Monday, February 09, 2009

The Joy of Healing Prayer

Last night my Sunday night church group accepted an invitation to attend another local UMC for a healing service.  I was one of the two pastors administering healing prayer along with a prayer team of 5 others.  The expressions on the faces of those who came forward for healing changed from drawn and dread to beaming radiance in the course of praying for them.  

One woman who is facing surgery Thursday for scoliosis emerged from the prayer saying that she's ready to go home now if that's God's will - whether she's healed or not she knows that God loves her and would accept her into His glory.  It's all in His hands now.

A man with prostate cancer scheuled for surgery Tuesday rose from the prayer chair with a beaming smile, confident that with God everything will be ok.  The prayer team and the whole church shared his joy.  Likewise with the others who came for prayer.

The healing prayers were administered as follows:  The pastor for the church anointed the prayee with oil making the sign of the cross on the forehead, then on each hand, then led the prayer team in laying upon hands while he prayed for the specific condition.  This lasted 1 to 3 minutes depending upon how he was moved by the spirit to pray.  Once he was finished I closed the prayer by lifting the subject's chin and asking them to look at me while I prayed the Order of St Luke the Physician's prayer for laying upon hands, which is:  "Our Lord Jesus Christ who gave authority to his disciples to lay hands upon the afflicted that they may recover, have mercy on you; give you strength in spirit, strength in soul; strength in body, but most of all give you faith in His power to heal.  By His authority committed unto us we lay hands upon you in the name of Jesus Christ, our lord and savior."  

When the final prayer was given the tears of joy abounded.  By the end of the service the presence of the Holy Spirit was so intense that while the benediction had been given, nobody ran for the door.  All basked in the love that only comes from The Lord.  

God's will is just that.  Whatever healing he brings to those who came forward is what it is.  But in the process of praising Him and interceding with love on behalf of those needing healing, there is a joy that He reserves for special times...times like these when we're all about His business.  That is the joy of healing prayer.