God’s given us hands to help us live well. I’m grateful for mine. Without them, I’d have to write, cook, eat, wash, brush, drive, pick up and carry in all sorts of different ways.

God’s also given us hands so we can share in the work of the Holy Spirit. When followers of Jesus lay on hands, a connection is made. We connect with the person or thing that we are touching and the Holy Spirit’s power in us can flow out and bring transformation. Here are three ways that can happen.

First, in healing. As we lay on hands we are asking the Spirit to heal the injured body part. This is something Jesus taught his disciples to do (Mt 10:1) and it’s still something that all followers of Jesus can do today (Mt 28:20). Obviously care is needed when reaching out to certain areas (!) although it appears in the photo above this lady is not shy! (Oh, in case you’re wondering, it is my bottom…)

Yesterday I was on the phone to someone who lives on the other side of the world. He asked if I would pray for his injured foot. I couldn’t lay on hands as I was thousands of miles away so instead I got him to place his hand on the foot and then I prayed and together we asked the Lord to heal. I’m waiting to hear if there’s any improvement.

Second, in prophecy. Sometimes when I lay hands on people I find that I connect with the person to such an extent that the Holy Spirit shows me their heart. By that I mean that I see things in them – perhaps things they are thinking or feeling, or things about their life. This may be what happened in the early church when prophecies were shared with Timothy (1 Tim 1:18). Recently I laid hands on someone and shared how the Lord saw them and they were so touched – not only that God really knew them but also that he should choose to let them know!

Third, in commissioning. When at The Belfrey we send people out in mission or into a new venture, we will normally lay hands on them. We want to identify with what they are doing and speak words of faith and blessing over them. As our hands reach out we might often use words like ‘May the Lord…’ as we commission them for the task ahead (as in Acts 13:3). I love being involved in this!

So hands can be used in all sorts of ways. When used to reach out in Jesus’ name they are holy hands. Did you realise that God’s given you holy hands?