Friday, April 7, 2017

Visiting the Sick

The acrostic FAITH will guide a brief interview with a patient whom you know as a co worker or distant neighbor but not as a practicing  Christian that is open to the work of the Spirit. You would like to pray for him or her but want to be sensitive to them and not come across as too pushy. 

In your conversation, you can cover the following topics not as direct questions but more as open ended discussions. 

F: Faith A faith in God, a higher power. Listen for  description. Prayer patterns. service attendance,  faith? Doubts?

A: Asking for an intervention. Open to prayer for healing, health or assistance in your struggle with this illness? How do you do that? Are you comfortable with someone praying with your illness?

I: Interacting with a community of faith? Do you attend services, a small group or a have a mentor? How often? Is it helpful? 

T: Trust in God’s love? Are problems the result of punishment or guilt? Feel good during illness?

H: How do you want people to relate to your faith and spiritual practices? Chaplain? Prayers? Materials? Alert your pastor or spiritual adviser?
 Spiritual Interventions for Chaplains and Pastors

Carefully approach the issue of suggesting a spiritual intervention. Make sure you are:

  1. Loving with Genuine concern for the person; Respect the person; Empathy for the situation by listening carefully; Warmth with sensitive seating, touch and smiles. Do not stay too long.
  2. Respect a patient’s worldview, beliefs, values, preferences and practices. Some may not think it is appropriate for anyone other than a priest or pastor to pray for them.
  3. A peaceful presence reduces anxiety.
  4. Deal with issues with sufficient time to integrate your ideas into their recovery. Do not open up an issue unless there is enough time to bring it to a close.
  5. Mobilize the patient’s support system. Do not ask the Seeker to engage in behavior that is contrary to his family and church.
  6. Offers hope for the future. Increasing faith and hope develops good aftercare.
  7. Avoid guilt and shame. No condemnation or pressure. 
  8. Be consistent with the patient’s motivational level. Ask for permission to pray, offer scripture or make any other intervention.
  9. Mobilize positive belief and faith. Encourage Seekers to believe that change is possible.
  10. Is sensitive to the rules of the hospital or home.
All our written and digital materials attempt to promote these values. You can get them here.

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