Matthew R. Perry

Ministry in a Hospital Waiting Room

In Church Life on September 11, 2007 at 1:49 pm

I am finding out how much hospitals and hospital waiting rooms are ripe for ministry and witnessing. 

One of our older members was having heart surgery this morning at an area hospital.  A number of family members and church members were there in the waiting room.  Just as I was leaving (my wife had an appointment, so I had to depart prior to the surgery’s outcome), our group stood.  I read portions of Psalm 27 and then we prayed.  The longer I read, the quieter it got until by the end of the prayer, everyone was silent.  Even the nurse who conveyed the information to us about how the surgery was going came over to join us.

But God gives the strength and courage to break out of the box.

Just as I was walking out the door, God brought to mind how quiet it was during prayer — and that each of them in that place had someone they were concerned about.  They needed ministry.  They needed prayer.

So God brought me back in.  I said to the entire waiting room, “Excuse me!  You all don’t know me from Adam, but I’m a pastor of a Baptist church here in town.  We are hear praying for someone — and I wanted to ask all of you if we can pray for anyone you might have here in the hospital?”

One person mentioned one person.  Then another.  Then another.  Soon they were talking over each other. 

Then God opened up an opportunity for me to pray for them right there in the waiting room — appealing to the Great Physician for their physical and spiritual well-being.

Why do I write this?  I fear some will say, “Look at Matt bragging.”  Far from it.  I am writing to encourage all of you to see the ministry to be found in the hospitals, the nursing homes, the jails — places where people are hurting and need healing.  I’m saying bring them to the Savior.  Bring them to the cross.  Bring them to the empty tomb so they can see the Great Physician in all His glory. 

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  1. Thanks for the encouragement!

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