A Prayer for the NHS

TODAY, we celebrate the 72nd Anniversary of The National Health Service, which came into being on 5 July 1948. During post-war reconstruction, improving the healthcare of the nation was seen as crucial to the nation’s recovery. William Beveridge, the architect of the NHS, identified “five giants” that had to be slain:

  • want,
  • disease,
  • squalor,
  • ignorance and
  • idleness.

During the current pandemic, there has been immense national and local support for the NHS and its front line workers. The emergence of the Thursday ‘Clap for Carers’ was a significant experience in the lockdown. Thanksgiving binds communities together, turning ‘I’ into ‘we’. The contribution of carers and key workers who have given of themselves sacrificially needs to be honoured and unsung heroes need to be applauded.

Bishop Robert Exon, Chair of the Liturgical Commission, has posted this prayer:

For the NHS
God of healing and compassion,
we thank you for the establishment of the National Health Service,
and for the dedication of all who work in it:
give skill, sympathy and resilience to all who care for the sick,
and your wisdom to those engaged in medical research.
Strengthen all in their vocation through your Spirit,
that through their work many will be
restored to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Everlasting God, at this time we lift to you those from
all nations and backgrounds
who work on the front line in healthcare.
Give them skill and wisdom in their work.
Be their strength and their shield as they
give of themselves in the care of others.