Saturday, May 10, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind"1 (Lyrics)

John 13:34 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (NKJV)

Many of us know what a scourge Alzheimer's disease is. While cancer in its various forms seems to dominate the attention of our aging congregation right now, we have also had our share of Alzheimer's and dementia victims. The despair, heartache, and frustration these bring to loved ones has to be experienced first-hand to be believed. I have read many inspiring prayers for the loved ones of Alzheimer's victims, but this one, written for our Drummond Hill Presbyterian Church congregation in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, by our pastor, Rev. Wally Hong, is especially poignant and says it all, in my opinion. Let it speak for itself.

    Dear God, my loved one remembers me less.
    There, sitting alone in a world so far away;
           when our eyes meet, there is no recognition … no hello.
    The more I bring past joys to awaken the life that could be,
           the more emptiness I find in those beautiful eyes.
    My heart aches! My soul is full of anguish!
    Where do I get strength and peace?
    Be with me, O God! Give me strength to remember
           the love of yesterday
           when our hearts and souls danced together,
           when we glimpsed eternity and laughed.
    Give me the sight to see life that is from You,
           filled with possibilities of love …
    For I refuse to stop loving even in my deepest sadness. Amen.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a – Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (NKJV)

One of our church ladies died several years ago after a lengthy spell of Alzheimer's. At her funeral, two of her long-suffering daughters stood beside her open casket, beaming at me, and asserting, "Now she knows who she is again!" That is the language of rejoicing and of love.

Prayer: Merciful Father, we thank You that Jesus assumed our burdens and suffered for our sins. But some are assuming the burdens and suffering of their loved ones who are slowly slipping into the oblivion of Alzheimer's. Uphold those who suffer, Father, both the afflicted and their loved ones; enable them to endure. May those of us who are spared such agony of spirit extend our love, sympathy, understanding, and active help to those who undergo the experience. In Jesus' most precious name, we pray. Amen.

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Robert Norminton <>
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:


    Thanks for the good word Robert.

    Robert, this is beautiful. I would like to share this with others. My Mom died of this and it’s mothers day weekend as you know — so touching and comforting.

    Thanks Robert, please assure Rev. Hong of our sincere appreciation for the copy of his prayer.
    Thanks again – and all the very best to you.

    Dear Robert,
    I really enjoy your testimony “Alzheimer’s”.
    Thank you.

    Dear Robert:
    Thank you for your kind words. My mother died from wretched disease.
    God bless you always.

    Many thanks for your thoughts. Researchers believe that 1 in 3 over 65 will be afflicted by this condition so your reflection equips us to pray for and support those affected. Blessings.

    Hello Robert. Thank you very much for your devotional.
    You mentioned your pastor, Wally Hong. We knew Wally many years ago.

    How beautiful. I intend to keep this and share. Sadly, I know dear people who have loved ones suffering Alzheimers.
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful prayer and message.

    Many thanks for your encouraging words which speak to many in various situations of caregiving and separateness due to illness and the consequences re living arrangements and the resulting effects on relationships I have copied the prayer to tuck in my bible for daily contemplation. The words of the two daughters are particularly poignant! Blessings!

    Thank you Robert for this devotional. It sure is needed by many, and also by me as I am going through this sadness now as my close friend of many years is going through this sad passage. So many seniors are suffering this disease. One wonder what is really causing it.
    God bless,

    Dear Robert;
    As I read your devotional this morning, my eyes filled with tears. I know of what you speak. My husband suffered a stroke almost three years ago and some of his brain cells died. Although the doctors told me that he would be back to normal, either three months from the stroke, six months, or a year or two, he is not the same that he used to be. Hugging, holding hands and closeness no longer exist and I miss it. But as you shared in your devotional, it is by the grace of God that I am able to live and laugh and try to get a hug now and then! And…it could have been much worse, my husband could have died on that operating table. Thanks be to God, that I am being taught patience and love as I care for both my mother and husband.

    Good morning, Robert:
    Thank you for your Alzheimer’s devotional. My dad died with Alzheimer’s, so Pastor Hong’s prayer is especially poignant for me.
    Unfortunately many Alzheimer’s victims are left in a nursing home by relatives who are “pleased that someone else is taking care of them.” Sad, but true.
    I’m glad that Mom and my wife, and youngest son, and I all stayed by his side as we saw the disease progress on him. He knew, and I’m sure he was mentally thankful for whatever comfort we could give him.
    Here’s a short and meaningful anecdote. I understand it’s true.
    A man in his 80s went to a nursing home every morning to eat breakfast with his wife, a victim of Alzheimer Disease. A friend asked why he made his daily trip since his wife had not recognized him for the past five years.
    The old man smiled and said, “She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.”

    Dear Robert: Your contribution to today’s Devotional ‘says’ it all. Thank you.
    I have been extended the living privilege to be my wife’s primary caregiver each day now for six years. Her personal physician asked, “How have you been holding up?” My reply accompanied with a smile, “it’s strange how time flies by when you are having ‘fun’ …”
    She talks so often to herself as she studies her many 3-ring binders filled with the many memories of years past. Some of them include the times before she met me as a blind date over 60 years ago and then married followed by loving kids later. During supper I give her my entire loving attention as I listen to her exploits for the ‘nth’ time. In these moments set aside I ask her questions and make my own comments so that she, hopefully, feels satisfied that someone has finally listened. Yet she so often knows me not. I tell her my name followed by the tale of how we met which she loves to hear also for the ‘nth’ time.
    And now I must abide by her doctor’s repeated advice to admit her into a Long Term Care facility. It is there I will have to visit in order to be seen with eyes that know me not. Thus you see Robert, your words of appreciating are touching many individuals who now know that someone else who, besides God, they have never met, understands.
    Again, Thank you, and God bless.

    Very inspiring. My Father-in- law was stricken with this heart breaking disease, and when I dropped in to see him as I was passing through the town where he lived, a light went on in those blank eyes and he knew me. I had time to pray with him and ask about his soul (since I had had the wonderful privilege of leading him to accept Jesus as his Saviour before the disease struck). He told me he was all ready to go to be with the Lord, then as I gave him a kiss on the cheek, the veil descended and he went back to eating his soup as if I wasn’t even there.
    This news was such a blessing to his wife since she never found him lucid enough to ask him. God is so good!

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