Thought for the Week - 19th September

Pastor Gareth Watkins

ACTS 8:14-15

“Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.”
Last week we looked at the ministry of laying on hands in prayer, how this was commissioned by God through the ages, and how it continues to bring blessing into people’s lives today. We also reminded ourselves of the danger that comes with this not being handled in the right way.


We continued exploring this in our weekly bible study. As we went around the room each person testified to their own experience off being prayed with. We heard wonderful accounts of deliverance, healing, and a freeing from addiction. All of these lives had very real and life changing encounters. This is surely not a practice of years gone by as some Christians believe. The Holy Spirit continues to move, baptise, heal and deliver, transforming the lives of normal Christians just like you and me. When Christ ascended He sent to us a helper, since then the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon people across all nations working more miracles and wonders than Christ could Himself as one man.


When the Apostles heard the people of Samaria had received the word, they sent Peter and John to lay hands on them in prayer so that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Although they knew Samaria now believed, they also knew the importance of being baptised in the Spirit, and the depths of God that could open up to them.


It is also true for us today, we can be saved and baptised in water, but not know the infilling of the Holy Spirit, nor the out pouring of Him in our lives.


Peter and John were obedient to God, they had to travel to Samaria and in complete faith lay hands on people whom they had likely never met. However, just as important as their obedience, was the openness to receive the ministry in the hearts of the people being prayed with.


When we are prayed with there has to come a humility in which we are open to receive the blessing God has for us regardless of who is ministering. God often performs miracles through the obedience of ordinary people. It is not through their strength that the Holy Spirit moves, but through God alone.


Unfortunately our old nature can rise up and our pride causes a barrier. Perhaps we don’t like the person ministering, or think to ourselves ‘who do they think they are to pray with me’. These attitudes rob us of blessings, and put quite simply are rebellion and stubbornness against God.


We can get so caught up in ourselves that we forget that actually the Holy Spirit moves for God’s glory. Yes He wants to bless us, but there is a far greater picture, and a continuing of that blessing for the furthering of the kingdom that we can’t see.


There is so much to be received through the laying on of hands. We cannot allow anything to rise up within that creates a barrier between us and God. If your heart is not right in these things then lay them before Him in repentance, and ask that he would soften those parts of you that have hardened towards Him.


”you have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.” (v.21)


Be ye wary …

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