A SERVICE OF HEALING
(for those suffering emotional distress, grief, divorce, and physical ailments)
MUSIC & WORSHP RESOURCES
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Michelle Riley Jones, Lectionary Team Liturgist
Services of healing are not services of curing. Rather they “provide an atmosphere in which healing can happen.” (See The United MethodistBook of Worship, 613–614.) All healing is God’s work, and worship settings where God encounters people are intrinsically healing.
—Daniel T. Benedict, Jr.
Worship Planning Notes
Healing services offer a personal and intimate encounter with God through worship and prayer. They generally include laying on of hands and anointing with oil. Prayers and anointing may be for the person present or as an intention for someone else. The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and the application of oil to the sick is a symbolic act whereby the sick person is set apart to be ministered to by the Holy Spirit. The New Testament does refer to divine healings in many different places, but the anointing of the sick person with oil accompanied by prayer is unique with James. In James 5, there is a clear example given those seeking healing:
For those seeking healing, they are admonished to:
pray (v. 13);
call for the elders (v. 14); and
confess their sins (v. 16). (This is not to suggest that the individual’s sickness is a result of some sin.)
The elders of the church/those with the gift of healing are admonished to:
to pray over the sick (v. 14);
to anoint the sick with oil in the name of the Lord (v. 14); and
to confess their sins (v. 16).
Both those seeking healing, and those given the gift of healing, should remember that it is God who determines it. God does not promise to heal everyone who asks or is prayed for. Jesus did not heal everyone who was sick or suffering while he was on earth.
Those planning the healing service, can consider the following:
Before the service:
Give some thought to the form of the service. Use James 5:13-18 as the scriptural basis for the service. It gives guidance to those who are suffering, as well as those who will minister to them. Intercession on behalf of the sick and suffering, for the purposes of healing, should include prayer, anointing with oil in the name of Jesus, and confession of sin. (This is not to suggest that the individual’s sickness is a result of some sin. Be sure to make this clear to all participants.)
Prior to the service, to prepare your congregation, have Sabbath School/Sunday School or Bible study class/es that focus on healing.
Pray. All who will be taking part in the service should meet to pray together, putting on “the whole armor of God,” before ministering to others.
Those who are going to lay on hands, the prayer team, musicians, and all those who will be involved in the service, should be fully briefed on all aspects of the service.
Immediately before ministering, those who are going to lay on hands should lay hands on each other; this makes it plain that we all need to receive and all need to give.
Do not forget the children and youth! Children and youth suffer emotional and physical pain just as adults do. It may be especially difficult for them to name their pain out loud. We should reassure them that they may ask for healing for others (like their parents) as well as for themselves, and that healing can be for spiritual, emotional, or physical pain. Be sure that their parents or guardians have given permission for children under twelve to participate.
Select music, both sung and instrumental, that encourages submission, faith, and trust in God and that lifts the promises and the caring nature of God.
1. Litany, Responsive Reading, or Invocation
Gathering Song (a) Oh the Glory of His Presence. By Stephen Lee Fry
Centering Prayer (b) Call to Worship—James 5:13-16
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray.
Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church;
and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up;
and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
2. Hymns and Congregational Songs
(a) Come, Ye Disconsolate. By Thomas Moore. Tune, (CONSOLATOR), by Samuel Webbe
(b) Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior. By Fannie J. Crosby. Tune, (PASS ME NOT), by William H. Doane
(c) My Faith Looks Up to Thee. By Ray Palmer. Tune, (OLIVET), by Lowell Mason
(d) Because He Lives. By Gloria Gaither and William J. Gaither
(e) Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand. By Jennie Wilson. Tune, (UNCHANGING HAND), by F. L. Eiland
(f) Love Divine, All Loves Excelling. By Charles Wesley. Tune, (BEECHER), by John Zundel
(g) Father I Stretch My Hand to Thee. By Charles Wesley. Tune, (MARTYRDOM), by Hugh Wilson
(h) Oh to Be Kept by Jesus. By Thurston Frazier
3. Spirituals or Traditional Songs (a) I Believe. By John P. Kee
(b) Jesus, Lay Yo’ Head in De Winda’. Arr. by Joseph Joubert. For SATB, with soprano or tenor solo
(c) Come on in My Room. Spiritual. Tune, Meter hymn lined out by Carolyn Belger-Payne
(d) Precious Jesus. By Thomas A. Whitfield
(e) I Know the Lord Has Laid His Hands on Me. Spiritual. Tune, (HANDS ON ME).
(f) I Love the Lord. By Phillip Carter
(g) Thank You Jesus. Spiritual. Arr. by J. Weldon Norris. For SATB choir and baritone solo
4. Gospel Songs for Choirs and Praise Teams (a) You’re Next in Line for a Miracle. By Shirley Caesar and Michael E. Mathis
(b) Call Jesus. By Harvey Watkins, Jr.
(c) Healer in the House Today. By Randy Phillips
(d) I’m Holding on to My Faith. By Norman Hutchins
(e) Dear Jesus I Love You. By Walter Hawkins
(f) New Reasons. By Charles Harmon and Andrea Martin
(g) Trouble in My Way. Traditional
(h) New Morning, New Mercies. By Nolan Williams, Jr.
(i) And Yet I’m Still Saved. By Donald Lawrence
(j) God Is Standing By. By Walter Hawkins
5. Liturgical Dance Music
(a) Never Be Bound Again. By Paul S. Morton
(b) Jesus, Lover of My Soul. By Richard Smallwood
(c) Deliverance Will Come. By Asaph A. Ward
(d) Hold on, Help Is on the Way. By Keith Paden
6. Anthems (a) Lay Your Healing Hands upon Me. By Rollo Dilworth. For SATB, also SAB, SSA
(b) The King of Love My Shepherd Is. By Charles Gounod. For SATB choral, optional harp and flute
(c) I Heard the Voice. By Horatius Bonar. Tune by Robert Wooten. For SATB choral
7. Modern Songs (a) I Look to You. By R. Kelly
(b) Ooh Child. By Stan Vincent
(c) He’s Able. By Deitrick Haddon
(d) The Curse Is Broken. By James Fortune
(e) Love Lifted Me. By J. J. Hairston
(f) Healer. By Mike Guglielmucci
(g) Put It on the Altar. By Charles “Tomey” Homer, Nakeia Homer, and Jessica Reedy
8. Offertory Song or Instrumental
(a) Praise Saved My Life. By Aaron W. Lindsey and Jonathan Nelson
(b) Hang On. By Elijah Baker and John T. Smith
(c) God Can. By PJ Morton
(d) It Could Be Worse. By James Fortune
(e) Mercies. By Israel Houghton
(f) I Lift My Hands. By Jonathan Nelson
9. Songs for Children and Youth (a) We Are God’s Children. By Gale Jones Murphy
(b) The Lord Will Take Care of You. By Walt Whitman
(e) Things Go Better with Christ. By David R. Curry, Jr.
(f) Have a Little Talk with Jesus. By Clevant Derricks
(g) Never Give Up. By Tomeka Forbes
(h) Lord You Love Me. By Percy Gray, Jr.
10. Song or Instrumental for the Period of Prayer (a) The Promise. By Luther “Mano” Hines
(b) Heal Me. By Christopher J. Watkins
(c) The Hymns Medley: I Need Thee Every Hour/Bless the Lord/Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus. By Annie Hawkes and Andraé Crouch
11. Laying On of Hands/Anointing Selection
(a) Thank You for the Healing. By Judith Christie McAllister
(b) Choral Reflection on Amazing Grace. By John Newton. Arr. by Roger Ames. For SSATBB choir, with soprano solo, mezzo-soprano solo
(c) Let the River Flow. By Donnie McClurkin
(d) Jesus Is Love. By Lionel Ritchie
(e) God Is a Healer. By Kurt Carr
(f) Healing Stream/We Wait on You. By Judith Christie McAllister
12. Sermonic Selection
(a) Under His Wings. By Stephen Manders
(b) We Need a Word from the Lord (Live). By Thomas Whitfield
(c) God Is a Healer. By Kurt Carr
(d) I Never Lost My Praise. By Kurt Carr
(e) He’s a Healer. By Tommie Jones
13. Invitational Song or Instrumental (a) I Believe God. By Kurt Carr
(b) Don’t Be Discouraged (God Will See You Through). By Anthony Brown
(c) Precious Jesus. By Thomas A. Whitfield
(d) I’ll Lean on You Lord (Piano Version). By Nathan Anderson
(e) A Better Day. By Eleanor Wright
14. Benediction Song or Instrumental
(a) The Promise. By Andraé Crouch
(b) I Believe God. By Kurt Carr
(c) As Your Word Says It. By Judith Christie McAllister
(d) Healed by the Power of His Word. By Stephen Hurd
(e) It Is Well with My Soul. By Horatio Spafford
15. Audio Visual Resources (a) Display images of prayer, anointing with oil, and a dove (symbolizing the Holy Spirit).
(b) Display on screens Scripture texts of God’s promises related to healing. Here are some for consideration:
1 Corinthians 2:4-5
1 John 5:14-15
16. Other Resources and Recommendations
Responsive Service of Prayer, Song, and Scripture Another option to having a full service of healing would be to include a segment in your regular service, maybe 15–30 minutes, dedicated to healing/anointing. One example is The Mercy Testimony by Heather Sorenson listed below. You can use it as is or select other music and readings:
(a)The Mercy Testimony. By Heather Sorenson. For SATB, with optional cello. This resource to the ministry of the church addresses the deep need we have for comfort, hope, and healing. Using narration, readings, and choral singing, this brief service of encouragement provides many options for thoughtful directors, enabling them to adapt the work to their individual circumstances. The use of "Be Still My Soul" as a musical pillar lends an air of the familiar to a work replete with fresh concepts and emotive musical elements. Performance time: 12–15 minutes.
(b) You may wish to incorporate candle lighting into this service.
Cites and Additional Information for Music and Material Listed