Prayer is a powerful force for good, but it can also unintentionally broach areas of privacy and confidentiality. Therefore, when discussing prayer I like to share the Wesley Seminary and IWU guidelines for the content of prayer requests.
The following is from the “Email Usage Policy” directive of October 30, 2006, revised April 26, 2010. Approved by the President’s Cabinet.
“Items sent to the Prayer list should be intended to draw from the power of the Indiana Wesleyan University prayer community for various needs. Please use caution when describing the nature of the circumstance requiring prayer out of respect for all individuals involved. See ‘Medical Information Guidelines.’
‘Medical Information Guidelines’
i. Information shared about medical diagnoses/prognoses can provide potential challenges in light of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) Privacy standards. This applies to medical conditions of students, job applicants and employees, and may even hold true with other outside constituents. When sharing prayer requests, please use generalities only instead of condition-specific information.
Non-Preferred: Please pray for [employee name]. S/he was just rushed to Marion General Hospital suffering severe chest pains. The emergency medical technicians believed it was a heart attack, and [Employee name]’s spouse is very concerned since [employee name] previously had bypass surgery and angioplasty.
Preferred (Initial): Please pray for [employee name]. S/he was just rushed to Marion General Hospital with health concerns.
Preferred (Follow-up): Thank you to those who prayed for [employee name]. The doctors were able to stabilize the condition and [employee name] is resting comfortably at MGH.”
I am always interested in praying more effectively and graciously. And, I think these guidelines can assist Christians in this important task 🙂