Sick children are no laughing matter. I really feel for the child, who can’t experience many elements of a healthy childhood, and the parents, whose lives are consumed with worry and financial burden. And while I personally believe that the United States’ healthcare system has its shortcomings, I do believe that we have some of the best doctors, nurses, and caregivers in the world. I believe they do a great job based on their training and experience.
However, there are those out there that do not believe so. These professionals are missing something.
I came across a support group on Facebook for a sick child that urged others to “please keep this beautiful prayer in mind”.
Lord Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd of the sheep, you gather the lambs in your arms and carry them in your bosom: We commend to your loving care this child. Relieve her pain, guard her from all danger, restore to her your gifts of gladness and strength, and raise this child up to a life of service to you. Hear us, we pray, for you dear Name’s sake. Amen.
I don’t think that prayer is beautiful. I think it is ridiculous. I mean, strictly speaking, I think all prayer is ridiculous, but this one is absolutely absurd. It contains every cliche prayer word and phrase imaginable: “lambs”, “commend”, “raise up”. I mean what does “gather the lambs in your arms and carry them in your bosom” even mean? Does it mean “embrace the children with your love”? Then why not say that? Just because the Bible is written in stuffy, archaic language doesn’t mean you have to carefully construct your prayers to match in style.
“We commend to your loving care this child. Relieve her pain, guard her from all danger, restore to her your gifts of gladness and strength, and raise this child up to a life of service to you.” Why are you in a hospital? Do you not trust God to relieve the pain, guard from danger, and restore strength? Is it just possible that your words to God fall upon deaf (read: nonexistant) ears and the real miracles are being performed by trained medical professionals?
Stop praying for sick people. Studies show that it doesn’t help. In fact, it can even hurt.