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Prayer as Medicine on Short-term Missions (Panel Discussion)
PRAYER AS MEDICINE: Practical methods & panel discussion regarding personal experiences and best practices in praying for patients during a medical missions outreach.Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ Luke 10:9 (NIV) Jesus commanded his disciples to “heal the sick.” As medical professionals involved in missions, we take this command seriously. Our love and service help demonstrate God’s kingdom to the less fortunate. But what if a patient needs more than medical treatment? What if a spiritual cure is also required?During medical outreaches, which often take place in uncomfortable, rushed and chaotic situations, how can we best incorporate prayer for our patients? How can we pray for each patient when there isn’t enough time, or when there is a language or religious barrier, or if simply lack the training and experience in praying directly with patients?In this session we will discuss a number of practical ways in which you can pray for patients. This session aims to include a panel discussion in which we will hear stories of ways in which experienced medical missions leaders incorporate prayer into their medical missions. Practical topics include: How do we present prayer to the patient? How do we pray with an interpreter? If we want to lay hands on someone, what is a respectful way to do that? How do we pray for children? How do we partner with the Holy Spirit in prayer when we are rushed and need to see many patients quickly? How do we pray for people of other religions?The session will be led and moderated by Rev. David Harder, a non-medical missions professional who has participated in medical missions for decades. He and his family lived in the Middle East from 2003-2011. Since 2006 he has worked to train individuals in praying for the sick in ways that are always honoring and loving toward the individual. David also serves as Communications and Development Director for Blessings International-Medicines for Missions.Included as a topic for discussion will be the initial results of a survey submitted to the around 2,000 medical missions customers that order medicine from Blessings International each year. The survey seeks input regarding how those teams utilize prayer in their medical outreaches.