Jesus… got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” … If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.”
John 13:4-7, 14-15
Companioned Prayer in Service
After Companioned Prayer is learned and practiced for awhile, it is only natural to want to share it, either though teaching and ongoing small group support, or through a specific ministry serving individuals in need. Companioned Prayer is an ideal prayer for service ministries, as it is specifically designed to be practiced with another person. When you feel moved by God to offer Companioned Prayer in teaching or service, refer to the extensive information available in the book, Companioned Prayer, available on the Resources page.
Examples of potential use of Companioned Prayer within service ministries include: people who are homebound, people who are sick or are in hospitals, people in prisons and their families, people in transition, people who are homeless, people in hospice care, people challenged with addiction, battered women, teens at risk and teen runaways, people struggling in poverty, in missionary settings, and many more. In all cases it is vital to offer the prayer within the context of faith.
Below is an example of Companioned Prayer in an assisted living community, provided by Ali True, one of its administrators:
Companioned Prayer at Mercy McMahon Terrace
Mercy McMahon Terrace is a faith-based assisted living community in Sacramento. With the encouragement of our late resident, Bishop Francis Quinn, in the spring of 2018 five volunteers from the Companioned Prayer ministry of St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Folsom shared Companioned Prayer with our residents in a three-month program. Six residents regularly participated, plus our Sister of Mercy Chaplain. Meetings were held in our Chapel twice a week after the morning communion service and rosary, for about 1½ hours. The volunteers not only shared how to pray with each other through Companioned Prayer, they also shared how the prayer experience encourages and opens our Christian faith to the mystery of God’s gentle, loving presence personally felt and known in us. Also, very importantly, the volunteers and the residents got to know each other and to appreciate their company together. Residents reported, and I observed, that they greatly valued the Companioned Prayer ministry and the volunteers. The program benefited the participants who had an opportunity to share with another person a longing that maybe they never said out loud to another human being or even to themselves. It created a trusting and safe place to open hearts to each other and to also invite in God’s presence and power. One resident said, “A search for a meaningful prayer experience was finally fulfilled.” The Companioned Prayer ministry program made a meaningful difference to our residents who participated in the program. At the end of the program the residents requested a special appreciation luncheon for the volunteers. I would encourage any residential care community or similar group to welcome a Companioned Prayer ministry.
Ali True, Mercy McMahon Terrace
For Bishop Quinn's thoughts on Companioned Prayer, see the CPCF blog page.
Additional examples of people using Companioned Prayer in service ministries will be provided as they are submitted. If you wish to submit ideas or examples, please see the Submitting Material section on our Resources page.