Praying With Patients?

PrayingWhat is the role of prayer in clinical practice?

This challenging issue is addressed in the Journal of Christian Nursing, Oct. – Dec. 2013 by Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, Editor. “It’s my job to make sure that the information offered in JCN is practical and professional, as well as biblically consistent with Christian faith,” Kathy writes in her editorial, “Praying With Patients.”

“Christian nurses need to employ best practices in praying for patients,” writes YeounSoo Kim-Godwin in her feature article, “Prayer in Clinical Practice: What Does Evidence Support?” This in-depth article offers suggestions for appropriate, ethical prayer practices in nursing. CE credits are available.

Kathy’s interest in prayer with patients is more than academic. On a recent rotation, a highly distraught woman was put in Kathy’s care. Before getting into bed, the woman dropped to her knees to pray. Kathy was trained to care for her physical and emotional symptoms -- and spiritual needs. Kathy prayed with the woman side-by-side, on her knees, asking God to help her.

Moments later, the admitting nurse said she forgot to tell Kathy that the woman had requested to talk to a chaplain. “I laughed – God knows what he is doing,” Kathy reflects. “He will place me in situations where he needs a nurse who will pray with a patient.”

What is your comfort level in praying for your patients? Take the JCN Quick Poll and cast your vote.  How does the cultural environment of your workplace influence the spiritual care you give patients? Read more from JCN.

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