Orders for Christian Healing

*Everyone who is able, please stand.
*THE APPROACH TO GOD
Votum
Sentences
Salutation
Hymn
Prayer of Confession

(The minister may introduce the prayer with one of the following or another suitable call to confession.)
Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord"—and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Ps, 32:1,3,5

or

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:8-9

and

Let us confess our sin to Almighty God. Let us pray.

Have mercy on us, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion, blot out our transgressions. Wash away all our iniquity and cleanse us from our sin, for we know our transgressions, and our sin is always before us. Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us. Do not cast us away from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from us. Restore to us the joy of your salvation and grant us a willing spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Adapted from Ps. 51

or

Merciful God, in compassion for your sinful children you sent your Son Jesus Christ to be the Savior of the world. Grant us grace to confess the sin which made it needful for him to be broken that we might be made whole, to be troubled in spirit that we might be given peace, to be put to death on the cross that we might be restored to life.

(A brief period of silent confession may be allowed, after which the prayer shall continue.)

Give us a true longing to be free from sin, and a true willingness to follow him who stooped to our need and who raises us up from the misery of sin to the wholeness of forgiven life, even Jesus Christ our Lord in whose name we pray. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit.
Ps. 103:l-4a
(or Ps. 30:1-3; 41:1-3;
Eph. 2:1-7)

THE WORD OF GOD

Prayer for Illumination
Hymn
Lessons
Sermon
Prayer for Blessing on the Word
Confession of Faith
Offering Doxology
The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper

(When the Sacrament is celebrated, the following may be used in place of the Prayers of Intercession. When it is not celebrated, this Litany and Prayer of Thanksgiving may be used in place oj the General Prayers.)

THE RESPONSE TO GOD

Litany of Intercession for Healing
O God the Father, whose will for us and for all your people is health and salvation;
Have mercy on us.
O God the Son, who came that we might have life and have it in abundance;
Have mercy on us.
O God the Holy Spirit, whose indwelling makes our bodies the temples of your presence;
Have mercy on us.
O Triune God, we pray that you will hear us, and that you will grant your grace to all who stand in need of healing, both of body and spirit, and lead them to look with confidence to you;
We beseech you to hear us, O Lord.
That you will grant patience and perseverance to all who are disabled by injury or illness, and increase their courage;
We beseech you to hear us, O Lord.
That you will grant peace to all who are troubled by confusion or pain, and set their minds at rest;
We beseech you to hear us, O Lord.
That you will grant relief from suffering to all sick children, and give them a sure sense of your tender love and care;
We beseech you to hear us, O Lord.
That you will grant rest to all whose increasing years bring weariness, distress, or loneliness, and give them the abiding comfort of your presence.
We beseech you to hear us, O Lord.
That you will grant confidence to all about to undergo surgery or difficult procedures, and keep them free from fear;
We beseech you to hear us, O Lord.
That you will grant purpose to the church as it seeks to carry on Christ's ministry of healing to suffering humanity, and keep it always true to the gospel of Christ;
We beseech you to hear us, O Lord.
That you will grant skill and compassion to doctors, nurses, technicians, aides, and all who are called to practice medical arts, and make strong their dedication to help others;
We beseech you to hear us, O Lord.
That you will grant to all people the refreshment of quiet sleep and joy of resting in your everlasting arms, that we may rejoice in yourcare while we are on earth, and in the world to come have eternal life;
We beseech you to hear us, O Lord.

(The litany may continue with petitions for specific needs of the people. It may conclude with the following ascription.)

O God, who in Jesus Christ called us out of the darkness into your marvelous light; enable us always to declare your wonderful deeds, thank you for your steadfast love, and praise you with heart, soul, mind, and strength, now and forever. Amen.

Laying on of Hands and Anointing with Oil
(Luke 9:1—2 and/or James 5:13—16 shall be read, after which the minister shall invite worshipers to receive the laying on of hands and anointing with oil using these or similar words.)

In the name of the Lordjesus, who sent forth his disciples to preach the kingdom of God and to heal, we invite you who wish to receive the laying on of hands and the anointing with oil to come forward or summon us to come to your side.

We invite all here present to participate in this act of faith through the offering of silent prayers for those who seek Christian healing.

(Since healing is a minishy of the church, it is appropriate that the minister he joined Iry one or two elders, or such persons as the hoard of elders may designate, for the laying on of hands. The minister or an elder may also anoint the worshiper with oil following the blessing.)

May the hands of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, rest upon you now in divine blessing and healing. May the cleansing stream of his pure life fill your whole being, body, mind and spirit, to strengthen and heal you. Amen.

or

Eternal God, tor Jesus' sake, send your Holy Spirit upon your servant_____(name)_____ :
drive away all sickness of body and spirit; make whole that which is broken. Grant deliverance from the power of evil and true faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, who suffered on our behalf but also rose from death so that we, too, could live. In his name we pray. Amen.

(A brief silence may be hep! after the last worshiper has been anointed.)

Praver of Thanksgiving
(After all have returned to their places, the minister may offer the following or another appropriate thanksgiving prayer.)

Most gracious God, source of all healing, we give thanks to you for all your gifts but most of all for the gift of your Son, through whom you gave and still give health and salvation to all who believe. As we wait in expectation for the coming of that day when suffering and pain shall be no more, help us by your Holy Spirit to be assured of your power in our lives and to trust in your eternal love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn
Benediction

This service was reprinted by permission from Worship the Lord, produced by the Reformed Church in America and edited by James R. Esther and Donald J. Bruggink (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1987).

Donald J. Bruggink is professor of historical theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan.

 

James R. Esther is pastor of Second Reformed Church ini New Brunswick, New Jersey.