Thought for the Week - 12th SeptemberPastor Gareth Watkins
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.
In our church we pray with one another. It is a God commissioned practice that has been used to minister to people throughout the ages. We read about the laying on of hands in the Old Testament and the new, and though some churches don’t pray in this way, we continue to see lives deeply moved through it.
When hands are laid on someone in prayer, the Holy Spirit imparts to them the blessings of God. For some this might be physical or mental healing, for others it could be anointing and authority to take up a work, deliverance from darkness, or perhaps new depth found in spiritual places.
It is not something that we take lightly, there is a warning to heed. If the person ministering is not in a right place spiritually, a transference of sin or demonic influence can take place in either direction. It can leave both parties badly marked by the experience and in a worse state.
“Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.” (1Timothy 5:22)
As a church we are cautious about who is permitted to pray on others, it is a duty for me as the pastor to look after the spiritual welfare of the congregation.
There is a wonderful generational blessing that can come through the laying on of hands. In my own family I see 6 generations whose lives have been touched by God. In our church, the blessing and anointing of God upon the founding ministers, has been carried forth by those on whom they prayed with, and is seen in those who lead the work today.
This is an essential ministry in the body of Christ, yet there seems to have come a tepidness among some Christians in these matters, and a lack of desire to go deeper into things of God in this way.
When Joseph brought his sons to his father Jacob to be blessed, Jacob placed his right hand on the younger son and gave him the greater blessing. However, in these times it would have been custom for the older son to receive it. Joseph was most displeased at this and thinking his father was mistaken, he tried to remove his hand. Jacob however was not mistaken; God knows who He has called, and though Jacob was poor of sight in the natural, the Holy Spirit revealed to him that the younger son was to receive the greater blessing. Jacob knew the will of God and was obedient despite how difficult it might have been for him to set the younger above the older, or how unpopular others might have viewed it.
How many of us bring our children for prayer? Joseph wanted to ensure that the generational blessing of his family would continue in the lives of his children. Is that not worth more than every educational or financial investment we often strive to provide for them? Yet sadly, this is something that is done less and less.
There is much be desired, sought, respected, and guarded, in the laying on of hands. It is not something we can mess about with or try to do in our own strength, but how truly wonderful it is when the Holy Spirit moves and ministers among us.