Each Sunday as we prepare to go to the Altar for Eucharist the announcement is made, “Prayers for healing will be offered at the Mary Altar.” A member (at 10:30 am 2 members) of St. Paul’s Healing Ministry stands ready to serve Christ’s Holy Church through Christ’s ministry of prayer for healing. Once in a while someone will come forward and say, “I’ve never done this before.” Here’s some information which we hope will overcome some natural reluctance to come to the Mary Altar for prayers for healing.
Why come in the first place? Prayer for healing is a continuation of the ministry started by our Lord and en-trusted to the church. A growing body of evidence is revealing the relationship between health and spirituality, not to mention the efficacy of prayer for healing. Prayer for healing should not be thought of as a “last resort” when all medical and psychological tools fail to produce “results”. Prayer for healing, as practiced at St. Paul’s, is in partnership with the medical and psychological communities. All healing, including modern medical and psychological healing comes from God. Research has shown that people who are prayed for are more at peace before major medical procedures and heal faster after.
What do I do when I come for prayer? Some people like to kneel for prayer. Others prefer (or must) stand. The healing minister will ask how they may pray for you. At some point they will ask your permission to anoint you with the oil of healing (blessed by our Bishop) and perhaps lay hands on you (the ancient biblical sign of blessing). They will pray a prayer based upon your expressed need.
For what can I ask prayers? Human persons are complex combinations of body, mind, spirit, and relationships. Scientific research has long shown the interrelationship between these aspects of our being. Dysfunction in one aspect can have a negative effect on the others. Prayer for healing ap-plies spiritual therapy on any and all aspects of our humanity. Whether it’s the beginning of a cold, facing surgery or other medical procedure, a troubled marriage, concern for a troubled family member or friend, God is waiting and willing to touch you with God’s healing balm. Many come to bid prayers for healing on behalf of someone else.
I’m a little embarrassed to come for prayer. Most of us would not be embarrassed to be seen at a medical physician’s office. That’s a normal part of maintaining our physical health. Prayer for healing at the Mary Altar is a normal part of worship at St. Paul’s -- just as normal as coming to receive the bread and wine of the Eucharist. Everything we say at the Altar stays at the Altar. Confidentiality is part of the training of every healing minister and we guard your privacy.
Lee L. Cunningham,
Order of Saint Luke
Volunteers provide individual prayers for healing during the Eucharist at each of the Sunday services. Orientation and training are provided, and healing ministers are scheduled on a monthly basis. An initial interview can be scheduled at any time.
Contact: Lee Cunningham
In the SpotLight: Healing Ministry
At St. Paul’s church, the Healing Ministry is one way towards experiencing God’s restorative power of healing and sharing the gospel. Everyone needs healing in some way, at some time. Whether it be a troubling illness in our bodies, unsettling mental anguish, or a concerning pain in our hearts, we seek a better place of wholeness, renewal and peace. In our world today, there is a growing awareness of the delicate balance and interrelated web of connections between our physical bodies and our emotional and spiritual well-being. We go to the doctors when we are sick and so too, we can go to the Healing Ministry at the Mary Altar to receive help through prayers.
During the Eucharist, individuals can come up to the Mary Altar and ask for Healing Prayers in complete confidentiality. They can kneel or stand. The minister will often lay hands upon them and say a prayer for whatever is the requested need. An oil which has been blessed by the Bishop is used to anoint the individual. Leading this ministry, Lee Cunningham says,“Prayer for healing applies spiritual therapy on any and all aspects of our humanity. Whether it’s the beginning of a cold, facing surgery or other medical procedures, a troubled marriage, concern for a troubled family member or friend, God is waiting and willing to touch you with God’s healing balm. Many come to bid prayers for healing on behalf of someone else.”
Each kind of suffering can be helped. Recipients of Healing Prayers have experienced various effects from: having a recovery faster than expected, calming of fears about death, a growing inner peace, an unexpected healing, restored harmony of mind, body and spirit, and increased strength for prolonged illnesses or circumstances.
Healing Ministers are recruited lay people who have answered a special calling from God. They pray for others in the healing of the body, mind and/or relationship. Jesus commissioned his disciples to go out and heal the sick and today at St. Paul’s, this sacred work continues to be performed at each Sundayservice at the Mary Altar.
Among the ten healing ministers, Charlene Cunningham, says, “I believe in God’s power to heal. I believe in miracles and I’ve seen it happen so I know it’s real. God promises that it’s something we can do. It’s not magic. It’s not anything WE do. It’s God directed.” In unanimity with the other ministers, she emphasizes being the vessel or instrument for God’s glorious healing power. She also adds, “It’s good to be open to recognizing different types of healing for both those being healed and those ministering it.”
This concurs with Mary Horton who serves during the 9 am service. She shares her Faith in Healing: “It has been such a privilege to share in others’ lives and to offer their needs in prayer. To trust in the Lord, to ask His special blessing and to know that we are surrounded by the power of the Holy Spirit. To celebrate victories, to look for that special healing light, to thank God for his presence always.”
The list of St. Paul's Healing Ministers includes: Charles Barnhill, Doug Bulthuis, Patty Bunge, Claudia Callahan, Joanne Clark, Charlene Cunningham, Lee Cunningham, Anne Edmonds, Mary Horton, Allison Jones, Gisela Loeffler, Debbie McMeel, Don Paulson, Luci Shaw, and Mary Jane Van Hoesen.
For more information or questions about the Healing Ministry, contact Lee Cunningham.