NCFI Cares: Y is for Yield

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Y for Yield guides us in opening ourselves up to how God will speak to us through prayer. Prayer, like eating and sleeping, can become habitual and repetitive. A potential boring activity where we say the same prayers, at the same time, for the same things. We need a jolt to our prayer lives, an openness to God communicating with us in new and unique ways. Here are some Biblical examples:

Remember Moses and the burning bush—through a miraculous bush Moses heart and passion was moved to free the Israelites (Exodus 3).  Isaiah was ushered into the throne room of God. Where Isaiah heard the edict to confront the Israelites regarding their disobedience (Isaiah 6). And my favorite one, is the Lord speaking to a stubborn Balaam through his donkey (Numbers 22:28-33). Let’s not forget Peter, whose daily prayers were interrupted by a vision for the New Testament church (Acts 10).

The Lord can and will use miraculous ways to grab our attention and communicate his word. We can open to these interruptions by simple changes in our prayer routine.  Reading a new liturgy, attending a prayer service, or just sitting quietly and listening more and talking less;  these and other changes can open our hearts and spirits to a unique yielding.

Even if you are a prayer warrior and have a disciplined prayer life, jolt it out of the ordinary and yield to a new way and new passion for intercession with the Lord (Romans 8:27-29)

Blessings

“There is not only a sad and ruinous neglect of any attempt to pray, but there is an immense waste in the false praying that is done, as official praying, state praying, mere habit praying. People cleave to the form and semblance of a thing after the heart and reality have gone out of it.” (EM Bounds in The Reality of Prayer)

 

NCFI Cares: A is for Alert

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A for Alert reminds us to be alert to opportunities to pray with our colleagues. Many times our compassion and concern is focused on our patients and the holy interventions they need. We can also be alert to our colleagues, managers, and administrators. Whether it is a colleague worried about their marriage or stressed about their children. Or maybe it is a manager/administrator facing a newly diagnosed illness or disease. We can listen and support their tough life journey through compassionate prayer.

Alert also reminds us not to forget to stop immediately and pray with them. Personally, I get busy listening, consoling, and supporting that I forget to stop and ask them if I can pray with them. If the situation or work environment is not conducive to an immediate, quick prayer. Then, be sure to follow up with a text, email, or quick word letting them know you are praying for them and would welcome a moment to pray WITH them.

 

As we seek to be alert to the needs of our colleagues, let’s respond compassionately with prayer:

“There is a certain compassion that belongs to the natural person, which expends its force in simple gifts to those in need, and is not to be despised. But spiritual compassion, the kind born in a renewed heart, is Christlike in its nature, deeper, broader, and more prayer-like. Christlike compassion always moves to prayer.” (E.M.Bounds in The Essentials of Prayer)

Ephesians 6:18 With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints.

NCFI Cares: R is for Request

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How many times to do we seek God’s specific insight into a situation BEFORE we pray for a solution? Most of the time we pray for the solution—healing, relationship, peace, and/or hope. R for Request prompts us seek God’s wisdom and heart before we pray for our colleagues, patients and students.

Isaiah 55:9 says, “Just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my deeds are superior to your deeds and my plans superior to your plans.” In other words, God has a plan for every situation that is probably better than our own plan. Whether it is a complicated patient or challenging work environment, God is already at work. This doesn’t mean we just pray “God’s will” for everything. Instead, we embrace Romans 8:26-27:

The same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will.

Whether you are praying for a patient, colleague, or your leadership team, request the Lord’s Spirit to guide your prayerful heart. He will open our heart and eyes to the situation and filling our spirit with his wisdom. Then our prayers can be in conjunction with the Lord’s perfect plan.

 

“Praying men and women have been God’s representatives on earthy, but prayerless men and women have never been used by Him.” E M Bounds in The Necessity of Prayer

NCFI Cares: P is for Presence

Imagine the following scenario:

While a nurse is driving to work at a busy hospital, he prays, “Lord, help me to show your love and grace,” for each staff member he will encounter. He receives report on his patients and then, prior to entering each patient’s room, he quietly asks the Lord, “Guide me in being a caring presence.”

The day continues with the nurse offering quiet, timely prayers, “Thank you Lord for your wisdom and guidance.”  A patient, who is struggling with a terminal diagnosis, is crying and feeling overwhelmed. Prior to talking with the patient, the nurse prays, “Let me truly listen to this patient and to your Spirit.” Another prayer is shared, “O Lord, you provide miracles!” in response to the patient who survived a traumatic injury with a complicated surgery.

The day comes to a close and the nurse drives home, he reflects on his day and seeks insight into the unknown mysteries, “O Lord, your ways are above my ways and my soul shall praise your name.”

The above scenario is an example of how we can bring the presence of the Lord into our daily nursing practice. As we go about the demands of our work, we can pray with our mind and spirit partnering with the Lord in the work he is doing with our patients, families, and colleagues.

1 Corinthians 14:15: “What should I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing praises with my spirit, but I will also sing praises with my mind”77ba6-ncficares_3bloglogo

NCFI Cares: PRAYERWORKS!

 

As we complete our series on spiritual warfare, we will add the final piece to our nursing uniform. I hesitate to call this piece an accessory, for it alludes to something that is complimentary and can be left behind. Instead, I would say it is like our underwear (not to get too personal) something we need to wear every day. This necessary undergarment is prayer. “Prayer is the stitching that connects each piece of the armor. Prayer solidifies our righteousness found in truth, secures our salvation that rests in faith and equips us with peace and strength through the Holy Spirit” (Dameron, Stand Firm with Prayer, JCN article).

Prayer is not only required for spiritual warfare and faith, prayer is also essential for nursing. Through prayer we bathe our self, our nursing practice, and our workplace with grace and truth found in scripture.

In the coming months, we will discover 11 ways to bring prayer into nursing. Using the acrostic PRAYERWORKS as a guide, each devotion will build prayer into our nursing care. The hope is that instead of only looking for ways to pray with patients, we will find infuse our life and work with the pulsating presence of Christ through prayer.

“Failure has resulted from a lack of trust and a weakness of faith—and both caused by a neglect of prayer” (EM Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer).

EMbounds prayer

p.s. To get a sneak peak into PRAYERWORKS, check out http://wp.me/p4IKhl-6H