With a Prayer

St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City

I have prayed out loud with a few patients over the years at their request. I will admit, however, that I am personally very uncomfortable with public displays of my faith. I am not sure my prayers carry the weight and power that some people believe that they should. I feel somewhat hypocritical for that reason, as if I am selling a faulty product. 

That being said, I do pray privately for patients on a regular basis:

Please, God, protect my patients from my mistakes. Help your love for them to show through me…

When I pray for others, do I believe I am swaying God in any way? Not really. Prayer is not so much about others as it is about me, a sort of mindfulness. I need a reminder that I am a fallible human being and that I must demonstrate compassion to those who are vulnerable. I struggle with that from time to time, just like the next person. 

I could write a book on the various things people do to bargain with their God when they are desperate and in that respect I am just like them. I have my own rituals and my superstitions, my own pleading bargains that I have made. Some may mock me for that. 

Faith, though, keeps me sane. 

And that is good.

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84 thoughts on “With a Prayer

  1. Whether you are “swaying God” or not, you are providing spiritual comfort to those that desire it. During my years as a paramedic, I often prayed with people because they asked me to. Look at it as a variation of the “Ministry of Presence”. (just one guy’s opinion)

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I believe everytime I pray (for myself and others) I am bringing a concern or a need to my Father who then acts on that prayer. How He acts on it is His business and I trust by faith, that He has the whole thing under control. Not that I have always been happy with His plan….oh no, I have not and I have ranted and raved at Him and cried and even doubted the purpose of prayer but in my heart of hearts, I know He loves me more than I can ever imagine and that no matter what the outcome of my prayers, He will be standing along side of me to lift me up when my world crashes down or my heart is broken. God hears every prayer and acts on it, it is His nature but we have to remember that He sees the greater picture and that our job is just to trust His heart when you can’t see His hand. So please keep praying for your patients aloud and in private and let God do the work He has planned for that person (or situation).
    I love how open and honest you are about your beliefs and your practice. We should all be so lucky to have a doctor attending us who really cares for each patient. Bless you.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. We all life our eyes and hope in one form or another, to God or whomever/whatever. It’s human nature.

    And I agree and appreciate people who keep their faith relatively private, where I believe personal beliefs should be kept. It comforts and helps people.

    Lately though, a loud minority are hitting the rest of us over the head with their religion. I’ve been working on a post about this for weeks and can’t get it right. (A woman on a Crohn’s FB page commented to someone discussing her bloody hemorrhages by wishing that “the blood of Christ” comfort her. WTF?)

    I’m pretty comfortable saying that I don’t think you would do that!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel much about prayer as you do and have done my share of bargaining which we both know doesn’t work. We must remember how powerful prayers can be. When, I am down, I remind myself of how many Miracles I have received through the prayers of others and how many miracles that occurred when I pray for others. I love what Queen Robyn wrote. The best part of prayer for me is the communion I feel with my Creator and that presence physically felt within my body, mind and soul. We must always remember to praise God more than ask for He already knows our needs.Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Seems like people tend to be in pathetic situations when they start bargaining with God. I don’t usually pray, as I kind of lean to the atheist side. But I have occasionally found comfort in it. But usually it seems like a waste of time. If there is a God who listens to our prayers, maybe he/she would rather we we hold off and only send up our requests when we really need it.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I used to think I needed to save my prayers for the really big stuff, but a friend of mine told me God is really powerful like the sun. She said to imagine a beach with one person and then with 100 people. The sun doesn’t have to work any harder to warm the 100 people than the one person, because that’s how powerful the sun is. Now, I pray more often. I like to think that God and the “Law of Attraction” work together, but there are other factors…. God can handle lots of help me type requests, but I think God likes to hear thank you’s too.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post. Love your honesty. And I thought what you said was very well said. Our faith is between us and God and only between the two of us. How we pray is entirely up to us. He loves to hear from us any time in any way. All of us have questions but trusting the Lord to be true to His word is what we are asked to do over and over again in Scripture. And we are also asked to rely on His guidance when we can seemingly find no discernible answers. And again in Scripture, we do that by leaning on Him and finding peace through Him in all than transcends our limited human understanding. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m an atheist, although I’d like to think I’m not an obnoxious one. Mostly I’m more than comfortable with my belief system (or lack thereof). But there have been hard, painful times where I almost wished I could find comfort in something like faith.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bargaining’s in these days, so why not at church — “the prayer of the deal” could become a best seller. But seriously, I agree about prayer being more about seeing than getting. And faith being about perspective, balance, and calm in the storm. .

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I used to have a real hard time praying out loud in front of people, because I wasn’t sure if I could do it right. But I’ve gotten better over the years. It seems to help if I just talk to God from my heart. I’m curious about why you’re not sure your prayers carry the weight and power that some people believe that they should. That’s an interesting statement. I think God and the universe hear our prayers and answer them with: Yes, No, maybe, or wait.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some people/patients believe that certain people are more spiritual or more important than others and their prayers carry more weight. They “collect” prayers, believing that if they can get enough important people praying that God will be more likely to listen to their request. I don’t believe that. We are ALL equal in the eyes of God. My prayers are only as strong as theirs.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I always feel uncomfortable with public displays of faith as well. It feels like something that should be practiced in the quiet of one’s own heart. Being asked to participate is like singing Happy Birthday at the office part. So forced and insincere.

    That’s St. Patrick’s, right? How’d you like that restoration job inside? How about that ceiling? Not bad, right?

    Look at your readership. Astonishing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is funny you should bring up the Happy Birthday singing. That DOES make me uncomfortable, too. Funny. Hadn’t really thought about it. St. Patrick’s was astonishing beautiful. I got some great shots of the exteriors but it was locked up tight. I never got to see inside!

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  11. Prayer is faith, faith in knowing or feeling that there is something more than you in the universe. When you pray with your patients you are showing human kindness, and that’s a good thing. “Let go, let God”. Bless you, doctor, you may not have all the answers but you do have compassion for your fellow humans, and that’s a good thing too. ☺☺

    Liked by 1 person

  12. How many times at school – as a teacher – have I prayed and felt the same doubts that you express. But in my last school there was a feeling of compulsion that really annoyed me. A very apposite post.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It says something about our culture that we’re comfortable ‘cutting open’ a person in surgery or prescribing meds, but shy about praying with them. Prayer to me isn’t about religion, but about spirituality. About using the energy and vibration of the healing Spirit within us all. I applaud and appreciate your openness in revealing your thoughts to us, your faithful blog readers.
    When a close friend or family member is about to endure an operation, I always prayer for the doctors in his/her care. They need strength, resolve, talent, and yes, a loving spirit, to guide them.

    Liked by 1 person

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