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Harnessing the power of prayer

Prayer informs and shapes the BaptistCare Chaplaincy team in their daily ministry - whether to our residents, clients, tenants, or to fellow colleagues and employees.

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22 February 2024

News | Aged Care Homes
Stories | Aged Care Homes

Prayer informs and shapes the BaptistCare Chaplaincy team in their daily ministry - whether to our residents, clients, tenants, or to fellow colleagues and employees

With 85 chaplains spread across the east and west coasts, prayer often forms an integral part of our chaplaincy ministry.

“Through prayer, we have access to a dialogue with God, and many of our chaplains find themselves on a journey of prayer alongside the people they serve at BaptistCare,” said Vicki Eldridge, Chaplaincy Manager for the southern team in NSW, and the ACT.

Our team of dedicated chaplains work across 80 BaptistCare locations and services, five prisons and two hospitals. Through connecting with those living in our BaptistCare retirement living communities, our aged care homes, those receiving palliative care or in our community, our chaplains are able to experience the power of prayer firsthand in the lives of those they care for.

The stories that follow reflect the powerful prayer journeys of some of our chaplains.

Peter is a chaplain for residents living in our BaptistCare retirement living communities. Peter recalls the remarkable story of one resident who asked him to pray a blessing over her new villa.

“I prayed what I believed. I said that her home was on holy ground, where she could retreat to at the end of the day and that her villa was a place of comfort, safety and security,” said Peter.

“When I finished praying, and she looked at me in amazement. The day before, she had been listening to a song that spoke of being on holy ground, and those words brought her much peace and comfort.”

This resident connected strongly with Peter’s prayer and was overjoyed because she knew it was exactly what God wanted to say to her.

Another BaptistCare chaplain, Helen, spent time with resident, Edward and his family as Edward neared the end of his life, and was receiving palliative care.

Helen recalls that at the end of one particularly difficult day, Edward’s family decided not to stay overnight because they were finding it hard to cope.

Helen sat with Edward the next morning until his family arrived so that he would not be alone - talking to him, playing his favourite music, and praying the Aaronic Blessing over him.

“As I finished praying, Edward peacefully took his last breath on this earth, and I was overwhelmed with gratitude, and a sense of standing on holy ground,” said Helen.

“Edward’s family was grateful I was there with him. They were thankful Edward passed away so peacefully, and said he would have loved being prayed for.”

Helen and Peter’s stories remind us that God sometimes works in our hearts and circumstances in ways we cannot see – that liminal space between our prayers and the unseen God, and what we witness with our natural eyes. However, in that space, God proves faithful. He is gracious and merciful, and He hears and responds to our prayers.

“Prayer is a reminder of my reliance on God, who holds all things in His hands. It also reminds me of His Presence with me when I spend time with a client,” said Adele, a BaptistCare at home chaplain.

A life of prayer is embedded in our dependence on God and it is the pathway to being conformed to Christ’s image.

According to Mother Teresa, prayer is not asking - it is placing ourselves in God’s hands, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depths of our hearts. Therefore, we pursue not so much a devotion to prayer, as a devotion to God, and usher ourselves repeatedly into His Presence, through prayer.

*To protect the privacy of certain individuals, all names and identifying details have been changed.