In the OT (Num 27:18,23) we see God commanded Moses to lay his hand on Joshua. Notice that Joshua was already a man of the Spirit but he needed something more.
In the gospels we read that Jesus touched the sick and they were made well. In Mark 5:23-42 a ruler of the synagogue pleads with Jesus “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” Luke 4:40 the people brought to Jesus all who had various forms of sickness and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. In Matthew 19:13-15 we also see Jesus using his hands to bless the ‘little’ children.
In the early church men full of the Holy Spirit were presented to the apostles, who then prayed and laid their hands on them Acts 6:6.
The people of Samaria responded to the Gospel and Peter and John travelled to them to lay their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit Acts 8:17.
Barnabus and Saul also were sent off after the church at Antioch placed their hands on them Acts 13:2-3.
Hebrews 6:1-2 mentions the laying on of hands as a fundamental instruction in the church and it is mentioned three times 1 & 2 Timothy (see 1Tim 4:14, 1Tim 5:22 and 2Tim 5:6)
There are two occasions when I remember having hands laid upon me. The first, I was 11 yrs old and it was a Sunday night. The preacher invited people to come forward who wanted the power of the Holy Spirit to fill them. As I walked forward my youth pastor and an elder from the church came and laid their hands on me. Nothing happened until I went and sat down. Suddenly this strange language was on the tip of my tongue and as I began to speak it out quietly more and more words came.
The second occasion was about 4 years ago. I was leading an Alpha course at LifeChurch and after the session on healing, one of the attendees suggested that we should pray for those who were sick in the room. Well that morning I had woken with incredible pain in my right knee due to RA. I remember a conversation in my head that went “Lord this wasn’t in my planning for this session!” I responded anyway and as these brand new baby christians laid their hands on my knee the pain went! Imagine their surprise! Now imagine mine!
The Holy Spirit uses our hands as unworthy as they are to bring his power, his authority, his healing, his seal of approval, his blessing into the lives of people.
Today let’s be a church who are willing vessels. Let’s be a church obedient to His leading. Let’s all learn to be receivers.