As I have visited a family friend in the hospital the last two weeks, I have been reminded of the importance of a spirit of prayer when working or visiting at a hospital. Aside from all our impressive technology and reams of laboratory data, there is a lot that is unknown and beyond our control.
In times past, prayerfulness went hand in hand with medical practice for two reasons. First, medical cures were much more limited than they are today. In the days before antibiotics and anesthesia, there was a lot less the physicians of that era could do compared to the doctors of today. It was only natural to regularly turn to prayer to entreat the One on high for healing.
And, secondly and most notably, in times past hospitals were Christian endeavors. The chaplain was the daily partner with the physician in caring for the sick. The very foundations of these hospitals were laid with the knowledge that all healing ultimately comes from the One who is the Great Physician and who left us a record of what a healing ministry looks like.