The medical profession is extremely complex, under severe pressure and in need of prayer – the private sector, as well as the public sector. A great variety of personnel work at hospitals, clinics, care facilities, frail care centres, hospices, rehabilitation centres, etc. Personnel at these facilities include doctors, nurses, theatre personnel, ambulance personnel, cleaners, anaesthetists, specialists, administrative personnel, etc. Many of them regularly work very long shifts. For many, it is difficult to cope with the pressure. The following prayer points serve as guidelines when praying for those in the medical profession and support functions.
1. Shifts. Medical personnel usually work 12-hour shifts. This means, for example, that they have to be on duty at 7 am to relieve the night shift, and those working the night shift have to be on duty by 7 pm to relieve the day shift. Doctors also work very long hours, and they are often on-call, which means that they can be called in to work in an emergency situation, over and above their normal long work hours.
- Pray for medical personnel to have clarity of understanding to make the right decisions in every instance and give the correct prescriptions.
- Pray for them to be able to act quickly and precisely in emergency situations, and for them to have endurance through long shifts and still remain competent.
- Pray for an increase in the number of medical personnel, thereby relieving pressure on existing personnel through reducing the number of patients that need to be treated by medically qualified people in South Africa.
Proclaim/pray: Colossians 1:11-12: …strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
2. Anaesthetists. Of all medical personnel, anaesthetists attempt the most suicides. The challenges and tension of their specific duties are unparalleled. In one hospital in South Africa, the head anaesthetist says that ninety anaesthetists are needed for the daily quota of operations in that specific hospital, but there are only forty to fifty anaesthetists. This means that they are simply too exhausted to work extra hours, and in many instances only emergency operations can be performed. It has happened that patients died whilst waiting for an urgent operation.
- Pray specifically for anaesthetists – for them to have endurance and to be effective at all times whilst in theatre.
- Pray for their health and family lives, which often suffer the most.
- Pray for more young people to qualify as medical personnel, especially anaesthetists and theatre personnel in the Emergency Section, and in other areas in the medical profession where there is great need.
Proclaim/pray: Galatians 6:9: And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart.
3. Stress. To constantly work with people who are sick, in pain or dying can be traumatic and very stressful.
- Pray for all hospital personnel to have sufficient time to recuperate in their recreation time, to eat healthily and to live balanced lives and also to enjoy their work and lives.
- Pray for their health and protection as they work with people who have infectious diseases or are exposed to chemicals and gasses, such as those used in putting patients to sleep before undergoing surgery.
Proclaim/pray: Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
4. Funding. One of the greatest challenges in the medical profession is funding. The demand of people in need of medical treatment is much greater than the available medical services and supplies. Simple and basic medical supplies procured, such as injections and needles, are often not of the best quality or the specific types that patients need. Often, the right equipment for specific cases is not affordable and the best has to be made of what is available. Sometimes, supplies have been ordered but are not delivered in time, and operations and treatment simply have to proceed with what is available. All these things are frustrating for medical personnel, who want to administer their duties, even amidst the shortage of qualified personnel.
- Pray for a focus on the medical profession which will address these issues.
- Pray for the funds needed for the supply of basic medical materials and equipment.
- Pray, especially, for the upgrading of existing hospitals to include new equipment, which will reduce the workload of medical personnel and relieve the pressure on them.
Proclaim/pray: 2 Corinthians 9:8: And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
5. New hospitals. The development of new medical apparatus, theatre apparatus, radiology apparatus, etc. is rapid globally. This simplifies operations and shortens operating times. New methods can help control infections more effectively and reduce the recovery time of patients.
- Pray for investors in the building of new, modern hospitals under strict and competent management and staffed with highly qualified personnel.
- Pray for the approval of importing new medical equipment, training in the use of such equipment, and for South Africa to contribute towards the research and development of new treatments also.
- Pray, especially, for existing hospitals to also receive new equipment, which will enable medical personnel to make better diagnoses. This includes equipment, such as automatic blood pressure meters, monitors, remote-controlled apparatus, radiology apparatus, etc.
Proclaim/pray: Philippians 4:6: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…
He will not leave your nor forsake you.
6. Trauma. Often the radiation of cancer patients cannot be performed effectively, as parts of the radiation machine are broken or being serviced. Some emergencies require such equipment. Yet, in some public hospitals, the apparatus is not in working order, or there are too few trained personnel to operate it. Such situations cause even more trauma to patients who are already severely traumatised.
- Pray for Christians to visit hospitals regularly to pray for the sick and to encourage those who are traumatised by their sickness, as well as by the situation in the hospital.
Proclaim/pray: Deuteronomy 31:6: Be strong and of good courage do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave your nor forsake you.
7. General matters.
- Pray that schedules would be kept effectively, so that personnel may perform their tasks with efficiency.
- Pray also that medical material would not be unnecessarily wasted, and that meter readings would be 100% accurate to prevent inaccurate diagnoses.
- Pray, also, for regular visits and investigations by the Medical Board and government to assess the actual working situations of some hospitals.
- Pray for them to make more funds available to public hospitals to enable medical professionals to treat those who are suffering and not leave them with the feeling of being overlooked or neglected.
Proclaim/pray: Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my My righteous right hand.
8. Pray at a hospital or clinic. Unfortunately, it is not always allowed to pray in some hospitals or clinics. However, this does not mean that you should not go and pray, especially if you visit someone you know. Nothing prevents you from praying for others in the ward at the same time! You can also pray for the hospital personnel and patients from the parking lot outside the medical facility, but on the premises. Very few places will prohibit you from praying altogether. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, and visit the places and people He guides you to. There are many more places where one can go and pray than just hospitals. For example, Aftercare/Step-down facilities, where people recuperate and convalesce after an operation. You could also pray at children’s wards or where newborn babies are cared for (you don’t necessarily have to go inside). Alternatively, you could pray at clinics that administer chemotherapy to patients. The Lord can do miracles when boldness and faith go forth to pray for the sick!
Proclaim/pray: Luke 8:50: But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.”
Pray for the sick with boldness and faith!