Her Prayer for All Who Live with Dementia Worldwide

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Huling Hummel was asked by a mutual friend to write a prayer commemorating World Alzheimer’s Month this September. That doesn’t sound so unusual for someone with her background and credentials except for the fact that at age 57 she was diagnosed in 2011 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) before slipping into early-stage Alzheimer’s two years ago. 

Pastor, advocate, author, country singer, mom, and kayaker

Pastor, advocate, author, country singer, mom, and kayaker

World Alzheimer’s Month is the annual global campaign to raise awareness and to challenge the stigma that engulfs so many who live with dementia. (It certainly engulfed Martha and me early on.) The statistics are grim and staggering. It’s estimated that every 3 seconds someone in the world is diagnosed with some form of dementia (every 65 seconds in the U.S.). An estimated 50 million people worldwide have some form of dementia, a figure expected to triple in the next 30 years unless there’s an effective intervention.

It’s against this backdrop that Dr. Huling Hummel penned this humbling, hopeful prayer, lifting it up for each of these 50 million persons and their families; for herself and her family; and for the rest of us, no matter what crisis we may be struggling with, or not.  

(You may want to slow down and read this prayer aloud.)

Dear Lord,

Bless those of us who are living with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. When days are difficult, wrap us in a blanket of your love and comfort us with your presence and your peace. When nights are dark, give us a star to follow—a nightlight in the heavens to remind us that you are there—guarding and guiding us and lighting our paths. When we are discouraged, give us hope. When we are hopeless, give us faith.  When we are weary, carry us close to your heart. When we feel depressed or angry, soothe us. 

Wipe away our tears and our fears and help us to move from “Why Me?” to “What Next?” 

We thank you for our care partners, for our family and friends who are walking with us on this strange and difficult journey. Give us all strength and courage and a sense of purpose as we join our hands and hearts to help others we meet along the way.

Help us all to cultivate an attitude of gratitude each and every day. Remind us to look for blessings in every day, and for holy moments walking in the rain, singing a familiar song, reminiscing over old photos.    

Lord, we pray for the doctors and nurses and all who care about us and for us. We pray for the researchers who are searching for treatments, therapies and cures. 

Most of all, Lord, we pray for a world without Alzheimer’s. 

Thank you! Amen.

Dr. Huling Hummel is active in the ClergyAgainstAlzheimer’s network. She shared her story in a January 2017 issue of Woman’s Day magazine. Our mutual friend, Lynda Everman who helped make the Alzheimer’s stamp a reality, made the stole Dr. Huling Hummel is wearing above.

Thank you, our newfound friend, for opening your heart to us all.

Carlen Maddux

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