It’s that time of year when we hear a lot about setting goals, and eating right, mixed in with information about how to boost our metabolism and loose weight.
January not only rings in the New Year, and a time for us to reflect on the year before, it’s also recognized as National Thyroid Awareness Month. This small butterfly-shaped gland is located in the base of the neck just below the Adam’s apple. The thyroid is responsible for producing hormones that regulate our metabolism, as well as other body organs.
Thyroid conditions are just one of several chronic health conditions that don’t have a cure, and affect a person’s overall quality of life. Symptoms of a thyroid condition can include weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, challenges with conceiving or carrying a child to full-term, and depression to name a few. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other chronic health conditions include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and obesity.
In 2011, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; a thyroid autoimmune condition that affects 14 million Americans. Like the Apostle Paul, I have asked God several times to take away this chronic condition; each time I’m reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:8-10.
Even though God hasn’t completely taken it away, I have witnessed some steady improvements. These improvements have helped me come to accept that God uses this weakness to keep me humble and fully dependent on Him. In witnessing these gradual changes, I point to the power of prayer. Whether asking people to pray for me, or people genuinely sharing that they felt led to do so, I can’t take credit for God’s healing work in my life. My story is just one of approximately 30 million Americans that may be affected by a thyroid condition.
Because chronic health conditions are so common, chances are you or someone you know is living with one. So how can we go up to BAT for them this year? Here are some ideas on how to pray:
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Mark 9:23
Jesus asked this can-do question when He was in the process of healing a demon-possessed boy. One of the mysteries of healing is that it doesn’t necessarily mean God is going to fully take away a condition. Sometimes we keep the ailment, but He restores other areas in our life. Pray with the faith to believe that God will heal whatever it is He wants to heal. Pray for His sovereignty to be revealed throughout the diagnosis, treatment, and management of your friend or loved one’s condition.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
Pray by asking God for wisdom, guidance, and His intervention when it comes to treatment options for those you know with a chronic health condition. When we ask God through prayer, He is faithful in guiding us towards the right people and resources.
Ask God for wisdom in what to say and not say to your friend or loved one. Often those with a chronic health condition feel very misunderstood when it comes to their symptoms. Pray to have a heart of compassion and a listening ear towards them.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Pray for the faith to trust that He is in control of their condition. Pray for the faith to rest in His peace because our identity rests in Him, not the labels associated with a chronic health condition. Pray to trust that even though this condition might take your friend or loved one by surprise, it doesn’t take God by surprise.
When you pray for healing, what verses do you abide in?