The Power of Prayer

Several years ago, while completing his residency, Dr. Tom Cypher, a friend from Maryland, was struggling with patience, so he began to specifically pray to the Lord for patience.  One night, during an on-call shift, a nurse commented to him, “Tom, when it is crazy down here in the ER, I always know that you are the one on-call.  We always get slammed on your shifts!  Why is that?”

“Well,” Tom replied, “It may be because I have been praying to God for patience, and it appears He is answering my prayers.”

Grabbing the physician by the collar, the nurse stated assertively, “Never pray for patience!  Always pray for wisdom! For when you pray for patience, God will flood you with numerous trials until you learn patience.”

No matter what prayer is spoken, do you find yourself relying on this “lifeline” to survive through a shift?  It may be to work through difficult relationships possibly with patients, families, or even colleagues.  It may serve as a beckoning for divine intervention or wisdom in how to best care for a declining patient.  It may allow you to express your frustrations regarding malfunctioning equipment and/or software.  Prayer is one tool accessible to all that permits you to know you are not a solo traveler on this journey of life.

Let me close by sharing a prayer by St. Francis for all of us:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is darkness, light.

Where there is sadness, joy.


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