Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Lord Dismiss Us With Your Blessing"1 (Lyrics)
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV)
The local Long Term Care Centre, where I've volunteered for the last twelve years, provides residency for 77 people; there is a staff of 92, and there are 71 registered volunteers. The local Ministerial Association holds a worship service there every Tuesday, which I sometimes lead, and my wife and I, together with a friend who plays the piano, have conducted Good Friday and Christmas services. On two Fridays a month, or three when there are five Fridays, I lead a Bible discussion. At one time, there would be 20 to 25 residents in attendance, but lately, it has dropped off to 10 to 15. As time goes by, the residents age, their health deteriorates, and a large number of them are not able to attend. The ones who do come are all very capable and are able to participate and appreciate. There are always some whom I can relate to very well. Indeed, a number of them have become good friends over the years.
At one of our sessions not long ago, one of the residents looked rather sad, so afterwards, I took her to her room and asked her what was bothering her. She said that she and her roommate were not compatible. She still has all her faculties, and although she realizes that she is unable to be on her own, she is sad and lonely. We sat and talked for a while, and I held her hand. She said, "If I did not have God to talk to all day, I would not be able to cope." And then she cried.
It is so hard for some of the elderly who are still of sound mind and spirit to adjust to living in an institutional facility. Some are unhappy until they get used to it. In such situations, it is so good to know that we can talk to God. We can bare our souls, we can tell Him our concerns, and we are assured that He will listen. We may not get an answer right away, and our situation may not change immediately, but after we have gone to the Lord in prayer, after we have talked to Him, we feel better.
Jesus talked about prayer on many occasions, and there are a number of Bible passages where Jesus went away by Himself to pray. Paul also reminded the people in Philippi, as well as us, to bring our prayers to God, to talk with God about our problems:
Philippians 4:6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, it is with gratitude that we can come to You in prayer. We know, Lord, that You listen, and we ask for those in distress, for those who suffer and worry, that You will be with them. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.