Racism. It’s a dark reality we need to face as a country and as a profession. I heard racism described as a public health crisis this week by a black community-rights advocate here in the Twin Cities. She was being interviewed following the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis Police Department. Her use of the term “public health crisis” has stayed with me.
In the days following Mr. Floyd’s murder, I have watched and followed both the peaceful protests and the destructive riots and actions of individuals in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. The unrest here in the Twin Cities has also spilled over to the rest of the country. Mr. Floyd’s death is another example of the needless deaths of a person of color. The looting and riots in the Twin Cities have destroyed and damaged communities I have worked in and valued for the people, food, and culture. In these days of despair, I have also seen light as people throughout Minnesota have come together to clean up the damage and to provide support, food, water, and prayer.
As nurses we know health disparities exist. We can identify where those disparities will be present by zip codes. Healthy People 2020 has acknowledged racism as a social determinant of health. From an ethical perspective, social justice and equity are values we lift up as a profession.
As believers, we know our God to be a God of justice. His Word specifically identifies the orphan and widow as well as others who are oppressed. Galatians 3:28 (New International Version) tells us, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Racism is a health disparity we must address as both believers and as nurses.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
How can we as a community of believers begin to be that light?
Pray for the Lord to reveal to us our own bias and prejudice. Pray for opportunities to have difficult, but life-giving conversations with men and women of color.
Ask for eyes to see racism that is taking place where you work and worship. Collaborate with leaders where you work and worship to address racial disparities.
Your prayers and actions to peacefully stand up for the rights of persons of color and for the members of our communities make a difference. As nurses we serve in unique ways to impact the health and safety of all people.
Thank you for the work you do every day. Thank you for your prayers and support for NCF as well.
Christy Secor RN, DNP, CDWF, NCF Professional Ministries Director
June 1 – Lord, we lift our country up to you. We confess to you the sin of racism that has existed for generations. Forgive us. Open our eyes. Heal our land. Bind the hearts of the oppressed. Lead us to a place of wholeness and reconciliation within our churches, workplaces, and communities.
June 2 – We thank you, Lord, for those who keep the peace and we remember our law enforcement offices, national guard, and branches of the military. Watch over them. Protect them. Bring them home to us.
June 3 – We remember the more than 100,000 men, women and children in the United States who have been lost in these past months due to COVID-19. Families have experienced separation from one another. We have not been able to grieve as we need. Give strength and courage to those who work in health care. Heal the trauma we feel.
June 4 – Lord, we pray for people of color in nursing. Guard and protect them. Give them deep insight and wisdom. Increase the numbers of people of color in our nursing schools and faculty. Create opportunities for conversation and a better understanding of how we can move forward towards healing.
June 5 – Pray for the nursing students who graduate from their nursing programs this year. Give them wisdom and discernment as they prepare for and take their Boards and begin new positions.
June 6 – Lord, we praise you for the way you have bound our hearts and minds together as a ministry and as a team. We ask for your continuing direction and guidance for NCF’s leadership team: for Christy Secor who has been serving as NCF’s Interim Director and as the Professional Ministries Director; for Jen Wojtysiak, our Student Ministries Director; for Jessica Harper, NCF’s Marketing and Communications Manager; and for Kris Mauk, the Senior Editor for the Journal of Christian Nursing.
June 7 – Thank you, Lord, for the many nurses who responded to our membership special during National Nurses Week and for the way we were able to honor nurses for their sacrifice and service throughout the entire month of May. We are grateful for each member of the NCF staff who spent time preparing resources and praying for the needs of nurses throughout the country.
June 8 – Give wisdom to our leaders at the local, state, and national levels as our communities open and as large groups of individuals gather to protest. We ask for safety and healing in these difficult times. Teach us to lament and to trust you, Lord.
June 9 – Pray for Katharine Provost, NCF’s Campus Staff Minister for Student Ministries, as she seeks others who will partner with her both financially and in prayer in her work with NCF. We ask that this time of concentrated support raising be fruitful in raising the funds she needs.
June 10 – We uphold in prayer nurses who are in a spiritual and emotional valley due to the extraordinary work demands and unknowns of the pandemic. We ask God to bring close to them the support and care they need for their mental and emotional health and for His sheltering protection as they are weary and vulnerable.
June 11 – God, we ask for a continual supply of comfort and spiritual stamina for one of our contributing editors of the JCN as she walks through the loss of an aunt to COVID-19, a serious surgery for her daughter, and an ongoing health battle with her son. Be present with her, Lord.
June 12 – God, give us insight, wisdom and patience as we learn the new software system that will impact our membership system. Help us to ask the right questions and connect us to others who can provide support for any glitches that may be experienced.
June 13 – We lift up our faith community nurses as they serve their communities as our places of worship open. Give them wisdom, Lord, as they communicate with their church leaders and those they serve. We ask for unity and respect among all believers as we continue to worship.
June 14 – Thank you, Lord, for the more than 4 million nurses within the United States. Thank you for the ways they teach, care, support, and advocate for the individuals, families, and communities they serve. Thank you for the opportunity to serve others as we would serve you. Draw more of these nurses to you.
June 15 – We praise God for a good flow of manuscripts from new authors for the JCN. Pray that the JCN staff would handle all submissions with grace and care.
June 16 – We are so grateful for our professional nurse group leaders. Thank you for their leadership as many groups have gone virtual. Others are connecting individually by phone with their members. Give them encouragement as they serve.
June 17 – Pray for our incoming classes of nursing students as campuses develop plans for the fall. We lift up these students as well as students who are returning to their nursing programs after a semester ended disruptively. Provide the clinicals that are needed.
June 18 – We ask, Lord, for you to greatly use the LifeGuide Bible study on anxiety that was written by Skip McDonald, who serves NCF students, educators, and nurses in the southeast. God, give wisdom and discernment to Skip as she also prepares a new Bible study on depression. May this series be used by you to make a difference in the lives of students and nurses.
June 19 – Lord, we remember nurses who are serving through Nurses Christian Fellowship International. Be present with them as they serve and give them joy in the work they do.
June 20 – Lord, be with each NCF staff person who is raising their personal financial support to do what you have called us to do in ministry and in nursing. Help us to finish the fiscal year that ends on June 30th strong.
June 21 – We pray for our student nurse leaders. Give them the time they need as they serve and bring the hope of Christ to their nursing programs and schools. Draw new leaders to fill open positions.
June 22 – We praise God for the return of Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, NCF’s Director, as she returns from sabbatical. We thank you for the ways you have spoken to her heart during these past months. We ask for your protection over her health, family, and ministry as she jumps back into ministry and as we transition as a team.
June 23 – Thank you, Lord, for two new professional nurse groups that have begun in Oregon and in Florida. Give encouragement to these nurse leaders and draw others to their groups for connection, relationship, prayer, and support.
June 24 – We find ourselves in a time of flux and change as we plan for student ministry this fall. There are also great opportunities here. Give us creativity and insight as plan for new student orientations across the country. Help us to be a source of light and hope to others.
June 25 – We praise you, Lord, for the growth we are seeing as new members are becoming part of Nurses Christian Fellowship. Help us to serve them well. Give us wisdom as we look for creative ways to share with students and nurses the message of hope found in you and as we integrate our faith and practice.
June 26 – Today the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity is hosting a virtual conference focusing on “Bioethics in Real Life: Lessons We Are Learning from COVID-19.” We ask for protection from any software or technical problems and that this conference would provide opportunities for growth and insight for those who listen.
June 27 – Be present with us, Lord, in our grief and in the loss we feel during these times of unrest and as we seek answers during this pandemic. We need wisdom and direction as protocols and vaccines are developed. We ask for the personal protective equipment and for COVID tests that are needed in our communities. Renew our strength and our spirits.
June 28 – Lord, we pray for nursing programs across the United States as they face significant transition in the coming months. Guide NCF staff as they support faculty advisors and student leaders.
June 29 – Pray for the NCF and JCN teams as we prepare for a deeply personal and meaningful July 16th Journal Club conversation. Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner will be sharing the article she co-authored that communicates the story her family experienced following her husband, Richard’s, traumatic brain injury.
June 30 – We lift up the ministry of NCF. Give us insight, Lord, as we serve nurses across the United States. Help us to be a source of encouragement, support, and healing. We continue to give this nursing organization and ministry to you. NCF belongs to you, Lord. May we follow where you lead.