I asked one of our congregation John Trinder, a senior member of the Ulster Hospital staff, to lay out for me some detailed prayer requests for our hospitals in the days ahead..
The prayer points are not only a help to prayer but a real insight into the difficult conditions our medical staff are working under.
If you are the praying kind…
- Pray for forgiveness that we have not been more earnest in our prayer when others have been affected around the world by other illnesses, starvation and hardships. May this spur us to more action in future.
- That God would intervene to stem this pandemic, to reduce suffering, death and secondary and tertiary effects, including economic hardship, here in these British Isles and all around the globe. PRAY REALLY HARD AND PERSEVERE PRAYING FOR THIS. We need miracles.
- Pray for time and adequate resources for health services to prepare and increase capacity, of hospital beds and of intensive care beds. Pray for hugely expanded facilities and capabilities, including rapid training of staff to gain the necessary extra skills to work safely outside their normal practice. Pray that those who are stepping up to new roles are protected from fear, and put themselves forward for such roles.
- Pray that decommissioned areas can be recommissioned to use for patient care alongside existing areas.
- Pray that sufficient numbers who are able will return from retirement and that administrative obstacles would be waived or rapidly overcome. Pray that their practice will be indemnified.
- Pray for protection of healthcare workers from severe illness - supernatural intervention alongside ENOUGH PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT and adherence to good practice. Pray that the personal protective equipment works.
- Pray for those in government that they would make good and timely decisions, and not fear difficult ones if they’re the right ones.
- Pray for enough of the necessary equipment, drugs and consumables: ventilators, monitors, drugs, oxygen, pumps, dialysis machines, disposable tubing, oxygen, cannulae, gloves, aprons.
- Pray for creative and successful innovative solutions to reduce mortality and morbidity.
- PRAY REALLY HARD FOR SUSTAINABILITY OF ROTAS AND ADEQUATE NUMBERS OF STAFF AND ADEQUATE REST FOR STAFF. THIS IS A MAJOR CONCERN OVER THE COMING MONTHS. Pray against simple but important things like dehydration, sleep disturbance, nutrition, loo breaks, time away from work to recuperate.
- PRAY FOR WISDOM OF THOSE MAKING DIFFICULT DECISIONS, THAT GOD WOULD LEAD US/THEM WHETHER THEY KNOW YOU OR NOT. GIVE PEACE IN THAT DECISION-MAKING AND PROTECT THE MENTAL HEALTH OF STAFF, INCLUDING AGAINST GUILT.
- Pray for all doctors, nurses, physios, technical staff working to stem and to treat this pandemic.
- Pray for wisdom and ethically worthy decisions as to whom to prioritise in the midst of scarce resources.
- Pray for wisdom as to how to re-organise usually daily activities like ward rounds and note-keeping to make them more efficient time-wise and means to do this outside the usual clinical areas they are practised.
- Pray for timely recognition of deteriorating patients inside and outside hospital. Pray that we would channel patients to appropriate locations and in a timely fashion.
- Pray for the protection of first responders eg ambulance personnel and for GPs, receptionists, pharmacists and all who will have contact with people to allow continuity of important services, food and other essentials.
- Pray for great medical and nursing collaboration across Trusts, and between Trusts in Northern Ireland, and across this island and the UK, and time in the day to organise, so that we might do the best for the most, not just at hospital level but nationally and indeed globally.
- Pray that there would be a huge reduction in demand for other types of hospital and community services during this crisis.
- Pray that patients would not remain in inappropriate areas for any length of time. For example, pray that patients no longer needing critical care can be moved to other environments quickly so that other patents can access the service.
- Pray for safe prescription and administration of drugs and other treatments, and that complications might be minimised.
- Pray for effective palliation of those we can’t help to survive, and early recognition of such patients and appropriate diversion of resources.
- Pray for many in the community who are anxious and fearful. Pray for those who fear for their loved ones serving in treatment.
- Pray for protection of the vulnerable, including those resident in nursing homes and other institutions.
- Pray for many acts of kindness, co-operation, and Christian witness.
- Pray that many would turn to God and “re-align their lives” with him and his will.
- Pray for the defence of faith in Jesus in the setting of loss, both at individual level and at national/global level.
- Give thanks that we live at a time when it is possible to understand the spread of disease, and to intervene to reduce its spread and to reduce suffering and provide effective treatment.