Today was a first for me and many others at our church, Lakeview Free Methodist. Today we held anointing prayer during communion.
I have seen anointing prayer done before at Lakeview. It usually is done when someone is very ill or has a very serious prayer request. Prayers are said and they are anointed with oil. This is not some "voodoo" magic trick. It is Biblically based and several passages in the New Testament make reference to praying together and anointing followers with oil.
Today, however, I participated in the service as one who was doing the praying and anointing. I was invited to do this by my friend, Glenda, who has been leading Lectio meetings once a month (more on that another day). I decided to try it, and went for the training. Basically, we were trained to listen to the prayer request from the person, listen for the Holy Spirit and what is being conveyed from the Lord, and then praying. This is followed by anointing and a blessing.
I was kind of nervous about doing this, so Glenda paired me with another person, Susan, who has done this type of thing before. I was surprised by two things: first, the number of people who came to request prayer. I honestly thought we'd be lucky to get one, but we got several. I was also surprised by how easily it came once we got started. Finally, I was surprised at the nonstop goosebumps I was getting the whole time and for a while afterwards. This was not from being cold but kind of an "electric" feeling. I truly believe the Lord was present and working through Susan and myself. It was very powerful.
I definitely want to do this again. I hope others get the opportunity to do so as well.