Prayer Service - A Reflection of Our God-Given Strength

May-June 2007


The Lord is our hope and our salvation, our strength and our shield.

Let us bless the Lord, who loves us and walks with us always.

As part of the Catholic health ministry, we are ministers of healing to our communities and to one another. Let us name and claim the strengths that God has given us as a healing ministry.

The Strength to Accompany
"The power to bring people into meaningful relationships in the context of God's love is at the root of our strength."* We pay attention to the frail. We help others to see those outside their normal range of vision. We collaborate with others to meet the needs of our communities. We infuse others with a healthy expectation of wholeness.

*Gary Gunderson, Deeply Woven Roots: Improving the Quality of Life in Your Community, Augsburg Fortress, Minneapolis, 1997, p. 28.

Lord God, let us be as present to others as you are to us. Let us be the hope-filled sign of your presence to those who are broken. Let us be an encouraging presence to those with the power to help others.


The Strength to Tell Stories
We have served our communities for many years. Those who have been touched by us tell the stories of healing and express gratefulness for our presence. Yet there are other stories of brokenness, stories of those who are too weak to speak themselves. We have the strength to speak for them.

Lord God, we remember the stories of creation and flood, of slavery and exodus, of crucifixion and resurrection. We know the stories of our own ministries, of those who have gone before us and who have entrusted us with this work. Let these stories give us hope and direction. Help us to live and work so that others will tell our story of faithfulness and service.


The Strength to Give Sanctuary
Like Abraham who offered hospitality to angels, and like the Good Samaritan who gave shelter to the victim of thieves, we have been a shelter for many, especially those who had nowhere else to go. It is part of our heritage to care for those who travel to a new country seeking a better life, and to care for those that no one else wanted. Being a safe haven means being people others can trust.

Lord God, it is not always easy to open ourselves up to the needs of others. It is not always easy to welcome the stranger. Keep us strong in our commitment to be a safe place for our communities, especially those with nowhere else to go.


The Strength to Pray
Prayer is an act of seeking, a moment where the human and the holy meet again. The people we serve are often at that intersection of human and holy, facing brokenness, illness, and death. We have the power to stand with people before God in the mystery of their lives—at the moments of deepest need and greatest healing.

Lord God, in prayer we realize that our world and our lives are mystery. As healing people, we touch the mystery of life, death, and illness every day. Let us always share the strength we have to help others face the mystery of their lives in prayerful moments where you are there with us.


The Strength to Endure
We live in times where change is quick and constant. Health care has changed and it is changing us. We question how to be both ministers and successful business people. The future seems unsure. Yet those who have gone before us worked with fewer resources and accomplished great things. We have the heritage and the strength to remain true to our vision, to be light in the darkness, to shape a future of compassionate care for others.

Lord God, like Jonah who ran away from your call to serve, like Job who lost much and suffered greatly, we are sometimes resistant to your call to speak your truth, astonished at how things change and challenge us. Let the stories of those who have gone before us give us hope. Let us trust that our work is truly your work.


Brian Yanofchick
Senior Director, Mission and Leadership Development
Catholic Health Association
St. Louis

"Prayer Service," a regular department in Health Progress, may be copied without prior permission.


Copyright © 2007 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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