Prayers for healing and wholeness

The service of prayers for healing and wholeness is not being held in St John’s, Llandudno, during January and February but continues online. Today’s reflection is shared with us by local preacher Richard Butler. Thank you, Richard.

‘My grace is sufficient for you,
For my power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Cor 12:9)

In the ministry of Christ healing was a sign of the presence of God’s kingdom, bringing renewal and wholeness of life to those who turned to God in their need.  Jesus commissioned his disciples to proclaim the kingdom and heal the sick (Luke 9:2).  The Church believes that the healing power of Christ is exercised through medical and related professions, through faith and prayer, and the care of the Christian community. 

God desires wholeness for all people. We bring to God our frailty and brokenness  –  felt not only in physical illness, but in guilt, anxiety, and all the burdens which weigh us down.  We also bring our concerns for others and for the world. We come to God who knows our needs before we ask, and whose love revealed in Jesus Christ is stronger than suffering and death.

To start, take some time to bring yourself into an awareness of the presence of God. If it helps, imagine yourself sitting in your church alone, resting in the prayerful atmosphere.

Jesus said:  ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’ Matt 11:28-30

Jesus said:  ‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’ John 10:10

Loving God,
in whom all things are made whole,
you sent your Son our Saviour to heal a broken world.
Visit us with your salvation,
that we may be blessed in body, mind and spirit;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
‘Anyone who comes to me I will never turn away.’ (John 6:37)

In the presence of God, let us confess our sins.

Lord Jesus, you came to reconcile us to God and to one another.
Lord Jesus, you heal the wounds of sin and division.
Lord Jesus, you offer us a new beginning.
Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.

God is love.  Through Jesus our sins are forgiven.
Let us live in the power of the Spirit.  Amen.

Holy God, you give life to all;
you meet us in our need
and bring hope to those who look to you.
Give peace to our hearts and minds as we pray to you with confidence;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Reflection:
John 5:1-13

Jesus was in Jerusalem for the feast of the Jews; John in his gospel goes into much detail of this event; it is remarkable to read; Jesus, he says, is near to the sheep gate pool! It appears according to Jewish tradition the pool had some kind of healing properties; many were there ; some disabled; some blind; some lame; others paralysed, there with hope of having their lives changed with healing. It appears that tradition stated only the first one to enter the pool when the water stirred would be healed; imagine the rush to be first!

When the story is read your heart goes out to all who were gathered around the pool; unless you have a good friend or a family member to help you; getting into the water first would have been almost impossible in the rush that ensued.

The man in our story it seems had been by the pool for years; how many we don’t know! There was no one to help him, but his faith in the pools healing properties remained.

The story goes an Angel would come and stir the water from time to time; seems strange an Angel would only help one, the God I believe in would send an angel to help many, not just one.

Perhaps at some time someone was healed when the water was stirred, the story spread and gave hope to many, that is why so many were there, waiting, filled with hope.

The story gave hope to many, or maybe distress to those who were waiting for some kind of miracle to happen.

If the story of the pool had not been known, then the healing wouldn’t have happened, Jesus wouldn’t have been there, nor the poor man the story tells us of.

Hope led the man there, through that hope he met Jesus, he never gave up the hope of being healed; Jesus had great compassion for him, he said “pick up your mat and walk”; at once the man was healed, the faith he had in the pool; that Gods Angel would heal him was enough for Jesus, he knew God would want to help. There were no great crowds to see the healing; but the  great compassion Jesus had for the man shows through the story.

Sadly the story has a twist; the Jewish leaders of those times didn’t rejoice in the healing Jesus did, the new life given to the man, instead they accused the man of law breaking! Carrying his sick mat on the Sabbath day, well how terrible of the man who had just been healed after years of not being able to walk; breaking the man made rules for carrying his sick mat.

Today in our world with what is going on in our counties, blame for those in charge, people often ignoring the rules given to help us all. Today many are living without hope, people living in fear of catching the deadly virus that has taken so many lives.

But there is hope, Jesus left us with hope, left us his wonderful spirit to help us in our times of need; now is that time, we need his help in our world today, we find that help through prayer and sharing our troubles with those around us, helping each other, caring for each other, sharing in Gods love for us, it gives us comfort, it gives us hope.

The man in our story never gave up hope, that much shows through.

When our world has been facing fear that seems to grip us all, through our prayers we find hope through the God given skills of our scientists, so many now receiving the vaccine  we have prayed for ; reminding us he is here with each one of us in our troubles, if we just let him into our lives.

The power of hope and faith in all he stands for, the power of the Lord in our world, there for each one of us if we place our trust in him, our faith to help us in our greatest times of need.

Healing and wholeness comes in so many different ways, but it will always be there for each of us. AMEN

………………..

We continue in prayer:

Christ our Saviour, born for us,
bring healing and peace to all people….

Lord have mercy.          Christ, have mercy.

Christ, baptized in the Jordan,
give hope to all who come to you….

Lord have mercy.          Christ, have mercy.

Christ, tested in the desert,
give courage to those who are tempted….

Lord have mercy.          Christ, have mercy.

Christ, who comforted and healed,
bring wholeness to all who are broken….

Lord have mercy.          Christ, have mercy.

Christ, who hung in agony on the cross,
bring strength to those who suffer….

Lord have mercy.          Christ, have mercy.

Christ, who died to save us,
give peace to all who face death….

Lord have mercy.          Christ, have mercy.

Christ, raised from the tomb,
bring light and life to all the world….

Lord have mercy.          Christ, have mercy.

Christ, present among your disciples,
unite all your people in love….

Lord have mercy.          Christ, have mercy.

We thank you, gracious God.
You have loved us from the beginning of time
and remembered us when we were in trouble.
Your mercy endures for ever.

We thank you, redeeming God.
You have come to us in Jesus Christ
to save us from our sins.
Your mercy endures for ever.

We thank you, holy God.
You have sent us your Spirit
to comfort us and lead us into all truth.
Your mercy endures for ever.

Gracious, redeeming and Holy God,
glory and praise be yours, now and for ever.  Amen

Together, let us bring to the Lord those for whom we have been asked to pray. You may well have others you wish to pray for too…

Peg T
Margaret B
David & Carolyn S
David B
Cynthia J and family
Janis P and family
Judy F

Take some time now to bring your concerns to God. If it helps, try saying them out loud. Feel yourself held in God’s safe hands.

We say the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples:

Our Father in Heaven
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil,
For the kingdom, the
power and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.  Amen

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.
Teach us to offer ourselves to your service,
that here we may have your peace,
and in the world to come we may see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord look on you with kindness
and give you peace.  Amen.

Go in peace to rejoice in God’s love
and to reflect his glory.
May the Lord go with us and grant us the joy of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Some material included in this service is copyright © 1989 National Council of Churches USA

Some material included in this service is copyright ©1999 Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes

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