Acts 4:30 – Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. (NIV)
Years ago in Maybole, Scotland, all the churches in the town began an ecumenical healing ministry on behalf of the townsfolk. It unexpectedly grew out of a Lenten worship service one night when I asked if anyone in the mixed congregation would like to come forward for the laying on of hands by all the pastors. Surprisingly, about two-thirds of the congregation walked down the aisle and requested it. Afterwards, when the clergy met together — two Presbyterian pastors, a Roman Catholic priest, an Episcopalian doctor, and a Baptist minister — we decided that the Holy Spirit was working in the town, and so we agreed to hold a monthly healing service in Maybole.
This monthly service lasted for years, and people from the nearby towns and villages also attended the host church each month. It was a remarkable event, and years later, when each of the clergy left to go to other parishes and places, the services continued amongst the people. Furthermore, the five original pastors took the healing ministries into their new churches and new towns.
The tradition is still being carried on, and in our own church at Erin, there is a special time during every Sunday morning service for prayers of health and healing. It's a very meaningful part of the worship, and through it, many people have found peace, hope, and strength to overcome sickness, unease, and stress.
Today, we will all hear or read in e-mails about other people who need to be healed. Our hearts will be sensitive to their plight, so our prayers will be very important. Whoever we read or hear about today, let us take some precious time to be in prayer for them, for healing often begins where our prayers end.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, healing is one of Your holy ministries, and we do not take it for granted. We ask that You will hear our petitions for those who are afraid, for those facing sickness, and for those in trouble who cannot pray for themselves. Through the riches of Your grace, bless them with healing and wholeness. In Your sacred name, we pray. Amen.