Many of you will know my dear friend Helen Austin. She is amazing! She’s a specialist in sexual violence, a brilliant activist (she runs the At Your Cervix Twitter account), a wonderful friend and an all-round marvellous human being. A while ago, I set up a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for her to get sessions with a specialist trauma therapist after some health problems seriously triggered historical trauma related to being raped by strangers.
After years of ill-health (including numerous hospitalisations, wrong diagnoses and death scares) Helen was only recently diagnosed with Hereditary Alpha Tryptasemia Syndrome(which is massively rare). Helen is the kindest, loveliest woman, and has been on an amazing journey of faith. Throughout everything that has been done to her and happened to her, she seeks to love God and make a difference in the world. And I LOVE her.
This week, the health problems that triggered Helen’s trauma have been diagnosed as Endometrial Cancer (stage 1). This is super rare in women of Helen’s age (she’s 35). She has only just got used to having a serious rare disease and now she’s found out that she has cancer. It is utterly devastating. Next Thursday she goes into hospital for a hysterectomy, which is super risky because of her other health problems. Then, depending on tests, she may also need radiotherapy.
There are lots of different kinds of Christians, and some of them (like me) believe that there are spiritual battles to fight. And with everything that is constantly thrown at Helen, I feel it would be good to dedicate some intentional prayer to battle the ongoing attacks on Helen’s life and wellbeing. As John 10:10 says, the enemy “comes to steal, kill and destroy”, but Jesus comes that we “may life, and may have it abundantly.” I know that for non-Christians and other sorts of Christians the idea of fighting a spiritual battle may not be your thing, but for those of you who feel convicted that there may be an ongoing spiritual battle over Helen’s life, I invite you to join me in a day of prayer and fasting for her.
Why prayer and fasting? In Matthew 17:21, Jesus explains that the reason the disciples’ prayers haven’t been effective is because some spiritual battles can only be fought by prayer and fasting. I’m sure people with much more theological knowledge than me have various explanations for what Jesus meant here, but I’m taking it at face value, and saying that those of us who believe we are called to fight a spiritual battle and are convicted to pray for Helen can join together, wherever we are in the country (or the world) and dedicate a day to fight against all these dreadful things that keep coming against her. The plan is:
DATE: Wednesday 29th January
TIME: When you wake up until 6pm
Fast from all food (or if this is dangerous or impossible for you, fast from using your phone or some other important life thing), and take time throughout the day to pray in Jesus’ name against whatever is seeking to harm Helen, asking God to breakthrough, to protect and heal her (including through the medical care she needs). This can be done around other work/home commitments.
Things to pray for…
- The operation to be successful.
- Helen’s high risk-ness not to cause problems.
- All the medical staff involved.
- Helen’s physical and mental health, and that she will have all the resources she needs (emotional, financial, spiritual, physical).
- That there will be no need for radiotherapy.
- That no evil will prosper in Helen’s life and that she will be released in to health, wellness and recovery from physical and mental health stuff.
- Protection for Helen and all those who are supporting her.
- Breakthrough, transformation and release.
- Anything else that occurs to you to pray for.
For those who are not into praying in this way, please pray in whatever way works for you. And if you are not the praying sort, and would like to send Helen a card/gift or other thing, do email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can organise getting it to her.
Helen is going to need ongoing trauma therapy, particularly as cancer has somewhat derailed the plan of processing her historical trauma, and if you’d like to financially support the GoFundMe for her therapy sessions, you can do so HERE.