Matthew 25:36: The Samaritan Prayer Ministry
- Biblical examples of ministering to the sick
- Historical examples of ministering to the sick
Today we are not going to have a traditional sermon but a topical sermon. We are going to launch a ministry to the sick in our church. For want of a better name we are calling it the Samaritan prayer ministry. The churches ministry to the sick is an ongoing ministry that belongs to the whole body and the time has come for us to be more deliberate in our ministrations. The Samaritan Prayer Ministry is being launched not because there is no ministry to the sick in our church, there is. There are those who visit the sick, who buy their groceries for them, drive them around, mow their lawns and pray for them. But as our church grows we need more organisation so that no one is neglected in their need. We want to invite more people to be more deliberate and more organised in this area. One of the reasons why I feel this is necessary is because there are often needs that are not brought to my attention. For example, one dear lady was away from church for three weeks before I was informed that she was at home sick. I am often on the lookout for new comers and am not able to see if everyone is here on a Sunday so I will need someone to inform me that so and so is sick. Not only that prayer is powerful and we need to multiply prayer for those who are sick. Awareness for the purpose of prayer is most important for we are dependent upon God for everything and He has appointed prayer as the means by which He brings His will to pass. We know that there have been those who have done shopping for those who are laid aside, or who have acted as a taxi, or just phoned up those who are house bound. We want to ensure that more are involved in this vital aspect of church life. I am also aware that there is a need for more coordination just recently we put out a call for folk to mow lawns, there were many willing volunteers, and there have been instances when someone would travel in to town to do the job to find it had already been done. More organisation and communication will make for happier and more effective service.
Ministry to the sick is just part of what it means to be part of the body of Christ. There is a unity that is real that issues in us caring for one another. Paul reminds us that because we are a single body in Christ by the Spirit, ‘If one member suffers, all suffer together,’ 1 Cor. 12:26a. Every single one of us has a part to play, for some they will have the time and ability to act in concrete practical ways and be bodily present, others will be able to phone, others will be able to pray or make meals. But this is something that matters to each one of us. So today I would like to remind us of some of the bible’s teaching on this issue, and then give a little historical perspective as well.