NCFI Cares: S for Skill


Using the PRAYERWORKS acrostic we have explored simple ways to enrich our practice and our profession through prayer, as well as a reminders to pray for and with our colleagues. For this devotion we use the final S to remind us to approach praying with our patients with Skill. Originally when I created the acrostic, I used the word Sensitivity, which is important. At the same time, the more I teach, share and discuss spiritual care, I believe Skill is a better term and encompasses sensitivity.

Myself and other nurses on the teaching team for The Art and Science of Spiritual Care through NCFI include the many steps of implementing prayer as part of our nursing care: a complete assessment that includes whether or not our patient’s use prayer as part of their spiritual life; a discussion/teaching on intercessory prayer; exploring the nurse’s comfort with praying various Christian prayers; and then practice praying with a peer using our simple model. As you can see these many steps require skill and sensitivity to explore prior to praying with a patient.

We can rest assured that Jesus, our High Priest intercedes for our patients and that the great Advocate assists our patients in praying (Hebrews 7:25, Romans 8:26). There are times when prayer is the best nursing action. When it is isn’t, we can reach out with kindness, caring, humility and grace to be the hands and heart of our Lord (Colossians 3:12).

Explore all the devotions in PRAYERWORKS


NCFI Cares: Y is for Yield


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)


“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)