Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them in the name of the Lord. James 5:14
For twelve years now our church has offered a Service for Wholeness twice a year … on Sunday evenings in the late spring (either April or May) and in September in the chapel. We have some members who have faithfully attended these services for years and rarely does our attendance exceed a dozen or so. Some come with concerns about their health, livelihood, relationships, sorrows, or trials. They come eager to experience hope, peace, and wholeness in their lives.
The service is very much like an ordinary worship service with a Call to Worship, a Corporate Prayer of Confession, and an Assurance of Pardon. We sing hymns and offer time for silent prayers. There is a scripture reading and a brief sermon. At the September service we also include the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, which is administered by intinction (dipping a large cube of bread into a chalice of grape juice).
At the close of every service, an opportunity is given for individuals to come forward to make personal prayer requests. The pastor officiating prays for the person and upon his or her request receives anointing. The fragrance of the olive oil infuses the air. Whenever I have led this service I have anointed the person while saying, “I anoint you with oil in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” or “As you are anointed with this oil, so may God grant you the anointing of the Holy Spirit.”
I have been blessed as I have been a worship leader at these services. From the comments of those who attend it has been very meaningful and powerful for them to experience this anointing. It is another way that God’s love and care are experienced and regardless of the ultimate outcome the worshipers leave with a sense of peace and hope … and a vision of being made whole again. The next time the service is offered, you might just want to come and experience the Service of Wholeness.
We thank You that elders, deacons, and members within the church family lift up one another in prayer … and especially at times of great need. We thank You that prayers for our well being can be sealed with Your anointing. Keep us always in Your loving care. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.