NCFI Cares: Problem + Solution = Faith Lesson

In Acts 6:1-5 we read how the Hellenistic Jewish were being left out of the the daily allotment of food for their widows. So, the Jews made a complaint to the disciples about the unfairness of distribution.

“So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, ‘It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.’ “ (verses 2-5).

The early church had experienced rapid growth after Pentecost. I imagine the disciples were pulled in every direction and working 24/7 to facilitate believer’s maturity while extending the gospel to others. A closer look at this passage reveals how the Lord used this opportunity to not only provide a solution, but to also guide and teach the early church valuable lessons relevant for us today:

  1. When there is conflict or complaining, instead of ignoring the problem or labeling the spokesperson as complainers listen and understand the concerns. It was only after the complaint that the disciples recognized their priority as leaders—not to “serve tables or distribute food”.
  2. Seek the Lord for the solution. The problem and/or the solution may be an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to emphasize an important Biblical truth in our personal and ministry life. Thankfully, the omniscience God of miracles provides a solution while guiding us in living-out His will more fully.
  3. Finally, no matter how busy our work in nursing becomes, ministry is sustained by the two-fold, intertwined process of the word of God and prayer.  This lesson is especially relevant in nursing. We can get pulled in multiple directions and forget to take the time to pray and study God’s word.

Seek the Lord for the faith lesson found in both the problem and the solution.

77ba6-ncficares_3bloglogo

Advertisements

Providence and Prayer in 1 1/4 pages

I will admit, I am sitting here stumped, yet quite tickled at God. I was researching prayer for an upcoming Christian Nursing 101 article and pulled out my handy-dandy Christian Theology textbook. Why I have a Christian Theology and a Systematic Theology textbooks is a topic for another discussion–LOL.

Anyway, I looked up in the index and find one entry on prayer entitled: Prayer and Providence found on pages 405-406. The one entry and number of pages are clues.  So I turn to the pages and find 1 1/4 page discussion. Tucked away, almost a side notification is prayer. I will admit, I turned to the table of contents and look for the word prayer. Finding nothing, I return to the index and decide, in my ineptness to look up intercessory. Nope, still nothing more on prayer. This is it. One small section, a 1 1/4 page discussion on prayer.

Providence PrayerPart Four: What God Does

Chapter 18: God’s Continuing Work: Providence

-Providence and Prayer

This small section is powerful and quite informative for me and my writing project:

“It [Prayer] is not a method of creating a positive mental attitude in ourselves so that we are able to do what we have asked to have done. Rather, prayer is in large part a matter of creating in ourselves a right attitude with respect to God’s will.” The short discussion continues with Jesus’ teaching found in the Lord’s Prayer, “Prayer is not so much getting God to do our will as it is demonstrating that we are as concerned as is God that his will be done.”

My insight for the day in regards to this discovery is God has provided a means for us to join Him in his plan for our world; and he welcomes us to communicate with him continuously. Even though, at times we make prayer complicated, keep in mind the basics of the Lord’s Prayer taught by Jesus. Through these simple, yet profound words, we can never go astray and loose that priceless connection with the God of the Universe.

 

 

“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

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