Our church gathers corporately once a week. This is by no means the only time we see one another in a week, but it is when the majority of us are represented. We follow 1 Corinthians 14:26 as our guide: “When you come together, each of you has a hymn or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.”
Which means some of us teach, some of us offer up a psalm or a song, some of us have a word of instruction and so on. Sometimes, however, the Holy Spirit is shining a spotlight on a specific individual.
It’s as if God wants us to stop what we were doing or change the direction we were headed and instead minister to this person.
So we do.
We will temporarily suspend (or altogether abandon) what we were doing so that we can minister to those who need it.
This sometimes involves another member of the church having a word for them. Sometimes not. Sometimes, the spotlight is so bright it blinds us and we all collectively feel the need to lay hands on a person either with or without a word given.
Or, very often, a person might begin to share with the body about what God was doing in their life that week. They may start to explain their struggles from the week or their hurts. Or they may just be sharing a piece of encouragement. Either way, if they need prayer, it is evident. Another person will usually initiate prayer by going over to them…and, get this, starting to pray.
We then gather around that person—all 40 or 50 of us—and lay hands on them. (As an aside, at the end of our corporate meeting, we have a time of ministry where we pray for each other in groups of two to maybe seven or eight people. This time of prayer also follows the description that follows, and it is amazing…)
The Holy Spirit and the whole man.
Here is where it gets interesting…
The Spirit begins to move. People begin to pray in and through the Spirit. Some pray quietly, some boldly, but every prayer is led by the Spirit. Which means that it is God who is directing the prayer, not us.
And, very often, the prayer request that was given is not what the Lord begins to speak to.