Prayer Service - Health Care Reform: 'A Time for Change'

January-February 2009

BY: MIKE GARRIDO

READER 1
As we begin our prayer, let us take a moment of silence to remember that we gather in the presence of a good and gracious God. (pause).  Let us open our hearts and minds to reflect on the wisdom of our Scripture for us today.

READER 2
A reading from 1 Chronicles 28:20:
"Then David said to his son Solomon: 'Do not be frightened by the size of the task. Be strong and courageous and get to work. For the Lord, my God, is with you. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly.'"

READER 3
We gather here today at an important moment in our nation's history. A time of change. A time of new beginnings. The outcry against inequalities in our country's health care system has reached new decibels. The hope of reform has gained new momentum. Possibilities that we had not seen before suddenly are illumined. The need is urgent; the task overwhelming. The road ahead is shrouded in uncertainty, and yet, the desire to move forward wells up within us. We pause to savor the words of Scripture for us today.

READER 1
"Do not be frightened by the size of the task." (pause)

We take a moment of silence to ponder: What is it that we most fear about reform? What fears do we need to let go of? (pause)

READER 2
"Be strong and courageous and get to work." (pause)

What particular part of health reform has God called you to undertake? What speaks to your heart when you hear the invitation to "get to work"? (pause)

READER 3
"For the Lord, my God, is with you."

Where do you experience God to be with you and your health care colleagues in this time of reform? (pause)

READER 1
"He will see to it that everything is finished correctly." (pause)

Where do you most need God's help and leadership in health care reform? What do we need to simply entrust into God's care? (pause)

(Invite discussion on the reflection questions among participants or move on to the conclusion of the prayer.)

When David first spoke these words to Solomon in Scripture, he was referring to the construction of a great temple in Jerusalem — a project that David had begun out of love for God, but a project so massive that it could not be completed in his lifetime. As we undertake the massive project of health care reform in our nation, let us pray that we can do so in the spirit of David — with a heart full of love for God and an eye toward collaboration with others. Together, we pray:

ALL
O God, our ancestors in faith knew that you were with them as they worked to do your will, and they promised that you would be with us, too, whenever we seek to faithfully confront the challenges and possibilities of our time and place. As we face the issue of health care reform in our nation, we ask you to draw near. Give us courage and strength. Take away all fear and steer us in the direction of justice and righteousness. We are confident that you will hear us and answer us. Amen.

Mike Garrido
Director, Mission Services
Catholic Health Association

 

Copyright © 2009 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.