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Consecration Through the Laying On of Hands

Sunday morning near the conclusion of a worship service that celebrated my 31 years as pastor and 40th year as an ordained minister at the Plymouth United Church of Christ, I was asked to face the congregation for a blessing.  Instinctively, I turned to face the cross which hangs over the chancel of the church, with my back to the congregation, and told the children of the Sunday School who were standing initially behind me to surround me and lay their hands upon me.  It was a powerful moment.  As my associate minister shouted out her prayer, I prayed a silent prayer of renewal of faith and recommitment to the ministry.  Through the prayer I could feel the little hands of children touching my back, shoulders and chest.  At first, I could feel that the touch was tentative.  After a moment, I think they realized the spiritual import of the prayer and really got into it.  Unlike the other times I have received the laying on of hands, this time I could feel no hands upon the crown of my head.  Instead, there were all these little hands below the head.  I prayed to the Lord for a renewal and recommitment to the ministry to which I have been called.  I prayed for sharper focus and greater insight to understand the will and purpose of God.  I thanked God for the strength and energy I enjoy at this stage of my life and prayed for God’s continued blessings.  Through the prayer I thought about all the times I could think of in the Bible when people were blessed through prayer by the laying on of hands.  One of those moments of consecration is found in the Book of Numbers –

Numbers 8: 10 When you bring the Levites before the Lord, the Israelites shall lay their hands on the Levites[1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. When and how have you reaffirmed your faith?
  2. When have you made a commitment to God to be more faithful?
  3. Was there an outward sign that helped you to set yourself apart for God’s service?

 

Prayer:

Lord, today I give myself to you anew.  After all the years and tears, hills and valleys, mountains and rivers, I still listen for the small still voice of your inspiration.  I still look for you, search for you and live for you.  Bless me this day with renewed faith, a revitalized hope and deeper love as a set myself apart in consecration for your service.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Atty. Rita White

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Nu 8:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.