If your family or friends have been touched by Alzheimer’s, you too have probably struggled every time you forget a detail or misplace an item. Fear plays a huge part of the onset of this disease.
Rather than remaining crippled by anxiety, I have found Psalm 71 an amazing antidote to the clutches of fear, especially as it relates to dementia. Below is a template for you to print and pray for yourself or someone you love who struggles with this concern. I encourage you to pray it often, until you can relax into the Truth within.
Thank You that I have an interior hideaway in You. May I never be reluctant to run to You, my refuge (Psalm 71:1).
If my own actions were the prerequisite to spirituality, I would be continually discouraged. Thank You for solving this problem by swapping my sin for Your righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). I can pray claiming Your righteousness to deliver me, rescue me, and listen to my fears about Alzheimer’s (Psalm 71:2).
Be the garrison of my mind, where I can continually come for safety when my thoughts want to conquer me. Thank You for mandating Yourself as the refuge city for my life. You are the strong fortress to which I can run (Psalm 71:3).
Rescue me out of earshot of the evil one, who continually whispers discouraging thoughts. Hide me from the tongue of this liar who desires only to execute, embezzle and exterminate me (Psalm 71:4; John 8:44; John 10:10).
You alone are my Hope. You alone are my confidence (Psalm 71:5). I reflect on all of the ways You have sustained me from the time of my birth to now (stop now, to truly think through some of them). Thank You, O Lord (Psalm 71:6). When I truly chew on of all You have done, my mouth is then full of praise (Psalm 71:8).
Even though my strength decreases because of age, I know You would never throw me out of Your Presence or abandon me (Psalm 71:9). The evil one wants to whisper, “You are forgetful!” or “The disease is coming upon you now!” (Psalm 71:10-11). But I believe that You sent Your Son on earth for the very purpose of giving me understanding that I might know You (1 John 5:20). Give me perceptive so that I can fulfill Your purpose.
You say, Your power is made perfect in weakness — that my weakness gives You an opportunity to display Your strength (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). You promise never to leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5) and that You will carry me even throughout my graying years! (Isaiah 46:4). Use my weak vessel to testify of Your strength even when I am old and wrinkled (Psalm 71:18). Clothe Yourself in my weakness so that the world can see Your glory.
Fasten my thoughts onto Your righteousness and Your salvation (Psalm 71:15-16). Keep my attitude fixed onto Your hope (Psalm 71:14). Thank You that when I hope in You, I am cleansed and renewed (1 John 3:3).
You have shown me much distress, Father. Now, I ask that You would show me revival. Lift Your people up from the depths of pleasure into which the world has immersed them (Psalm 71:20). Comfort us as You send renewal (Psalm 71:21).
Thank You, Father, for hearing my prayer (Psalm 65:2). Praise You for being a God Who is for me, not against me (Romans 8:31). Praise You that Your Truth is everlasting — even more permanent than the apprehension that I sometimes feel (Psalm 100:5; 1 John 4:4). Help me to recognize the devil’s lies instantly and always turn my thoughts into praise (Hebrews 13:15). May my lips be used for shouts of joy and my soul (thoughts and emotions) reserved to sing Your praise (Psalm 71:23-24).
This prayer is authorized by the blood of Jesus and signed with His Name. Hallelujah!
A blessing before our meal. . .
Blessed are you, God of all creation, whose very life permeates our world, and whose goodness fills our hearts with joy.
Blessed are you, who have brought us together as friends and colleagues.
Be present to us; continue to work in us the wonder of your grace, forming us as your people committed to justice and mercy, healing and compassion, in a world burdened by violence, injustice, and indifference.
Pour forth your blessing on us, renew and refresh us for our mission, making us effective leaders and wise stewards of your bountiful gifts.
Bless this food we are about to share, a sign of your goodness to us, bless those who prepared it, and who serve it, and keep us ever mindful of those who go hungry this night.
May our meal and this time nourish our bodies and strengthen the bonds that unite us in love and faithful service.
We ask this through Christ Jesus, Amen.
Every family member or friend who has dementia is Jesus on his cross. That man, that woman whose brain is being stripped of the life it once had is Jesus stripped of his clothing to be crucified. Those who can no longer handle their finances properly, no longer remember to take their pills on time, no longer bathe themselves, are Jesus nailed to the cross.
Holy Spirit, help me to look past what is so irritating about them to see Jesus suffering in them.
Holy Spirit, help me to separate from this disease their past sins and my memories of their shortcomings, and to forgive them for the past and not hold today’s deteriorating brain against them.
Holy Spirit, help me to remember that I am serving Jesus when I am dealing with someone who has dementia. Be my strength, Lord Jesus, to help You carry their cross. Father, forgive them, for they truly do not know what they are doing.
Holy Spirit, help me to accept the reality that the problems I am having with them today are caused by gaps in their brains, and as those gaps continue to increase, provide me with Your ability to bridge those gaps. But when I fail, help me to know that You are pleased that I have tried, lessening the sting of the failure.
Although it may be difficult for me to feel compassion for someone who is mistreating me through their dementia-driven anger and accusations, maybe even through eyes that never saw me the way I wanted them to, help me, O Lord, to feel Your peace as I minister to You by caring for them. And as You help me to see Your suffering in them, also give me eyes to also see You as One who is caring for me. Help me to become more aware of how much You care about me.
Thank You, my God, for Your closeness and compassion and for Your supernatural help.
© 2015 by Terry A. Modica
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This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’” Zech. 8:23
Gracious Father, every day, without exception, we need to be reminded of where history is heading. For we’re forgetful and fearful people, way too easily influenced by the spin of pundits and the banter of news-speak. We’re Cinderella with amnesia—forgetting who we are and Whose we are. We suffer from doxological dementia—able to recall the failures of others with more precision than the promises of redemption.
But a great promise you made through a minor prophet is the major headline we need to remember today and every day. History is the unfolding story of your commitment to redeem your pan-national family and make all things new through the work of your Son, Jesus. How could we ever forget such good news?
This outcome isn’t merely a great possibility or a grand probability but a covenantal certainty. For nothing will keep you from magnifying the excellencies of your glory through the work of your Son, Jesus.
Indeed, Lord Jesus, you are fulfilling everything in Zechariah’s vision. You are the “one Jew” of the Father’s promise. You are the faithful remnant of Israel. You are the second Adam—the only Nazarene in whom there was no guile; the Lord who became the Lamb; our substitute in life and in death. We lay hold of the hem of your robe only because you grasp us in the gospel.
Lord Jesus, in light of who you are and what you’ve already accomplished on our behalf, how can we not leap for joy? How can we not be moved to pray with great hope for our churches, communities, and cities?
Grant us renewal and revival. Send your Spirit to stir us up. How could we ever forget the glories of the gospel and the gospel of glory?
We long for a contagious gospel renewal to break out in our local congregations. We long for fresh rumors of your transforming presence to run through our cities—“We head that God is with you!” We long to have the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, the religious and the irreligious, the washed and the unwashed, the found and the lost, the unrighteous and the self-righteous come together to hear, believe, and live the gospel. Do it Lord, indeed, bring it to pass.
Why not us, Jesus, and why not now? We’re tired of playing church. We’re bored with ourselves. Magnify your name in our midst and in this hour. So very Amen we pray, in your most majestic and merciful name. Amen.