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Logo of AMEN 2018: Call to Service

Praying with Patients

Mark Finley Brian Schwartz



1. Discuss the value and importance of praying with (for) patients. 

2. Identify "do's" and "dont's" in clinically based prayer.

3. Demonstrate how to begin praying with patients. 



  • October 26, 2018
    4:00 PM
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Copyright ©2018 Adventist Medical Evangelism Network.

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Well good afternoon everyone just like to welcome you to the seminar in prayer this is a national seminar that we do now every year in have been doing so for about the last 6 or 7 years and I've had the opportunity to do this actually probably doing it for about 10 years I've done a couple times a pastor family last year was with Dr Small who is here in the audience and several others and just going to go through a few principles turning with patients and sure a few testimonies and I wonder if you would just pray for us as we begin the Summoner. That's a pretty good there Father we sense the unique opportunity of seeing each patient that walked through the door of our office or whom we see in the hospital as a child created in the image of God a son or daughter of God enabled us to open spiritual doors of opportunity spiritual conversations and made the ministry that we have to them make an eternal difference we pray in Christ's name. Oh OK thank you so I think on the program this is routinely entitled praying with patients but I think it's actually much more than that because praying with patients is just one way and I think one sure way to just open the door to a spiritual conversation and that's ultimately what I think the power one of the powers of prime with patience is to do and. I've been struck by the fact that. As a physician but as true as a dentist an optometrist any type of health care worker we have access to patients from all walks of life the other side of the road tracks to the gated community and there who fly on their 3rd or 4th or work for Fortune 500 companies and fly on their business jets they all come to my office and so I have just a few moments to make a contact that Pastor family would probably not be able to make as a pastor a Bible worker might not be able to get into their community but they're coming to us and it's a huge responsibility just as we began. I. Got started with this with the conviction that I should pray with my patients I. Was out of cardiology fellowship about a year and a half. I worked at the Catholic Kettering hospital an Adventist hospital I went to on the Lunda and I can honestly say in my 4 years at Loma Linda may have observed a prayer with patients once or twice I did go to wildwood for a month I wanted to get some lifestyle medicine experience and figure out what I was going to do and how one time there we had one patient who came into the emergency room and I stitched up his ear because he had fallen he was very hard of hearing. Stitched up a 0 that was great and then Dr De Rose who was my mentor at Wildwood that went so well are you going do the most important part of your encounter and I was like the most important part what's that this is are you going to primitive that was the most awkward difficult prayer that I felt so clumsy and awkward with because I didn't know how to pray with a patient I couldn't remember his name he couldn't hear me I was yelling at the top of my things trying to V.A. trying to get through to him was not comfortable or that experience that all and that's basically where my prayer life with patients ended 1st quite a few years I was aware of Dr Spock who had practiced as a surgeon at Kettering for many many years and I knew that his patients really appreciate the fact that before surgery he would pray with them I didn't know how to do it and a year into this and then into Mike after finishing cardiology fellowship I had a lady come up who had a very critically tight left main corner artery clues than just barely put the catheter into. And in your heart in the blood pressure just immediately started going down her heart rate started slowing and just take one picture and pull the catheter out and socially called surgery and before I say that I was kind of embarrassed to express my real. Religion around all these hip young people that worked in the Catholics they're all pretty cool they're into the modern culture I was like oh me on the city so embarrassing if I pray and so we called surgery and an anesthesiologist came down there and the whole of our team came in there were about 30 people scrambling around this lady trying to get her ready to get to the O.R. within about 15 minutes and all in the middle of this house alone in in the in the Catholic getting ready to slide on over to the operating room in a sleazy I'll just said can everybody be quiet for one moment I'm just going to have a prayer with other and I thought oh I should have done that and then. To make it worse several of these young hip people that I work with said Well that was really cool did you see what he did and that was just like a conviction to me that I should have been the one to do this I should have been worrying about what other people were thinking but I still don't know how to do it and it was right at that time that the very with the well the planning session to the Amen section in Colorado Springs. Pastor finally came down and talked about praying with patients and I guess I was the guy that took it to heart the most because by the 1st Amen conference I was then searing a testimony about how powerful this said then and how I started off trying to identify the patients that I thought might be open to prayer you know the people that go to church that are clean cut. They appreciated it but little by little I realized it's actually the ones that I judged as probably the least religious are the ones that started sobbing and started getting tears in their eyes and the guys that would come in big muscles in a cut off Sure and tattoos and a headband they looked like they came from again they would just start crying and say nobody's ever done that and I was able to minister to people from all walks of life it was amazing so and I believe as a principle God is the initiator we don't initiate anything in our salvation the goodness of God leads us to repentance we love Him because He 1st loved us he is the author and the finisher of our faith and. Because of what Jesus did his righteous act results and in justification God initiates all things and I believe that as we reflect his character it is physicians and dentists and health care practitioners it's our job to reflect Him and do the same and so shouldn't we also be the one the initiate the ones that help draw people forward and so medical ministry page 13 said some have asked me why should we have said why should we have sanitariums why shouldn't we just like Christ pray for the sick that they may be healed miraculously and I have answered Suppose we were able to do this in all cases how many would appreciate the healing what those who were healed become help through formers or were they continued to be health destroyers and so on interesting principle. Prayer I'm careful what I pray for I don't pray for miraculous healing for my patients very often I have on a couple of occasions. Normally I pray that they'll be able to make changes in their life that I believe will lead to good health and well look at that just a. Little bit more because I think that's an important concept ministry of healing page 118 wonderful are the opportunities given to the Guardians of the SEC 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 in combating disease will lead them to feel that every step taken in harmony with the laws of God they may expect the aid of divine power and so I'm now gotten into the habit of telling patients that the diet that we've been talking about the lifestyle changes the plant based diet this is the principle from God's word and if you follow all that principle it's going to lead to healing it's going to lead to good health and at that point I pray that they'll have the power of God to make that change in their life my favorite story from a long time ago but it's still the most powerful experience I've had about the power of prayer to make a change was a gentleman named Steve and it says. And then because he was well it won't even be a video tape for of the testimony on prayer Stephen came to my office a guy in his forty's this father had died of a heart attack at the age of 45 he lived a very hard life he weighed over 400 pounds he rode a motorcycle he looked like you're on a motorcycle with a headband A A. A leather vest and he worked down in Cincinnati he partied hard on the weekends he smoked about 2 packs per day binge drink on the weekends he was morbidly obese had diabetes high blood pressure in the course a strong family history he had every rest factor for heart disease he had some sharp chest pains I'm on the go to the serum of that in the 1st funny thing because it was very typical but nevertheless they sent him over to see me and one of the stress tests and testing it and realized the pain was in his heart but I had a conversation with a message Steven you are living on the road to destruction it's not this wasn't your heart that this is a wake up call that it's time for you to make a change in our bill and I don't do this normally I. Pick one or 2 changes that I think they ought to work on might talk a little bit about one number one I would the pick smoking because I think that's the number one big risk factor in the maybe start talking about obesity but somehow I just felt impressed to tell Steven the whole thing and I don't still usually do this but I said Steven God has a better plan for your life I said do you go to church he has no I was I went to church a few times when I was a child growing up but I haven't been he had stated that his marriage was in big trouble and everything in his life was falling apart. You know just senseless Stephen God has a plan for your life and if you continue on the road that you're going on you are in the live much longer you will be back here with a heart attack and so you still have a wonder to make some changes and so I alo it lined with him that it was important to overcome smoking it was the number one respect or that the binge drinking and alcohol was destroying his life that he was over 400 pounds and that was what was directly leading to the diabetes the high blood pressure the obesity and all of those are risk factors for heart disease and I says to Steven God's idea off and I showed him in the Bible God's ideal is to be smoking free alcohol free in the be on a plant based diet. And he was listening and I said By the way at one of the things I offer to do with all my patients is to have a prayer and at that point Steven just started crying and he took my hand in the set absolutely loved to pray with you and. I didn't know much back then so I prayed with them and I prayed that God would give him the power to change his life and I didn't talk to him about CHIP program diabetes and on other program I didn't give him any books they didn't give him any brochures if you give him anything and I said Steve let's just check back in a year. Pretty bad huh. Stephen came back in the year my nurse who likes to jump to conclusions that us Stephen had is very odd trick surgery so what do you mean what she said well he's lost over 200 pounds and I walked in this is David you have surgery this is not a doctor I don't have surgery and I said wow you've lost over $200.00 pounds in a year it's amazing. Might have been a little over a year but he had a really worked on this he was still just a little overweight but his cholesterol was just about normal his blood pressure was normal. He had stopped smoking the day that I prayed with him in he went on a plant based diet is a dark horse I started going to a church. Things are going great with my wife I quit my job down there I've got a new job up here and he's wearing a clean cut in the stairs clean cut it just to completely change his life that's the Steve and how in the world did you make these changes he said well it was easy I realized I was going to die and you prayed with me and because you prayed with the god gave me the power to make those changes in my life Stephen want to give him smokeless alcohol free and a matter of will. On the spot because I offered to have a prayer with him and that was the power of prayer and that convinced me that I was on the right track that the only way to motivate real changes in people's lives is to point them to the person that can give them the power to make those changes and if I left spirituality out of my practice I was leaving out all the power All right let's say time flies when you're having fun here so let's look at Mr Haley page 1800 the sick and suffering will have much more confidence than the physician who they are cough it loves them fears God they rely upon his words they feel a sense of safety in the presence in the ministration of that physician there is a confidence that I find that most of my patients appreciate when I pray with them and I let them know that I am not the one that's going to heal them God is going to use me to bring healing. To them. And then one more Only he who reads the heart can know with with what trembling in terror many patients consent to an operation under the surgeon's hand they realize their prayer pearled while they may have confidence in the physicians skill they know that it is not infallible but as they see the physician bowed in prayer asking help from God They are inspired with confidence gratitude and trust opened the heart to the healing power of God the energies of the whole being are vital as the life forces triumph and the 2 the physician also the Saviors presence is an element of strength often the responsibilities and possibilities of his work bring dread upon the spirit the fair versus us of uncertainty and fear would make the hand of skillful but the assurance that the divine counselor is beside Him to guide and to sustain imparts quietness encourage the touch of Christ upon the physician's hands bring 5 restfulness confidence in power and there's been many times where I felt like we were about to lose a patient somebody with a heart attack there is carnage and shock. In the heart register slow and you know they're about to disturb it or just go into a system lay and I will often just write that in there just pray Lord you've got to you've got to help me through this and give me confidence and peace just comes over me we just start working on what we can work on and many many times that believe that's helped me reflect to the rest of our staff that we can be calm and continue to work and it's often been to great benefit as a result of that. The way in which Christ worked was to preach the word in term relieve suffering by miraculous works of healing but I am instructed that we cannot now work in this way for Satan will exercise his power by working miracles God's servants today could not work by means of miracles because spurious works of healing claiming to be divine will be rot and so we need to point people to the source of healing in help them see what the principles of health are and I believe that's God's method for healing in the last days he often warned them to go and sin no more or less to write or think come on to you or why did Christ heal why did he relieve disease in the Bible it's like Jesus spent as much time healing is he did teaching in preaching and I believe that's because. Of several things one is by healing he reveals God's character. As we mentioned last night God gets the blame for all the bad things that happen in this world and not a day goes by that a patient doesn't ask me why is God doing this to him by having a spiritual conversation we have the ability to set the record straight about God's character that it's that the destroyer that brings destruction and so I believe that it was to demonstrate God's character it was to dispel the myth that that disease is a curse of God It's the devil that brings disease it opens the door to receive the gospel and it breaks down barriers it of course just out of the goodness of his heart he just he just in mercy just had to relieve the suffering around him and so he sought to do that in some villages the Bible says that he healed everyone in the village and so Jesus loved to heal and I believe that was also doing the Gospel in action. Sickness ministry of healing $113.00 sickness suffering and death are the work of an antagonistic power Satan is the destroyer God is the reste or and so everything in our culture everything in our society gets that's wrong gets blamed on God but that's really not the way it is and so by by healing we can show what God's character truly is like the words spoken to Israel are true today to those cerise recover health of body or health of soul in the Lord that he'll be and it's the desire of God for every human being is expressed in the words beloved and west above all things that the Army has prospered and be and how even as they saw prosper both. Quote from Alvin Adams who presented this morning so last year at this conference to question at the end what if I'm working at an institution where I'm not allowed to pray and answered her well there it's often ways that you can do it without violating that if you just ask a patient if they want to do that but I told her you just have to work within the circumstances that you're working in and I went home and thought about that realize that's probably the right answer why would any of us want to work as a Christian healthcare professional in a place where we can't be Christian healthcare professionals and so I thought this quote was interesting in circumstances where proclaiming the gospel specifically prohibited when we agree to limit our efforts to secular activities we are no better than any other worldly enterprise that provides physical service if we feel constrained or are contractually constrained from speaking freely about God when circumstances warrant an opportunity occurs we should avoid these opportunities and the others carry on that work and so my counsel now would be that it's time to look at where you are employed and see if you can find a place where you can preach the gospel and carry on. A couple things that I've learned over the years actually from Pastor Finley. Maybe I should let you look at the flood. I will let you do that slide I'm going to jump over. What you do I'm going to do this slide real quick so Pastor Phil is going to talk a little bit about the ethics of praying with patients some people have made the argument that it's unethical to him talk about that but what about different religions so at 1st if I had a patient come in that I knew that was Jewish. And I was a little bit cautious how I prayed if I had a patient come in that was a Muslim but I started having some extremely powerful experiences with Jewish and Muslim patients in particular one of my patients actually a patient who had seen one of my partners who is Muslim but then I wound up seen him in the hospital and I offered to pray with him and he is actually a professor of path ology who was one of the founders of a medical school. Came over from Syria many years ago and he's been in this country for over 30 years he took my hand he started crying he said Dr Schwartz you have shewed me the most respect of any person that I've ever met in this country. All I did was offer to pray with him and he took that as a sign of respect a seduction works we believe in the same God and you have shown me respect by offering to share your religion with me and he was not the least bit offended that I prayed in Jesus' name he was an ability spent offended that it was a Christian prayer and he switched his practice from my Muslim partner to my practice and I still see him today and we still pray every time him because he believes that I treated him with respect and every time he comes on that he talks about you know there's a lot of similarities between Islam and Christianity and every time we spend 15 or 20 minutes talking about some of the similarities that we have in common because this is brought about a common bond another patient I had was is. Actually I was trained as a Jewish rabbi but also a scientist he was legally blind he was retired his wife was a director of nursing at a nearby hospital and he had passed out 3 times and so came out of the hospital my partner admitted him and he was in complete heart block with a heart rate around the twenty's and when he get up or try to move he just get too light headed and he passed out after my partner explained to him you need a pacemaker and this will take care of the problem he says you know I don't want any modern technologies if it's my time to go and it's ready to go. No I'm going to just decline all that and it's going to go home and whatever time I have that's what I've got left and he's Jewish but my part of all let's let Dr Schwartz come in and tell you about the procedure and then you can make up your mind he said That's fine so I walked in on greeted him and said. He said just tell you right up front I don't want this and I say that so far that's OK let me just tell you how simple it is not take me about 45 minutes I don't have to put you to sleep I can just numb you up you can go home today if you want. You're going to feel better it's going to restore your health this is I know but I've lived a good long life that's fine I said OK. That's fine. I'm not going to in any way try to twist your arm and we'll do it later on if you change your mind but by the way one of the things I offer to do is to have a prayer would you be willing if I prayed with you and he says Well Dr Schwartz that would be fantastic and so I took his hand I prayed with him. And just prayed that God would bless him and that he's had a good life and that he's in God's hands and at the very. Very end he started crying and he said Dr Schwartz go ahead and have that pacemaker just because I prayed with him we became friends we actually started meeting him every couple of months he and his wife and Wendy and I would meet at a Pinero and we'd discuss religion for about an hour and when I went up to get something at the counter he told my wife he said you know when your husband was in there I was my mind was made up that I was not going to have a pacemaker he said but but the thought came to my mind when he prayed praise God I've found a doctor who doesn't think he's God and for whatever that he decided that it was fine to then trust me to go ahead and put his pacemaker in and he's still still alive and we still have good conversations. I believe that you know when we pray sometimes we say oh lord whatever according to your will I'm convinced that we need to know what God's will is and that's what we need to pray I think it's a copout to say Well Lord if it's in your will to heal it's always God's will to heal what we don't know is God's timing but it's always God's will to heal and we need to know god's will and this specially if it's in the scripture we can know it. So I've learned a few things from you over the years and so we can know God's will in the end by praying and by having a spiritual conversation it restores a picture of God's character. Why pray it imparts hope in divine healing that points to the only source of true healing it keeps me humble and I do need that I can ask my wife it goes beyond what is expected even to my atheistic patients they see it at least as an act of kindness on my part that I'm going beyond just what they paid their $60.00 for. In so that they interpret it that I actually care about them you can decide if I really do or not but they interpret it that way but most importantly it can reach people that the church will never reach it opens the door to a spiritual conversation and I'm going to turn the microphone over to Pastor Fennelly. You talk about the center of prayer spiritual is that there was wrong was to pray 2 months that would give him enough time so you're going to get to do this. And will have time for questions of the various Thank you Pastor Schwartz he was a pastor then wasn T. I will deal with the medical aspects as a preacher and he dealt with the spiritual aspects. 950 S. And thanks for and I'm always blessed when I listen to the stories that Brian has I we were doing a little video earlier on prayer and healing in. Producing it for a man earlier today and I asked Dr Schwartz I said tell me how many people you've prayed with in the last few years and I said was it hundreds he said oh man thousands and I said so when I was doing this video I saw he was listening to me and I said Man he's prayed with thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people he said you got to correct that too he's is that I didn't say that thousands but you know. To see that many people in your office you see more people as a physician in a week that most pastors do in 6 months people walk through your office and you have an amazing opportunity I want to share with you a little bit about spirituality and healing and then the practic So how can you be ethical without bridging a person's freedom of choice and what are some of the practical ways that you can lead them into prayer in the 1950 S. The American Medical Association was going through a major transition studies were beginning to come across their. Across their horizon and research was taking place indicating that there was a direct link between spirituality and healing many in the American Medical Association were kind of putting their hands up at that point they didn't want to associate with any so called bible thumpers it was at that point in the late $1950.00 S. that the American Medical Association Association began looking at spirituality and healing and Dr Bernard Daniels was the chairman of the A.M.A. continue A.M.A. is Committee on medicine and spirituality and as they begin to look at these studies of Eventually there are about $300.00. Studies that show the positive benefit of spirituality in health and the Dr Daniels made this amazing statement he said The truth is that spirituality is an enormous factor in problems relating to the state of health in other words that there is such a linkage between spirituality and health that there was a study done in 1995 by the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and they said a major predictor of improving your health and recovery after coronary artery surgery is the depth of your faith and so as these studies began to be more overtly discussed a doctor Howard Kaman of the University of Illinois added his voice to this growing number of people in the medical community and he made really a remarkable statement it was published in The Journal of Health back in the ninety's 995 and it said this a healthy human life is more than a struggle for survival it's essentially a search for human fulfillment and for meaning related to the ultimate concerns and commitments despite Western man's religious doubts and the rise of skepticism he has a growing hunger for a more spiritual outlook on life that's an amazing statement and this statement really indicates that there is this God shaped vacuum in every heart and there's this weren't yearning in every heart there is this a woman being in every heart for spirituality it reminds me of what Scripture says in Ecclesiasticus Chapter 3 Verse 11 that says God has placed eternity in their hearts so every person that walks through the doors of your office has eternity in their heart they may not know they do they may not understand they do. But there is this longing for something more there's this longing to know God there's this longing for purpose in life and meaning in life and direction in life and as a Christian physician he or Christian dentist you have a unit or a medical professional you have a unique opportunity to minister to those people that come through the doors now how do you lead into spiritual conversations in what way can you really do that how do you make that bridge. There are a number of suggestions that I don't make and I'm going to make for I'm going to give you 4 lines of reasoning. Somebody told me once that any method used exclusively is a poor method. You may have wonderful ways but any method you use exclusively is a poor method so every person that comes into your office is going to be different and as you're analyzing how best to how best to minister and I appreciated what Dr Schwartz said about the fact that prayer often opens up spiritual conversations so a person walks the door of the office and you begin to talk to them and chat with them and as you're talking to them let's suppose that they have. You've just diagnosed and that diagnosis is cancer the lump under the arm was malignant and you've detected that the tests have come back and you detect that they have cancer let's suppose that you have looked at their cholesterol levels they're really high 252-6270 extremely high over 400 of course you've got 4 times the chance of a heart attack if you're under I mean over 200 you have 4 times the chance for decades then if you're under 200 but you're looking at this aggregate of cholesterol you see it's extremely high person is overweight they are pre-diabetic they're smoking and they've got immense problems and as you begin to talk to them one of the questions that we have suggested to physicians in dentists that has been really helpful is this question you notice in the ministry of Jesus he asked a lot of questions and so you've been talking to your patient and you may want to ask a question like this you may want to say you know as you're facing this health challenge Where'd in the challenges of your life we all have different areas that we find support in where do you find your greatest support when you face challenges in your life what do you find your greatest support is that in a friend is it in your family and does God play any role at all in your life when you are looking for a support system that opens up US. A ritual door of conversation for them and then you can simply say as a Christian physician you know when I face challenges in my own life as a Christian physician I find real strength in help in prayer and in God May I pray for you know sometimes you'll get strange reactions sometimes a person will say to you Oh doc if it makes you feel good I don't believe but go ahead and do it I mean it's really interesting the kind of reactions you'll get in a recent survey approximately 67 percent of people walking through the doors of doctors' offices and in dentists offices said when they were asked on a survey if your physician if your medical health care provider asked if you wanted to pray would you feel that that was a positive thing was it be a good thing or would you resisted 67 percent of the people said we would like our health care provider to pray for us so one thing to keep in mind is this 2 thirds of the people walking through the door of your practice would like you to pray for them they would like that why because there is this spiritual longing in their heart this spiritual desire in their life one way to do that is asking the support question in the challenges of your life where do you find your greatest sense of support Here's another way you can ask it. So you can say this as a Christian physician so you're talking to your patient and you're coming to the end of the visit you've given your diagnosis you've given the prescription you say as a Christian physician I have often discovered that when my patients have greater faith they tend to heal more quickly and I wanted to. Have ask you this question you know when we have greater faith we tend to. Be more positive about life we tend to be more encouraged about life and may I pray with you that gone will help each one of us me and you both to have the healthy body that he wants and that he will enable us to have greater faith so you can ask that faith question and many people will respond but you can see where the conversation is going that's why I'm giving you a number of varying approaches because you don't use one approach on the same person but we have found that when physicians are saying I've discovered that faith helps a person to heal more quickly that often there is a greater receptivity to prayer. Here's another one. And this one you can almost do with a little smile but it really for some tough nuts this is for one that is a person's kind of resistance to your prayer you can say something like that you've kind of detected that as in the conversation and say you know as a physician John I need all the help I can get for healing Would you mind if I just prayed now that God will give me the wisdom as we work on this challenge together see they are you're not asking to increase their faith at all but they are what's taking place you're saying I need all the help I can get in the presence that he sure does you know. The 4th aspect of the 4th way that we can sometimes get into prayer is say as Dr Schwartz did one of the practices that I have as a Christian physician is to offer prayer to each of my patients may I pray for you know that when issues do most regularly I love the May i principle the May i principle has a deep theological significance because when you see. Say as a Christian physician I offer each of my patients the opportunity to pray for them May I pray for you and may I as saying I respect your freedom of choice may I is saying I give you permission to close the door if you don't want me to pray for you may I as saying it's your choice it's something that I'm offering to you so the may I principle and we use that all the time when we are leading into prayer for people we say nay I pray for you I like to offer this to my patients so it's not a strong armed approach that attempts to twist people's arm. Now let me tell you what you don't want to do you don't want to dump prayer on them hike a dump truck that is simply. Dumping out a load of dirt for example a person came into a physician's office and the physician talked to them for a while gave diagnosis that person was there about 5 minutes and then the physician said after the. There wasn't much of a relationship built and the physician looked at the patients said Now let us pray. And if and the patient looked at him and said Doc is my problem that serious I'm not going to die you know and so it's a matter of gentleness it's a matter of asking questions developing a report now what are some of the advantages What are some of the advantages Brown won over a few but what are some of the advantages of praying with a patient I think there are at least 4 major significant event advantages there are others but at least for when you pray with a patient It builds confidence in the patient's mind in you as a physician. It really builds a lot of confidence because the patient then is recognizing this physician is seeking the Divine Aid this physician is not on their own that is significant 2nd toy and when you pray with a patient it creates an atmosphere of peace it creates it helps the patient to relax and what does that do when a person feels nervous anxious intense now not a lot of people and you probably because you work in the medical profession and you're in offices or hospitals each day but those of us who do not go to the doctor every day are you with me now those of us who don't go to the doctor of day it's a little bit intimidating for us it's a little bit fearful for us it's a little bit we have a little bit of anxiety so when I go to the physician if I'm going to see my friend Dr Schwartz it's typically. Because I've had some cardio vascular problem and I've taken my E.K.G. and it's been up in way down and you know it's wiggly lines rather than to even going across and I'm a little anxious about it and I'm a little nervous about it but what does prayer do it helps me to relax and when he prays for me there is this calm there is this peace when this calm comes over me what does that then do the brain then produces positive chemical by products called Indoor fins that help to bring his health and healing to the system so that prayer is not only something that opens the door to for God to act miraculously in a in a supernatural way but prayer creates an environment for the Holy Spirit to work on the brain so that individuals can produce positive chemical endorphins that bring health and healing to the entire system where as worry grief and anxiety according to the ministry of healing break down in the system and destroy the system where relaxation and confidence so I think that's a 2nd reason to pray for your patients patients that you create an atmosphere I also believe that is in accordance with that that if you pray for your patients you create an atmosphere among your own staff among the nurses among the other medical personnel that work with you that when people walk through the door of your office it's not like they're walking through as commodities but they are human beings create in the image of God in that very office there is a peace there is a calm there is a sense of the presence of God When people come through those doors because you've been praying in the morning before you've ever gone to your office you're praying with your patients and there is a notable difference in what happens in a Christian. Physician's office then in the office of somebody who's not praying there's a 3rd reason for this and when you pray for a patient it increases the faith of that patient they may have very very little faith but as you pray for that patient it's going to increase their faith sometimes people have to fly on the wings of your faith their faith is incredibly low but your faith is is very strong I remember on occasion I was helping a young man quit smoking he was about 28 years old he had begun smoking when he was 16 years old he had smoked for 12 years and I had shared with him the importance of drinking water of taking a walk avoiding caffeine and I did all those medical things that we do to help a person quit smoking and then I began to read the promises of God to him and promise after promise I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and so forth we knelt down and I said to him you pray 1st that was my 1st mistake and he began to pray like this Dear Lord you know I can never give up smoking dear lord you know that I've struggled with this for years dear lord you know how addicted I am about halfway through the prayer I could not take it any more I shook the man stop praying you are going to be worse after you prayed than before he looked at me said would you say Pastor I said you're going to be worse after you prayed than before he said why I said you're praying all this negative stuff about how you can't succeed and you can't overcome I said Jesus is all powerful. Just like he touched the man whose eyes were blind and they were open and God will touch your eyes you can see so past you prayed and so I began to pray Dear Lord I know this man is weak but the power of the Gospel can change his life I know this man feel if his feels he's going through a struggle but God You are stronger than any struggle you've said that no temptation taken us would become is common to man but but that God is faithful he won't let us be tempted above all we're able that your power is greater than the inclinations we sought that man overcomes smoking why not because he had faith but he flew on the wings of my faith for a while many of your patients have very little faith if any but as you pray new thing is going to dawn in their heart they see that you believe that God is working in their life and that God is going to facilitate the healing process in their life and one of the reasons to pray is to help them increase faith another reason to pray is this as we pray it opens the heart of the patient to receive the power of God in dramatic ways in their life to facilitate healing so as we pray it opens the heart of the patient a woman came into her general practitioners office. She was having stomach pain and rash a lot of rash she couldn't sleep well at night and as she came in she said Doc Is there any medication for me I really need something I can't sleep well at night I really have a lot of stomach pain this rash has surfaced the general practitioner was extremely wise he said to world tell me about your pain is it on your left is your right as a general pain she's It's pretty general pain what about your insomnia Well I have a tough time sleeping and when I go to sleep I wake up and yesterday this key question he said when did these symptoms begin to manifest themselves and she said about 6 months ago he said did anything traumatic happen in your life 6 months ago and she said yes it did she said my husband announced to me that he was leaving me he was going to divorce me and he was going with his secretary he was 48 and secretary about 2425 and he said he's leaving me she said so my husband divorced has left the home he's no longer in the home I'm by myself in this a large house both of my children in their twenty's now have grown up and they're out of the home and she said it's horrible everything I dream for everything I hope for is gone my whole life is crushed the the physician chatted with her and he saw it that this woman was filled with bitterness she was filled with anger she was filled with resentment he prayed that she would have the spirit of forgiveness in her heart that she would be able to forgive her husband for what he did at the end of the prayer she said to him Doc look my son is getting married. And this will be the 1st time that I meet my husband's girlfriend at the marriage of our son what should I do and the physician said I want you to take this Bible text in a fusions for 32 Be kind one and not to one another tenderhearted forgiving one another even his God for Christ's sake forgave you and I want you to take that text and I want to say pray over that text and say God give me the spirit of forgiveness for my husband for giving him does not in any way justify what he's done but it release is him from your condemnation just like Christ is released to you from his condemnation so she said Doc I'll do it he said one other thing tell your husband to come one hour early for practice for the wedding practice and and that's when he's going to bring his new wife you go to the church an hour and a half early and pray that God will give you the spirit of forgiveness when he walks in the door and ask God to help you to go up to him and tell them you forgive him she said Doc I don't know if I could he said I'm going to pray that you can and you pray that you can she went to the wedding about an hour early sat there it waiting practice with her head down crying and praying it's got to know if I can do this God I can't do this God this impossible and finally it came over her you can do this because if you harbor this bitters of this and anger it's going to kill you it's going to destroy who you are going to keep having these stomach problems and so forth she heard the old church back door creak and she looked back and as she turned around she saw her husband with this beautiful physically attractive 24 year old they walked down the aisle she told her physician later she said I got up walked up put my hand on my husband shoulder and said. I called him by name and said this is going to be a hard weekend for you and for me but I want you to know that I'm not going to spoil it for our son I forgive you she looked at the girl tapped her on the shoulder and said you know what I'm not going to harbor any bitterness or anger because it's only going to hurt me and is going to crush this whole relationship in the weekend I want you to know I forgive you she came back to her physician about 2 weeks later after the wedding and she said to her physician you know what Surprisingly I'm sleeping well that night my rash is beginning to go away and although there is a pain in my heart over what happened and I'm not going to minimize that there is she said I'm learning to forgive and to be done with bitterness What did a prayer in that office do the prayer in that office opened the door for a spiritual conversation that facilitated healing as you pray with your patients you'll be amazed at what God does in their lives doc. All right so we have just a couple last minutes just if you haven't been doing this in your practice I would just encourage you to try you don't have to do it with every patient you maybe you will do it just before a procedure. Maybe you'll just decide to do it a couple of times a day. But as you get comfortable doing it you'll find that patients actually appreciate it. It will encourage you to do it more and more and you get to the point where you feel very comfortable with it it gets to the point that I haven't but when I think that I'm about to close the conversation and forget that they'll actually remind me. And I've had patients come now actually have quite a few patients that come with the expectation that I'm going to pray for them because they've heard that we do that in their church or in their social groups and so. This is actually been amazing for more referrals because the patients really really appreciate it I have one lady who had prayed with who was an elder in her church bringing her daughter 3 weeks later and her daughter's in her twenty's she's sitting on the table start ask her well where are you here and she just kind of looked at me as though you have any chest pain to get your heart racing or skipping no after asking all of these questions finalists of a why did you come in that lady's mom face of all the doctors who are so I just want her to have a doctor that prayed whether I don't know how to build that. I didn't turn on a bill that day but I prayed for their daughter to father in heaven. We're all on a journey of learning how to reflect Christ to the people around us. And as we venture out and become more comfortable I just pray that you would lead each one some of us are just beginning many of us have had experiences already and we just pray that through this that we can truly be used to point those that are seeking those that are hurting in our world all around us to see the savior. Teach us how to do that as effectively as we keep in the world that we. Listen to and since. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio. If you would like to listen to more sermon leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.


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