Prayer Focus – 1

Other Nurses have asked for copies of spontaneous verbal prayers that have been made during the course of workshops and other professional gatherings.

Some Nurses have taken the songs sung at workshops and repeated them every day as a prayer.

Nurses from every religion have stated that they do not fail to pray and this is what keeps them going, yet they feel oppressed, suppressed and powerless. WHY?

Nursing With A Difference Trust and Council of Reference members are committed to praying for Nurses, their husbands/wives and their families every day.

However, the real answer lies in each Nurse learning to pray both individually and collectively, in a way that ensures God our Heavenly Father hears us, for only then will we have the assurance that He will answer.

Listening to Nurses concerns and sensing the desire of their hearts is the beginning of critical analysis of the problem of powerless prayer in Nursing.

  • Why has religion not helped according to our expectations?
  • How can we learn to pray effectively?

All Religions emphasize the importance of prayer, meditation and listening to God. This is primarily taught through certain rituals and formalism, with very often a dependency on the Priest, Holy man, or man of God.

These act as props. Human beings made holy by man, perform rituals with objects that they have made holy, with each interaction usually accompanied by a price paid in money, food or other goods.

All may bring a measure of temporary relief, but more importantly tend to produce a definite, even if unidentified, corrosive fear, that if not observed will bring forth the displeasure of God or of his/her particular deity.

The end result is a double bind that can be likened to the insidious burning/erosion of a patient’s live tissue by injudicious administration of Radioactive or Chemo-therapy.

What the patient receives in good faith ends up sapping his strength and ultimately destroying his life.

While both rituals and formalism have a place in life, in themselves they cannot give us the Life generating power of prayer.

The outcome of effective prayer is the joy of communion and fellowship with God our Heavenly Father.

It is a two way process that enables us to know His good, pleasing and perfect Will. Even when at times we have difficulty in understanding and accepting His Will, we can work through this at the Throne of Grace.

It enables us to develop confidence to stand firmly on His promises and to draw on all the unlimited riches of His storehouse through the storms and fiery trials of life.

When man’s communion with God was broken through disobedience to His only commandment for restraint:

  • “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
  • But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat,
  • For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).

Up to this time man had been sinless. He had perfect marital harmony and perfect communion with God the Creator.

From this time forth man, while waiting for the inevitability of physical death, has been as the ‘living dead’. Thus in the 21st Century we are faced with raging infernos fuelled with man’s fear, distrust and misplaced hatred one for the other.

The emotion of hate can be a powerful creative tool for good when directed against sin and injustice, but becomes a most destructive and evil force when directed and used by man against man. Sadly the latter appears more common.

This fact of life is well known to Nurses who are not mere witnesses of the ravages of life but are deeply involved in caring for those thus ravaged in life.

Very often the Nurse’s own family is the starting point with a stress filled or broken marriage; difficulties encountered in child rearing; conflicts. aggression and even violence arising from financial mismanagement or changing value structures with teenagers, or oppressive behaviors of the extended family resulting in co-existence – not to be confused with ‘peaceful co-existence’.

Sadly, many health organizations and systems are thinly veiled infernos out of which the patient/client escapes, despite, rather than because, of the care received.

Hidden in the word ‘ravages’ lies the poison of deception, lies and cowardice that cause disintegration, plundering, corruption, infestations, and seduction leading to ultimate destruction.

The first murder had taken place, the first judgment for sin had been pronounced, the first sacrificial act of mercy, and the first blessing had taken place, before man started CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD.

It took 3 generations of suffering caused by man’s rejection of his God given dignity and freedom to live purposefully.

In the first sin, man is separated from God, in the second sin, man is separated from man.

Man, the pinnacle and masterpiece of God’s creation, chose to allow his nature to become depraved and inhuman before he remembered God’s promise of hope and redemption through the seed of the woman.

Only then did man begin to pray so that God would hear and answer.

In this day and age significant numbers of Nurses are struggling in these cauldrons of confusion and chaos. Deeply disturbed, they are not only victims of betrayal but have themselves developed the dubious skill of betrayal. The mind of the Nurse is all too often in a state of conflicting tensions.

Adding to this state of dis ease, Nurses are challenged by the futility of ritualistic prayer; even though, out of fear and ignorance of what else may be possible, they are careful to conform to the pattern of the religions of the world.

The result is the “sick trying to heal the sick with everyone getting sicker in the process”.

  1. It has a deep cathartic (cleansing) effect on the one praying.
  2. Releases creative thinking that enables Nurses to address and manage personal and professional problems, dilemmas, and challenging situations with insight and understanding, often using unconventional effective approaches.
  3. Brings God’s promises into focus as relevant and related to daily activities and situations.
  4. ‘Stays the forces of evil’ because no Principality or Power of this World, Satan the Father of Lies, or any evil spirit has the power to stand in the presence of the Name and cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.
  5. Influences the lives of other people including the direction of institutions and Government.
  6. Lifts the mind, heart, soul and spirit;

Where service grows out of effective prayer it will be charged with unmeasured power of grace, true justice and mercy.

The only thing we know that the Disciples asked Jesus to teach them was: “Lord, teach us to pray.”

The LORD’s prayer recorded in the Bible, Mathew Chapter 6 and Luke Chapter 11, is very often rattled off so fast that it is virtually meaningless.

It has become a ritual to say the LORD’s prayer!

Yet within these words lie the key to every Nurse’s empowerment. Was that why Mahatma Gandhi said “Everyone should read Mathew Chapters 5-7”?

As you read the words slowly and thoughtfully ask the LORD to lead you into a deep understanding of each word and phrase, its relevance to your personal life, your family life, and to your work as a Nurse. He won’t fail you.

 

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