What is healing prayer?
Healing prayer is an opportunity to share in physical, embodied prayer. It is a prayer for your physical needs, and well - being. It also involves the prayerful, reassuring presence and attention of trained members of your St. Paul’s community.
This prayer will be part of our worship at the 8:45am and 10:45am services on November 27, December 4, December 11, and December 18. Before or after receiving Communion, you are invited to go to one of the two prayer stations on either side of the altar for laying on hands and prayers for healing. You may ask for a prayer for yourself, someone you care for, or a general prayer. You may stand or sit for prayer. While you are being prayed for by a member of the prayer team, their prayer partner, a second member of the prayer team, will also be praying for you. You will be asked if you wish to be anointed with oil and if you would like a hand placed on your shoulder. Our clergy or trained lay healing prayer ministers will keep all prayer requests in private confidence, and not follow up with the person receiving prayer.
We practice healing prayer because we know that physical healing was a very large part of Jesus’s earthly ministry. And we know that Jesus also sent out his followers to heal the people they met who were struggling with injury and illness, too. We know that God cares deeply about the physical world, and our physical existence. In the Incarnation, God even became an embodied human being. So, this Advent season, we look forward to honoring God’s love for us and our world through healing prayer.
Please note that this is named healing, and not curing, prayer. We know that God is our cure-giver, and that we, as human beings, are givers of care. A chaplain, the Rev. Frederick Recklau, expressed the distinction between the idea of being cured, and healed, in a poem, part of which reads:
Cure separates the body from the soul; Healing embraces the soul.
Cure tends to isolate; Healing tends to incorporate.
Cure combats illness; Healing fosters wellness.
Cure fosters function; Healing fosters purpose.
Because our prayer team will not be following up with you, they may ask you if you would like to have a name added to the St. Paul’s prayer list, or if you would like to follow up with a member of the clergy. If you would like this, you can get a Prayer Request Card from them, or from inside your pew, and place it in any of the offering baskets. And, if you ever want to talk about healing prayer, or any pastoral concerns you might have, please talk to any member of the St. Paul’s clergy. Know that we are always glad to be able to pray for you!