Praying with Patients
By Jennifer Wade, DDS | September 06, 2016
by Jennifer Perry, DDS
You never know exactly what your experience will be when you walk into a patient’s room. We see people for such isolated moments of their lives and many times know nothing about them except for a medical and dental history, but people are so much more than just their teeth. How can we see them as the creation of God that they are and let them know we care about more than just fixing their oral problems or getting a pay check?
Working at a Christian community clinic has a lot of benefits. One of these is the fact that we are encouraged as dental professionals to pray with our patients. There are not many better ways to show a patient you care about their whole person than offering to pray for them. For the patients who accept the prayer, you can see their entire demeanor and interaction with you change. I can think of multiple times when a patient was either frustrated or anxious at the beginning of the appointment and, after praying with them, I could visibly see peace wash over them. We can do so much with our prayers. We acknowledge that all glory and power belong to God and that we trust not only our lives but our patients’ lives to Him. We can humbly present requests with and for our patients to our loving Father who truly can answer all of what we ask, even what with man would be impossible. We can be a part of the work of the Lord to change people’s lives. It also opens doors for further conversations where the gospel can be shared.
Even though most of our workdays are busy enough just trying to get all of our patients treated, it’s more than worth it to find a way to work prayer into your practice. It might be awkward at first, but the more you weave it in, the more beautifully you will see the lives of your patients unfold before you. You will know and understand them better and they will trust you more because they will see that you do truly care. Now, not everyone will accept, but it is worth risking the rejection to get to those whose lives you truly can touch.
Try bringing prayer into your clinic and see how God can move mightily through you.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15, NIV 2011).
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