Does your church offer healing prayers for the sick within the context of worship? Some might think this is a specialized ministry that should be conducted at another time or place if undertaken at all. Healing is solely in the hands of God, but our Lord Jesus has asked us to do the works that He has done. Surely elders of a church should be equipped to perform such a ministry. Here is a strong suggestion from the Book of James:
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:13-16)
Faith is important to the healing ministry but forgiveness should not be overlooked:
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. (Mark 11:24-26)
I have found it the best practice to have healing prayers after the sermon and a time of prayer following. This allows for a time of confession and repentance. If Holy Communion is being observed then it seems fitting to pray for people who desire such prayers after they have received communion. This may be done at the altar or shortly thereafter. Some prefer to have the prayers after the worship service but I believe that this is a mistake. Everyone should be involved in this prayer time whether orally or silently. If we truly care about the people in the congregation then we should not be so anxious to dash off, showing little concern.
I encourage every church to have healing prayers. They are biblical and were very much a part of the worship of the Early Church.