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 2018-07-12T10:13:26+00:00
HOSPITAL & PRAYER NEEDS
Thursday, July 12, 2018
MEMORIAL AT PATEWOOD
JoAnne Blevins – 2125
ST. FRANCIS DOWNTOWB
Helen Batson – Debbie Fisher’s Mother
ROGER C. PEACE
Marie Granger — 2806
CINCINNATI CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Landon Tatum (nephew of Melissa Rainey)
If you would like to add someone to our Prayer List please contact the church office at 246-1921 or [email protected]
Sam Poole (Heartland)
Gloria Wade (Brookdale)
Walter Haynes (Woodlands)
Batsie Styles (Cascades)
Rick Rickenbaker (Father of Chad Rickenbaker)
Mason & Connie Speer (Sister and Brother-in-law of Nancy Mace)
Bob Armstrong (son-in-law of Gail and Alec Williams)
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)
Al Sherbert (Friend of Charles and Brenda Hall)
Kay Sykes (Sister of Peggy Peterson)
Nolan Cloninger (Grandson of Benny and Tammy Guest)
Landon Tatum (Nephew of Melissa Rainey – hospital in Cincinnati)
Albert & Elizabeth Harper (parents of Kay Looper)
Emanuel Hospice October Prayer Updates
“Call to me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty” Jeremiah ch.33 v.3
- We are very happy to inform you that the building programme has recommenced! Last week we signed a contract of sponsorship with the cement company Holcim, which will support the new hospice project giving us in a first stage 480 tones of cement. Pray that God will provide good weather this autumn in Oradea so that we can progress with the building works as initially it was planned (to build the basement). What a sight it will be to actually see the building rise! This will be such an amazing fulfilment of the vision given to Marinela who was chosen to take this step of faith. We need to pray for her and work alongside her.
- Please pray for the Buy a Brick! Campaign which is about to be re-launched. We need to sell many more bricks in order to complete the construction. Pray that many people will answer to our request and that this campaign will be successful.
- Pray for the patients and families assisted by Emanuel Hospice at this time. Especially pray for Beni, age 9, who is in the last stage of brain tumor. Beni knows that the doctors told to her mother that he doesn’t have any chance for cure and that he was discharged home from hospital to die. He asked to have a talk with an elderly from his church recently regarding baptism and was baptized at his request last Sunday. Pray that Beni will feel God’s love, comfort and care in spite of the progression of the disease; pray for his parents who are devastated to assist how their boy’s body deteriorates.
- Pray also for a little girl, Anamaria, age 4 who recently lost her Mom, in hospice care. We know God is concerned about orphans. Pray that although she is young, she will know the love of the Heavenly Father. Pray for Annamaria’s father and grandmother that they are comforted by God in their grief.
- Pray for the Hospice medical team. Every month they bring comfort to about 140 patients (100 adults and 40 kids). Pray for their health and God’s protection over each of them as they are serving these that are in need. Pray for restoration of their emotional strength.
- Pray for our colleague, nurse Annamaria and her husband Istvan. They were expecting their first child, a baby boy. From unknown reasons the heart of the little boy stopped to beat in the womb of the mother. Pray for God’s comfort and encouragement of the grieved parents.
- Pray for blessings and productivity of the National Taskforce on Development of Volunteering in Palliative Care in Romania. Emanuel Hospice is represented in this initiative and expertize group which is now developing a national strategy and the training curricula for volunteer coordinators across Romania. Our aim is to inspire more people to join our vision and to reach out to more hurting hearts, expanding palliative care services to the unreached communities in the country. Dr. David Levy is a highly respected American neurosurgeon, author of the book “Gray Matter, A neurosurgeon discovers the power of prayer”. In October, Emanuel Hospice and Scriptum, a local publishing company, will organize the launch event of Dr. Levy’s book into Romanian language, in the presence of the author. Emanuel Hospice will organize on October 29th a conference for healthcare professionals where Dr. Levy is invited to lecture on “Health: performance, humanity and spirituality”. Pray that God will use Dr. Levy and his book to inspire, encourage and be a blessing for many professionals with the occasion of his visit in Romania. Pray for energy and safe travel for Dr. Levy.
- Pray for the victims of sickness and poverty included in the hospice program. As the days are getting shorter it is time to begin thinking ahead in preparation for the cold winter months. We have patients who fear the winter. Because they wonder how will they heat their home and what will they eat. We pray to be able to provide those in need with basic food and firewood. Pray for all those patients who besides having to fight cancer they also have to face material deprivation. Pray that we can comfort them and give them the helping hand when the burden gets too heavy.
- Please keep in your prayers the families in hospice care who are very concerned with what tomorrow brings them.
Thank you for continuing to pray for Emanuel Hospice
Provided by Emanuel Hospice, Romania