A touch communicates so much more than just your hand touching someone’s shoulder.
Something is transferred in the gesture.
I have often asked someone I am praying for if I can place my hand on their shoulder while praying for them. Sometimes, I don’t tend to ‘feel’ anything in my hand. Often, I may sense something is occurring for the person. Occasionally, my hand will feel warm and tingly. No matter what my hand feels, the other person often feels something in the exchange – usually heat, a tingling sensation, or a profound sense of peace. I know the Holy Spirit has been ministering physically to that person.
What if nothing is ‘felt’?
If there has been no ‘warmth’ or ‘tingling’ sensation in the touch, it does NOT mean that God hasn’t been ministering to the person physically. There does not need to be a warmth or tingling feeling.
Always ask before touching someone.
When praying for someone’s physical healing, I always ask first if I can place my hand on that body part, if appropriate, i.e. shoulder, back, usually those places not on the front of a person’s body or the ‘private’ parts. If a person asks for healing for their stomach, I will ask them if they can place their hand on their stomach/gut region and if I can then place my hand on top of their hand. I do not touch people’s breast region or genital area.
Please, please, please, always ask before you place your hand on someone. Imagine if your eyes were closed, and you suddenly felt someone touch you. It can be quite confronting. The unannounced touch can make your mind fixate and be frightened about where you might be touched next. You can feel violated.
Do you need to touch someone when praying for their physical healing?
No. God can heal people entirely with no physical intervention from us. God does not need us to touch people, although something supernaturally transmits in touch.
In Acts 19:11-12, we read: “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” God used a cloth to transmit His power. God can heal people, however, and wherever He so desires. It is a privilege that God uses us sometimes in that process.
I love reading the Gospels and seeing what Jesus did. He touched people a lot. Despite Jesus being jostled by the crowd, he immediately recognized when the woman with the blood issue ‘touched’ Him; He realized that power had left his body. (Mark 5:22-34). Touch was important to Jesus.
Something miraculous occurs when we touch someone. Something so much more than just a touch.
In Mark 8:22-26, we read: “some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”
(In my 30-Day Devotional book, “Ministering like Jesus: How to Grow in Healing, Deliverance and Miracles”, I expand on this passage and the attitude of the Bethsaida people begging Jesus. For this blog post on touch, I will not include that here.)
In healing the blind man in this Bible passage, Jesus spat on the man’s eyes. This can seem unhygienic – putting your body fluid on someone’s eyes. Yet, this appears to be a loving act here. Spit contains bacterial enzymes that can cleanse and kill an infection. Maybe Jesus applied the antibacterial moisture to help loosen the eyelids from sticking together.
One of my first experiences praying for people for healing was at a women’s conference. The speaker encouraged us to ask God who we should pray for so that they could experience healing, and then ask the person. I felt I needed to pray for a lady with a thyroid condition whose eyes were bulging. I strongly sensed that I was to spit on my fingers and place my fingers over her eyelids.
Yuck! I felt this was revolting.
But what began as a strong sense quickly became a certainty within me.
I went to this lady and briefly shared what I had felt to pray for her. I asked her, somewhat hesitantly, if it would be okay with her if I spit on my fingers and placed them over her eyelids as I sensed that was what God was asking me to do.
Watching this lady’s face while I was sharing this with her, I was astounded. She was ecstatic.
This lady had told God she wanted someone to pray for her. She would know that it was from God if the person who prayed for her spat on their fingers and placed their fingers over her eyelids.
Despite this, the lady did not receive healing at that time.
Never underestimate God’s love and compassion and His work already in their life.
Please never spit on someone’s eyes unless you genuinely believe God is asking you to do that and the person agrees.
In the Bible passage, this man’s healing was gradual, sensitive, and progressive. Jesus did not mind waiting and asking the man, “Do you see anything?” The principle here is to perform a healing action, ask if there is any change, and then try again.
So often, we believe that if we do not get it right the first time, that is the end. This belief is not valid. Jesus is showing here that sometimes healing takes time. Sometimes we need to persevere. Sometimes it just needs one more try. Other times, there is a process in healing, and it can take hours, days, weeks, or months.
Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:
Every blog post, I list five prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.
1. Children / Families Activation: Using creative objects at hand, encourage everyone to dance, play, create, chat, and explore using these objects as they pray for others.
2. Group Activation: Brainstorm a group in your community who desires acceptance. As a prophetic group, prophesy into this community group’s acceptance and future.
3. Beginner Activation: Spend time focussing on God and His love for you. Ask God to reveal to you words and pictures around His love and journal a love letter from God to you.
4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to bring to your mind someone who needs a healing touch. Ask God how He would love you to respond.
5. Advanced Activation: Spend time with God hearing His heart for homelessness within your area/state/country. Prophesy into the outcome.