I have been thinking a lot about prayer lately. If you are new to praying it can seem like a daunting task. The reality is that there is no right or wrong way to pray. God knows your heart, and if the words don’t come out its ok “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26. Cry out to him, tell him your fears, and how you feel- he is there in your pain and he is listening. For myself, prayer is something I have grown up doing. It’s a daily conversation with God about my day, my gratitude for what he has given me, and asking for what I feel I need. However lately I have felt an overwhelming need to pray for other people. Let’s face it, there has been a great need for prayer these last few months. I’m sure you know someone who has been struggling with depression, anger, illness or loneliness during Covid-19; or maybe you yourself are feeling this way. Everyone has days where we need to be lifted up by others, where we may not have the strength ourselves to do so. And by lifting others up to God in prayer are we not giving them the greatest act of love we can offer? “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16
Recently I have also learned that I can pray over others. This revelation came as quite a shock and I had to do some more research for myself. I grew up Catholic, and in the Catholic faith the only people that were permitted to lay hands on another and pray over them were those that were ordained. However, in this journey I am on, I have learned that the place to get all the answers I need is in the bible. I opened my bible and started to search for passages that state who can lay hands on another and pray. As I was searching, I found that before Christ came, only the priests and elders etc were performing the anointing (this mostly refers to the anointing of sheep, other animals, or oils as a sacrifice to God) unless God himself spoke and commanded. However, after Christ came, (who was fully human and fully God) he opened a direct path for all humans to God through him. He sent the Holy Spirit to live within each one of us “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Romans 8:9. If each one of us has the Holy Spirit living in us, and our heart is pure and our faith unwavering, we can call upon Him to heal others. We can also ask God to anoint oi; eliminate all impurities within it, and to make it holy for the work of His glory. We can then anoint another with the oil and pray for their healing, wisdom, and understanding. By allowing a person to anoint you and pray over you, you’re inviting the Holy Spirit to be present and intercede on behalf of God to hear your prayers. But be careful who you allow to pray over you. Be sure that they are in right-standing with God, and that their heart is pure.
I wont lie, it was very strange and awkward at first. I stumbled with words in my head. But like I said before, that’s ok! God knows my heart and my intentions. It became easier and more natural the more I opened myself up to the Holy Spirit and let go of my own reservations. I have learned that there is nothing more beautiful or pure than to love someone so much that you pray over them and have the strength of your faith and belief intercede on their behalf. It is a feeling I will never be able to explain. The blessings God shows us when we put others before ourselves is amazing.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”