Biblical Basis for Laying on of Hands
Everyone has a favorite way of ministering to sick people. The good news is that as long as you’re applying biblical principles, one way is not superior to another. Do whatever is successful for you. More importantly, do whatever the Holy Spirit directs.
My next few articles will be showcasing the various biblical methods used to minister to the sick. The focus of this one will be the “laying on of hands.” This is my own personal favorite. In Mark 16:18 Jesus said “…they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” To me, that’s a pretty simple healing method.
“Laying on of hands” doesn’t require lengthy prayers, a spectacular emotional scene, sensationalism that pressures people to scream and shake all over the place, or pushing them so hard they fall to the floor. Now sometimes these type of manifestations will occur, under the influence of the Holy Spirit. That’s a beautiful thing. But no one profits from a deceitful or manipulative form of “laying on of hands.”
Who Qualifies to Lay Hands on the Sick?
Who are the people that are qualified to heal the sick? Who was Jesus referring to when He said, “they will lay hands on the sick?” This article on How to Start a Healing Ministry best answers that question. But the most simplistic response is this: All believers! Mark 16:17 says, “And these signs will follow those who believe.” If you believe in Jesus Christ and have made Him Lord of your life, you qualify to heal the sick. And not only that, if you read Mark 16:17-18 in its entirety, you’ll see that as a believer you have been given the authority to cast out demons, speak in a special spirit language, and receive divine protection against potentially deadly things. That’s a pretty awesome portfolio of benefits for believers!
If you’re going to engage in the laying on of hands, you have to believe in divine healing. If you want signs, wonders, and miracles to manifest when you lay hands on people, you have to believe you can handle Satan and his demons as that is the source of sickness (Acts 10:38). You have to believe that biblical healing is as relevant today as it was in the days of Jesus and His disciples. Never be afraid to step out and do the things God has called believers to do.
The First Way Jesus Healed People
During the earthly ministry of Jesus, the first way He healed people was by the laying on of hands. It was through a personal touch. And “touching” still works today! But how does that happen? When you, as a Spirit-filled believer, lay your hands on someone, the power of God goes out of you and into the person you’re touching. The same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead resides in every Spirit-filled person. It’s the power of the Holy Spirit, and it can be transferred!
In fact, the person you’re laying hands on doesn’t even have to be a Christian. Oh, I’m fully aware that’s contrary to the belief of many Christians, but my own miraculous healing from terminal cancer testifies to that truth! In my very candid written testimony, “The Bride Wore Black,” you can clearly see how far away I was from God when I received a medical miracle. Jesus administered healing to both Jews and Gentiles, and believers today need to lay hands on all kinds of sick people, both Christians and non-Christians. No one is exempt from receiving a healing from God! And I’m living proof that perfection is not a prerequisite to receive a healing. The bible is clear regarding God’s will for all His creation to be saved and living a life free from sickness.
I would encourage you to read the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. As you do, pay close attention to this one thing: How did Jesus heal the sick? You’ll find many examples of how Jesus healed people. In Mark 1:40-42 Jesus simply “touched” the leper. Once again, in Mark 5:35-42, Jesus simply took the hand of a twelve-year-old girl who had died. When He did, she was immediately restored back to life! In both of these accounts, Jesus only spoke a few words as He “touched” the person. Mark 7:32-35 is yet another example of Jesus “touching” someone who needed healing, this time a man who was deaf and mute. Jesus put His fingers in the man’s ears and spoke one word (the Greek word ephphatha, which means “be opened” in English). There was an incredible release of power when Jesus touched sick people, and that same power is available to every believer today!
There’s Great Power in Your Hands!
Your hands are a valuable commodity in the ministry of healing; realize the importance of a “touch.” Touching is important in many areas of our life. Whenever my toddler Grandson falls, he comes running to me. He knows I’m going to lay my hands on him and ask Jesus to heal him. Almost the moment I touch him, he stops crying. That touch does something special for him. In his mind, it says, “everything is going to be okay.” Now, at barely three-years-old, he lays his hands on people and asks Jesus to heal them! Recently, when his mommy wasn’t feeling well, he went to her bedside and proceeded to lay his little hands on the exact area that hurt, and asked Jesus to heal her. No one prompted him to do that!
When I was in the hospital, prior to my medical miracle, there was one special nurse that came by my room every time her shift ended in the middle of the night. She knew I would be awake, in pain. She would always hold my hand and tell me everything would be all right. She believed in the healing power of Jesus! Even though I was living a life of rebellion, and dying of cancer, she believed Jesus could heal me and turn my life around. She was right! There was just something indescribable that happened every time she touched me. There’s great power in a simple touch! I always looked forward to her visits.
Even with few words, a little touch can speak volumes in people’s lives. It tells them you understand their grief, and want to see their situation changed.
The Sick Person Will Recover!
A note of encouragement when laying hands on the sick. Oftentimes, when I lay hands on people there will be an immediate manifestation of healing. But sometimes the healing is a progression, and comes over time. Also, if the infirmity was something not visible on the outside, they may not even realize the healing occurred until they revisit their physician and receive confirmation from the doctor. Here’s the point: even if you can’t immediately see any change, keep touching and praying in faith believing that it will happen. Let’s look at Mark 16:18 again. The latter part of that verse says, “they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
I want you to focus on the words “will recover.” In the Greek text (the original language of the New Testament), the words “will recover” are translated like this: “They will begin to amend from that moment forward!” In other words, the very moment you laid hands on a sick person, healing virtue was transferred into their body, and from that precise moment divine healing will be at work in their body. The healing may be apparent right away, or it may be realized in a few hours, days, or weeks. But, according to scripture, it will happen! Don’t be fooled into thinking nothing has happened. With the laying on of hands, miracles are instantaneous, but many healings are a process that will be confirmed in the very near future. Whether or not you can “see” any difference immediately, is irrelevant. The Word of God says the process of healing has begun… the moment you touched them!
Have you engaged in the “laying on of hands” when ministering healing to someone? Please share your experience with our reader’s in the “reply” box below!
© Glenda Motsavage and Sozo Ministries International, 2017