Hello and welcome to Day 71 of Pray for Ryde. It’s difficult to believe that we’ve only another two weeks to go until we have completed 2020 hours of prayer. My name is Reverend Kerry Birch and I am the minister of Ryde Baptist Church. Today we are praying for Dentists, Opticians, Hearing Specialists, and so on.
Thinking about dentists my mind goes straight to the great Pam Ayres’ poem, ‘Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth, And spotted the perils beneath…’! You can look up the rest for yourselves. There is a sense of regret amidst the humour of not taking as much notice or care as she should have done.
The state of our teeth, as well as our eyes and our ears, can tell us a great deal about the rest of our health. We are grateful for our dentists, and the nurses and technicians who work with them; for the consulting opticians and the dispensing opticians, and those who work in the workshops and manufacturers, producing spectacles and contact lenses; and for those audiologists and technicians who can pick up and correct hearing loss, with the marvel of technology at their disposal.
But it is not just our teeth, eyes, and ears alone that they care for. Often these professionals are the first to pick up other signs of tumours and other cancers, diabetes, and all sorts of other diseases and general health maladies. So, we are grateful for the wider skill they bring to bear, and for the specialists in the hospital to whom they can refer us.
The poet behind Ecclesiastes [12:1-5] urges us to look to God before our eyes and ears totally fail us, and our teeth completely fall out. Again, there is black humour here behind the serious message:
Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
‘I find no pleasure in them’–
2 before the sun and the light
and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain;
3 when the keepers of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows grow dim;
4 when the doors to the street are closed
and the sound of grinding fades;
when people rise up at the sound of birds,
but all their songs grow faint;
5 when people are afraid of heights
and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
and the grasshopper drags itself along
and desire no longer is stirred.
Then people go to their eternal home
and mourners go about the streets.
So heavenly Father we thank you for our dentists, opticians, and hearing specialists. And we pray for them this day. We pray for their safety and protection at this time, when the close proximity they need with their clients puts them at extra risk. Keep them alert and skilled, as they consider the wider health of those they see and help. And keep us disciplined in keeping appointments and doing what we need to do in looking after our own health. We particularly pray about the limited number of skilled and affordable dental practitioners on the Island and pray that you would be calling and equipping new people to join existing or in setting up new community practices in our locality.
‘Day by day,
Dear Lord, of thee three things I pray:
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly,
Day by day.’ [Godspell (1971) version of Richard of Chichester’s prayer]
These and all our prayers for dentists, opticians, and hearing specialists, we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Please join us this evening at 7pm for our daily Zoom prayer meeting: