Praying for Nursing Home Residents

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One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,”he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people.  A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’  The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people,  but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’” Luke 18:1-5 NLT

For those just beginning in nursing home ministry one challenge is to learn how and what  to pray for the residents. The response of some has been to give up. The nursing home seems so filled with needs. There are sicknesses, infirmities and loneliness on every hand. What are our small resources of faith in the face of so much struggle? When we aren’t sure where to begin a journey sometimes the easiest answer is not to start.

On the other end of the spectrum there are some who feel so motivated to help that they are ready to patrol the halls asking anyone they meet if they can pray for them. But effective prayer can only be built on the two legs of relationship and respect. In the story that Jesus told we discover a woman who daily went to a judge to help her with her legal woes. It may not have looked like the relationship we hope to build with our special people, but she did it the same way that we need to do.

First, she built a relationship with the judge and became a part of his daily life. Every morning as sure as the sunrise and his first cup of tea, the judge would hear a knock  at his door,  “Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy!”  she would cry. Every morning he began to anticipate her visit. In the same way we can also become a positive part of the life of someone who has moved into nursing care. Whether we are the hair stylist, nutritionist, chaplain or nurse we each serve a need in that person’s life. If you “never give up” in your relationship building the day will come when they will ask you to pray. They will tell us what they are praying for and when our prayers agree with theirs amazing things can happen!

The second leg of effective prayer is respect. Though the woman was persistent in her requests to the judge she never treated him with disrespect. She in fact gave him the honored position in her life of being the only person powerful enough to help her with her problem. When we give the respect of really listening,people will know and respond. Others sense when we are just being polite and when we really have an interest in them. Only Jesus can meet their every need,but when we build relationships and treat people with respect, they will tell us how they need us to pray and open their hearts to the one who can give them the answers that they need.

What a friend we have in Jesus  – All our sins and griefs to bear

What a privilege to carry – Everything to God in prayer

Lord’s Prayer

Love this clip because it shows people praying in all kinds of ordinary situations that we all face. This was banned from cinemas in the United Kingdom. I think that now even more people will watch it! Be blessed!

Joyful Thankful Prayer!

     Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God

Philippians 4:6

Sometimes I treat prayer like taking a ticket at the deli line. I take a number, then patiently wait for my turn to be called. When my name is called I feel sure that then I will get God’s full attention. Then after I am served I say something like, “Hey thanks – have a great day!”

But my reality seems to end up more like the man that Jesus met at the pool of Bethesda. He had been waiting in line not for minutes, hours, or weeks, but for thirty-eight long years. He told Jesus, “… but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”  Do you sometimes feel like that guy? Does it seem that others get the financial provision, the amazing career opportunities or the special thanks in front of the church. Do you feel that God has forgotten you and left  you holding the ticket that never gets called?

When the Apostle Paul talks about prayer to the Philippian church he gives quite a different outlook. His prayers were not made while he anxiously waited his turn. Paul did not have the idea that God was probably busy with the person in front of him in line. In fact Paul was so confident of His heavenly Father that he actually began his request by saying thank you. He knew that because of Jesus Christ his prayers were making their way immediately to the front of the line. He joyfully gave thanks even though he didn’t always get things just the way he wished (like when he was ship-wrecked, beaten, thrown in prison or treated as the least important apostle by his own church.

In fact, while Paul sat in his prison cell chained next to his friend Silas, he was so thankful that he broke out into song, Silas joined in and God sent an earthquake that unlocked the prison door. Wow, now that is an answer to prayer!

No matter what the circumstance, no matter how long we have waited, no matter what everyone else thinks, God loves not just a joyful giver, but a joyful thankful prayer as well. When God sees our faces he sees us as His children. God loves to hear from His children when we come to him with a joyful thankful prayer!Nepal and India 016

The Beautiful Garden of Prayer

This is one of the Hymns best loved which we use at Nursing Home ministry. The best hymns to sing are the ones that people will sing along with and this is a sweet and easy sing with a deep and personal message!