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Seeking comfort through prayer

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Abstract

Hawley G, Irurita V. International Journal of Nursing Practice 1998; 4: 9–18

Seeking comfort through prayer

The aim of the research was to discover the experience and meaning of prayer of patients in hospital when undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Ethnographic-type post discharge interviews with 13 participants formed the major data source. Using the grounded theory method, the basic social psychological process was labeled seeking comfort through prayer. This was the process of engaging in prayer with God. The participants believed that God listened to their prayers and answered them when they were seeking comfort. It was this reassurance that gave them the strength to face uncertainty and possible death, and also gave them comfort in their psychophysiological condition at the time. Seeking comfort had three stages (maintaining or re-establishing a relationship with God; making peace with God; and asking God to be with them during the hospitalisation). This last stage involved five levels of prayer (acquiescence, instinctive prayer, survival, confiding and honouring).

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