This morning I read a news article entitled ‘What am I still allowed to do?’ Whilst we are not allowed to do many of the everyday things we take for granted, praise God we can still do the most important and useful thing of all - we can pray! So, here’s some ideas on how to pray for the Christian healthcare staff who are part of our church family and those wider afield.
As a former NHS doctor, my heart goes out to all the healthcare staff, some of whom are my closest friends, who are facing this pandemic on the frontline. Right now, doctors, nurses and allied health professionals are facing increasing demands and pressures which they know will only get worse over the coming weeks. They will work ridiculous hours, care for unprecedented numbers of seriously ill patients and they will feel the emotional burden of dying patients and grieving families. It’s a grim picture, I know, but I don’t want to sugar-coat it: this will be tough, exceptionally tough. Our brothers and sisters need our prayer!!
So, what can we pray? Well here’s 10 ideas to get you started:
1. Pray for the peace of the Lord which transcends all understanding to fill their hearts and minds. (Phil. 4:7)
2. Pray for opportunities to share the hope and love of Christ with their patients and colleagues, pray for boldness to take these opportunities when they arise and wisdom to know how to use them.
3. Pray that when surrounded by pain and despair they will continually be filled with the joy of the Lord. Pray that they will see caring for the sick as a privilege and a way to demonstrate God’s love.
4. Pray for their safety and that of their families, pray that they will have suitable protective equipment and that they will recover quickly if they become unwell themselves.
5. Pray for wisdom to make good decisions, for skill as they perform various tasks and for patience with everyone they encounter (especially when they are exhausted, hungry and the demands seem unrelenting)!
6. Pray that they will be able to ‘switch off’ mentally when they go home, that they will have the emotional and spiritual support that they need and that they will have sufficient time to rest and do things they enjoy.
7. Pray for those who are separated from their loved ones, that they will feel connected to the church community and others who love them.
8. Pray that they will have the wisdom and courage to ask for help - both professionally and emotionally. Pray that help will be readily available and that they will not be embarrassed about needing it.
9. Pray that God will help them not to make any serious mistakes, especially when they are exhausted and working in unfamiliar areas, and that any mistakes they do make will be caught in time or easily rectified. Pray that they will know the grace and peace of God if they do make mistakes.
10. Pray against feelings of inappropriate guilt. Pray that they will know that God is in control and they will accept the limits of their responsibility.
Then after you have prayed for them, let them know you are praying for them, ask them for more specific prayer points and think about how else you can serve them at this time. Could you drop a meal off on their doorstep to heat up after a busy shift? Could you give them a quick call or text to check how they are? Could you offer to do their shopping for them when they might not have the time themselves or may not be able to find the groceries they need?
‘What am I still allowed to do?’ While some physical freedoms have been removed for a short while, praise God that we have the eternal freedom to boldly approach our Heavenly father who loves us dearly and controls all things!
CMF has also set up a wellbeing and pastoral care service which any healthcare staff or students can access for support during this time.
Check out #COVID1900 Prayer on CMF Facebook or Instagram every evening at 7pm where we are posting a live devotional and prayer time specifically aimed at healthcare workers but open for anyone to join together to pray for our healthcare staff, our nation and our world.
Any prayer requests or stories of answered prayer can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org