How Do You Pray in the Office?

In an office setting where I will not do surgery but feel that they will benefit from prayer, this is an example of what I would say:

Me: Many people find prayer helpful. I would be happy to say a prayer for your condition. Is that something you would like?

(Studies show that 70 to 80 percent of Americans claim to pray regularly and that many patients want prayer from their doctor.) (2-7)

Patient: OK.

Me: I can pray for you privately, on my own, or we could pray together now. Which would you prefer?

This honors the patient and the relationship and gives the patient the ability to refuse prayer with me if they are uncomfortable. Private prayer is not harmful.

Before elective surgery I might say:

Me: Your surgery is next week. I offer to pray with my patients before their surgery and many find that it gives them peace and comfort. If that is something you would like, you will need to ask me for that the day of your surgery.

I understand that awkwardness of offering prayer. However, because of the tremendous peace that prayer brings many patients, I believe that not offering prayer to someone who would benefit is not only unethical but cruel.

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