For Those Who Work in Health Care (A Prayer Service)

I. Gathering Remarks

Let us pray:

Wondrous God,
You have demonstrated your gracious power and love through all time.
We confess that we tend to settle for things as they are, rather than work toward making them new. Grant us beginners’ minds to play with this new day that has dawned. Help us to live as if we are the creation of a new heaven and earth where everyone is loved as we all have been loved by you. With beginners’ minds, fresh and open, we can see countless ways to explore the promise these hours hold as a gift from you.
May we approach the tasks and unknown challenges that await us as if it were the first time. Grace us with your insight as we use this time to explore new ways to live this day.
Amen.

Leader
It is important to remember the workers who no longer work side by side with us and to recognize that there is always pain in separation, be it personal or professional.  For us to go forward together in strength and loyalty we must take time to recommit ourselves in trust to God and to the healing ministry of Jesus.  We also are here to express thanks for the past contributions of our former colleagues.  We will begin by reading together Psalm 63.

All
For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
My mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
Pour out hour heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
— Psalm 63: 5-8

II. Remembrance and Blessings for Those Who walked with Us

Leader
We remember (state the names).
We are thankful for the time we had to work together in our healing ministry and we will remember them.
We pray for these our friends and colleagues that they may find satisfaction and fulfillment in their new situations. 

All
May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul.
May you realize that you are never alone,
That your soul in its brightness and belonging connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe.
May you have respect for your own individuality and difference.
May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique,
that you have a special destiny,
In your life there is the wonder of beauty, goodness and eternity.
May you see yourself with the same delight, pride, and expectation with which
God sees you in every moment.

(from a blessing by John O’Donohue)

III. Ceremony of the Spirit

Leader
The apostle Paul says: the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:19-21).  We must take for our own and use each of these gifts to continue our work in the healing ministry.  Each participant who holds a stone representing a fruit of the Spirit will come forward and place it in the bowl, saying as he or she does so the words below.

Reader 1
I bring the spirit of Love, which is service and sacrifice.

Reader 2
I bring the spirit of Joy, which gives inner assurance, balance, and abiding contentment.

Reader 3
I bring the spirit of Peace, which is felt as tranquility, emotional balance and harmony.

Reader 4
I bring the spirit of Kindness, which we recognize as respect for human dignity, courtesy and courageous attentiveness toward other people.

Reader 5
I bring the spirit of Generosity; it is largeness of soul, a giving and forgiving nature.

Reader 6
I bring the spirit of Faithfulness, because it means authenticity, friendship, trust, security, and promises kept.

Reader 7
I bring the spirit of Gentleness, which is quiet self-control, strength, and confidence.

Reader 8
I bring the spirit of Self-control, respect for the self and the other, the essence of civility and humanness, the practice of moderation, and living generously.

IV. Going Forward Trusting in God

Leader
Together we will read from Psalm 67.

All
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us,
That your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.
Let the people praise you, O God; let all the people praise you.
The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us.
May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.

—Psalm 67: 1-3, 6-7

Leader
With God’s help we remain dedicated to one another and to the healing ministry that is our work.  Let us keep in mind the assurance given by Jesus:

"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

—(Matthew 11: 28-30)

Amen.

Option in place of Ps.67:

Almighty God and Creator,
You have chosen us as your own
And you give us new life in Christ.
In darkness and in light,
In trouble and in joy,
Help us to trust your love,
To serve your purpose,
And to praise your name.
Fill us with your Holy Spirit,
That peace may fill our hearts
As we live through doubt and change.
Enable us to walk in newness of life,
And fill us with your overflowing love.
Amen.

Option in place of Ps. 63.

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved, and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea;
Though its waters rage and foam, and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God ofJacob is our stronghold.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be overthrown; God shall help her at the break of day.
The nations make much ado, and the kingdoms are shaken; God has spoken, and the earth shall melt away.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Come now and look upon the works of the Lord, what awesome things he has done on earth.
It is he who makes war to cease in all the world; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, and burns the shields with fire.
"Be still, then, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth."

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

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