The church I grew up in was a really traditional Presbyterian church. Very "King James Version." Always dresses for the girls, suits for the guys; a lovely choir, but a trumpet was the flashiest instrument we would expect; our "Amens" were only whispered after prayer; clapping was only acceptable after the children's choir sang (and then only if they reaaaaalllly knocked our socks off). You get the picture. But don't get me wrong- I love that church! I love the tradition of it, and the mix of solemnity and joy. I just want to paint a picture, so you can understand the small culture shock I had when I started attending the church I go to now.
At this church (that I love equally), we rock out a little, we clap, some people (get ready for it.....) raise their arms in jubilation. Every now and then an "Amen" is loud enough for me to hear a few rows back and not even after a prayer, but in agreement with the pastor!! Wild, I know.
One thing that I was a bit skittish about at my new church was the laying of hands. When we collect food for Thanksgiving baskets, school supplies for needy children, Operation Christmas Child, or whatever, the congregation is invited to come up and lay hands on the goods as we pray for the recipients. I'm not going to lie, this weirded me out a little at first, but it's grown on me. There's something sweet about physical touch and lovingly praying for a person through an item that they will soon be holding. I've also taken to holding my daughters' hands when I pray with them. I just like the physicality of it.
Now I'm reading the book of Acts, and the laying of hands has come up a few times:
Acts 6:6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
Acts 8:17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 13:3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Acts 28:8 ... And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him.
What are your thoughts on laying on hands? Do you do it at your church?