Spread the love

Two-minute read.

“So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”

Acts 13:3

Hands on.

When Barnabas and Saul received divine instruction on their next mission, the congregation laid hands on the men before sending them out. Commissioning the men by physically touching them, the group requested God’s blessing on the apostles as they left to minister to the Gentiles.

Throughout the pages of the New Testament, Jesus uses touch to heal people. Christ raised the ruler’s daughter from the dead (Matthew 9:18), healed the sick (Mark 6:5, 7:32, 8:22-25), and straightened the disabled woman (Luke 13:13). Jesus also blessed the little children by laying his hands on them (Matthew 9:13-15, Mark 10:16). Physical touch transfers energy from one person to the next. I feel the instant connection when I touch my husband’s hand; warmth exudes up my arm as our two bodies connect.

Laying hands on people shares your energy with them, strengthening and healing them. Physical touch stimulates the body, releases oxytocin, the “feel good” hormone, reduces anxiety and stress, boosts the immune system, and lowers blood pressure. Babies deprived of human touch fail to thrive and potentially die without physical love.[1]  In God’s grand design, we need touch.

“That’s the only hug I had all week,” a friend said to me at church after I greeted them. As a hugger, I typically wrap my arms around people in greeting and sharing God’s love. We don’t know what other people’s lives look like. Gratefully, I receive hugs often, but some people don’t. Even though that event happened years ago, I still think of it in amazement. How could someone go all week without a hug? But they do. And we should not forget that fact.

Laying hands on people and praying over them gives them power. Sharing our physical energy with others helps them find strength. Fasting and praying, then laying hands on people, brings a whole new level to the practice. As the congregation did, tapping into the Holy Spirit’s power gives divine help to those who receive the blessing. Partnering with God always leads to success, His will done on Earth as in heaven.

Barnabas and Saul enjoyed success, powered by the Holy Spirit, supported by the church, and spread the good news to the Gentiles, a ripple that has never stopped thousands of years later.

Journal Questions:

  • How can I apply today’s devotion to my life?
  • How has someone’s physical touch helped you?
  • Knowing Jesus healed through physical touch, how does it encourage you?


Lord, thank You for giving us strength through physical touch. Please help us share our strength and energy with others by laying on of hands. As we fast and pray, give us opportunities to encourage others with a hug, a pat on the back, or through laying on of hands as we pray for them. Let us share Your love with the world, now and always, one person at a time. IJNIP. Amen

[1] https://www.wvdhhr.org/birth23/raunewsletters/RAU7_Summer2018_PPNewsletter.pdf

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