Laying hands on the sick is mentioned many times in the New Testament, and was a common practice in the early church.
It is far less common today, mainly because of “faith healers” who have made it look ridiculous. Ignorant of all the principles by which prayer actually works, they presume to perform this holy rite in a carnival atmosphere. They typically demand that a patient state his or her concern (Mistake #1). They expect a complete, instantaneous healing in every case (Mistake #2), and demand that the patient declare this has occurred. If it fails to occur, they may claim that the patient lacked “faith” (Mistake #3). And if a patient appears to have obtained relief, they may advise him or her to quit taking medicines, or quit seeing the doctor (Mistake #4).
It is also less well-known today, because “the real thing” is happening in many places we don’t expect it. A high proportion of those people who are truly gifted in this field already work in the healing professions. Their gifts draw them into those fields. Many physicians, dentists, nurses and physical therapists, whether they realize it or not, are actually “laying hands on” a patient every time they have contact with him or her. Many more, whose gifts manifest more through presence and conversation, work in the ministry, psychotherapy or social work.
A review of the charlatans’ errors may be instructive.
Mistake #1: Prayer with the laying on of hands can be helpful as to any need a patient may have, including for example marital difficulties or joblessness. There is absolutely no need for the person who prays, to be aware of the patient’s specific concern. Technically speaking, it’s none of that person’s business. He or she has no “need to know.” The need is between the patient and God, only.
Mistake #2: Instantaneous complete healings do occur, but are rare. It is far more common for the patient’s condition to improve at an accelerated rate, but gradually, over weeks, months or years. It is normally good for a patient to receive this sacrament regularly on an ongoing basis.
Mistake #3: What the patient believes or doesn’t believe has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not healing occurs.
Mistake #4: In the case of medical conditions, the patient should continue treatment with medical professionals as long as they say it is needed. Olga Worrall said, “All healing is of God,” regardless of the means by which it occurs. For example, if a cancer goes into remission, whether the patient has sought or had prayer or not, it’s God who brought about healing.
The laying on of hands is a formalized instance of what happens any time people engage in compassionate touch. “Light” from God passes through one soul, to another. One finds such energy transfers when a mother holds a sleeping baby; when lovers snuggle; in almost every hug; in a pat on the back. Laying on of hands merely makes this a ritual suitable to be engaged in equally well by best friends or by strangers.
How to do it
For the intercessor/channel (the one who prays)
(1) Don’t come uninvited: never touch anyone without her or his permission.
(2) Depending on circumstances, such as whether the patient is standing or kneeling, or sitting in a chair, it may be good to place your hands on the patient’s head or shoulders.
(3) Go into silence: let your mind be empty; think of nothing; just focus your attention on God.
(4) Energy from God is likely to pass through you into the patient’s soul, as per Mark 5:30. You may or may not be aware of it. But your feelings or intuition will let you know when it has stopped. Exert no effort of your own; doing so will only restrict the flow of Spirit through you.
(5) Listen to the Spirit for a blessing to say to the patient out loud. Pray those words. This prayer is more likely to speak to the patient’s need than any words you could think up on your own.
For the patient/seeker
Enter silence, and imagine the desired condition: imagine your life exactly the way you would most like it to be. Prepare yourself to receive help toward that goal. Be aware that although help will come through the person praying, it is not from the person praying; it’s from God.
The ideal time to do this is immediately after your daily meditation.
Related: Un[b]locking the spirit
Who can do it
In “Prayer primer,” I said that the intercessor, like a lightning rod, succeeds based on two considerations: its position, and its composition. I have gone into some detail here about position. Developing a composition to pray with effectiveness is a lifelong proposition.
But let’s begin where we are now.
Again as mentioned in “Prayer primer,” some folk have great talents in music, some less; but everyone has some musical ability. Some have greater athletic ability, some less; but everyone has some. Some folk have greater talents in prayer, some less; but everyone has some. By virtue of your being a soul, you have some.
Jesus did this. You can, too.
Related: The New Life Clinic