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Recollections from the 2009 Provincial Retreat



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The Wave of Prayer

2009 Provincial Retreat

led by Bishop Bob Gillies


Some thoughts:

Hilary Moran

















The members who attended the 2009 retreat with Bob (centre below wall plaque)


To pray for healing


This topic arose from the 2008 retreat when several people asked about healing.


Bishop Bob led us gently through the growth of the healing ministry to which many laity are called.  “Healing is not always physical,” said the Bishop, “it can be a healing of the memories, guilt, pain, reconciliation, past events etc. and as Christians we are all called to this ministry and have the gift of healing. Not everyone is called to lay hands on others and pray for healing, but we can all visit, pray for, be alongside others in need.”


During the retreat there were opportunities for individuals to receive healing prayer and during the final Eucharist all of us were anointed with oil for healing.  There will also be times when we need healing and prayer and we must be willing to acknowledge and accept it.


There are many stories of Jesus healing in the Gospels.  Jesus met people where they were regardless of who they were and He did not judge them – the blind beggar, Peter’s mother-in-law, the centurion’s daughter, the man among the tombs, etc. The healing is not isolated, it occurs with teaching, mixing socially, forgiving sins, and walking along the road with friends. Jesus sent His disciples out with power and authority to overcome demons and to cure diseases (Luke 9:1 – 2).


The point of need is not always expressed.  James 5: 14 – 15 extols us to pray in faith and it is the Lord who heals (not us). The Communion Service has always offered peace to many and often brings tears as God’s peace is felt.  Healing is also a ministry for the ordained – it’s mentioned in their service of ordination.


There is no point in talking about healing and doing nothing or praying for healing if you don’t believe it will happen.  Often we never know what happens unless we are told. It may be a healing, but not a physical healing that happens.  In Mark 10: 46 – 52, Jesus heals Bartimaeus who is convinced that He will heal him.


During the Service that night we all lit a candle for someone who needs healing and prayed for that person as we put the candle on the tray of sand.


We also discussed why we need to pray when Jesus knows our thoughts before we pray? (Without prayer we can do nothing.) Why should some be healed and not others?  (Jesus prayer in Gethsemane was not answered and He went to the cross)


Be as persistent as the man who woke his neighbour during the night asking for bread.


Do not be afraid to shout at God. The four friends who let their friend down through the roof to be healed showed their faith in Jesus and gave Him the opportunity to speak to the crowd. They are often overlooked. We had to imagine we were the stretcher bearers bringing our friend to Jesus, or were we on the stretcher?


The prayer of Absolution in the Blue 1982 book is very good to use.  During the service we wrote the names of those we wanted to pray for on paper and put them on the altar and at the end of the service we each took a prayer request to pray for during the retreat and when we got back home.


Healing services are more common now.  Before starting, we need to make proper preparations.  The Vestry needs to approve it in principle, to consider who might be called to this ministry and to organize teaching about healing.  In which service would it would be offered?  Communion?  Which part?


During one of the services, we all took a stone that we felt resembled us and placed it on the altar (see the picture above). After the service, we each took a stone (not ours) and were asked to pray for that (unknown) person and take it to church on Sunday and place in the church grounds.


It was a time of learning and confirming our parts in praying for healing and gave us much to pray about.



To find out more, it is well worth reading “Where earth and Heaven Meet” by Robert A Gillies (I’m sure you can borrow a copy from those who went on Retreat).

Angela Sibley



Photo Gallery for the 2009 Retreat...





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