Pastoral Care Training Pack

Unit 9: Prayer & Scripture - Watch and pray

9.1       Scripture & Worship



Heavenly Father, source of all bounty, given freely to us that we may return all we have to you, we thank you for the gift of The Spirit in Holy Scripture and for the gift of your Son as our intermediary in prayer to you; give us the strength and discipline to commit ourselves to a faithful life of prayer and the diligent study of Scripture; and may we be witnesses of your blessed gifts in sharing the Bible and in sharing worship with those who seek our care so that, travelling together, we may come closer to you in our hearts and in our lives, seeing ourselves as your thankful children and not as victims of a cruel world. Amen.


Res: Lord, we thank you.

  1. For the holy Scriptures which recount the history of your love for us, through your chosen people and your Church:
  2. For the incarnation of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, and for the Evangelists who bring him to us every day:
  3. For the teaching and instruction of ST. Paul and other writers who, through the power of the Spirit, forged a theology of faithfulness to your will:
  4. For the Church which has proclaimed the truths of Christ and devised holy worship in the power of the Spirit:
  5. For all teachers and preachers, priests and pastors, who lead us in study and prayer
  6. For those who bring the sacraments to your people in church and at home:
  7. For those who pray:
  8. For each other as we seek to do your will.

9.2       Introduction

  1. The care we are offering is distinctively Christian and so, no matter how well we function at a practical level, we will not be fulfilling our ministerial role unless we are children of our loving father, servants of Jesus and pupils of the Holy Spirit, bringing the good news to those in distress; yet we must bear in mind that Scripture and prayer are tools for clearing a channel between God and his creatures and not weapons used to enforce compliance. Because the Word of God is so powerful, we must be careful never to exploit that power. The Pastoral Care Team will need to have recourse to Ministers of Communion if none fulfils this role. This is not an element of this Course but must be dealt with separately.
  2. In this Unit we will consider:
    • Dimensions of prayer;
    • The virtues of Scripture;
    • Sharing worship;
    • Understanding spiritual gifts.
  3. By the end of this Unit we should have the self confidence to:
    • Read Scripture clearly and sympathetically;
    • Share formal prayer and to formulate a simple prayer without stiffness or embarrassment;
    • Have a realistic understanding of our spiritual gifts.

9.3       Key Concepts

  1. Scripture
    • The Bible is the Word of God; and although it is indivisible it is not a single book but a library of myth, history, poetry, wisdom literature, biography, theology, ethics, liturgy and eschatology. It must be used sensitively;
    • The Word of God should not be used as an ethical prescription for an individual dilemma;
    • The Bible "says" many things, some of which are contradictory; it is safer to appeal to the life and teaching of Jesus.
  2. Prayer
    • Formal, extempore and silent prayer are appropriate in different combinations;
    • In this context, prayer is a shared experience in which the person receiving care must play an equal part (even if she chooses to remain silent);
    • Prayer should always be more than intercessory;
    • Intercessory prayer must be put into the context of the idea of what we have as a gift; it is not a transactional activity; it must recognise that we are social creatures.
  3. Spiritual Gifts
    • All our gifts are from God;
    • Spiritual gifts are at God's command;
    • We are all different; and nobody can do everything;
    • Team work requires an honest assessment of ourselves and each other.

9.4       Presentation:

9.5       Case Sketches

  1. Jim says that he has prayed for a cure for his seriously ill wife but God isn't listening;
  1. Fiona says that she has a perfectly good relationship with God and doesn't need the Bible or formal prayer;
  1. Steve always asks for an identical prayer calling on God to cure him;
  1. Pat wants to know about Services of Healing;
  1. Sue thinks she has nothing to offer the Care Team and Pete volunteers for everything.

9.6       Response

9.7       Resources