Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. Jeremiah 29:7
My first house-job seemed unreasonably demanding. My Chief began operating at 9am. By that he meant that the patient was on the table, doped and draped, and he with his scalpel poised... Woe betide if he were kept waiting.
My last round began at 11pm with the night sister. I was lucky if it was over by 12. Then there were the night calls... 14 major emergencies in my first 5 nights! For the first 6 weeks I didn't leave the hospital. At the end of that time I felt more like a prisoner doing hard labour than a recently qualified doctor.
It is at times like this that daily prayer and Bible study so easily get crowded out. Faith is in danger of withering and dying from malnutrition. Of course the answer lies in a loving, live Christian fellowship, but this is not always available. It is then that the words of Jeremiah to those in captivity in his day become so practical: `Pray for the welfare of the city'... the hospital... the medical unit where you are right now. The blessing that comes from your prayers for those around you will assuredly spill over to yourself too.
Lord and master, I so readily forget you when I'm so busy.
Forgive me, I pray. May your love and peace pervade the
unit where I work. May I reflect the love you have shown
to me, onto my patients, and to those with whom I work.
Further reading: Gn 39:1-6, 20-23.