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I have not yet finished reading the entire April-June 2007 issue of JCN, but could not wait to comment on how the editorial so nicely addresses sin's relationship to mental illness. It is important to remember the stories of Jesus casting the evil spirits/demons out of people (Matthew 8:28-34). If evil spirit's inhabited individual's lives in biblical times, than who's to say that they don't now. I agree that sin, and the resulting guilt, can lead to mental illness, as well. On the other hand, it seems like many people try to blame their sin on "mental illness," using it as an excuse, rather than living up to the consequences of their sin.


I can hardly wait to finish the rest of this issue!!


Angela Acker


Rib Lake, WI



JCN inspires me as I go from village to village in Kenya sharing preventative health concepts, teaching on HIV AIDS from a biblical perspective, and ministering with medications to poorer and less developed tribes where our national missionaries are living.


My work took our team to the Turkana people in northern Kenya. We gave de-worming medication to the 150 secondary school students along with their teachers and assistants. We also gave the medication to 30 people who gathered to welcome us to their village and to hear the Gospel. Three people entered into a personal relationship with God that day. This is what we dreamed our ministry would be as we felt a call into a holistic, grassroots ministry!! We are thrilled to be doing this work. JCN encourages us in the process.


Carolyn Wade


Kenya, Africa



I have been a RN for almost 10 years, but am new to nursing education. I am a clinical instructor for 8-10 students in a hospital setting. As a Christian, I pray before and after clinical for each student by name and for his/her duties. But, I have been interested in taking it one step further. I am not sure how to go about doing that.


Lauren Gillian


Guysville, OH



Thank you for reading and responding to the article "Can We Pray with Students?" in the Fall 2006 issue of JCN.


I wonder what you were asking when you say you want to "take it one step further." I assume you mean more than praying but are "not sure how to go about doing that." A few questions and comments may help. First, are your prayers before and after clinical private or are you praying aloud with students? It sounds like you are praying privately for each student and are wondering about the idea of praying aloud in the student's presence.


If you are questioning whether or not to pray aloud, one important factor to consider is classification of the institution for which you are teaching. Instructors teaching for private institutions, particularly those with a religious heritage, have more freedom to pray and teach spiritual care interventions than those teaching in public institutions. I recommend an article by Cheryl Lantz, "Teaching Spiritual Care in a Public Institution: Legal Implications, Standards of Practice and Ethical Obligations," published in the January 2007 issue of Journal of Nursing Education. Lantz enumerates and describes the legal constraints on faculty in public institutions with regard to praying with students and teaching spiritual care interventions.


Another factor to consider is the student's right to autonomy. Students must know that they have a right not to be prayed for aloud. In a clinical group, peer pressure must be considered. If you are thinking of starting to pray aloud with students before clinical and you are legally safe doing so, you could pose the idea to the group and ask them to send you written anonymous responses.


Having written some of the cautions, I believe prayer is often perceived as a gift. As such it is desired and welcomed. I believe it is a powerful asset of the Christian nursing instructor whether it is used privately or publicly with students.


Sandra L. Jamison