2. LAYING HANDS ON BELIEVERS
Kingdom Elders are vital for a number of ministries, physical and spiritual:
"Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the Elders,
and let them pray over him,
anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
And the prayer of faith will save the sick,
and the Lord will raise him up.
And if he has committed sins,
he will be forgiven," James 5'14-15.
Elders should be prepared and ready to minister the laying on of hands:
- "Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them ... they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit," Acts 8'14-17.
- "Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands," 2 Timothy 1'6.
- "Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership," 1 Timothy 4'14.
- "... whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them" Acts 6'6.
- "... certain prophets and teachers ... having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away," Acts 13'1-3.
- "And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied," Acts 19'6.
- "And Ananias ... laying his hands on him he said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, ... has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit'," Acts 9'17. (Physical and spiritual ministry in one!)
- "For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift," Romans 1'11. (This impartation would probably be by the laying on of hands.)
Although the Apostles ministered the laying on of hands first, it is important to understand that apostles were no different to Elders. All prepared Believers are qualified.
When Peter wrote to a Body of Believers he emphasised that Elders were his "fellows" and equal in standing to himself.
He adressed them as:
"The Elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow Elder," 1 Peter 5'1.
The Elders' shepherding-overseeing ministry calls for them and their Wives to be as ready to pray as Peter the Elder was.