Chapter 32, pp. 203-211. This chapter is divided into five segments.
32A “The First Visit to the Patient”
When the pastor first visits a sick patient his most natural role is that of encourager. The person who is ill is in the hand of the good and loving God who will turn the situation to the best. The pastor then asks about the patient’s condition.
32B “The Condition of the Patient”
The pastor is not only concerned with the illness but primarily with the patient’s inner condition. He gently finds if the patient is trusting Christ, if he is in a state of repentance, if his mind and conscience are clear. This inquiry needs to be gentle and attentive.
32C “The Primary Need of the Patient”
The greatest need of the patient is forgiveness of God and eternal life. This is the hope the pastor strives to bring.
32D “The Approach to the Patient”
It is very important that the pastor pray frequently and present content in brief bites during a visit. It is not productive to tire the person out very much. If the patient is capable of longer-term mental activity reading material may be helpful. Bringing the patient to repentance and forgiveness is paramount.
32E “The Critically Ill Patient”
The pastor can confidently remind patients that all illness is a sign of some future time of death but that Jesus has conquered death. He then brings hope.