A selection from a letter by Robert L. Dabney to his sister, Betty. She was suffering from a severe case of bronchitis. The letter was written December 22, 1861. She did not recover from the illness though much prayed for and in the hands of the best medical care. Dabney told his sister how he framed his petitions on her behalf.
You cannot tell how much I have been affected and moved by your sickness. A large part of every prayer I try to offer is for you. Shall I tell you what I pray for? First, that you may possess a sustaining faith, and the ‘the joy of the Lord may be your strength;’ and that patience may have its perfect work in you. Second, that for the sake of mamma, and of all of us, rather than for your own sake, your disease may be speedily rebuked and your health firmly restored.
The Life and Letters of Robert Lewis Dabney, by Thomas Cary Johnson, first published in 1903, reprinted by the Banner of Truth Trust, 1977, p. 248.