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Prayers of the People

Story told by Bain Head on March 2, 2017

I have been a Prayers of the People (POP) lay chaplain visiting Presbyterian patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center for 3 years. I often tell people that those hospital visits are the most real thing that I do all week – listening to patients who are void of any pretenses and most vulnerable to and accepting of God. I never leave the hospital without encountering what I consider a truly “holy moment” where I am doing exactly what God desires for me in that moment in time, a moment He has beautifully orchestrated to demonstrate His love for one of His suffering children.

In large part, God has conquered my fears of hospital rooms and intimacy with suffering through the amazing preparation provided by Anne Marie Wallace Flato and Prayers of the People’s intensive training. The full day classroom training session plus several additional hours of one-on-one “shadow” and debriefing visits on-site at the hospital equipped me with the information I needed to empathize with and listen to the patients and families I encounter.  I use those skills more broadly in my work with FPC’s Medical Center and Church Apartment Ministries and have encouraged others who work with those ministries to attend a POP training. Learning to let God use us for His purpose by putting aside our own egos and meeting another person where they are is a life skill and I honestly think anyone would benefit from attending a POPs training course. I am so very grateful to Anne Marie and POP for the opportunity to learn a little more about that and would love everyone at FPC and within the larger Houston Presbyterian community to have the same opportunity, irrespective of their mission field. For those ministering in a hospital setting, the individual practical on-site training with a POP staff member is invaluable.

Visit the Prayers of the People webiste for more information on how to get involved.