The story of the destruction of the city of Jericho recorded in Joshua 6 has been frequently taught and shared with children in churches around the country. Usually it’s accompanied with trumpets and lots of marching! It’s a story of obedience and seeing God at work. It’s a story of God’s promise fulfilled. But there’s more to this biblical account than a lively reenactment for children. There are lessons here for you and me.
The walls of Jericho provide a word picture for us. Each of us knows personal challenges that are difficult to conquer. We see hurt, pain, and injustice. The challenges seem immense. We find ourselves asking how are we going to get through another day (or the next hour). As I met with our professional nurse group leaders, we asked the question … what walls are we facing?
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
Grief through so many losses associated with COVID
Barriers in providing spiritual care
“Walls” within institutions
Desire for control in our lives
God is not absent in these places. I would encourage you to read this again and out loud – God is not absent in these places! We have an army of believers to support us in this work. We acknowledge the undeniable power of prayer to equip and change our perspectives as we filter the chaos of our world through a biblical perspective.
Take up the call to walk and to pray around the walls you experience personally and professionally. For some, this may be a walk around a campus, institution, or floor. For others, the walk may be needed around your home or figuratively around your heart or the words coming from your mouth. Ask God to help you to see what he is doing.
God, we want to hear your voice. We commit to staying in your Word. We promise to listen and to give you the opportunity to speak.
As nurses who believe and depend on you, we join with you in the work you are doing. We praise you for the walls we know you can and will tear down when we walk in obedience to you. The battle is yours, God. The victory has been won!
Christy Secor RN, DNP, CDWF, NCF Professional Ministries Director
You can download the November Prayer Calendar here.
This reflection would not have been possible without the insight and wisdom of NCF’s professional nurse group leaders. I am indebted to their courage and vulnerability as we share and dig into the Word together. Their commitment to nursing students and nurses across this country are an example and encouragement of what is possible as nurses who live out their faith and practice together.
November Prayer Calendar
November 1 – We praise God for the work he has been doing in and through our weekly NCF Prayer Nights. We ask God to use this time each Sunday as a way for us to draw closer to him and to lift up the needs of students, faculty members, nurses, and our country.
November 2 – Pray for Christy Secor, NCF’s Professional Ministries Director, as she continues to unpack boxes following her move from Minnesota to Wisconsin and grieves the passing of her father. Pray for connections with local nurses there and for wisdom as she spends time listening to how God wants to direct NCF and bring healing to her own heart and spirit.
November 3 – On this election day as the polarities of our country are being seen and felt so strongly, we ask God for healing within our nation and that we, as believers and followers of Christ, would reflect Jesus Christ in all that we say and do. May we use this time to understand the needs of others and to filter our responses through the wisdom of the Scriptures.
November 4 – Pray for strength for Mary Helming, a JCN contributing editor, for her own mental health as well as the needs of family. Her son, Gregg, has three herniated discs and is in significant pain while he waits for a surgical appointment. Pray that God would heal his pain and back without surgery if it be his will. Pray for improvement with the diabetes and cardiac arrhythmias Mary’s husband, Carl, is experiencing. Pray also for their beloved pet dog, Cody, for healing following recent eye surgery and the recent discovery of a liver mass. Pray the mass is benign.
November 5 - Tomorrow the JCN staff, who live in different states and work together remotely, will engage in a day-long virtual retreat. Ask God to strengthen their relationships with each other and grow their skills and vision for the Journal of Christian Nursing. Thank God for the leadership of Editor-in-Chief, Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, and Senior Editor, Kris Mauk.
November 6 - Pray for the Journal of Christian Nursing’s staff meeting today for a retreat. They will be exploring Gallup StrengthsFinder and working on building up the team to do the work of JCN. Pray for their guest speaker, Neill, as she walks the team through StrengthsFinder. Ask God to meet them and accomplish all he wants.
November 7 – Pray for the health of NCF and JCN staff to be maintained during the pandemic. Pray for nursing students, faculty members and nurses to also stay healthy as they care for and provide support to others with COVID.
November 8 - Pray for the six campuses participating in the NCF Self-Care Proxe (online interactive evangelism display). Pray for students as they take bold risks and share the gospel with their friends.
November 9 – We thank God for providing a well-attended and highly participatory October Journal Club. We thank him that the technology worked seamlessly, and despite panelist changes, the presentation was accomplished with learning opportunities for all. God is also using this experience to provide time for prayer and encouragement among participants and the JCN/NCF staff.
November 10 – Pray for InterVarsity and NCF staff leadership as they meet virtually for Cultivate November 10 – 12. Cultivate is a leadership development conference focusing on self-care and care of Intervarsity staff. Ask God to work through this national gathering of InterVarsity leaders across the country.
November 11 - NCF is close to determining a new membership system that we believe will better serve those coming to NCF whether to join, renew, or give a gift membership. Ask God--who knows all things--to make it perfectly clear his choice for us!
November 12 – The Global Missions Health Conference (GMHC) begins their first virtual conference tomorrow. The conference will last through November 14. Pray that it is a successful conference where nurses learn more about global missions, listen intently to the Spirit and his call, and that as NCF we would gain more insight in how we can provide missions resources.
November 13 – Pray for NCF staff and volunteers – Grace, Connie, Karen, Christy, Kathy, Jen -- who will virtually exhibit and meet with students and nurses who have questions about connecting faith with their practice and about healthcare missions. Intercede for good technology and divine connections – that nurses would find our virtual booth and we could interact well with each one. Pray also for Grace Tazelaar, NCF’s Missions Director, as she shares twice at the GMHC conference. Pray for clarity as she speaks and that her session will be meaningful for those who participate.
November 14 - Pray for participation and meaningful insights for the NCF bi-weekly Bible studies Skip McDonald, who serves NCF students, educators, and nurses in the southeast, is facilitating on NCF’s study, Following Christ in Nursing.
November 15 – Remember our professional nurse groups as they meet with nursing students and nurses across the country. We are grateful for those that are growing virtually and are able to meet outside. A few groups have needed to pause their meetings and are seeking to stay connected by email and phone. We ask God to provide more opportunities to partner with InterVarsity groups and for connections with nursing students and nurses who are beginning their professional practice.
November 16 - Pray for student ministry alumni engagement as we connect with and invite alumni of our NCF student ministries to engage with us though prayer and giving. Pray alumni would respond to the invitation and to partner with us to see student ministry thrive for years to come.
November 17 - Be grateful with NCF Director, Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, for the journey with her husband since his traumatic brain injury October 2018 and God’s faithfulness. Despite great challenges, God continues to walk alongside Kathy and Richard as they experience his presence.
November 18 – We pray for our nation as we continue to walk through each day of the COVID pandemic. We ask that the numbers of sick and dying start to decline. We intercede for those impacted by COVID and the ongoing work to care for the sick as well as discover a safe vaccine.
November 19 – Pray for partnership opportunities and that NCF would be able to develop relationships that benefit the ministry of NCF, our partners, and our members.
November 20 - Pray for growing attendance with our weekly faculty advisor prayer times. We ask God to use these times to strengthen relationships and to encourage our faculty advisors across the country.
November 21 - We lift up the Southeast Student Mental Health monthly support group. Pray for their times together to be safe places for encouragement, reflection, growth, and support in their own healing as well as their relationships with others and with God.
November 22 - Thank God for opening up new ways of ministry to students and nurses through this time of COVID. We ask God to continue to use technology for his glory and bring more students and nurses to Jesus!
November 23 - Pray for NCF student groups as they continue to navigate their new normal on campus and creatively engage new students. Pray for stamina and creatively for student leaders and faculty advisors.
November 24 – We ask God to raise up more prayer and financial ministry partners for NCF staff, and that staff would feel encouraged as they seek individuals to partner with them in prayer and giving. Pray against the enemy who discourages and lies, telling us we will never have what we need.
November 25 - Pray for good communication with our publisher as members of the JCN staff works through changes in the publication process.
November 26 – On this day of Thanksgiving, we praise God from whom all blessing flow! Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
November 27 – Pray for success and continuing growth for NCF as we begin our Black Friday membership drive and finalize plans for our December membership drive. Pray for new members to be drawn to NCF as we continue to provide support for connecting our faith to our nursing practice and as we share the loving knowledge of what it means to be in relationship with Jesus Christ.
November 28 – Remember our faith community nurses as they continue to provide wisdom, support, and encouragement to the others in their churches, parishes, and communities. We ask for good communication with the leaders of their church’s pastoral leadership teams.
November 29 – We thank God for the ways he is moving in and through his church and through our profession. We have unique opportunities to serve as nurses. May we be drawn to deeper times of sitting and listening to him. May we also be willing to stand for truth, love, forgiveness, and reconciliation against the injustices of this world.
November 30 – We ask God for generous year-end giving for the ministry and staff of NCF. Some of our staff have experienced changes with their supporters. We ask God to supply and meet our needs.