How has your period of special listening and learning been, I wonder, during Lent? I have been made to think back to study groups that I was part of many years ago, and how when describing the ministry of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, we thought of two main headings: teaching and healing. I found that these two areas of Jesus’ ministry weren’t confined to Mark’s Gospel, but whenever Jesus sent disciples out to minister in pairs, as well as to preach and deliver from demons, it was to heal.
Deliverance ministry will have to be a topic for another day, but I would like to address the invitation Jesus gives to the Church to carry on His healing ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is notable through the Acts of the Apostles, and it reflects God’s desire for our healing and wholeness as human beings as shown throughout both Old and New Testaments.
We may meet some pitfalls when offering healing ministry today. One is that people may be looking for an instant cure; alternatively they may have no expectation that God has power to heal physically, emotionally or spiritually in any way whatever. Both are attitudes which could hinder a person’s ability to receive healing.
The essence of healing ministry in the Church today is being open to God – we need to allow Jesus to meet us at our point of need. As the person being prayed for we may have lots of ‘wants’, but we should be open to God healing us in ways we had not expected. The difference between wholeness and ‘cure’ can be seen in so many lives where physical disability persists but where inner healing is in transformational progress.
Healing ministry is a regular part of Sunday prayer ministry at our churches, and longer appointments made through clergy and pastoral team co-ordinators in the Frenchay & Stapleton Benefice. There is also to be a Celebration of Healing and Wholeness on April 30th at 6pm at Frenchay Parish Church. On this occasion there will be teaching from the Bible about healing, then later on, a chance for people to come forward as at Communion and receive the ‘laying on of hands’ (a minister places their hand on your shoulder or head) with a set prayer administered to each person in the same way.
Please pray towards April 30th and think who you might bring along with you.
Meanwhile, I look forward to our Easter celebrations together, In His healing love, Charles.