When we lay hands on people, our hands become like an electric conduit that is plugged into God. We are imparting something of God’s work on people. Because laying-on of hands is always outward focused and working toward building the next generation, it is important to stay connected to God.
Areas of Impartation:
6. To Impart Spiritual Gifts
Prophecy in association with the laying-on of hands is a dual means through which a spiritual gift is imparted.
1 Timothy 4:14 (NIV)
(14) Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
2 Timothy 1:6 (NIV)
(6) For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Romans 1:11 (NIV)
(11) I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—
Identify and discuss your area of spiritual gifting and how you can use it to build the church.
Pray together and ask God for an increase in this area of gifting.
7. To Release Blessing
The following examples show that a blessing could be imparted both through the laying-on of hands and through reaching hands towards people but not necessarily having physical contact.
How were the people blessed in these examples?
(13) And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him.
(14) But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.
(15) Then he blessed Joseph and said, “May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
(16) the Angel who has delivered me from all harm —may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth.”
(17) When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.
(18) Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”
(19) But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.”
(20) He blessed them that day and said, “In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing: ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’ ” So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
(22) Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down.
(50) When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.
(51) While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
(52) Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
Mark 10:13 (NIV)
(13) People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them.
Mark 10:16 (NIV)
(16) And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
8. Commission of Ministry
Leaders within the church can appoint select people, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, to do specific ministry roles within the church.
Acts 6:1-6 (NIV)
(1) In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.
(2) So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.
(3) Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them
(4) and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
(5) This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
(6) They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
Acts 13:1-3 (NIV)
(1) Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.
(2) While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
(3) So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
Acts 14:1-3 (NIV)
(1) At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.
(2) But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.
(3) So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.
Acts 19:11-12 (NIV)
(11) God did extraordinary miracles through Paul,
(12) 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.
How did they serve the church?
Appointing or commissioning leaders into ministry is also a process of identification.
(22) Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
Why does Paul warn against being too quick in the laying-on of hands to appoint leaders?
Discuss and identify what areas of spiritual gifting have been imparted to you.
Based on your gifting and passion how can you serve and build the body of Christ in your local church?
Lord Jesus, let Your hand of blessing be upon my life. Please reveal the spiritual gifts imparted to me. Help me to use them with confidence to impart blessings to others and for Your glory.
“Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you.”
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