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Hospital visits can be made for a lot of reasons: duty, friendship, and repayment of a favor. A visit that really touches the heart and has a lasting effect is the visit made for one purpose only – blessing a soul in a time of trouble. There are many aspects of a great hospital visit. Here are seven elements of soul care in a hospital setting:

1. Seek the Lord to determine the patient's mood. Major-surgery patients encounter at least three basic emotional periods: (1) the night before and the early hours of the surgery day; (2) the period right after surgery when life signs are low and the patient is very likely under sedation or taking pain-killing drugs; (3) the period of increasing mobility and strengthened life signs.
Expect to find at least three basic moods during these times.
Fear is surely a part of the pre-surgery hours. The appropriate response is assurance—facing the reality of the situation but approaching it with confidence.
Aloneness is common during the low-functioning days right after surgery. Many times the best you can do is simply to be there.
Depression and impatience with the rate of recovery are common as time goes on. At this point, the patient may be ready for some sensitive cheer.

By basic observation and Holy Spirit discernment you can sense what kind of mood the patient is in and minister accordingly. God will be with you and will anoint you to do and say the right thing. Just your presence will make all the difference.

2. If you can’t be there before surgery happens, call on the patient the day before or in the early hours before surgery. Like a joke or a kiss, timing is everything here. Six visits the following week will not recover the lost opportunity of those hours before the unknown. Simply tell the patient that you are praying for them and the surgical team that will perform the procedure and then…Pray. Ask God’s blessings for a fast recovery and for God’s presence to abide over them and their family members. Keep the prayer short and sweet and then bless them as you leave in God’s care.

3. Minister to the patient's family in the waiting room during surgery. That is the significant time for loved ones. That is when the questions and fears arise. Perhaps you can remember when someone came and stayed with you or your loved ones during a time of fear and uncertainty. They remembered and came and stayed. The comfort of knowing they came, they prayed, and they stayed is the greatest expression of love you can give.

4. Recognize that your presence is more important that your words. This is especially true during the mood of aloneness. There have been many people who thought they did the visit all wrong. They didn’t realize that just being there was so very important and your presence will speak volumes concerning the love of Christ. Just remember that the fact that you

5. Remember to make you visit brief. Five to ten minutes is sufficient. After the visit is completed, don't hesitate to take the patient's hand—as firmly as appropriate without causing pain. That touch—or grip—communicates empathy, presence, strength, companionship. Every patient needs those three things. And often a touch will give them.

6. Remember that the seriousness of surgery has little relationship to the seriousness with which a patient views the surgery. It has been said “the difference between major surgery and minor surgery is the person who is having it”. Your assignment is the soul, not the doctor's report. Don't take the patient lightly, but don't be morbid. You must accept their mood and respond with gentle encouragement.

7. When you want to share a few verses of Scripture, concentrate on select portions of the Psalms. No other portion of the Bible speaks to those in need of a lifted spirit for instance: "God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and the mountains fall into the ocean depths; even if the seas roar and rage and the hills are shaken by the violence … the Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge!" (Ps. 46:1-3, 7).

Here are some more excellent scriptures that you can use while ministering to those who are in the hospital:

Scriptures that may offer comfort in the most desperate times of need.

Psalm 46:1-3 - God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah.

Isaiah 57:18 - I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will also lead him, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners.

Psalm 145:8
 - The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.

Psalm 32:7
 - You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.

Psalm 30:5
 - For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 55:22
 - Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; he shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Psalm 68:6
 - God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5
 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

Psalm 23:4
 - Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Romans 8:31
 - What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:28
 - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.


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