Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Prayer for Friends Hospice

This prayer will need some explaining.

I serve on the board of trustees of Friends Hospice, which is a nonprofit Quaker organization that works to ensure that all peoples in Philadelphia have access to high quality, compassionate care at the end of life, regardless of ability to pay. We offer spiritually grounded, state of the art medical care and counseling to all in the Philadelphia area who are facing serious illnesses, including undocumented residents, people with disabilities, the homeless, and people with little or no family support.

I also believe in the power of intercessory prayer, because I believe that the universe will give you what you want if you clearly state and make known what you want. As Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks the door will be opened." (NRSV Matt. 7:7-8)

Since the hospice began operations in December 2007, we have provided the quality of care we want to provide, but we have had difficulty attracting the right number of hospice participants (patients), and so our staff and our resources are currently under-utilized.

At a recent meeting of the board of trustees, we agreed on what we wanted in new hospice participants, and this is a somewhat modified version of that request:

Spirit, please send to Friends Hospice Project two disenfranchised, reimbursable people at end of life who live in north or west Philadelphia, and who are emotionally available for hospice care. Please let these people be timely new referrals who can accept home-based hospice care, and who have a community of friends and family who are teachable, will be grateful for our care, and are willing to talk to others about us. Please let some of the participants come to us through an appropriate large referral source such as Project Home or Jefferson Hospital, and let us have a balance of challenge and grace in our work as a result of these admissions. Thank you.
By reading this prayer, you will have helped Friends Hospice in its mission. Thank you.

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