Session #10

Praying through hands

The laying on of hands, which we see a lot of in scripture, is powerful when we are conduits of the Holy Spirit’s power.

Listen to the prayer-song Holy Spirit, performed by Kari Jobe, with your hands open and raised toward heaven. Sing along as much as you can, feel it in your soul, and let it anoint you.

Questions for discussion (please post a comment):
If you were baptized in the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, please describe it for others. If you have ever received a healing when someone prayed over you with their hands, describe what it was like. If you have prayed for others and felt the power of God in your hands, please describe it. Send in your story so that others may be evangelized by it.

Comments from the live event

O.D. writes: About 3 years back, when we were worshiping the LORD at a prayer meeting, I had my eyes closed, and still I could see that both of my hands, which were lifted up in praise, were burning like logs of fire. Not that I could feel any fire, but with my closed eyes I could see them burning. As soon as we finished the worship, the brother who was leading us into praise and worship called me over and prayed over me. At that time, he did not say anything to me, but on the day we finished this two-day open retreat he asked me to lay my hands and pray over people.
I have not been doing this much because of the fear that if I lay hands over someone who might be possessed with demonic power I may not be able to discern properly. Sister, can you please throw some more light on this as to how to really discern when to lay hands and when not to?

Terry replies: When praying and serving in the Spirit, especially when laying hands on others for the sake of being a conduit of Christ’s power, discernment should be a natural part of it. We are in the Spirit. If something feels uncomfortable in our spirits as we approach someone to pray over them, we need to trust that the Holy Spirit is waving a warning flag. But aside from that, the laying on of hands should always be proceeded by a conversation (it can be short) in which we ask why the person wants us to pray for them. What are they asking from Jesus? As we let them talk about it, often we can detect a demonic influence (if one exists). It is good to ask more questions in order to get to the root of the prayer request, and this too can uncover a demonic presence.

For example, if a person asks for prayers for healing from a bad back, we can ask: “Is there someone in your life who is being a pain in the back to you?” If the answer is yes, we should ask, “Have you forgiven him?” Watch the reaction. Watch the facial expressions and the body language. What happens when you bring up the name of Jesus? “You know, Jesus said we need to forgive and even love our enemies.” If the person is comforted by you talking about Jesus, then there is no evil spirit. But if the person pulls back or rejects the idea of forgiveness, this is a warning sign that he is either not ready for a healing of his back or an evil spirit is actually involved in his life.

One time when Ralph (my husband and partner in ministry) and I were laying hands on a number of people after a healing Mass that was part of a Good News Ministries conference, we reached out to the next lady in line and literally felt an invisible force push back against our hands. If we had not been praying and worshiping the Lord and saying the name of Jesus, we might not have felt anything push back. The demon would not have been afraid of what we might accomplish.

And remember this: As long as you feel a compassionate desire to touch the person you’re praying for, trust Jesus to protect you. Jesus himself is in the love you feel. Silently ask him to place his Precious Blood as a barrier between your hands and the person you’re touching.

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