Healing prayer and the Healing Station
What is Healing Prayer?
The practice praying by laying hands on someone who is feeling ill, disheartened, or disconnected is deep in our faith tradition. The sacrament of anointing the sick with oil precedes Christianity and was practiced in the home in the early centuries of our church history. In the mid-twentieth century, Christian churches recognized this practice as a foundation the overall spiritual health of our communities, and most mainstream Christian denominations are working to return this ministry to the hands of the laity where it belongs.
It is important to remember that Christian healing is not necessarily about “curing” (an alleviation of symptoms), but is more about a return to wholeness. When we pray for healing for ourselves and for others, we ask that God help that person feel God’s presence and connection to their lives, to feel more fully integrated and at peace with their own body, mind, soul, and heart.
Therefore a person does not need to be “sick” to request prayers for healing. We can all benefit from the felt presence of God through the presence of others who care for us by the gentle hand on the shoulder, and the quiet moment of asking God to remember us in our particular need.
Visiting the Healing Station
The Prayer Station is available with the Healing Team at the Sunday 10:15 a.m. service. At this time, members of the Healing Team, duly commissioned by the Rector and congregation, provide laying-on of hands and anointing during communion. If you would like special prayers, please take your communion early, preceding the rest of the congregation. After receiving communion, you can proceed to the Healing Station, which is located at the votive lights next to the wall to your left of the altar rail. The team there will pray for you. You are also invited to join resting a hand gently on the shoulders of others who will be there for prayer.
You may also visit the healing station at any time while the church is open, for private prayers and intercessions.
Lay Eucharistic Visitors
If you are unable to participate in the Sunday Eucharist at the church due to illness or infirmity, our Lay Eucharistic Visitors (formerly known as Lay Eucharistic Ministers) will bring the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood to your home. Lay Eucharistic Visitors are trained and certified by the church to carry the consecrated sacrament to the home and celebrate the Eucharist with you. They also take with them your inclusion in the worshiping community of St. Stephen’s. They are sent from the congregation at the end of the service, to “go in peace and love,” and will usually come to the homes immediately after the 10:15 a.m. Sunday service.
If you wish to have a Lay Eucharistic Visitor come to your home, please contact the church to make arrangements. This is usually done only in case of prolonged illness or infirmity, and visits are scheduled on a regular rotation so that you will receive the sacrament once a month.