Weekly Devotions - November 14, 2017
Our Patients’ Prayers
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer...” (1 Peter 3:12, NIV 1984).
The cancer was not supposed to come back but it did. His dark, bald head was slick from a fresh chemotherapy haircut.
I asked him, “How discouraged are you with all of this? ”
“I’m not discouraged,” he answered. “I just think positive. And I pray for God to give you a little more strength, because you are the one taking care of my problem.”
We talk about praying for patients and we talk about praying with patients. How often do we think about our patients praying for us? Do we understand the profound value and potential power of our patients’ prayers?
I haven’t often thought about prayers for me, other than an appreciation of someone thinking about me. But our patients’ prayers for us mean far more than a psychological encouragement, just as our prayers for our patients mean far more than simple encouragement for them.
Do we realize how dependent we are on God’s Spirit to accomplish our purpose for our patients?
We are dependent on God’s Spirit to heal.
We are dependent on God’s love through us to comfort.
We are dependent on God Himself to take those who suffer and hold them in His hands of power and of love.
How much of this can we really do on our own?
Without God’s Spirit, we are left with the transient wonders of science and our fickle hearts of concern—not nothing, if it is all we’ve got—but so much less than the power and love and redemption God wishes to flow through us.
And for that we need prayer: our own prayer, the prayers of our loved ones and, indeed, the prayers of our patients.
Such prayer does not just make us feel good. It brings the presence of God into the room as we think and touch and care. Our patients’ prayers anoint us with God’s Spirit, who then reaches out through us to accomplish His great work for those who are praying.
The next time I hear a patient tell me he or she is praying for me, I’m going to chime in, “Keep it up, and thank you! You and I both need your prayers for me.”
Thank you that I am not dependent on my prayers alone.