Beginning in 2014 we are holding a monthly prayer, worship and healing service to come together to minister to one another and pray for the needs of others. We do so in the knowledge that it is God who sovereignly chooses to heal or not to heal. Nonetheless, we believe that creating a loving and caring environment in which we can, in the loving and humble example of Jesus, pray for each other, is what God calls the church to do.
A few brief thoughts on Christian prayer and healing:
Tracing the foundations to the compassionate and dynamic ministry of Jesus, the church has for centuries offered prayer for the sick and troubled. Consider one of the several summary descriptions of Jesus’ ministry regarding healing in the Gospel of Matthew:
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralysed; and he healed them (Mt 4:23–24).
And when another great reformer and spiritual leader contemporaneous with Jesus, John the Baptist, asked if Jesus was the chosen king sent by God, Luke, the medical doctor who penned the Gospel of that name wrote:
At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor (Luke 7:20–22).
And very clearly in the New Testament, Christians are commanded and exhorted to pray, and to pray for each other:
- “And when you pray…” (Mt 6:5)
- Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up (Lk 18:1).
- They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers (Acts 1:14).
- After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly (Ac 4:31).
- So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him (Ac 12:5).
- And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me…(Eph 6:18–19).
- Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honourably in every way. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon (Heb 13:18–19).
- Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing (1Tim 2:18).
- As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us… (2 Th 3:1).
- Pray continually…Brothers and sisters, pray for us (1 Th 5:17–25).
- With this in mind, we constantly pray for you (2 Th 1:11).
- Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16)
Be assured that these events will be based on Biblical teaching, a devotion and openness to God, and care and love for one another.
What will these nights look like?
- Biblical readings and teaching
- Worship in song
- Corporate prayer
- Opportunity to receive prayer
- Seek to serve one another through the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings.