As a hospice chaplain, I have the unique opportunity of sharing very meaningful experiences with patients. My primary role is to be a listener to a patient’s life story, addressing spirituality and faith as it is welcomed by the person I serve. As I come to know a patient’s faith tradition, I offer various practices that, hopefully, enhance that patient’s connection to what he or she considers divine.
One of these practices is prayer. Since my faith tradition teaches that the only genuine faith is a freely chosen faith, I approach hospice prayers very carefully. Some patients welcome my visit, but consider prayer too personal or sacred to practice in my presence. More than a few patients have declined my praying in their presence, but express appreciation when I say, “That’s fine. I’ll keep you in my prayers.”
To patients who welcome prayer, I seek first to honor their faith tradition’s prayer practices. For example, I often say to a Roman Catholic patient, “I’m going to pray for you right now,” after which we’ll close our visit with a saying of the “Our Father.” Or when a Jewish patient has welcomed prayer, I will choose a prayer text from the Psalms in the Hebrew Bible.
Prayers for the Dying
As with many of my chaplain colleagues, I often pray extemporaneous, more conversational prayers with my patients. While my intention is to be more spontaneous in the wording of such prayers, I often use similar phrases that honor most faith traditions while resonating with my own spirituality.
The following is a typical prayer I use with most hospice patients:
“God, thank you for being with us right now. We confess that we don’t understand why things happen the way they do. We don’t understand why illness comes into our lives, but we do know that you walk every path of life with us. Remind Joe that you are walking with him right now. Remind Joe that you love him, no matter what he is going through. I also pray for Joe’s family. Give them your strength as they care for Joe. God, we thank you that you never leave us, that you never forsake us, but you love us. We trust you, and pray this in your name. Amen.”
The above prayer has some key thoughts that I hope my hospice patient will hear:
- God is always present with us, even when we may not be experiencing that presence.
- As a chaplain, I don’t pretend to have the answers. I join with my patient in asking the “whys.”
- God is with my hospice patient, especially in suffering.
- Caregivers also experience God’s presence in caring for their loved one.
- I affirm my personal trust in God even when none of us have the answers.
It goes without saying that extemporaneous prayers often reflect who we are and open us up to our patients. It is my hope that the hospice patients I am privileged to serve hear who I am and what I believe when I pray for them.
My desire is that they may experience God with them when they allow me to pray.
Barry Pennington, DMin, BCC
Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care provides complimentary grief recovery groups in all the communities we serve. Please call us at 1-888-564-3405 to learn more about our grief support program.
The Seven Commandments of Spiritual Care
How to Say Goodbye to Someone Who Is Dying
Is Dying Easier for the Faithful?
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Hospitals & Prayer Needs bereafbc 2018-04-30T07:17:29+00:00
HOSPITAL & PRAYER NEEDS
Monday, April 30, 2018
ST. FRANCIS DOWNTOWN HOSPITAL
Sharon Merck — 215
JOHNS HOPKINS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, FLORIDA Landon Tatum (Nephew of Melissa Tatum Rainey)
To the family of Pat Wood. Funeral service will be Tuesday at 11:00 with visitation prior to the service beginning at 10:00. Burial at Graceland West Cemetery.
If you would like to add someone to our Prayer List please contact the church office at 246-1921 or [email protected]
Doris Mauldin (hospital in Georgia)
Walter Haynes (Woodlands)
Gertrude Campbell (Heartland 115 West)
Rick Rickenbaker (Father of Chad Rickenbaker)
Bobby & Beverly Gibson (Brother and sister-in-law of Don Gibson)
Virginia Thornhill (Mother of Stanley Thornhill – Heartland)
Mason & Connie Speer (Sister and Brother-in-law of Nancy Mace)
Bob Armstrong (son-in-law of Gail and Alec Williams)
Jimmy and Elizabeth Kirby (Parents of Kim Kirby)
Bob Lunsford (Father of David Lunsford)
Sarah Batson (Friend of Tommee Anthony)
Kale Jefferies (Friend of Kevin Zahm)
Bill Wohlford (Son-in-law of Don and Linda Abbott)
Andrea Looper (Daughter-in-law of Dave and Beth Burgess)
Travis Satterfield (Friend of Emmett Farr)
Al Sherbert (Friend of Charles and Brenda Hall)
Jimmy and Brenda Smith
Renee Cathey (Sister of Peggy Peterson)
Emanuel Hospice Prayer Newsletter for January 15
Dear friends and partners in prayer,
At the beginning of a New Year we pray that God will “crown the next twelve months with His good blessing” (after Psalm 65:11) over us all, over our families, churches and over Emanuel Hospice ministry. May we all walk in this New Year accompanied by His presence, following in detail His plan and will for us in 2015, as individuals, but also as co-workers in His ministry.
Please pray with us this month for:
- God’s provision for Emanuel Hospice in 2015. We are totally dependent on God for all the resources we need, financially and materially to be able to continue the hospice work. Pray that God will choose and inspire those who will be or become our supporters in 2015.
- Pray that we will be able to progress with the construction of the new hospice building this year. Pray for the success of the campaign “Buy a brick”; pray that companies will be willing to support financially, with materials and services for the hospice building project.
- Pray that God will give a new enthusiasm and motivation for each hospice team member to continue to serve the Lord – serving the dying in our community, who so desperately need hospice services; pray that God will re-new His calling for the ministry to each one of us and that He will call other Christian professionals to join us at the right time.
- Pray for the patients whom God will entrust us to care for and comfort this month; pray that we are able to alleviate their physical, emotional and spiritual suffering and bring in the their homes the loving and comforting presence of the Lord; pray that they will get to know God’s salvation before they leave this earth.
- Continue to pray for Dan Ganea, hospice patient age 32; his illness continues to progress; his family is not at all religious, but Dan is open to the Word of God at this time and he asked for spiritual assistance from our staff; He started to pray and read the Bible. Pray that he will feel God’s love for him and be saved.
- Pray for Mia Lazau, hospice patient age 43, mother of six children; she is the only Christian in her family; pray that her faith will remain strong in spite of the progression of her disease; Mia’s youngest child is aged 5. Pray Mia finds comfort and peace in knowing that God will care for her children; pray that God will answer her prayers for the salvation of her children and husband.
- Pray for the families of our patients that they will spend a meaningful and qualitative time with their loved ones who are terminally ill; pray that they will receive strength and comfort from God at a time like this; pray with us for the families who lost someone loved recently (among them, Covaci family who lost their son Beni, age 9, diagnosed with brain tumour a week ago) that God will be near them with His comfort, peace and grace.
- Pray for God’s protection for the team members who drive every day to visit patients in their homes; we have snow and driving can be dangerous during winter!
Thank you for continuing to pray for Emanuel Hospice in 2015!