Editor’s Note: In any caregiving situation, we remind our readers to remember the Caregiving Basics: Listen, Pray, Respect the Grief Process and Preserve the Dignity. This post is an overview of Pray.
One of the most important and helpful guidelines for effective caregiving is to pray. To pray is to acknowledge the presence of God. To pray is to connect with God; so that God can empower us.
“I do not believe we can ever say prayer is wasted; some good always comes of it. Although our prayers may not change a situation and give us the miracle we want, prayer changes us. Through prayer, we are no longer facing our fears and pain alone; God is there beside us, renewing our spirit, restoring our soul, and helping us carry the burden when it becomes too heavy for us to bear.” – Ron Delbene, author.
PRAY BEFORE: “Before you are face-to-face with the troubled person, pray about your encounter. Ask God for help. Rely on the strength that Jesus gives each and every one of us. Don’t be a know-it-all.” – George
Pray your own prayer or use the following caregiver’s prayer:
“Dear Gracious God, I want to be your servant, to speak your words of comfort, to demonstrate your unconditional love to (name). Please show me how to do that. If there is something I should know about this situation, help me discover it. If there is a verse or word of encouragement that I should speak, bring it to my mind. Relieve my fears and doubts. Help me to remember that I do not go alone, that the supreme Comforter, your Holy Spirit, goes with me. Amen.”
PRAY DURING: By praying with another person, we show them how much we care, and we acknowledge the very presence and power of the Holy Spirit, who is the ultimate comforter, counselor and healer.
Ask the person:
1. “Would you like me to pray for you?”
2. “What issue(s) are you struggling with right now?” (Do not assume that you know what the important issues are in the person’s life.)
1. to say the person’s name in your prayer
2. to be concise; don’t ramble.
PRAY AFTER: Assure the person that you will continue to pray for him or her, and then remember to do so! Also send a follow-up note or make a phone call within a few days.
For more information on how to care for others through prayer, see our Caregiving Basics Pray page.