“Everything starts from prayer” by Mother Teresa

VWXII1492894342

“Everything starts from prayer.

Without asking God for love,

we cannot possess love and still

less are we able to give it to others.

Just as people today are speaking

so much about the poor,

we too cannot talk so much

about prayer and yet not know how to pray.”

The Joy in Loving: A guide to daily living by Mother Teresa (1996) p. 43

Advertisements

NCFI Cares: S for Skill

7e133-ncficares_3bloglogo

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: R is for Rejoice

77ba6-ncficares_3bloglogo

 

R is for Rejoice. The definition for rejoice is to be glad, joyful, or to celebrate. Do we celebrate the works of God in nursing? When was the last time you enjoyed the perfectly timed answer to prayer? Maybe it was that much needed staff person or piece of equipment. Have you been delighted by the basic pleasures of life? An enjoyable meal with a colleague and/or a simple gift from a student or patient. What about the rewards of patient care? Listening as an older adult shares a childhood memory, laughing with a five year old’s cute story, or celebrating with a toddler who masters a new toy or activity, are enjoyable moments in nursing.

The idea of rejoicing in prayer is to remind us to recognize all the blessed moments of our work. While at the same time, take time to celebrate with our Heavenly Father who provided them. We are also reminded that celebratory prayers don’t just occur with worship and during our designated times of prayer. We can have a heart of gladness that permeates our life and spills over into multiple moments of the day.

 

Rejoice in the Lord, always. I say it again, rejoice. Philippians 4:4

Serve the LORD with gladness! Psalm 100:2

NCFI Cares: O is for Others

O for Others reminds us to pray for our colleagues, managers, and students regularly.  We can create a list and commit to pray for them daily or weekly. In the previous devotion, W is for Word, we discussed filling our prayers with scripture, so let’s continue with using the word with Colossians 3:12-17 (italics is the scripture):

We pray for our brothers and sisters in nursing, the elect of God, who are holy and dearly loved. We ask the Lord to clothe them with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. For those who work in units with conflict, anger or unkindness, that they would bear with one another and forgive one another, remembering, the Lord has forgiven each of us, so we must also forgive others. Lord, we ask for your help in keeping in mind love, which is the perfect bond and the peace of Christ. We pray for the word of Christ to dwell in each of them richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in their hearts. So that, whatever they do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. We give thanks you, God the Father through Christ Jesus.

As we live out our calling in nursing to care for our patients and families, let’s not forget our colleagues who have not come to know the mercy of God through Christ. As we honor God with our words and deeds and our love pours out, we pray for their eyes to see and their ears to hear the gospel of Christ (Matthew 13:10-14/Isaiah 6:9-10).

 

77ba6-ncficares_3bloglogo

NCFI Cares: W is for Word

W is for Word reminds us to fill our prayers with scripture. Even though the Bible contains many prayers, like “Our Father” in Matthew 6 and the “Lord is my Shepherd” from Psalm 23, there are great prayers in the Epistles. Paul’s prayer to the church is Colossae found in Colossians 1:9-12 is one, as is Ephesians 1:17-20.

We can also use specific verses and teachings to fill our prayers with truth and God’s will.  Many of us are familiar with New Testament passages, so here are a few from the Old Testament. Guidance: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). Faithfulness: “So realize that the Lord your God is the true God, the faithful God who keeps covenant faithfully with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9).

We can also use scripture to praise and worship God! “The Lord is my strength and my song he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him.” (Exodus 15:2). The richness of God’s word fills both our work and our conversations with God.

EM Bound motivates our prayer to take on a new meaning with God’s word with the following bold teaching:

Unless the living forces of prayer are supplied by God’s Word, even earnest prayer, though it may even be strong and noisy in its urgency, is, in reality, flabby, lifeless, and empty. The absence of living force in praying can be traced to the absence of a constant supply of God’s word to repair the waste and renew the life. Those who would learn to pray well must first study God’s Word, and store it in their memory and thoughts. (The Necessity of Prayer, p. 79)cf2e1-ncficares_3bloglogo

 

NCFI Cares: Our Global Prayer for 2016

Even though this prayer is a little late and comes from the United States, Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham, has summoned us prayer for 2016. Her prayer guides us in lifting up our self, our churches, our nations and one another unto the Lord.

The one-hour prayer is not only for January, but feel free to print it out and commit to praying throughout the year.

Preprayer 2016 by Anne Graham Lotz

 

77ba6-ncficares_3bloglogo

NCFI Cares: Y is for Yield

77ba6-ncficares_3bloglogo

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)