Grimm, R. (1994) “Rosemary Grimm’s experience with Ovarian Cancer”. Steve Dunn’s Cancer Guide Stories. Available at http://cancerguide.org/rgrimm_story.html

IARC (2012) “World Top 10 Cancer Sites 2012”. Available at http://gco.iarc.fr/today/home

Johnson, B. (2006) “Unexpectedly Lonely”. In Praying Through Cancer: Set Your Heart Free from Fear, ed. S. Sorensen and L. Geist, 172–73. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Koch, T. (1998) “Story Telling: Is it Really Research?” Journal of Advanced Nursing 28(6): 1182–90. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2648.1998.00853.x

Krause, N., L. Chatters, T. meltzer and D. morgan (2000) “Using Focus Groups to explore the Nature of Prayer in Later Life”. Journal of Aging Studies 14: 191–212. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0890-4065(00)80011-0

Ladd, K. L., and B. Spilka (2006) “Inward, Outward, Upward Prayer: Scale Reliability and Validation”. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 45(2): 233–51. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2006.00303.x

Lonergan, B. J. F. (1958) Insight: a Study of Human Understanding. New york: Philosophical Library.

Loose, L. (1989) “metastatic melanoma”. In Steve Dunn’s Cancer Guide. Available at http://cancerguide.org/lloose_story.html

macDonald, e. (1998) “Stage III Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma”. Steve Dunn’s Cancer Guide Stories. Available at http://cancerguide.org/emacdonald_story.html

maxwell, J. A. (2010) “Using Numbers in Qualitative Research”. Available at http://qix.sagepub.com/content/16/6/475.full.pdf

meraviglia, m. (1999) “Critical Analysis of Spirituality and Its empirical Indicators: Prayer and meaning in Life”. Journal of Holistic Nursing 17: 18–33. https://doi.org/10.1177/089801019901700103

mohan, K. (2004) “eastern Perspectives and Implications for the West”. In Ageing, Spiritual- ity and Well-being, ed. Jewell A. London and New york: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Nelson, J. N. (2009) Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality. New york: Springer Science & Business media.

O’Hara, J. (2011) “Lung Cancer Survivor Refuses to Be Another Statistic”. Stories of Hope. Available at at http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/SurvivorshipDuringandAfterTreatment/StoriesofHope/lung-cancer-survivor-refuses-to-be-another-statistic

Paal, P. (2011) Written Cancer Narratives: An Ethnomedical Study of Cancer Patients’ Thoughts, Emotions and Experiences. Helsinki: University of Helsinki. https://doi.org/10.30666/elore.78923

Ranson, D. (2002) Across the Great Divide: Bridging Spirituality and Religion Today. Strath- field, New South Wales: St Pauls Publications.

Renee, D. (2004) “Life with Stage II Kidney Cancer: Sub-Type Chromophobe”. Steve Dunn’s Cancer Guide Stories. Available at http://cancerguide.org/drenee_story.html

Seedhouse, D. (1995) “Well-being: Health Promotions Red Herring”. Health Promotion International 10: 61–67. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/10.1.61

Sorensen, S., and L. Geist (2006) Praying Through Cancer: Set Your Heart Free from Fear. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Strauss, A. L., and J. m. Corbin (1997) Grounded Theory in Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGe

Publications.

Webster, N. J. (2013) “Gratitude in the Setting of Stage IV Lung Cancer”. Annals of Internal Medicine 158: 71–72. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-158-1-201301010-00016

Published

2020-10-06

How to Cite

Brown, G., & de Jong, J. (2020). Prayer in Cancer: What the Patients Said. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 8(1), 27–43. https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.37067

Issue

Section

Research

Similar Articles

1 2 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.