Wholeness and Healing service 29th March 2020

 This is a quiet, slow, reflective service in which we make space to present ourselves before God and ask him to minister his wholeness and healing to us. We may take the opportunity to pray this over others on our hearst or who we know will be following the service too.

You may want to have a candle or some tealights to hand and the means to light them. Please also have a Bible to hand to read the scriptures from the Psalms and the Gospels.

A SERVICE OF WHOLENESS AND HEALING

 (Please read these introductory words)
We are all the same in this; we all stand in need of God’s healing.
 
We can be confident of God’s good will towards us.
 
He wants us to know fullness of life. He wants us to be whole.
 
A PRAYER OF PREPARATION FROM DOROTHY KERIN, FOUNDER OF BURRSWOOD AND WOMAN OF FAITH
 (Please read aloud this prayer of preparation)
Let us by an act of will place ourselves in the presence of our Divine Lord, and with an act of faith ask that he will empty us of self and of all desire except that his most blessed will be done, and that it may enlighten our hearts and minds.
 
We can then gather ourselves and all those for whom our prayers have been asked, and hold all silently up to him, making no special request – neither asking nor beseeching – but just resting in him, desiring nothing but that our Lord may be glorified in all.
 
In this most simple way of approach he makes known his most blessed will for us. “For so he gives himself to his beloved in quietness”
 
Welcome
 
We meet in the presence of God
Who knows our needs, hears our cries and heals our wounds.
 
Song: Psalm 23 (Townend)
 
Confession
We open our hearts to God, aware of our weakness and our waywardness, but – though we do not deserve it – trusting in his love, his forgiveness, his desire to see us healed and made new.
 
Silence for reflection and self-examination
 
Father, you raise the dead to life in the Spirit:

Lord, have mercy.
 
You bring pardon and peace to the sinner:
.
Christ, have mercy.
 
You bring light to those in darkness:

Lord, have mercy.
 
Declaration of God’s forgiving nature
(As you say these words, consider that you say them over and for others who follow this service, just as they do for you).
May the God of love and power forgive us and free us from our sins, heal and strengthen us by his Spirit, and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.
 
The light of Christ
(This is an opportunity to light a candle or some tealights).
Blessed are you, sovereign God, gentle and merciful, creator of heaven and earth. Your word is light in our darkness and daily your Spirit renews the face of the earth.
To you be glory and praise for ever.
 
Reading 1: Psalm 30

Taize chant: Bless the Lord my soul

Reading 2: Matthew 20:29-34


REFLECTION
How are you feeling at the moment?
The current crisis is surreal and yet very real. Eerily empty streets and city centres. Constant news about one thing throughout the world – Coronavirus, Covid-19, Pandemic. We cannot escape it. The virus is hungry for its own PR. It has ear wormed into every conversation. It is impossible to avoid.
This leaves us far form whole. Anxious, disturbed, lonely, fearful, paranoid, frustrated, confused are just some of the emotions that you may be feeling.
So tonight, however you are feeling, are you a “Psalm 30” person or “Matthew’s blind man” person? I would suggest that either will help, and that God is waiting to hear from you whichever you are.
The Psalmist first. He remembers past times where God has been both present and uplifting to him. “I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths …. I called to you for help, and you healed me”. He tells the people to sing God’s praises. He recognises the passing and temporary nature of his past woes  “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
But those feelings of security seem to be in the past. No longer does he feel that “I will never be shaken”. Now, he feels that God has hidden his face and that has left the psalmist dismayed. Its easy to feel as if God may have hidden his face from us. Let’s look at the psalmist’s response.
He cries out and he negotiates. “I cried for mercy” but also “what is gained?” In essence, I am no use to you as a worshiper in this state. Lord come and help me. And the result? Dancing and joy rather than wailing and sackcloth.
But sometimes what we need to do is praise as an act of will. Because he is worth it. And through that sacrifice of praise, healing comes. Its hard, but it is also a soothing balm. For the Psalmist realises his negotiations are not going to be effective, for God does not need our praise or our worship. He is no greater or lesser for it. He’s worth it. But we grow in wholeness by making that connection with him.
“Lord my God I will praise you forever” is healing in itself.

The two blind men in the Matthew reading start from a similar place – they cry out. “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” They were crowded in. Their chance of getting to the one who passed, the healer, was limited. For they could not see and they were two in a large crowd. They probably felt lost and helpless.
And those around them rebuked them. Told them to be quiet.
And here is the thing, this just made them more insistent, louder and repeated their cry. They persevered and made sure that the Lord would hear them. Jesus responds with a question “What would you like me to do for you?”
Cry out to God today and he will ask you that question – “What would you like me to do?”. They stated what he already knew. They knew the healing they needed. He had compassion on them. Cry out to God and tell him what he already knows, what you would like him to do for you. But be prepared to receive what he knows you need. That is the essence of wholeness. Spending time in his presence, praising him and asking for his wholeness will change us. Possibly in unexpected ways.
But the first step is to cry out to him and ask. And to praise him and wait in his presence.
He will have compassion on you.

Taize chant: Jesus remember me

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
(please form your own prayers of intercession for others and the world around these themes)
Presence, power and peace for those who seek him.

Healing to all who suffer in mind, body or spirit.

Wisdom and skill to those who minister and care for others.
Hear us, Lord of life
Heal us and make us whole.

(Closing with the following).
O Lord our God, accept the prayers of your people; in your mercy look with compassion upon us and all who turn to you for help; for you are gracious , and we give glory to you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen

MINISTRY OF PRAYER
(A time of waiting on God and aksing for his healing and wholeness)

Prayer of preparation
Heavenly Father, by the power of your Spirit may your blessing rest on those who come to you for healing. May we all be made whole in body and mind and spirit and come to fullness of life in Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord. Amen.

(You may want to sit in silence and wait on God, asking for his wholeness, healing and his peace)
 
 Silence is kept.
 
THANKSGIVING
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit. He set my feet upon a rock and made my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and be glad, and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed are those who trust in the Lord! Amen (from Psalm 40)

FINAL SONG:As the deer pants for the water

CLOSING PRAYER
May God give to us, and all those who we carry in your hearts today,  his comfort and his peace, his light and his joy, in this world and the next and may we know his blessing always. Amen


(Service based upon the Wholeness and Healing services from the Church of Christ the Healer at Burswood)