One of the most unique aspects of our relationship with God is the very fact that it is a relationship! Relationships grow from time that’s spent together. As believers this happens in all the parts of our daily lives. It’s developed through spiritual disciplines such as worship, time in the Word, and prayer. This week I was reminded of the importance of my words as I pray and how my words portray my beliefs as well as my old habits.
What is prayer like for you? My family grew up with my father praying a blessing for our evening meal. For as long as I can remember, the same prayer was repeated. There was comfort in hearing the familiar. But I also recognized as my father grew older that he was willing to let go of the familiar and have unique conversations with God for whatever was on his heart. A dear friend of mine incorporates scripture into her prayers. Her prayers encourage and sustain me. I have family members who pray only when they feel their back is against a wall. Other family members have shared how they experience a full range of emotions as they pray – anger, joy, sadness, grief, gratitude, awe, or hope. They speak with God as they would a trusted friend.
Sometimes our prayers fall out of our mouths as a litany of requests. There’s no time spent giving thanks to God for being who he is. There’s no time spent listening. Sometimes our words can be rote. Sometimes our words reveal our lack of identity or the lack of time we feel. Sometimes our hearts ache so much, we have no words at all.
Listen to your heart. Pay attention to your words as you sit with your heavenly Father. This week I felt burdened…like I was trying to walk through knee-deep mud. Have you ever felt that way?
I found myself praying, “Lord, you know the barriers I’m facing. Help me to clear the path and follow the road you want me to take.” And then it struck me – what was I asking? Who was doing the work? Who clears the barriers I face? Is that my job or can I trust God to do this in my life? Isn’t God my rock, my refuge, my hiding place?
One of the beautiful aspects of a relationship is that we get to go back and ask forgiveness. So I did just that. And as I asked God to forgive me, I found freedom in his truth. His yoke is easy…his burden is light. I can trust him to remove the barriers I face and to clear the path for me. I don’t have to do it alone. God is present in my past. God walks with me to teach me a new way. And He goes before me through all the unknowns I face.
Christy Secor RN, DNP, CDWF, NCF Professional Ministries Director
You can download the February Prayer Calendar here.
February Prayer Calendar
February 1 – We praise God for the success of our January Journal Club. We had more than 60 nurses participate in a considerate, thought-provoking discussion on providing culturally sensitive care.
February 2 – Pray for the migration of our new long-awaited membership system. We ask God for the transition to go both smoothly and quickly! May God use this system to be an encouragement to our members.
February 3 – Ask the Lord to guide the NCFI CANA (Caribbean & North America) Regional Committee in building connections between nurses and national NCFs (NNCFs). Pray that the Committee representatives from NCF Canada, USA, Haiti and the Bahamas will be creative in planning regional gatherings and encouraging nurses and students in the region.
February 4 – Pray for the planning of the first virtual nurses meeting in Georgia. Pray this would be a time of encouragement and support for those who participate.
February 5 – We remember nurses who are tired, frustrated, and weary caring for patients with COVID. We ask for strength and hope for these nurses and for the members of the healthcare team. May they remember and be encouraged by God’s faithfulness to them as memorial stones to support their faith. May they have courage, trust deeply, and be obedient to who God has called them to be (Joshua 4).
February 6 – Pray for the “Be Still” NCF Student retreat that is happening today. Pray that students and faculty will meet the Lord and be refreshed for another semester of ministry, nursing school, and life.
February 7 – Pray for our staff team to be sustained in the work and ministry we do. There is never a shortage of tasks to accomplish. Pray that God would give us wisdom to prioritize, strength to endure, and space to rest.
February 8 – We praise God for our newest professional nurse group - the Bay Area Nurses Christian Fellowship group. We ask God to lead this team as they seek God’s direction for supporting nurses and others who serve in healthcare.
February 9 – We thank God for faith community nurses across the country who serve their local churches, parishes, communities, and organizations. May God use them to serve as advocates and voices for the needs of the others.
February 10 – We lift up our local, state, and national leaders who serve in difficult times. We ask God for protection, health, and safety for them as well as for justice, wisdom, and discernment to meet the needs of all people.
February 11 – Pray that we would reach more nursing students and new nurses who are just entering the field. This is a unique group that NCF is working hard to attract so our ministry can continue to grow for generations to come.
February 12 – We are grateful for the work of our student leaders, faculty advisors, and professional ministry leaders. May God bless their time and multiply their efforts like the loaves and fishes that were given with even more left over as they share with their peers and colleagues the hope we have in Jesus Christ.
February 13 – Several of NCF’s staff or their family members are facing challenges with their physical or emotional health. We ask God for needed rest and sleep, comfort, energy, healing, and well-being. Remind us, Lord, that you are our source of strength for each new day.
February 14 – Praise God that the NCFI Virtual World Congress will be held July 9-11 this year. Ask the Lord to guide the conference planners and presenters and to bring nurses from around the world to participate.
February 15 – Pray that God will guide and encourage Pamela Cone, NCFI CANA Regional Committee Chair, as she leads the committee and serves in numerous NCFI committees and on the Executive Board. We thank him for her service and commitment to see nurses and students fellowship together and serve Christ in nursing.
February 16 – The Twin Cities NCF group is hosting a special webinar this evening called “2021: Making All Things New.” Pray for clarity for the speakers who will be sharing and leading in prayer. Pray that this time provides hope and renewed energy and vision for the work and ministry we get to be a part of as nurses.
February 17 – Pray for support for our nursing colleagues who are enmeshed in programs to administer the COVID vaccine. Tensions and stress are elevated as vaccine supply is erratic, people are anxious to receive a shot, and others are vaccine hesitant or resistant. Pray God will spread peace and truth through this situation.
February 18 – Pray for our student ministry groups this semester as they continue to navigate ministry in a pandemic. Pray for fresh vision, energy, and creativity. Pray for new leaders to step up this spring semester.
February 19 – Pray for Spiritual Director training for Skip McDonald, who serves NCF students, educators, and nurses in the southeast.
February 20 – The JCN editors are thankful to God for his enabling and inspiring the authors who write regular columns for the journal, as well as new authors. Pray for a collegial relationship among the authors, peer reviewers, and editors as each contributes skill and knowledge to the publication so nurses can better integrate their faith with their nursing practice.
February 21 – Pray for God to continue to lead and guide our weekly Sunday evening times of prayer as nurses from across the country gather together to pray and to be encouraged through his holy Word. May God use this as a time of connection and support for the challenges we face individually and as a profession.
February 22 – We remember nurses who are facing difficult decisions and financial hardships after being furloughed or are having their hours reduced at their place of employment. May God give them wisdom and discernment as they care for their families and may he move so that their financial needs are met.
February 23 – Pray for our professional nurse group leaders as we gather this evening for fellowship, Bible study, and prayer. We ask for God to draw us closer to each other and to him as we meet and as we lead. May other nurses also be drawn to start professional nurse groups in their own areas.
February 24 – Pray for wisdom for NCF’s leadership as we plan and work towards tools that can be used for mentoring new nursing graduates this spring.
February 25 – We praise God for the ways he provides financially for NCF. We have been blessed by donors and ministry partners who truly recognize the need and value of this ministry. We pray for new ministry partners who are willing to provide the financial support needed by NCF’s staff.
February 26 – We ask God for wisdom, discernment, and encouragement for Skip McDonald in meeting the challenges being faced in nursing student ministry in Georgia.
February 27 – We praise God for reminding us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Give us courage for the work that’s ahead. Help us to stay obedient to your call. Remind our hearts and minds that you, dear God, can be trusted in all we face.
February 28 – We thank God for the prayers of so many across the country who pray not only for nurses today, but for generations of nurses still to come. These prayers create ripples of faith and hope that are desperately needed for the future. We remember – God is faithful. He keeps his promises.