I was privileged to be one of our two lay healing prayer ministers at our monthly evening Healing Prayer Service at the end of January. It is always an honor to be asked to pray for others.
It is a peaceful service with music, a Scripture reading and a short homily. The quietness and Scripture help us to re-focus our lives on Christ, stepping out from the world for one hour to absorb the blessings of God’s kingdom.
At the end of the service, all are invited to come forward (if they choose), where we have two stations with a clergy and lay healing prayer minister who will lay hands on them, listen to their needs, pray with them and then the clergy anoint them with holy oil.
Many people came forward for individual healing prayer, but most came on this night not for their own needs and wants, but instead they were lifting up friends, relatives, and neighbors who had need of God’s loving touch.
I was praying with the Rev. Sam Adams at one station and he shared a wonderful phase with those coming forward, “I anoint you with holy oil as you stand in the gap for.....”
I pondered the phrase, “to stand in the gap” and understood the meaning to be that we are often a surrogate as we ask for God’s healing for someone else. We come forward with all our brokenness, needs, and wants, but we set them aside to lift up another human being so that they can experience Christ’s healing power.
In Matthew 8:5-13, we see a centurion who has come to Jesus in Capernaum to ask for healing for his servant who is paralyzed and suffering. Jesus asks, “Shall I come and heal him?” yet the centurion replies that he is not worthy to have Jesus under his roof, but if Jesus will just speak a word of healing, the centurion believes that it will be done. Jesus says, “Go! Let it be done as you believe,” and when the centurion returns home, his servant has been healed. The centurion “stood in the gap” for his servant.
Just as Jesus, "stood in the gap" for us, I pray that our faith is so strong that as you “stand in the gap”, those for whom we pray will be healed.
Who will you “stand in the gap” for today?
Blessings, my friend,