Nurses Week Prayer Guide

National Nurses Week 2017Celebrate National Nurses Week with these ideas for prayer. 

Church Bulletin Insert

Help your congregation pray for their nurses and become aware of the needs of nurses and nursing. Download pdf and print out to insert in your church’s bulletin on Sunday during Nurses Week.

Blessing of the Hands

Find suggestions for a short meaningful ceremony of dedication with a Blessing of the Hands. See also the Christian Nurses Oath.

Offer to Pray

You can serve and encourage nurses who work with you by asking if they have special needs to bring before the Lord during a prayer gathering for Nurses Week. You may want to develop a creative form for the prayer needs, or just place a shoe box labeled "Prayer Requests" and slips of paper in the chapel or another accessible place. Here are some other ideas:

  • Focus on praying for your place of work in a hospital, clinic, etc. Pray that they will be places where people will know God's presence and can find his hope and healing.
  • Pray also that Christian nurses in these places will express God's love to others through their actions and their words.
  • Pray that students in local schools of nursing will come to know Jesus as Lord and will discover what it means to follow him in nursing.

Guide the Prayer Time

Whether you lead from the front, or provide a written guide, help participants to move along in the prayer time. Let them know when to begin and end. Honor advertised schedules, so participants will feel comfortable leaving at the appointed time.

Conversational Prayer

Prayer with others can take the form of a conversation, simply directing your group discussion toward God. In this informal style of praying, a participant speaks about only one topic at a time, allowing others to add other dimensions to the request. Prayers are short and topics change naturally, as in a conversation with friends. One person can be asked to begin the conversation, and another appointed to conclude at the set time.

Prayer Partners

This is a more personal, and often less intimidating, style of prayer. Ask participants to choose one other person with whom they feel comfortable praying. Prayer can be guided, either through a written list of suggestions or a leader can suggest topics or requests from the front of the room.

A Concert of Prayer

"Concerts" of prayer take various forms.

  • Everyone prays aloud at the same time, "in concert" with each other. Some may choose to actually sing their prayers.
  • Divide up into pairs or small groups praying simultaneously with other groups for the same concerns.
  • Post prayer requests at various places in a room and ask participants to move from one station to the next, praying for these special needs, either aloud or silently.

A Prayer for Nurses

Almighty God our heavenly Father, you declare your glory and show forth your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth. Deliver us in our nursing practice from the service of self alone, that we may do the work you give us to do in truth and beauty and for the common good; for the sake of him who came among us as one who serves, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979)

A Litany for Nursing

Recite this responsive prayer with all responding,  "Hear our prayer."

Heavenly Father, you gave your Son to live among us, suffer and die for us that by His wounds, we might be healed. Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, you healed the sick and cared for the poor when you lived upon earth. Help us to love those in our care as you love them. Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Counselor, it is only by your power and direction that we can comfort others. Fill us anew today. Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, we commit to you our nation's health care system. Use us as your instruments to make it compassionate, just and fair. Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who lead our nursing organizations. Give them wisdom, courage and integrity. Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We also pray for those who teach nursing, that they would be encouraged and refreshed. Bring more faithful, competent teachers to instruct the next generation of nurses. Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Uphold the administrators of our health care institutions and facilities. Make them wise and just, faithful and kind. Strengthen them to stand for goodness and truth, and support them when they are weak. Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for our colleagues, that you would encourage, strengthen and uphold them in their daily work. Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, we bring our own petitions before you.

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Formal Prayers

Many nurses will feel more comfortable praying formal, written prayers. Several examples are given below. You can also find excellent examples in prayer and service books developed by liturgical churches, or the following books:

Prayer in Nursing: The Spirituality of Compassionate Caregiving, by Mary Elizabeth O'Brien (Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett, 2002)

Moments of Grace: Hymns, Worship Services and Meditations for Caring and Healing Ministries, prepared by David Christian with John Eckrich and Arden Mead (Fenton, MO: Creative Communications for the Parish, 2002).

Prayers for Help and Healing, by William Barclay (New York: Harper and Row, 1995)