Last October, I began working with Aseracare Hospice. My job title is Spiritual Care Coordinator and the job description is to care for the souls of the dying, their family, and to support and love my hospice team. This job, due to the nature of hospice, is challenging and I am constantly searching for different methods of offering hope to my patients and their families in the midst of their despair.
Today, during the Covid-19 pandemic, more than ever those who are on hospice and their families are facing uncertain times are in desperate need of real refreshment for their souls. Many, especially those in nursing homes, are in quarantine to protect them from the virus. Because of this, they are isolated from their families. A secondary issue is each hospice worker is also facing uncharted territory and needs the same sustenance for their souls and infusion of hope instead of despair.
This morning, while doing my quiet time before work, I came across an old Puritan prayer focused on peril. To be in peril means to be in serious or immediate danger and in light of the current condition of our world, it feels like we are all in a perilous place.
As I read this prayer, I thought about how it might minister to my hospice patients and my co-workers if I removed the archaic English language. However, as I wrote this prayer out to share with others, I found it ministered powerfully to my uneasy spirit. During this difficult time, I hope this prayer soothes your soul and causes you to find your rest in Him.
Sovereign Controller of the Universe,
I am ashamed to say doubts harass me, fears of unbelief surround me, and I feel the heavyweight of spiritual darkness. My heart is full of evil assumptions and is so ruffled I am unable to act in faith at all.
Where is my heavenly Pilot?
Have I have lost my grip on the Rock of Ages?
I sink in deep mire beneath the storms and waves of this present age and into horror and unspeakable distress.
Help me. O Lord, to throw myself totally upon You, for better or for worse. Give me peace of soul, confidence, and a wide-open space to know that morning joy comes after the night of heaviness.
Water my soul generously with heavenly blessings;
Change me so I welcome your humbling in private so I can worship You in public.
Give me a mountain top experience with You that is as high as my valley is low.
Your Grace can melt the icy heart of the worst sinner, and I am just as vile. Still, You have made me a monument of mercy, a trophy of Your redeeming power. In my deep distress, don’t let me forget this.
All-wise God, Your never-failing providence orders every event in my life.
It sweetens every fear, reveals the evil lurking in what seems good, brings real good from that which seems evil, makes what I set my heart on not satisfying, and shows me what a short-sighted creature I really am. Teach me to live by faith upheld by You!
Out of my sorrow and night—give me the name Naphtali “satisfied with favor”. Help me to love You with a child-like love and walk worthy of my heavenly heritage.
This was rewritten from the prayer entitled Peril found in the classic book edited by Arthur Bennet called The Valley of Vision. It contains meditations and petitions penned by Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, and Charles Spurgeon.