The worship service will be a communion service, very much like our Sunday morning worship services, though the music will be organ music, using our keyboard.
An important addition is that immediately following the prayers and before the congregation exchanges the peace, time will be offered for those who wish to do so to come forward for healing prayers. It is appropriate to ask for prayers for healing of body, mind and spirit. You may tell those praying for you about the need, or if you prefer, you may keep the specific reason for prayer between you and God. Our pastor will anoint your forehead with oil and pray briefly for your healing. When possible, a few others will also lay hands on your shoulders and agree in prayer for your healing. The service will then continue as usual with the exchange of the peace and communion.
That gives an outline of the service. Most importantly what you can expect is that God will be present in our worship and in our prayers.
About Healing Prayer
Prayers for healing were an important part of Jesus' ministry. Jesus also sent his disciples out to heal and their own ministry of praying for healing continued after Jesus' resurrection. As such, healing prayers have always been a part of our Christian tradition.
In James 5:14, scripture counsels us, "Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord." This is what we do in coming to church and asking for healing prayers.
We come in faith asking for others to pray for what we need from God. Sometimes people will feel something when being prayed for for healing. Many other times the person will feel nothing. Whether you feel anything or not, God is present and we trust God to heal us as is best for us. Prayer is a request and not a demand made upon God. We may pray for healing of body and God may allow our sickness of body to get our attention and keep it focused as a means of learning and growing. In those times healing may come, even if it is not the sort of healing we had in mind. So, we approach the altar with an open mind, knowing that God desires our wholeness and well-being and has instructed us not only to pray for that health, but at times to seek out the elders of the church, by coming forward for the laying on of hands.
This new worship service creates a new opportunity for healing prayer, but does not set limits. You may ask for healing prayers at an service, or call the church and ask for the pastor to visit you in the hospital or at home for healing prayers as needed.
Some related links
Christian Healing Ministry—the Jacksonville-based healing ministry, which a very strong emphasis on teaching about healing. The following articles from their newsletter are found at their website:
- Praying to heal cancer
- When healing doesn't come
- Does it make any difference who prays for you?
- Generational healing
- Inner healing
- other articles on healing prayer
God always heals, but God does not always cure—a Harvard research project on the understanding of healing prayer in the Episcopal Church.