Thoughts by Pastor Dale Henneman, CHM Chaplain
Editor’s note: This information was published in a previous issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility and ministry news.
As a ministry, CHM is concerned with more than just the financial side of a medical event. We also want to spiritually support you as you walk through the hardship of an illness or injury. We do this in multiple ways: Praying for and with you, rejoicing and crying with you, and encouraging you!
Praying before shifts
Throughout the CHM buildings, staff from various departments often gather daily before their shifts for a time of corporate prayer. We take this time to pray for each other, the upcoming work day, and you—the members we will be serving throughout our day.
Praying in chapel
Every Thursday morning, the entire CHM staff unites in a ministry-wide chapel service for a time of worship and prayer. By strengthening and replenishing ourselves spiritually, we are able to more effectively minister to you. As we gather during this special time to recognize and worship God, we also lift up members who have requested prayer.
Many people view prayer as finding a quiet space away from the hustle and bustle, folding their hands, closing their eyes, kneeling perhaps, and praying at length for a particular issue or prayer request. However, Christians are exhorted to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), which we can do even when we may not have a free half hour available. While there definitely is a call for extended prayer, we always have time for a five-second prayer.
Staff members offer a five-second prayer before we pick up the phone or send an email, praying that:
- God will give us discernment to hear what members are saying and understand the deeper meaning behind those words.
- Members will experience God’s grace and love through us as they face challenging situations.
- We will be able to minister to the member with whom we are engaging.
- We will be effective, efficient and encouraging.
We also pray five-second prayers as the Holy Spirit brings someone specific to mind. Perhaps a conversation we just finished reminds us of a similar situation with another member, or we wonder about the current state of someone we prayed with over the phone a while ago. When God brings someone to mind, we pause and pray.
Five-second prayers happen in more situations than just before a staff member picks up the phone. Staff who work with medical bills also pray for members. As your medical bills cross our desks, we take the time to pray for the members incurring the those bills—that you would experience God’s love, healing and peace through your various situations.
A five-second prayer may be something like:
- Lord, you brought ___ to my mind right now. You know how she doing. Let her feel your love today. Amen.
- Show Your grace through me and help me bless the person calling. Amen.
- Enable me to speak Your words of truth, love and comfort. Amen.
- Show me how to encourage and minister to this caller. Amen.
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Praying over the phone
Many times when members call, they are in the throes of a medical incident. These situations can be scary, stressful, exhausting and demoralizing. In these moments, you may need more than just information regarding your medical bill processing. This is an especially powerful opportunity for us to step in and offer spiritual support. By praying with you over the phone, we are meeting you right where you are, in the middle of a stressful situation, and praying about something that might be weighing you down.
After receiving permission, we add the prayer requests we receive to a private, internal list that all CHM staff can access. Throughout the day, staff members check the list and pray for the requests noted there. If given permission, staff also add member’s requests to an external prayer list sent to members.
Crying and celebrating with members over the phone
Romans 12:15 (NIV) reminds us that “love in action” means that we “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” We implement this verse by doing exactly that: rejoicing with you who have good news and crying with you who are suffering.
Just as members send out encouraging cards and letters to CHM members going through a medical event, CHM staff do so, too. As we talk to you on the phone or through email and feel led to encourage you further, we often use our break time to write a card as an extra way to show God’s love to you.
CHM is a ministry dedicated to serving God’s people. This means we’re intentional about meeting your financial and spiritual needs. It is our honor to help carry your burden through our prayers, words and actions.