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Logo of AMEN 2020 Virtual Conference – Touch of Faith

Praying with Patients

Mark Finley Brian Schwartz
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  • November 30, 2020
    11:00 AM


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About 200 universities in the United States in their medical classes have a class called Spirituality and Health that has been Intergroup did because recent studies I think one of the pioneers in this was Dr Harold Coney a get at to Duke University who showed the relationship between spirituality and health so a question that I would ask is this if we know that there is an impact of spirituality on our health if we know that people from the studies that pursue healthy spirituality now there can be an unhealthy spirit you have the desire to help you for help but if we know that people pursuing a healthy spirituality where they have a commitment to God in a deep lasting faith and they have a piece from that freedom from guilt and a freedom from condemnation if indeed that takes place in their life and they have this trust in God in an understanding that God is in control and understanding of heaven in the hereafter if that produces lower stress if it produces lower anxiety if it produces better health and if people who are spiritual and religious will have better health practices and know the words they're less likely to smoke they're less likely to drink alcohol they're less likely to have a poor diet if we know all that and don't help them pursue some kind of spirituality some kind of faith in their life is that unethical so we get our model from Jesus Jesus was the master healer in your member in Matthew Chapter 4 verse 29 it says Jesus went about teaching and preaching and healing so most of Jesus' time was spent in healing but he always integrated the the spiritual Now you say Doc Well Jesus wasn't paid for that and on paper that will. That's why we use a principle called per mission so one of the things that I suggest to doctors dentists medical professionals is as they are going along in the conversation with an individual and they get they can ask something like this where do you get most of your support when you are facing a health challenge and somebody else a will I get my support of my wife or my husband so for some people may say I get my support from my faith that helps you to know where they're at in spiritually then you can ask another question you can say does to be one of those things that recent studies have found is that spirituality plays a major portion in our health both have the probe the spiritual very much a personal No I haven't done it all person say oh I'm a Christian or I'm a Catholic or I'm a Protestant you're learning a little bit about them your take in what I would call is a spiritual in than Torrie and another thing that is extremely helpful is to say something like this. You know you may be aware or not but I'm a Christian physician I'm a Christian dentist and I would like to I like to pray with each of my patients would that be uncomfortable for you or May I pray with you I think asking people permission then takes away the idea of this being an ethical because it's not something we're trying to force we're not trying to super impose our religious values we're simply trying to open the door of opportunity for to pray with them knowing that is we pray with them that will enable them to have greater confidence in our ability as health care providers in some of the recent studies about prayer when patients are asked Would you like your physician to pray with you depending on the study you look at but in some of the studies I've noticed 8045 percent of the patients say yes I would like that and then when they were asked why they made an interesting observation they said because it gives me confidence that if the doctor is praying that God is working with that doctor either whether I believe in God or not some of them have said but I have greater confidence in the physician if you found that so be so doctor and how if you found it to be so well absolutely so I've had so much feedback from patients than you need been particularly their families will just stop me after I prayed either before they're going to go into the heart cath lab or after we finish the procedure and they'll just let our shorts with us meant so much that you stop them prayed what I've come to realize actually friend of mine. Kelly Kinsley kind of pointed out to me by come to realize that this is absolutely true is that when I stop from focusing on the medical part and I focus on them spiritually on. Well there even perceive that spiritually or not they say they perceive it as compassion they actually so yes I'm getting paid to provide medical care but they perceive that when I stop and pray that I actually care about them and they perceive that it's going above and beyond what I'm being paid for so I don't see it as an unethical thing the one take home principle that I left how to springs 15 years ago when after being inspired by what you shared was the idea of asking permission and so I have now gotten very comfortable at just ending every single patient and Connor by saying and I pray with every person in my office I pray for every Us surgery every pacemaker every case every heart. Basically every time I see a patient I just simply say by the way one of the things I offer to do with all my patients has to have a prayer is something that you would appreciate in. I have literally had in 15 years of doing this now maybe a dozen times or somebody has said you know how do you respond when they say No I try to quickly change the subject but I just say Ok that's quite alright and I'll just change the subject now I do have some patients say oh I'm not really just but if it's important to you or if you want to you can and I say well I always want to so I go ahead and do that I wondered about whether I'm imposing that but several of those patients that have it 1st no have later told me you know I really appreciated that just. Just the other day and I back up to a story that happened right after I came back that 1st year and by the way if it doesn't if they all say no at 1st don't let that discourage you my partner Dr Holland came to the seminar about 8 years ago you'll be doing a seminar this afternoon he said that he decided that he would try and he came back to our practice and we live in the Bible Belt. And I think it's just the way he was doing it was I was so quick to cut him by surprise but he said the prairie 1st 8 patients he offered to pray with all said no and he said if this keeps happening I'm done it and I'm in the 9th person said Ok and then the 10th said Ok and he's been praying with his patients ever since but there is a comfort level that we have to get comfortable projecting this is if this is a natural thing to do it's as if of course I would pray so and before I forget I do. I've got 2 stories to tell but I do want to pick up on the idea. By letting ethics of what you said I think it is actually if we believe what we believe that we are imparting medical knowledge that may extend a person's life a few days a few months or a few years but we know and have a connection with the spiritual life that could give a patient eternity it's not a call malpractise not to connect our patients to the source of true healing it's medical malpractise not to be in clude ing spirituality if you believe that there is eternal life it's mental medical malpractise not to be doing that but just the other day I had this kind of he's a he is a bodybuilder young guy in his thirty's pretty whether. He runs a gym where he teaches self defense and of course things have been slowed down due to coated and you can just tell he's kind of. A cool guy I don't know the best way to describe it but just said by the way I want to things I often do is pray he's like. Just caught him completely by surprise and he says I don't really believe in God but. Yeah you can't so. He came back just 4 weeks later we did some tests and came back for weeks later he said not sure I have to tell you that when you asked to pray with me it caught me completely off guard I have never had a doctor ask me that before he said I really hadn't thought about spiritual things in a long time but that got me thinking you know I've been thinking about it since and he said the reason I came back is because you prayed with me. Let me that's open the door for more spiritual conversation ask you a question about that doc to be very practical when you offered to Cray with him it was a little awkward moment when you bowed you had to cry kind of what kind of prayer would you pray for a bodybuilder. Early on I prayed just about the same prayer and it was a simple prayer with just about everyone now I've come to start asking them if there's anything in particular I can pray for is unusual mention a family member but in his case his business had been struggling. In a car so he was there for a heart problem and not real serious but he wasn't sure if it was or wasn't at that point he did resonate on some of the help principles a good diet and plant based because he's really. We talked about some videos you could watch and you kind of resonated with those and so I just prayed that. We don't suspect this is going to be a serious heart problem with the test and come back very positive and that we can be sure you know God bless his business and like I would bless his family and he actually took great hope and then have you ever had somebody that you've prayed with that felt doc and I'm going to die because your brain with. One patient said only once now the fact that I tell them that I do this well everybody relieves them I want you to say that because that's really a key point and I think if you just say to a person you know you're here for heart a better prayer better. They think things are really. Come back to 2 stories that So that was the one story and I actually gave him now some tracks. He totally receptive he has now told other people that Dr Schwartz prayed and he was a not a particularly He was a Gnostic or atheist but religion was not something he had been thinking about in then once I prayed with him in the setting of coven and all the things that are happening he begin asking some spiritual questions that he hadn't asked before but the story I tell every time I do the seminar so you've heard a dozen times now but this was a basically in the 1st year so let me preface this so in the 1st few in the 1st year of doing this I came back convicted that I needed to pray but I came back convicted that I need to pray with the good Christian people that it would be meaningful to and so I would look at the guy in a certain time and I'd say by the way is it alright if I had a prayer. Guy in the tank top for the rough rough looking guy with all the tattoo that wasn't quite so comfortable bringing that. The but it got to the point where I couldn't keep straight who I could pray with or who I couldn't even if they came back for a return visit and I didn't offer to pray the next time they would actually stop and say Are you going to pray in so I quickly became to the idea that I needed to actually pray with everyone and then I realized the guy in the certain didn't get tears in his eyes when I prayed with him but the guy that had the cut off sleeves on the tattoos and the bandana around his head is the one started sobbing when I offered to pray with him and so I can't judge just on the superficial aspect who's going to truly respond and see it as the biggest blessing so I had a patient come come in just a little bit about 9 months after I started. Learning the need to pray with patients and right right around the time of the 1st Amen conference and I was able to share some of these stories the very 1st name and conference and hints we've been doing this summer ever since but. This is the patient that was God's way of telling me that I needed to continue doing this even though it was also powerful for him and it's got many many aspects to it. But his name is. Forgot his name but he's allowed me to actually tell a story but Yaz name was Ron and Ron was also about 38 years old. His father had died of a heart attack at age of 37 so that's hanging over his head he was under a little Should Mundus amount of stress his job was a little bit of jeopardy he was working an hour away down in Cincinnati he rode his motorcycle down there and back he looked like a motorcycle gang sort of going did have a bandana and he had a cut offs t. shirt over that a vest and he weighed about $320.00 pounds of course he smoked he binge drink there on the weekends he confided that his marriage was probably about to break up and just shoot amount of stress in the course if he's 320 pounds into smoking and has the family history has he had high blood pressure he had cholesterol and he had diabetes everything he was a train wreck if you wasn't having a heart attack now he's deaf and got to have one down the road so it turns out the pain that he had was actually fairly a typical it was a sharp pain it was like it was probably musculoskeletal. Into he'd button we set him up 1st stress test and just to be sure but I didn't actually think that this episode of pain was his heart but I had a long talk with him in the. I don't usually do this but I just simply felt impressed that God was calling me to share with him the ideal for his life because it's so out of control he needs to hear it now now days. Or tap them with their church with a chip program and a full plate and diabetes and we run these back to back to back so there's always a program for people and I've now got pamphlets and brochures and helping to stop smoking but this was early this was we hadn't even had an amen conference yet we've had just the 1st meeting it so I don't have any literature I don't have anything but I just sold a mess of Ron I said I don't expect you to do anything that I don't do myself. But I'm going to tell you the ideal for your life you are living so far out of her money with God's plan that even though I don't think this is a heart attack you are going to help and soon I said but let me just tell you what God's ideal as I said God would like to set you free from smoking he'd like to set you free from binge drinking both of these are habits that you're using to only to deal with all the stress that you're under if you ask him he'd like to carry that load of stress but the diabetes the high blood pressure the cholesterol and probably the heart disease that you're going to have down the road are all a result of your lifestyle being completely under control and so someone tell you that I'm encouraging you to ask God to set you free from smoking from drinking so I don't even drink caffeine. But I also eat a plant based diet and I think this is the idea for you now I would usually pick one of those the historic up that we gave them the full plate he got the ball everything and. Then never in my wildest dreams did I expect that too much of anything in then but I then said Ron one of the things I offer to do is have a prayer would that be Ok And he actually started sobbing and he said you know. Grew up I think in a Baptist church having gone to church and this is one told me my marriage is a mess and all these things and he says he said sure and so I prayed with him and I prayed that God what set him free from alcohol from tobacco even caffeine that he would free him from the stress that he's carrying in that he would help him learn to eat a simple diet and we did a stress test my p.s.a. sell him back for that and I didn't see him for about a year. A year went by and. My nurse who likes to jump to conclusions and Iran's back and he's lost over a 100 poems. Now the idea of the loses maximum you don't want to lose more than about 2 pounds per week he had lost about 2 pounds he was down in the low to hundreds he was off all of his diabetes medicines he was off all his blood pressure medicines he was off his cholesterol medicine he was no longer wearing cut off sleeves in a bandana he was actually dressed in a shirt in like a peaceful guy in she came out and said I think he had his very Actrix surgery and it was very successful because we never see anybody with that kind of way so you like to jump to conclusions and so I came in and said Run you play you look like a whole new person what happened to you Did you have periodic surgery goes well no I don't have very high trick surgery so what do you do and he says well I just simply did what you said and this is what do you mean East as well Dr Schwartz you prayed with me and because you prayed with me I went on a plant based that I have not smoked a cigarette cigarette since I was in your office I have not drink alcohol I got a new job I joined a church in my marriage is doing very well in that convicted me that beyond anything else that I could do there is power in prayer and he said that's because you prayed with him so I didn't need to see him anymore he had no medications no medical problems he was still going to lose a little bit more way but he had turned his life around because the power of a prayer in the fact that I took a few extra minutes to talk to him about what God's ideal for his life was. But the story continues so don't seem as a patient he was back to his primary care doctor. 5 years later when Lindy in a way to what we call a hole Maremma parade of homes where these home builders will build model homes and the subdivision in these are multimillion dollar homes you actually buy a ticket a realtor friend of ours gave us 2 tickets to go to this home or Emma where we could sue or I think 9 homes that are all of them $1500000.00 range they're all decked out with the latest of everything a home theaters everywhere huge lobbies in they'll be about 2030 people a time that come through the home and so windy night along with 20 other people went into the us waited outside went into the lobby in. Stepped into the entrance and there was this guy in a certain type. This guy in a certainty that I didn't quite recognize but look familiar who was the host for that event working with this building organization and he in our shoes everybody in is looking at the 20 people in he the starts talking about this home was built by John Browne who's a high end builder it's got. 12000 square feet a home theater downstairs a swimming pool and he stops you go. Wait a minute I know you. Well you're my doctor and instead of giving the spiel he starts telling he starts really he's testifying he's preaching a sermon to the 20 people in the room that this is the doctor that prayed with me he changed my life I used to be smoke I used to smoke in drink I weighed over 320 pounds he was no then clean caught wearing a tie it said it says my life and he stopped and thanked me right there front of these people and I realized that this is how the Gospel is going to go forward unless. He was out testifying for being set free from all the things that have been slaves in them and that convicted me right then and there or that I have to pray with every single patient that is incredibly exciting I mean if that doesn't inspire you to pray with your patients know what would let's kind of review 4 basic things that you can do to lead into those prayers and then I want to talk a little bit about the theology of prayer and. Why we pray with our patients some broader reasons but here are some ways Dr Schwartz has mentioned one that I've mentioned as well of that we asked permission so one line of reasoning is at the end of our visit with the patient we may not have talked anything at all about spirituality yet we might say as a Christian physician I like to pray with each of my patients would that be something that would be acceptable to you so we've asked permission and then we move forward but I think it's very important to say as a Christian physician I like to pray with all of my patients and so that then it helps them to know that you've not singled them out that it's not something that will disease you're praying over so that's one line of possibility there's another line of possibility that may come earlier in the conversation that we've mentioned that had that we called the spiritual inventory. In the spiritual inventory we might say something like this people get support from various reasons for from various areas of their life some people get support from a husband or wife some people get support from their faith is there a place where you put securely find helpful to get support in your own life when you're facing a health challenge this question would be asked when a person has a little more serious health challenge there's a 3rd line of reasoning that I think can be very helpful as well and that is it's a personal testimony in each one and it would go something like this each one of us have challenges in our life I face challenges when I've had certain habits in my life this can come after you've discussed some of the practical things that a person can do to reduce the risk of disease or change the course of their life similar to what Dr Schwartz had been talking to this fellow about these 330 pound guy Ron He says Dr Schwartz mentioned the fact of the need of quitting smoking the need of putting out the hall the need of getting on a plant based diet etc After you've done that each You can then rather than dumping simply health information upon person you can say no all of us have challenges in our life one of my challenges might be to get enough sleep I tend to work too late. One of my challenges may be to get enough exercise because you know as a pastor I sit a lot and so it really takes a lot of discipline for me to get access to all of us have various challenges and let's suppose I'm talking to Ron and Ron Right now I know you're facing a particular challenge and that challenge has to do with overcoming alcohol and tobacco but we all have challenges in our life and may I pray with you that would that God would help you to strengthen you in this particular challenge so in that Modelo to when we're going down that line the reason we have dental fight with the person we let the person know that they're not unique in the challenges that they face but that we need to understand those challenges there's a 4th line of reasoning as well where it is a question. As we're talking to the individual we might see something like this for me personally I think with the police an important part in my life and for me thief is trusting God It's trust in God's promises and and and I'd love to share a promise with you from the Bible it says the in flip in chapter 4 verse 13. The Apostle Paul is speaking insist I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me and I want to give you the assurance that Christ can strengthen you we have a little prescription pad that we offer to physicians in this 4th line of reasoning we take out that prescription pad on the top that says Jesus is the master physician and you can write on that Looper scription that will talk about getting exercise 4 times a week or daily getting exercise daily for 15 or 20 minutes or 30 minutes taking a walk you can talk about reducing the amount of fat in the diet you can talk about getting off to back to where he just writes something a little prescription pad and then write a Bible promise and as you he ended the person you say can I pray with you that God will help you to implement these things in your own life so it's a Christian prescription pad that is available for a man so these are some very practical things you can do now let's make a transition from there. And ask the question why indeed is it that a bill to pray with people who doesn't God isn't God doing everything he can to produce healing in that person before we ever pray he is God limited to our prayers and the answer is that simply this that there's a great controversy going on between good and evil that the devil wants to destroy your patient's health living God wants to build it up that this is part of a great controversy that the idea of sickness is was never part of God's original plan it wasn't God's part of the identical model that God had so sickness was not part of that God is the Great in Jesus is the great health response or Satan is the great health destroyer so why break I think 1st as we pray we open our own minds as healthcare providers to God's wisdom. Here remember the story of the Dr Schwartz told of the n.s.t. she Aug that is and prayed for that lead as he prayed he opened his mind in the team's mind for the wisdom that God can give to help in the healing process because his health care providers we have many choices that we can make choices of the of the medication we may prescribe and choices if you're a dentist of just how to deal with this complex issue. That you have to do in oral surgery so there are many complex issues and I think one reason we pray with a patient is that God will give us wisdom and in the treatment process I nother another thing that I think really is helpful in prayer is this prayer calms our patients it gives them a sense of peace because often when a person is sick have you ever noticed that when you take a person's blood pressure. Previous to coming into your office that their blood pressure will tend to run a higher than it typically does in a normal broad pressured of yeah why is that true because they feel a certain they've been higher if they go to the depths of my are they going to tend to what about could you have you ever done a randomized study of of where the blood pressure is higher when they go to a cardiologist. Only though that it's higher when they 1st come in than if I took it right at the very and yeah you know why is there put pressure higher now that's an interesting one too because you prayed with them at the end you know whether it's just about what you're going to do and. They're relieved at the yeah they have this certain anxiety that certain were rare helps to calm the patient of and it helps them to be more relaxed and so I think per provides that and that extra a piece you know I remember there was on one occasion that I was to speak at an unnamed parliament a Congress in a South American country and when I got there right after the Congress was dismissed I had one of the congressman come up to me and he was a 7th Day Adventist and he said to me the president of our nation is gone it's our nation is in a very very critical period of time right now the vice president is running the nation and he has been up 3 nights in a row the medical professionals the nurses are on strike. And he said a number of our professionals are on strike and this vice president's under a lot of criticism would you be willing to go and pray with him now to it because those protocol visits will take you weeks and months to schedule and he said but let's go to the White House so he called the vice president on the cell phone and he said I have a friend here who'd like to come by and talk to you and the vice president welcomed us we came were ushered in so. Sat in a little waiting room and as we were sitting in the waiting room funny the vice president came in note high on short opened. Beer You know it's a stump of a beard and I knew that he had been up for 2 or 3 nights and he sat down now I learned everything about the vice president before I went and I understood that he was Jewish and so we sat down and we began to talk and he just began to tell me all the different problems and I began to talk to him about worry and anxiety and its impact on physical health its impact on our decision making process of I gave a little study that I learned from Dr Schwartz and my other friends and a man on and that of me and physiology and after that little study I said Can I share with you would an ancient Jewish cough it once told a king and what he shared and he said sure and I read to him Isaiah 263 that will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is state upon the we talked about the peace that comes from knowing gaunt the peace that can flood into our souls and I asked him that question at the end of the visit I said May I pray for you and I did something you never will do with a public official I walked over and I touched him you know he touched me and I put my arm around his shoulder and he bowed his head and weep and I prayed for him after praying he dismissed me he said you can leave but I want the congressman to stay and I felt nervous and I thought oh I'm in trouble but I crossed something and I went out and waited a little ante room in the congressman came out the of this huge smile on his face and he said Mark I want to tell you what the vice president told me he said people have been coming into my office for the last 2 weeks and they wanted to get something from me they wanted to get something from me he said that man came in and he prayed for me. And he said this was the d.s. with the best 15 minutes of my entire We so as we pray for people it brings this peace or calm so why do we pray it opens our hearts to receive God's wisdom 2nd it brings a calm a peace to the patient there's a 3rd reason prayer opens us to receive the channel of God's blessing for that individual and the healing power of Christ flows from the River of the water of life from the sanctuary through us to that individual in the great controversy between good and evil between Christ and Satan God unself has set up ground rules and one of those ground rules is that God respects human freedom God will never violate human freedom but when you stand with the patient and that patient agrees for you to pray with them and you make the decision to pray for that patient the river of water of life that healing river that is equal talks about flows through you to touch the life of that patient and there is a healing balm that comes that would not come if we didn't pray I love what Ellen White says in the book great controversy page 525 where she says puts it this way God will do an answer to the prayer of faith that which he would not do did we not just pray it's not that God hasn't been working to produce healing in that person not at all God has been working to produce healing but God is limited by that person choices but when we pray and they agree to have us pray the power of God flows into their life is so invite your patience to that grew Arias privilege of praying with you and watch what God does. Doc All right so. You've heard the theology behind it you've heard some examples I absolutely believe that there is something about intercessory prayer God does not force his way into our hearts and that does require choice but by. Bringing up the conversation and getting somebody to consent to it we do open that door. I absolutely believe that it helps the patient because it also has helps the patient believe in the physician that's doing the procedure and then you mentioned something else that struck a chord with me there are many times that I have prayed with a patient in. Something will start turning bad. And even right then I'll say Lord it prayed for was them please give me it was them and there have been many times that it's like to do this to do this and just quickly something on flesh and in my mind that I believe is the answer directly to those prayers that have many times helped me get out of trouble or avoid trouble there is one question that almost always comes up in just a couple minutes will have just the last 5 or 10 minutes for questions but there is one question that always seems to come up in the seminar and that is what if you prayed for somebody that they're going to be that the procedure is going to go well and that God will bless them and that they recover quickly and then they die from the procedure and I have had that happen. And I have people that are coming in to genic shocked when they've had people coming in who then arrest on the table and once in a while one of them will do end up actually though to be able to go out and talk to the family you know just I just tell them I'm so sad so sorry to give you this news and we've done everything we could possibly do and we kept doing it and there's no hope in your loved one has actually passed away but I do want to tell you. You know not cry in that then I say I do want to tell you one thing before we started the procedure I was able to pray with them and they take such great hole in such a great piece and they're so appreciative that somebody stepped and prayed with them written for they died that must of the time that is really really welcome. I'd have had some patients say no just a very few might try to respect that when they've said no I try not to bring it up within the next time I'm back when I have paper charts and read a little in p. on the charts remind myself of that but recently I forgot that one of my patients Susan body's a pianist so by the way one of the things I offer do with all my patients that's Dr Short start shirts remember I'm an I'm an atheist and. I'm so sorry I don't mean to keep bringing this. Season Oh no that's Ok but since you were going to take a minute to break can I ask you a question and that in itself turned into a 15 minute spiritual conversation so even just revisiting it. Can still open the door to a conversation and conversation was about politics but the 2nd follow up question of that is just as you know I've read the bible 5 times but I just can't see it that if God is a God alone there can be things like the Holocaust and all these people starving and these children and so we had a 15 minute conversation on the great controversy when we got there and he says you know. Never heard that before and so there even are a lot of atheists out there that are atheists because they see the God that is being reflected in so many false religions of our world and when they can hear what the Bible truly say and see this world view that is completely different than what our world holds to it can have the power and to revisit that and open in his mind the idea and actually I was able to give him a book he's read it and we've been having conversations since it's true I have an offer to pray with him again but until he asked me but I think one day that he may even ask me to pray so let's see we've got about 10 minutes left we can either take a question by chat or we can take a question if you are me yourself and I could keep telling story after story where we're waiting for Western terms but. A Christian prayers that's been very welcomed by my Muslim patients has been very welcome by my Jewish patients they know I'm a Christian I respect the fact that they're Muslim and they're not upset that I pray my prayer you know I respect their values but one group is either atheists or their job as witnesses that say no I'd rather not I don't want to pray but if I sense that there. I hope as witnesses. I'll say it would you like to press if I've had it now that after they've done it once or twice the next time they'll let me do it and it's no longer news is there's even ways around the. You know one thing Dr Schwartz I think that's helpful to is to understand that God has placed eternity in every person's heart I love what it says in Ecclesiasticus Chapter 3 Verse 11 once I began to understand this it made such a difference. Even the people that don't look like they are prospects for Christianity or that would say no don't pray here in Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 11 it says he has made everything beautiful in it's time and he's put eternity in their hearts I love that he's put eternity in their hearts so as people walk into your office as a health care provider we recognize that Christ has put eternity in their hearts and they may not realize that but that one simple sentence of saying as a Christian physician I offered to pray with each of my patients would that be something that would be acceptable to you that maybe this arc that ignites the flame of spiritual life because eternity is in their hearts doc I think we've got a question here is the question I have to put my glasses on to see it all right the question is from Grace how to deal with substance abuse do you remember do you recommend will study contact struggling with drug abuse to go to rehab and how to send when they have no insurance and just out of jail so that's a jump in on that and then I'll jump to the turkey question so I think there's a couple aspects but somebody was substance abuse there they may be impaired even in their thinking and are we presupposing that they can even understand what a prayer is but I think that they are enslaved and the only thing that's going to set them through prayer is powerful good news they have to understand the gospel. Take smoking for instance I used to tell my patients routinely I used to do this for years you know you should really stop smoking well they know they should stop smoking that's not the issue and when I tell them that they need to stop smoking just by building up their willpower I'm just asking them to become a legal us and so it's really the power of the gospel that says them for is so I do think that we have to tap them into the true source to set them free I do believe that the gospels powerful enough to set for even a drug addict or even somebody who's just been out of jail and I do believe that there is a huge power to putting them into an environment I would say even more than rehab but like a lifestyle center or a program where they can be in a structured program that that will encourage them nurture them give them good food give them even hydrotherapy that we learned about this morning in a structured spiritual program that that could be the very most effective place that's a very difficult problem dealing with somebody who has no insurance and has no resources but that's where Benevolence has to come in that we night even help someone to go you know in dealing with people that have substance abuse problems I've dealt with this is a pastor on numerous occasions and one of the things I like to do is something like this to kind of play off what Doc has said I asked him share with me a little bit about your story when was the 1st time that you began to use the substances your memory the 1st time he smoked marijuana your memory of 1st time to tell me a little bit about that what were the circumstances around that they might tell me that they came from a family that went through a divorce and they might tell me that and I don't mean to suggest in any way that everybody because there's a divorce is going to get on substance you know but they might tell me some trauma they might tell me about abuse that took place and they might tell me about. Being a bullied at school and they wanted to city and so that they're telling me their story that story is going to help me a great deal most of the people that have started using substances have some story of broken this some story of sadness some disappointment that has taken place I want to know that because unless you deal with the root of the problem of substance abuse you're not going to solve the problem substance abuse so once the begin talking to me about that I have found something that is at least to me really an amazing concept if you understand unconditional love and acceptance that keeps you from trying to find solutions in other areas like substances and here is a simple concept do you have 2 minutes to explain this you do it for a 5 month low Ok I can explain this in 2 minutes doc maybe 3 Why is it that God has created human relationships What's the reason for that why did God create you having a father or a mother or a sister or a brother for a husband or wife. Every human relationship that we know of is reflecting is in the ideal situation to reflect God's love it doesn't always do that but that's God's ideal so you should Bible say that God is like a father to us it does now our Father which art in heaven but does a Bible say God is like a mother to us as a mother comforts are children so I comfort you so God is pictured in scripture with the strength of a father he's pictured in scripture with the tenderness of a mother is God's pictured in the bible like a brother knee is he is that one that sticks closer than a brother is he pictured in the Bible as a friend he is is God pictured in the Bible as a husband or a wife in the intimacy of love who why does God give us those relationships here's why because in the ideal situation every relationship is to reflect God's love in the ideal but what if that chain is broken what if you have an abusive father what if you have a mother that doesn't care what if you have a friend that betrays you like Judas betrayed Jesus and if that happens God is willing to bypass all those human relationships that should have reflected his love and poor that love directly into your heart so would I believe in the substance abuse is we find out what the root of the problem is often in its lack of acceptance then from they are we begin with helping people to know God's unconditional love and at the same time we instruct them in the 8 natural remedies who are walking in a good diet and in water and we stick with them and we see them consistently if we cannot refer them out to something M's. Laura there's one last question and this is actually from India sometimes patients can accuse us of trying to convert presidents when we pray so how do we deal with that I ask you to answer that that is very true isn't coming from India because there are in type proselytisation laws when India you know you're going to be dealing mostly Hindu patients and Mum what I've discovered is this I've been to India numerous occasions and what I would say is this to my patient I would not start in with the question if I mean India of Hindus I would not start with as a Christian physician I would say as a physician that respects prayer many of my patients whether they are Hindus of they come from Rishon background or no barrack room appreciate prayer. Would you that be something you appreciate as well you know I think is so you don't start as a Christian physician you say. As a physician many of my patients appreciate prayer some of them are Hindus and many of them are some of them are Christians so you lead with a respect for Hindu ism or Sikhism or Gene ism in that particular culture and I have about a dozen Hindu patients even in Dayton Ohio who are very appreciative of the fact that I prayed with them. Not pushing anything more than that I do want to make the final point before you pray that. My goal is not to try to convert them to my beliefs my God My goal in praying with them is to let them know that I am a spiritual person that I do believe there's a higher power that gives a string and then when the right time comes they will ask me a spiritual question and when they ask me that spiritual question it's happened over and over and over again where somewhere down the road they'll say doc can I ask you a question and I've had this happen now not just I'm no longer just praying with my patients I had. A car service ride with a driver just got in the spirit I just said by the way can I pray for you today and then open the door to spiritual conversation I am now trying to be a person that lets everybody that I am in contact with know that I'm a spiritual person and one of the ways I can do that is to pray with them so this is trickling over beyond my professional life into everyday life and generally once in a while somebody is offended but generally people appreciate it and that's I think what we're called to do what you're saying is that prayers become a way of life for you trying to make it a way for you let's pray together her father in heaven how we thank Thee that you have given us the privilege of prayer how we thank you so much that the river of water of the law youth from the very throne of God the very life of God the healing presence of God slows through us in our prayers to touch the life of another human being. Teach us how to be effective prayers for others teach us to reach out and touch others with your healing love so that they can appreciate your grace and goodness in Christ. 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 verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a visit w w w audio verse or.


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