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Praying with Patients

Todd Guthrie Brian Schwartz


We have found praying with patients to be a key tool to opening the door to a spiritual conversation. In this seminar we will discuss how we got started and how to make it a comfortable experience for both providers and patients. We will review several cases where prayer became the pivotal factor to achieving a great physical outcome with patients.



  • Discuss the value and importance of praying with (for) patients ΅ Identify “do’s and don’ts” in clinically based prayer
  • Demonstrate how to begin praying with patients 



  • October 30, 2015
    3:15 PM
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We're Father in heaven we just thank you for this afternoon for each person that's here. You know as we share a little bit about how the thought and I have learned how to pray with our patients such as present that would be helpful. For each one here to also learn a way that they can begin a spur to conversation with their patients. So I just pray that you would be honored that we would learn principles that come from your throne. And that you bless each speaker these participants this afternoon in Jesus' name amen. So I'm going to talk going to go ahead and get a started. So I kind of switched up my presentation from the last couple years ago some people repente but even to this before. Probably not. So far. I don't know if you're familiar with his statement. Success in any line demands a definite aim. So we're here to talk about praying with patients. And oftentimes when we decide we want to do something. We say well how do I go about doing it right. How can I actually apply this. And then we we can try to gather information so we can become more effective at it. And then we will see if we have enough motivation to continue right. If what if this really rewarding or not but I'm going to suggest that we might look at this in a in a little bit of the reverse that is. Let's first examine. Well this is how we do it application information. And motivation. But in order to be on target. Our motivation has to be. Be there right. And the right motivation. When we set out to accomplish something it requires planning for going to build something like this you have to plan. Now this building was built from the top down. You know that this isn't Petra. And when they carve these they had to start of the top and carve their way down. That's the only the wake can do it. But it in our case we want to start of the foundation and build up. So let's evaluate and settle our motivation why. How many people here would like to are thinking about would like to pray with their patients. OK. Why. Why do we want to do that. What's that. What's the motivation that we have. We love our patients. Do we know that we've been loved. And so we want to share that and prayer is an expression of. We bring God into the equation and his love for us. Now applies and them. Talk a little bit last night about identity. Can we identify with our patients and their needs in our own need. That is. We know the prayers blessed us and so we want to bless them. Do we do it as part of the healthy respect and on that we have for the Lord because we know that he's all powerful he can do all things that he can help our patients and. Is this a motivation that will last. Because in order to to keep practicing something. It has to be something that will last. Here's a motivation what manner of love. The father has bestowed on us that we should be called the Sons of God. We know that we have passed from death to life. Because we love the brother and so here's a test. Do we really appreciate the love of God. Is that flowing out of us to others in our practices. You know we can pray because we think we have an obligation to pray. But that's not really really the last. If we really care for our patients. Then it will last me love of God so loved us we also ought to love one another God's promise is a promise of a new identity for our patients so one of the reasons we pray with our patients is we want the Holy Spirit to come and influence the situation. We want him to indwell us and give us. Wisdom. So we do the right thing for patients. And we want him. We want our patients to have that sense that God is there wanting to walk in them and well. In them is a Cessna sekret the in six sixteen. We want them to become to recognize the power of a new identity. And this is a slide from what we presented last night identity matters. And the science. Social science is pointing that out. Today. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the whole has understanding. You know we can plan and try and avoid complications we can try to make the best decisions. But if we don't have the Holy Spirit. There with us. Guiding us. Will make more mistakes than we would otherwise of course. The fear of the Lord tended to life and he that hath. It shall abide satisfied he should not be visited with evil so healthy fear and something that's in. As we talk about the seeds that we're planting that we want to plant in our patients minds in terms of bringing their awareness of God's involvement in their life to the table is something. They will. We want them to have a root in themselves and. When you have someone who is caring for you as a professional. And they're really good at what they do. And they they bring something to bear in the equation. The. The people that. That have that type of ministry or that receive that type of ministry that influence will endure with him I've had patients who come back and tell me what prayer is done in their lives thank you so much for praying for me. Here's the change that's happened people of quit smoking. Quit drinking. Change their lifestyle become vegetarians or beacons they've started exercise programs and. There are now. Well it's now almost an expectation. I've had patients get offended if I forget or I don't. I don't pray for them. Some. Because as they expect. So some research is there on Perez part of health care I don't know how many of you are aware of this book but it's actually. Dr keening has been out of Duke high. Assume he's still there this is the third edition of his book. And I would courage to buy this I have a second edition. In my library. Spirituality in patient care. Why how. When Hannah what. Here's my point. Use the information or. You know this is an acronym for. You know you want use in usable information so that's why you use here. Something that's understandable so to understand why we should pray with patients. The support that's there. Then you know. Of. Self. Of the literature that's actually available should be something. Understandable. And doable. And hopefully and. When we get to the end of this session you'll feel like this is something you can do. Also the ass stands for safe. That is. If you go in and you just assume that every patient is going to appreciate you praying for them when you come in with you know. Fortunately I'm going to pray for you know. That may not be safe in their situation you don't know where they're coming from so it takes time to get a report with the patient. What is their interest level what's their level of spirituality and Canucks book. He can he actually deals with this in his book you know where the spiritual interventions like prayer can be harmful if they're just done. Roughshod like that so it needs to be a nuanced thing where we actually find out where the patients are at. But it's actually are affected which all show you. In a moment. So realize what's effective in your practice and build them on what works there. So understandable safe and effective. And I think this book is a good resource. So I don't you can read this are not high. In previous years I've put some information that he had in his book but this is actually I just went online and googled prayer in medical practice. And here's two research articles. One out of South America where they're looking at cancer patients and showing that. Praying a belief in the efficacy of complimentary alternative medicine. That is in prayer. Correlated significantly with overall better quality of life. And here's one out of the Middle East. This is out of Iran. At the medical center of his fun University. Similarly working with cancer patients a positive effect of. Praying in supplication on the life quality. Patient So there's on probably every cop. Continent there's evidence that. Prayers import certainly prayers important in most cultures and. But our best resource of course is Christ for example. And we know that he prayed daily. Pray for his disciples prayed for us. Those who would believe after them. And I like this quote Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray. When Prayer is the key and the hand of faith on Locke heaven storehouse. Where are treasured the ballasts resources of omnipotence. I believe this to be true I've actually had patients. Tell me I actually was someone I was working with and working in a couple of different locations and. One of the. The medical assistance that works with me. He was telling a patient that he believed I had a lower complication rate because I prayed. Patients. And I you know something. I believe that's true. Yes. Ninety eight. Yes he. Well I recommend canings book because he takes a very studied approach that in. And there are. You know a good study has control subjects some people are paid for and others not they fit some on the cardiac unit was with people who've had him eyes and their outcomes. And the patients actually being blinded to CSMA and prayed for some of those studies are there. Brian you may be familiar with some of those as well so there are controlled studies in that respect now anything that you know prayer what is prayer. Is it. You know a Muslim chant. In Iran. For someone is it a Buddhist prayer for you know they've they've studied Buddhist prayers they've studied. You know Christian Grey parrot. So that's one aspect of it is the research. You know in actual studies you can see there's clinical evidence that points this direction. The other is social logical these two are more social logical. These people felt they had a better quality of life because someone was paying attention. To their spiritual needs. And that's an important outcome as well because quality as defined by the patient is what's driving some of the reimbursements and health care will be in the future right so just being aware of patients. Own needs their desires their own belief system. We're not here to push people's arms to believe something differently. We certainly encourage them if it's something we believe is helpful to their to their life. So the next thing then we've we've looked at motivation. We've looked at usefulness of a good information. So how do we start applying these principles so. I would encourage you to look to transform your practice by making a start in this area so I'm using another acronym I apologize for all the acronym sometimes in the profession Hey Chris it was acronyms and maybe that's the case but you know I think you'll agree. Find something simple to do. Don't view this as a huge mountain. Brian. Dr Schwartz actually was praying with his patients before I did in fact it was his talk on praying with his patients and inspired me to think well. I can try this. And there was a. There was a psychological barrier to it. You know he is like a hurdle. How do I go about this. But I just started with something simple. You know ask the person you know do you have any belief in a higher power who can how something like that and if they do. They may have prayed for you. And then look for. As you evaluate where you're doing simply see. See what is actually transformative you'll get feedback. Patients will be excited. Or they'll be telling their friends and some will come and say how I hear you. I hear you prayed for so and so and I want you to do that for me. So when you actually see changes starting to. Her. That's also encouraging and tells you that you're on the right track. Said goals that are achievable. So do you do I do I want to pray with every patient. Well that's probably not achievable because not everybody's going to want that right. Some people are agnostic or atheist or what have you. Where they might find it offensive I had a. Atheist over my office and. I have a particular form which I'll show you in a minute that I used to start the conversation with patience on this one not just prayer but also on lifestyle and some other issues and. He didn't even want to talk to me and tell he talk to me about this for. Like I want to fill out this form you know why are you. You know you said look I'm just trying to find out where people are coming from. You're an atheist that's fine I'll treat you like anyone else I'm not going to do anything different for you clinically than I would. But now I know where you're coming from so it's all fine as far as I'm concerned. So no need to get in the argument or anything it's just it's fine so something in Chiva will find something or apply. This in a way that's rewarding for you and your patients. It's you should see should feel those rewards you should feel the patient's appreciation for it. And then share it with someone else tell someone else that's how it. What happened. Inspired me to to start praying with my patients of Brian telling his stories of. And I'll tell you some of these in a moment here as well so. Share it because actually when we speak something when we share what's happened in the courage but of it that it encourages others to consider the same. So here's a form that I actually use in my office. And I think it was Dr David De Rose who actually pointed out this study and I thought it was. It's actually just a survey from the N.H. of patients in two thousand and two when they did this survey. They surveyed people to see what complimentary and alternative therapies. They were interested or using in. For those that are actually using in there to help their health. And so you see the top two are prayer prayer for my own health care by others for my health. And then down of the fifth one is participation in a prayer group. Meditation is probably related so out of the top six. Pretty high percentage that involves some type or prayer or meditation. You have natural products deep breathing yoga car practic of course I don't necessarily prescribe or recommend. All of these but. This tells me where people are coming from and then diet based therapies. So I actually broke it down to what. Pay find out what patients have used what they are using what they might try so if they're willing to fill out this form I can kind of get a sense of where they're at in terms of where I can interact with them not only on the prayer level but also on lifestyle if I want to give them some good information there. So if anybody wants this I'll be happy to email it to you just let me know afterward. This data is taken from two thousand and twelve it's a few years ago but I would say that it still roughly. Approximates what happens I went and looked pulled my charts because actually. If I want to pray with a patient. What I like to do is I want to know if they're amenable to that. Right when I meet them. I want to see where they're coming from the first time I meet them once I find that out. I make a notation in the chart. Now it's an electronic medical record I just put a little P. and one of the. Basically the social history fields. That's enduring. In the medical records. You understand. And so the next time they come in I can just scroll there I can see it's a P. or it's an N.P. or it's at P. with the parentheses in a J and in Princes you know that his message of hope is witness. And operated you homo in Jesus' name. And from. Most job as witnesses that's perfectly acceptable. So you can find out about people's spirituality in their parent needs. So what an average day I'll pray with eighty five percent of Mormon patients as a routine part of their medical care. So you can see the prayer and a prayer breakdown. From that particular review I did. So what do I pray for for my patients. Well I pray that God will provide power for desired lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking or improving diet. People realize that you know motivation for them is a big issue. There are their own. You know who am I what do I want to how do I want to behave. What. What actually motivates me. And so. God will provide that power for them in their stories of that. Just within the last month I had someone tell me that they had quit smoking and. It was time to this effect. I pray that God will provide for the needs of patients family members. They have. And the patients will often stop me before I pray and say well hey could you pray for my daughter. She's having this surgery and. By all means you know include that in the prayer. So it basically involves It is a family or a wider activity. I pray that God will bless the outpatient treatment. Recommended or provided it is our treatment plan ask the Lord to guide and direct and that. And certainly if there's any surgery I'm a surgeon orthopedic surgeon so. I want any surgery to go well. And when I pray in the office. I find it much more conducive to a thoughtful reflection time in appreciation then right before surgery when people are being wheeled back or in the outpatient area and there's a big. Disturbance going on around them it's hard to necessarily get that time. So I find it useful. What are some of the blessings that have come from this. I found for my own self that I tend have a better attitude with difficult place to because especially if I've prayed with them before. I know I'm going to pray for them again. And I can't get too bent out of shape because I'm going to pray for them at the end of the visit. So it helps. It helps center my own experience and my own identity and motivation. And the hospital chaplain is frequently. Given positive feedback regarding surgical patients who go to pray with the patients and say oh yes Dr got three pages in the office. And it was such a blessing and. Yes pray for me and so he gives me all kinds of positive feedback. And most hospitals do have some Chaplaincy Program so. To identify those patients and encourage them. Head of time with prayer. Makes the chaplain's job easier. And as a witness to him as well or her. And the pastors in the community of course know that some of them actually are my patients. And so I pray for them. And there's a community effect there's actually awareness that develops in the community. That prayer matters in this practice. And people have an appreciation of that. That I was surprised I live in Northern California and. It's kind of a secular area there are some you know new age. Type things going on Buddhism and people that have no religion. But eighty five percent of my patients are OK with the brain within you know some. Most are excited about it or they're very happy with it and. Buddhists I don't know if you're familiar with it as I'm but Buddhism is pretty eclectic. And what it will accept. And so. Most Buddhist will accept prayer from anyone. So just because someone's a Buddhist don't feel restricted because if you offer to pray for them. Most likely accept that. And then prayer of course is a bridge to sharing other materials and information of someone's very hope and warm to prayer and you can see that the Holy Spirit is there and there's a response you can gauge people's faces in their. Their response then. If there are other problems. You can enter into that. Just two weeks ago or so I had a gentleman who was in tears in my office. Just severely depressed. And so I spent probably thirty thirty minutes. In addition with him just breaking down for him. What things could be done for his depression lifestyle. Praying for him and doing a little cognitive behavioral therapy. There in the office you know evaluate your thoughts are you really thinking accurate thoughts and. And then he's a Christian. So you know obviously praying for the Lord to provide the thought patterns that would help him as well. So anybody nor This is Brian this. As the pool of IF as the SO Christ healing ministry. Is to be effective for everyone. He'd like to heal. All he wanted to kill everybody this pool. But we should. Through prayer. Be interested in our own patients. Not only their physical outcomes but their spiritual outcomes as we ask them if they want to be made well. We should Hoffer to them prayer as part of that equation. All right. Well off again Good afternoon everyone of them. Just a couple of simple points and I'll go through some illustrate. And so why pray. Why pray with patience. I could give you an actually very cynical reason why all of you should do this it makes a patients think that you care about them beyond just doing that as it helps you get done with the appointment faster. They feel like they get better care. In every For all their friends and family inter chambres back to you and so there for that reason alone. You could make the argument to pray but those aren't the good reasons to do it. So I think there are some powerful reasons to do it Todd. Whenever these in detail and it's going to do this again real quick but again and parts hope and a divine healing so we all believe that there's a true source of healing who are not the elf one really not the ultimate healers. True healing comes from God. And so it's like the Macintosh said this morning if we're giving people a list of things to do but we don't point them to the power to make those changes. That's a very legal stick approach. So it points to the Divine Hope for healing. There's only one true source of healing. That helps keep in perspective. Myself and keeps me humble. And it goes beyond what is expected in it opens the door to a spiritual conversation. And so that's really what this is all about. There are other ways you can open a door to spirits a conversation you could just focus purely on health and in little by little. Introduce them to help out riches of your church and do that by praying people know you're a spiritual person. So I'm going to give an example of how this keeps me humble I had one of my partners has a patient who is a Jewish rabbi He's also a scholar. And he came in with a complete heart block his heart rate was in the twenty's. Every time he stood up to get real dizzy normals passed out and he actually came in because he passed out. And he has some visual problems he's in his mid to late seventy's. And he just said no way I don't want to pay snicker. But my partner so I'm going to have Dr Schwartz to sleep come talk to you about it. And I came in again the standards feel this is very simple pacemaker we can do it in about an hour it's going to take care of this problem is going to connect the upper chamber of your heart back to the lower chamber of your heart so your heart will go the natural right that's supposed to go all these good reason he says. You know I've had to go a long life. That's fine. I don't want anything else not at this point. And I said fine. I suppose one of the things they often do with all my patients is to have a prayer with them and by the way that's how I present to people the opportunity to have a prayer I don't force them no wait toddler is a concern. I just merely offer one of the things I offer to do this is and I'll just rolls off the tip of my tongue so easily that. I would encourage you to come up with something very similar. That just works. You're offering it. You're not forcing at you're not imposing it on then you're just making it available one of the things they offer to do is have a prayer. Is that something you'd be interested in. He's Jewish she's a Jewish rabbi but he took my hand he says that would be wonderful. And so I said a prayer for him. I just President of the blessed seaman giving was dumb and. Bless his family and at the end I ended the prayer and he had tears in his eyes and he looked up at me and he said Doc I go ahead and have that pacemaker. Another is the privatization of that opens the door to health. Have insight into what they need. Curiously. My wife and I then met with him once or twice a year for several years later at a restaurant where we had continued spurts of. Versation. And where appen arrow one time I went up to pick up the order he was just sitting there talking to Lindy and. He said you know what I what I really thought when your husband came in and any. And he said this prayer for me in this is what he told his life. He told us he went over told us life but he said no it's. Praise God I found a doctor who doesn't think he's got based on that alone he was willing to entrust them suffer me to go ahead and put a pacemaker in. That's an interesting thing another story talking about opening a spiritual conversation. So one of the things about being physicians is we have access to people of all walks of life. Have for some five hundred people that live in gated communities fly around in their private jets and I would never see them apart from seeing them in a medical practice. And so that's one of the benefits of being in the fields that we're all in the medical field. We see people that might be homeless. To people to fly around in their private jets and everybody in between. One of my patients the chief of the fire department one of our town's pretty big tough guy he works out all the time he's doesn't feel I could be afraid of anything to get away to have a New York valve replacement surgery and I wasn't doing the surgery back then but. I met with him before he went back for surgery and just said well one of the things are for do is have a prior with that the OK and he just was like oh document got a scared so he took my hand and prayed with AIM and actually that same time to to curtains down another patient. Asked the nurse if that doctor to come over and pray with them like don't know you but sure activity that. This isn't an F.D.A. house thrower we have a law. Chappell if they were. They're all open to that so I pray where they we talked for about five or ten minutes to get ready come back use of Doc I'm so scared could you pray with me one more time. And that's all I did ahead to press with him I see this guy now in the office. Every year since is there to govern placement wheezy. Listen to make sure everything's OK and just check it. And two or three years went by this big tough guy doesn't go to church. But all of a sudden on the third visit three years down the road he just said at the end of the. Almost the end of the day I had two patients to go. He's in the room. Quick visit ten minutes in an outrageous. Say goodbye had a prayer with him sees things off or do is have a prayer and he was like oh yeah to be great and then get right to walk out the door of a doctor and I asked you questions. So I asked sir. He says well you're a spiritual guy. Why do you believe in the Bible. Why do you believe the Bible is true. Well that's most of the ten minutes. Gusts forty five minutes later my nurse was knocking on the dirt like you've got to our faces. But what I realize about that if you live your life in a spiritual way over people know your spiritual. He doesn't have a church to go to he doesn't know friends perception really that he might ask these questions but he knows that he can come ask his doctor in a safe environment. A spiritual question. And you're after that. Doc why do you believe in creation. Another forty five minute discussing my nurse now puts him at the end of the day. It opens the door sir for conversation let me just my first slides. Sorry about that but Ministry of healing page one hundred eighteen. Wonderful are the opportunities given to the Guardians of the sick. Were all Guardians of the sick. So and all that is done for the restoration of the sick let them understand that the physician is seeking to help them cooperate with God. Income batting disease. Lead them to feel that every step taken in harmony with the laws of God they may expect the aid of divine power. They may expect the aid of the divine power or supposed to teach them how to cooperate. Ninety percent of the diseases that I see our lifestyle illnesses it's from people probably even deeper than just eating the wrong foods. They're probably medicating their psychological problems their lack of self-esteem their trust. Just in our society that's so pressured. There are all kinds of things underneath that that we don't even hardly recognize and as a doctor I barely have time to deal with that in today's world. But by pointed them to the true source of healing. They can. They can be pointed to the place of success. Ministry of healing page one hundred eighteen the second suffering will have much more confidence in the physician who they are confident loves in fears God. They rely upon his word they feel a sense of safety in the presence of the ministration of that physician. And so just like the Jewish Rabbi I have more confidence after I prayed with him your patients are going to have confidence in you if they know that you believe in God And so that's a powerful. Reason to do that one more quote from Minister of healing. So knowing the Lord is the Perlas of the Christian practice and or by prayer to invite his presence and of the sick room. Before performing a critical operation let the physician. Ask for the aid of the Great Physician. Let him. Assure the suffering one that God can bring him safely through the ordeal that in all times of distress he is a sure refuge for those who trusted him. The physician who cannot do this. Loses case after case that otherwise might have been saved if he could speak words that would inspire faith. The sympathizing Savior who feels. Every throb of a question could prevent the knees of the soul to Him in prayer. The crisis would often oftener be safely passed. Now when I was just a few years into my cardiology practice. Kind of struggling to figure out how to practice medicine medicine was kind of just a job. I want to miss interrupts. That was ministry I was involve their churches stop smoking clinics and some health work. That was mystery but work was work ministry was ministry in the two were fairly separated. And I was becoming to feel. An emptiness that I needed to do something more. Sadly having gone through Loma Linda University I think I remember two times when I saw that tending prayer with the patient. I did do a rotation at wild with Dr David duros and. That was what Believe it or not has an emergency room we had one patient that must come through the emergency room. He was the guy that had a big a laceration just over his or her his temple on the side he was very hard of hearing and all crusty guy couldn't really remember his name I was but I did saw him up next a very young doctor Dr said to me. Good job now are going to do the most important thing. Well what's the most important thing or have a prayer with him. Oh yeah. I could do that and I never member's name. He was very hard of hearing. They was very uncomfortable. But it's like dear sir. Lord bless the first son and. Try that the slow heal up quickly I don't have a clue what I was doing and I was very comfortable with that experience. You know I left there are still very uncomfortable with that experience and. So I was just about the time before. The group got together that actually formed a man. I was in the Catholic. I had a patient was actually down here at Hilton Head health who had a heart attack. She had an emergency stent put in the doctor from here called me and said. She's going to need probably heart surgery something down the road. We did this is a very temporizing measure she alone pumped in for a week she was really really good said we didn't really get a very good result we just barely got the artery open enough stabilizer now that she's coming back up to you you probably need to reach out there and get some definitive care. So about two months of past enough use of my Kath lab. And in the Catholic I work with a bunch of very hip young people who are always on of the latest in whatever thing going on in society and feel embarrassed of if you were just the barest talk about spiritual things around them and. My fellows going up took X.. Just would feel kind of embarrassed but I've had this lady on the Catholic table we want to head to the catheter. Rise ation we put the catheter in the left main the catheter. Just blocked all the flow going into her last man corner harder were blood pressure just take immediately we got one quick picture in the last two games of hanging on by a thread called that catheter back out we were trying to give her some as the stabilizer and we realize we need to get her into the O.R. as fast as possible. So the our team comes over. There's about twenty people on the catwalk now but as well as my usual five or six Catholic people are all. Hustling around to get everything done in the way anesthesiologists walks in he comes and talks to her minute and he says women everybody can have your tension just be quiet I mean I'm going to have a prayer with this patient. And he said of her whether that was a stand there watching my Catholic team was sitting there watching and then afterwards they were like wow did you see what he did that was really cool. And I just I was feeling like I'm going to be embarrassed to do this and they thought that was cool just stab me in the heart that that. I need to know how to do that but I was still very uncomfortable learning how to do that and so it was shortly after that that kind of the preliminary of the men were group of us got together kind of springs and Pastor Mark family was there and he went through a series of presentations on how to ask patients permission to have a spare to conversation. And one of the things that he encouraged us to do was to pray. So I left there determine the I'm going to start praying with some of my patients. And wasn't really easy but based on the language he taught me if there was Doc presume. Don't force it on them just ask and so I always ask one of the things I offer do with all my patients of they have a prayer. With that be OK. And just by doing that. I would pick the people that I thought would probably be spiritual the ones that I thought would be open to it. And I was just amazed at the response people would grab my hand they would get tears in their eyes they would say no medical person has ever done that in the response was just overwhelming. Into this day and ten years no I don't live in Mount Shasta I live in the Bible Belt. We have people from all over the world. Hindus atheists Muslims to this day I have still about ten patients in ten years that have said they'd rather not. And just like tot I make a little tea or now pm the notation of my charts. I don't always had about four hundred over and over again with the same person. So just based on that. I would forget who I had prayed with and who I wouldn't. In turn soon people I forgot to pray was were getting upset that I didn't pray again to the pretty soon I had just extended to all my patients. One of the things I learned early on is that it's actually the patients that I had just as probably the least likely interest in spiritual things that appreciate it for not. One of my patients. A guy named Billy Billy is in a seventies. He's at the cell so he comes in where they usually wear the T. shirt the sleeves cut off. Got a few tattoos he looks really rough and he's got a Mohawk Can you picture six seven year old guy with a model. He's probably at home on his computer is a computer hacker because he's just totally anti social and. Billy is completely. Agnostic. In But believe one things I offer to do is have a Purrs that something you'd appreciate. Well that works for you that's OK. Well hi does work from a so can have a purpose. So I said a prayer. He was OK with that his wife got tears in her eyes. His wife actually works a possible that and in the end to her that's later she stopped me and said I just want to thank you for having for the husband. She said nobody's ever treated him with that kind of respect. He saw that as respect. Now Billy comes in and he expects me to pray wedding. But a year ago I was walking through. Sam's Club. There is Billy over there the and the electronics department. And you know what normally it's like oh there's Bella he's antics also is really where it's always a work conversation. I'm going to go the other way. But not in the Holy Spirit says you can pray for Bella you better go over talk to Billy. So I want to over in the. Sam's Club talk to Billy and Hey Billy has ago and he's like Oh hello. Hi How you doing and. Thank you really smart guy why in the world do you believe in creation in here enough Sam's Walt Sam's a club. We have about a fifteen minute discussion about the Bible why believe it's true. About creation. And if you look at how Lazzaro off he goes. His wife stopped me at work but three days later and she just had tears or eyes and she just couldn't believe that I would go over even talk to him because nobody talks to Billy. And so just have their way of reaching people belly. No worries completely at but he's now absolutely appreciative of prayer he would be upset if I didn't pray with him he kind of looks to me as his pastor so to speak I think he's actually taken. Materials to read. He's become a vegetarian. In the kind of. He actually looked his wife said he looks forward to coming to the point was our office which is just amazing because this guy is a reject. But not if you understand it through the Gospel Principles of what Billy truly can be and so. It's help me refocus my of my nurse all the time to go in there and do your your magic page and there are really upset out there really a pain they are just throwing a fuss and they're not talking anybody they're upset at the office. By the time that come out of the room says I don't know what you did in there but I tell you what I do in there but she just doesn't believe or. So Jesus called the twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to cast them out until every disease and every infirmity. And that's what we're called to do. So back to the ministry of healing. This the lower part patients realize their peril. While they may have confidence in the physician skill they know that it is not infallible. But as they see the physician bottom prayer asking help forgot their inspired with confidence. Gratitude and trust open the heart to the healing power of got the energies of the whole being are vitalize. And the life forces. Triumph. You recognize this place Todd. This is an iffy and Nigeria. Helping Burke Ramsey or take out a spleen that wound up winning over. Over thirty pounds. Some people have asked me Well what happens when you pray for a patient like Todd that they'll be a speedy recovery to heal up quickly that they'll feel better. And then the something goes wrong. I sometimes have patients come into the Catholic. Who are on the verge of death. I don't have time to go out and talk to their family. We don't have time to even take a history we just get them on a table slam a catheter and get a catheter up try to get the artery open. And once or twice a year have a patient will die on the table. Actually it's turned out that. When I go out and tell the family I'm so sorry we've lost your loved one. But I want you to know something that just as we got here. I asked him if he'd like me to pray with him and we had a prayer. Those families hang on to that. Like nothing else. That the last thing before you died is a he had a prayer. And that's it's. It's yeah it makes it very hard process. Was smoother and actually paves the way to have that conversation. So to the physician also the Saviour's presence is an element of strength. Often the responsibilities and impossibilities of his work. Bring dread. Upon the spirit. The fear Verisign us of uncertainty in the fear would make the hand. Unskillful. But the assurance that the divine counselor is beside Him to guide him to sustain imparts quietness encourage the touch of Christ upon a physician's hand brings vitality. Russell and confidence in power. And I absolutely can tell you that I can sit in the Catholic. Stuck up against the law having no nothing else to do and I'll just pray again Lord gives just help me figure out what to do with this patient. And there's nothing like that as well as they have the sense that God is blessing you as you work your way through and you see that he somebody was a suggest something or you'll get an impression that hey try this. And all the sudden it works. I really do believe that I have less complications because I pray with patients. In that they recover quicker. As a result of prayer in cell X. five versus fifteen and sixteen they even carried out the sick into the streets and lay them on the beds and pellets that as Peter came by by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem bringing us think of those afflicted with employing spirits and they were all healed. Jesus healed people everywhere he went. The whole multitude sought to touch him for their want virtue out of him and he healed them all the like I said at the very beginning kind of innocent uncle way. Actually patients appreciate somebody who cares about them and they can tell that you care about them when you do something extra whether I'm like pray. So I to pray for them that they will have a speedy recovery I wind up praying for their families their sons or daughters or people they have cancer in their church and different things and so they'll share these burdens and. They have a prayer and. It's just again become an amazing experience to do that so why Diggs price he'll disease why are we engaged in this endeavor in the first place. Some places he healed. Everybody in the whole village. So one of the reasons was to dispel the myth that disease is a curse of God. We don't want of under that impression to the degree that people did back in Christ day. They actually believe that if you had to of these you obviously had done something wrong and God was not blessing you. But not a day goes by that I don't hear a patient. Patient's family or somebody say why is God doing this to me. And as a result of opening a spiritual conversation I can point out to them that God is not the one that does us. God isn't bringing us upon them in effect is God it was to heal them from their disease. So it's able to develop you to demonstrate the God hasn't rejected them in the course just to relieve suffering was an important thing. So sickness suffering and death are the work of it in tag on a stick power Satan is the destroyer. God is the restore the word spoken to Israel are true today to those to recover health of body or health of soul in the Lord that healing the the desire of God for every human being is expressed in words Beloved I wish above all things of the many prosper in be in hell and that's still very important. And so the Book of James asked us to think about of there any sick like him call the elders of the church and let them pray over him and nineteen him with oil in the name of the war in so. Sometimes people raise questions about praying with patients. What about the ethics of opposing my spirituality on my patients. What about the ethics in the past or family. Help me resolve that that. Again I am not forcing my views on anybody I am simply asking them if they would like me to have a permit them. You might wonder about different religions. On May first I was reluctant to pray with different religions. I had one gentleman who's a Muslim. He's actually was a professor one of the founders of right State University. He's been in this country for over twenty eight years. And he's a actually the path I'll just in one of the things I offer to do have a prayer in he took my hand. Very respectfully. He said absolutely. I said a Christian prayer for Emmons it was there in at the end he had tears coming down both sides of his eyes and he said Dr. You have showing me. So much respect. I have been in this country for twenty eight. Years and no one has treated me with the respect that used to in media. All idea of us have a prayer with them. I have a partner who is Muslim he doesn't ever want to go to him he only wants to come to me because I've taken the time to pray with him and. We've had multiple conversations now about it we believe in the same God of Abraham and he and in his case Ishmael and. But. He brings up the spiritual conversations. He's perfectly comfortable talking about it. But the biggest saying he believes that. I respect him because I was willing to share my religion with him. And I was going to share his religion with the experience a two way thing. One of the things is. How do we know what God's will and of if I pray for somebody is healing How do I know that's what God's will was and I would argue that it's always God's will for healing. We do know what God's will of God's will is that we live abundantly in health in so we can be absolutely certain no healing may not come today. It may not come in our lifetime but it may come in the resurrection but whatever God's timing is it is His desire that we all be me the whole. And it helps us restore the picture of God's character on what medical ministry page thirteen says some of ask me why should we have sanitariums why should we not just pray for the sick. That they may be healed miraculously and I have the answer suppose we were able to do this in all cases. How many what appreciate the healing. What those who were worse he'll become health reformers. Or continue. Got cut off but are continuing their ways. So L. White absolutely sees that we have a work to do not just to restore a perfect picture of God but to help people get back in touch with the principles that bring good health. And that's what we're supposed to do. So when Christ heal disease. My sister was laughing at that and we try still disease he wore many of the afflicted one sin no more or less the worst thing come onto the. He does he talk that they had brought disease upon themselves by transgressing the laws of God and that helped to be preserved. Only by obedience. So it's not just enough for me to pray that somebody get cured from heart disease. As a result of my prayers I pray that they be learn how to come in harmony with God's principles and that GABA give them the strength overcome smoking to make changes in their lifestyle their diet their exercise. And I believe that as a result the praying that prayer patients have been far more motivated to make those changes. When Jesus Jesus Christ is the great healer but he desires that by living in conformity with his love. We may cooperate with him in recovery of the maintenance of health. Combined with the work of the healing there must be in imparting of knowledge of the how to resist temptation. Those who come to our sanitarium should be aroused to a sense of their own responsibility in this work. I will skip over that. In the skip over that as well. So for times. So for second select a message is own White says of the way it was Christ work was to preach the word in to relieve suffering by miraculous works of healing. But I am structured that we cannot now work in this way for Satan will actually save his power by working miracles. God's servants today. Could not work by means of miracles because various works of healing claiming to the be divine will be right. Our work is to bring people back in harmony with principles of healing. So how to pray with patience. Don't presume. Don't pursue meant you can impose your spiritual the out of patience. But ask their permission. Be open to question. Doc why do you believe the Bible is true. When people know you're a spiritual person you don't actually have to go banging them over the head. To get their attention. They will actually start coming to you and asking questions. The. Since the men be one a serious scripture so. Praying with patience I believe is just the opening door to a spiritual conversation. How do you continue that process. So one of the ways is to be able to for patients that are going through struggle is to quote a Scripture passages that they can hang on to. There is power in God's word and so bringing that to the patient can bring can bring power to that patient you can tell them is God for us who can be against us or whatever you ask in your His name it still be done unto you. My last Live word of the sullied. Number one by engaging in the practice of praying with patience strengthen my own personal commitment. You can't do this work if you're not committed in connected. First to begin with. I believe that beginning to begin a spiritual conversation Prayer is just the amazing way to open the door to do that and so I become convinced that I have to pray with every patient every time if they're willing to have that happen. Already mentioned share the scripture. You can then provide resources so we have pamphlets I have some great controversy that some other resources money off of have a lot of health resources that I give patients. And so I can provide those to them right there. Often I'll direct my patients other resources I'd send them to the CHIP program at my at our church hall some of the other programs that are going on recently we've become convinced that we need to do more and we started an office. Bible study for our patients we want to have a few come. One of the patients that I've started praying with that I got through several procedures. Got saw her. Start making some changes in our diet and she seemed very responsive I got her plugged into a chip program at her church. Later on we had some of Angeles to meetings and so I just told her about I'm just ready been to the church she says she came and. Why most cynical was holding No she went through the whole series. She didn't make a commitment quite yet but back when I back in and A.S.I. this last. Stuff. August the week before I went to A.S.I. she stopped me. At church she had been coming to church says Ivins listing these they had made up her mind. Stop me at church and said Dr Swartz. What are you going to be in church next. So I'll be here the week after a a science is located good I'm going to be baptized. She would not be baptized unless I was going to be there. And it was just an amazing experience to be able to see patients that you've worked with in the office she's a Greek lady in her sixty's. Just a see her change her whole paradigm little by little by little in the warm water Richard other ways but the beginning of that process was because I was going to ask her. One of the things I often do with all my patients to have a pair with us. With that be OK because of that she was open to all the way to baptism. And so prayer is a very powerful thing. My last little story I think we've got about five minutes left. I don't do this very often but one of my patients named Steven Steven. Also was the kind of guy that you wouldn't pick to the best really pray when he had a bandana and. He had a leather vest on another shirt underneath seed written his motorcycle entity was a really rough guy he been in the emergency room just about four or five days earlier with severe sharp chest pain. Didn't actually sound cardiac. But as I you know we set him up for stress test and it was in cardiac. But as I reviewed his wrist actors his dad had had a heart attack in his forty's. His uncle had died in his forty's of heart disease. Stephen was about three hundred fifty pounds he was morbidly overweight. He had diabetes hypertension hyperlipidemia and he smoked two packs per day. He bench strength on the weekend he had a very stressful job in his marriage was falling apart. Stephen was a rock and so I said to Stephen I said Stephen do you believe in God. He goes No not really my thoughts OK. God believe the new one of the things I offer do have a prayer with that be OK. He said Yeah. That be OK. Really rough guy in so I don't normally do this but after I prayed with the him I said Stephen Moore and I prayed with into Laura give a straight to make changes that have life and that it was going to he was a HAVE THE come in and I would pray that the Lord would use that change of life. So I prayed with a. And then I said Stephen you're are on the road to destruction and you do not have heart disease now. But it's only a matter of time or you're going to follow your family's footsteps. And I just went through one by one usually I just pick one or two things ago over with a patient need to work on smoking you need to work on getting your weight down. You know give them some resources I went through every single one of the steps that he need to do. I told him I'm not going to ask you to do anything I won't do myself using my patients breathe a big sigh relief or then I start rattling off what I do in there about ready to pass out. But I went through these things within and I didn't see him again for a year and a year later. My nurse who like to jump to conclusions said Stephen had a very active search area is that why she says now it was over a hundred pounds letter number that we sent him to Prairie Hunter surgeries that I walked in fifteen and that you have surgery goes on now I don't have surgery. Stephen's weight was done over a hundred pounds. His blood pressure was normal. He was no longer diabetic. He had to stop smoking. He wasn't drinking. He was wearing a shirt. He looked respectable and so I asked a Stephen what are you doing so though. He says From the time I was in your office last year I did not smoke another cigarette. I stopped drinking alcohol. I joined a church. Health club. My marriage is better. I'm no longer on diabetes medicine. I don't have high blood pressure. And he said and I said How in the world did you make those changes. I didn't sending that ship. I don't even. I might. Given him a brochure on how to count calories than something on smoking. I didn't really mean a five day plan. He said was because you prayed for me. Just the power prying on the patient that one patient alone shows the power of prayer three years or so later. I don't need Fema anymore. Through four years later we were at what's called a home RAM and our area about where the home builders are build all these magnificent houses million dollar homes you buy it. Pay a ticket and you'll go through with a crowd of thirty or forty people and you walk through these homes and so. Twenty of us walked in of us living room in this home and there's this guy just not a certain time a clean cut looking good. He spoke to say this hose not by Sam Brown it's twelve thousand square feet and on the market for one point eight million dollars It's got all whatever got everything. So that's why he's supposed to say and he stops see what sent me does a double take and I quite realize who he was thirty people or stand here on the lobby of this all this is I know you think he's know. I know you're my doctor and you proceed to tell the whole crowd this is the doctor that changed my life he prayed with me. I was drinking and smoking and I weighed three hundred eighty pounds and because of that I was able to I'm a vegan vegetarian became a vegan vegetarian by the way. Just because I pray with in soweth just remind me of a story a married man doing the people that are down and out the hardest in the fall in the worst are the ones that will be the most grateful when we are willing to share our lives in this era the power of the gospel with them. So we've got to look up our question time. With that I think will close the top when you cannot have prayer. Father in Heaven where thankful that you care so much for us. Like Peter we want to claim that promise that you prayed for us that our faith would fail not. Help us to pray for our patients more effectively to minister to them in your love for pure the motivation. Your heart. And we pray that you'll send your spirit each one here. In that ministry. This media was brought to you by audio person. A website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse or you would like to listen to more sermon. Leave it the W.W.W. audio verse or.


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