January is a time of reflection for many of us. And let’s be real – there’s been a lot to reflect on during 2020. As I was thinking about the joys and heartbreaks of this past year, these verses from Psalm 139 came to mind:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139: 7-10 (NIV)
If I were to write out these verses for myself and for the nurses I’ve been privileged to speak with during this past year, it would read something like this:
God, this year has stretched us and broken us.
But through it all we’ve been reminded of one truth.
You are there.
You are there.
You are there through the care provided to patients in ICU beds
and the long shifts when we did not have the strength to go on.
You are there as we donned gown, mask, and gloves again
and as we searched for the PPE we needed
and as our skin broke down from wearing our masks for hours at a time.
You are there in the separations families experienced
in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and sometimes our own homes.
You are there in each of our Zoom meetings
and as we taught and provided clinicals online
and as we worked through another change, update, or new directive.
You are there as we sheltered in place
and as worship services were cancelled and moved online.
You are there through the long vigils of waiting
and the death of ones we love so much
and the death of ones we hardly knew at all.
God, this year has taught us life lessons and given us new priorities.
We continue to hope. We continue to believe. We continue to trust.
Because you are there.
You are there.
Christy Secor RN, DNP, CDWF, NCF Professional Ministries Director
You can download the January Prayer Calendar here.
January Prayer Calendar
January 1 – Praise God for how he worked in 2020…not how we wanted or expected, but in his ways and his timing. Pray that continued fruit comes from the sowing that occurred in 2020.
January 2 – Praise for improved communication with the Journal of Christian Nursing publishing team that has helped us with some process issues. Prayers for continued open conversation and grace for us to deal with changes.
January 3 – Pray for nurses across the country who are working long hours, caring for family members, and are feeling stretched to the end of their strength and ability. Some are witnessing the death of individuals in their care again and again. We pray for rest, comfort, and connection with God as well as with others who can support them with their prayers and presence.
January 4 – Pray for a ministry partner development (MPD) “sprint” NCF staff are engaging in during January, that God would lead us to those he has chosen to pray for and support us.
January 5 – We remember students and faculty as they start the spring semester. We pray they’ve had rest and can begin the semester encouraged. Pray for any logistics and technical issues with the new semester to be worked out smoothly so that minds and bodies can be fully focused on learning/teaching.
January 6 – Like the people who recognized Jesus and ran on foot from all the towns to get to him (Mark 6:33), pray that NCF staff can run to Jesus in 2021 with excitement and anticipation. The crowd numbered more than 5000 and Jesus healed, taught, and fed them. Great things are in store!
January 7 – The Minnesota NCF team meets today to plan for a Zoom seminar that will be held February 16. Pray for wisdom regarding content, and ways to reach additional nurses and students in the area. Pray that contacts can be made with students and faculty at the University of Minnesota.
January 8 – Pray for NCF staff who are participating today through January 10th in InterVarsity’s Ambition conference. The conference is focused on groups who are wanting to start new witnessing communities on campus. Pray for learnings for both our student and professional nurse groups.
January 9 – Please continue to pray for blessing and encouragement for our NCF faculty advisors. We ask for time for physical rest as well as for spiritual growth as they teach and support student leaders.
January 10 – We praise God for a wonderful Journal of Christian Nursing retreat with the core editor group. God showed us many insights about each other through the Strength Finders that we are continuing to use as we build our team.
January 11 – Ask God to multiply our five small loaves and two fish (John 6) to feed nursing students and nurses with the Good News of the Gospel! Pray for all that is needed – time, ideas, building resources, finances – to come in to NCF.
January 12 – Thank God for leading NCF to a new membership system that will be cost effective and better serve our constituents. Pray that God would go before us in cloud of shade and guidance and a pillar of illuminating fire (Exodus 13) in executing the new system, and that every part of implementation would fall graciously into place!
January 13 – We acclaim God for his mighty provision for NCF in 2020; and that as we reflect and process the past year, we can see God’s hand before, behind, beneath, and above us.
January 14 – We pray for strength, wisdom, and discernment for our faith community nurses as they partner with local health departments and individuals and families within their communities. May God bless their ministry as they provided much needed support and care.
January 15 – Ask the Holy Spirit to minister to NCF members and staff who need personal encouragement and God’s love.
January 16 – Pray for wisdom for the planning team of the Nurses Christian Fellowship International’s virtual conference. It is being scheduled for July 2021. We pray this virtual conference will be a time of encouragement, connection, and will provide opportunities for the building of our faith as well as relationships with nurses around the globe.
January 17 – We praise God for the connection and support that is being experienced through our Sunday evening times of prayer. God’s spirit is moving. We are seeing prayers being shared for specific needs and then days later hearing affirmation how this prayer was needed in the lives of nurses. God is at work!
January 18 – We remember the leadership, faith, and courage shown by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960’s to end racial discrimination and the way this work continues today. May we as nurses of faith take steps to address racism and to end its impact as a social determinant of health in the lives of our communities.
January 19 – Intercede for students and nurses who are weary that need to hear and come to Jesus to help carry the load (Matthew 11:29-30).
January 20 – We thank God for the leaders of our professional nurse groups and their heart for nursing students, nurses, and especially for Jesus. It is a special gift to have nurses from Maryland to Oregon, Texas to Minnesota, and Hawaii gather for prayer, Bible study, support, encouragement, and fellowship. Pray for wisdom for these men and women as they lead their groups and for Jesus to be made known. Pray also for the next generation of leaders for these groups.
January 21 – We ask God to bring many nurses from across the country together for discussion and strengthening during JCN's January Journal Club. Pray that we each will soak in new understanding of how to give culturally congruent care that is also a reflection of Christ.
January 22 – Be praying for the planning of our NCF Student Ministry online “Be Still” retreat that will be held on Feb 6th.
January 23 – We praise God for a continued influx of manuscripts with new authors and unique ideas for the Journal of Christian Nursing. Pray for this bounty of manuscripts to continue throughout 2021.
January 24 – We ask God to redeem the brokenness of 2020 and encourage his people throughout 2021. Let us cling to the Lord instead of science, technology, statistics, or anxiety over what's to come.
January 25 – Lift up NCF staff that we might clearly hear the Shepherd’s voice calling our names, speaking his love and plans to us.
January 26 – Pray for our professional nurse group leaders who will be gathering together this evening for our monthly Zoom call together. We ask God to speak to us through his Word and for his Spirit to give us a vision for what he sees as possible in and through these groups.
January 27 – Pray for wisdom for local, state, and national leaders as the COVID vaccine is distributed around the nation to healthcare facilities and to members of all communities.
January 28 – Pray for wisdom and leading from God as new Bible studies are being prepared for students and nurses.
January 29 – We ask God to give us wisdom, insight, and creativity as we seek to connect with new grads and younger generations of nurses.
January 30 – Pray for NCF staff and their families who need physical healing and strength. Ask God to teach us to depend on him through these “thorns” in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12).
January 31 – We sense revival taking place in and through the ministry of NCF. We ask God to continue to speak to us and provide leading through his Word, our times of personal and group prayer, moments of fellowship, and as we speak openly and courageously with one another.