Universal Healing Care

“Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” – Acts 5:16

The children didn’t look scared at all. The worship service was about to begin and a small cadre of little ones from the Children’s Ministry had said yes to offering healing prayers. Typically, a minister stood at the back of the sanctuary and offered healing prayers to anyone who so desired during the celebration of communion. On average 1 or 2 congregants would seek the minister out at the back of the sanctuary. However, for several weeks we had been talking to the 4th-6th graders about prayer. We talked about different types of prayer, the purpose of prayer, and how to pray. At the end of the unit we asked if any of the kids would be willing to stand in the back of the sanctuary and offer a healing prayer to congregants who were in need. We gave the children this Celtic prayer of healing to pray over others (with the understanding that they could use their own prayer if they wanted).

“Spirit of the living God,

Flow into your beloved child.

Heal where there has been harm.

Strengthen where there is weakness.

Lift our hearts to reflect your glory. Amen.”

The big Sunday came and the kids were ready. Actually, many of them were eager and

excited about the opportunity.

When it came time for Holy Communion in the service, I invited members to go to the back of the sanctuary for healing prayers. This invitation was standard for a communion Sunday but on this occasion I made mention of the children and of their training.

By the time the bread and the cup had been fully shared the lines for prayers from the children were still going strong. Thankfully, the organist had no problem improvising until all had a chance to receive a prayer.

After the service one woman came to me with tears and two words, “Thank God.”

I believe there is a difference between curing and healing. I think healing has more to do with community and with wholeness. And while we might not all need to be cured of something, I am convinced we all need healing. Sometimes we just need to feel like it’s OK to ask for it.

Spirit of the living God, flow into me, your beloved child. Heal where there has been harm. Strengthen where there is weakness. Lift my heart to reflect your glory. Amen.