God of Promise, God of Hope
A litany of prayer, scripture and song for healing services inspired by the booklet Prayers for Hope: Words of Faith for Difficult Times (Upper Room Ministries).
This litany contains eight scripture promises which are read by eight different readers. Invite persons prior to the service to read or invite persons as they are gathering before the service to read. If they accept, hand them a card with one of the promises printed on it. When it is time for their reading, they arise from their place in the congregation and move to one of several microphones preset throughout the congregation. Choose a variety of persons to read.
Preset small containers of anointing balm or oil on the altar table, one for each anointing station. Olive oil may also be used.
This litany may be offered in place of the sermon or following the sermon.
For a PDF version of this worship resource, click here Healing Service Litany: God of Promise, God of Hope
ONE: Brothers and sisters, let us claim the promises of God, our healer and hope.
God of the darkness and the day,
It is so hard to wait
and to trust that you are present.
Sit with us in the darkness
help us to sleep
calm our anxiety
and bring us to each new day
*From Prayers for Hope, Words of Faith for Difficult Times (Upper Room Ministries), p. 10
ALL: Psalm 46:1-3, 7 (NRSV)
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
ONE: Claim the promises of God from Psalm 103:1-6; 10-14 (NRSV)
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust.
ONE: Take comfort in the promises of God from Isaiah 43:1-4a (NRSV, adapted)
Thus says the Lord, … who created you… who formed you…
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…
you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you….
Who embraces us with love,
Through the ages you have told us,
Whisper it again in our ears,
Write it on our hearts.
*From Prayers for Hope, Words of Faith for Difficult Times (Upper Room Ministries), p. 12
For a Traditional Service: Spirit Song (United Methodist Hymnal #347)
For a Contemporary Service: Wrap Me in Your Arms (CCLI #4624271)
ONE: Receive the promises of God from Psalm 147:3-6 (NRSV)
He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
He gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
His understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
He casts the wicked to the ground
ONE: Psalm 73:23-26 (NRSV)
I am continually with you;
You hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me with honor.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
ONE: Hear the promises of God from Isaiah 40:28-31
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
ONE: There is something deeper than trouble
ALL: It is mercy
God’s amazing grace
Carrying, lifting, holding us in all seasons
ONE: There is something more powerful than despair
ALL: It is mercy.
God’s amazing love
Seeing us through dark nights, waves of sadness, mountains of grief
ONE: There is something longer lasting than pain
ALL: It is mercy
God’s healing touch
Bringing us hope, leading us to joy, teaching us to sing
*Hope in a Difficult Time by Larry J. Peacock, a poem adapted into a prayer liturgy by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
For a Traditional Service: Great is Thy Faithfulness, vs 1 and refrain (United Methodist Hymnal #140)
For a Contemporary Service: Everlasting God (CCLI #4556538)
ONE: Accept the promises of God from Philippians 4:5b-7 (NRSV)
The Lord is near.
Do not worry about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
ONE: Receive the promise of Jesus from John 14:27 (NRSV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled,
and do not let them be afraid.
ONE: Claim God’s promises from Romans 8:35, 37-39
Who will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will hardship, or distress, or persecution,
or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers,
nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For a Traditional Service: We Shall Overcome, verse 1 and 3 (United Methodist Hymnal #533)
For a Contemporary Service: You Hold Me Now, chorus (CCLI #5372151)
PRAYER OVER THE OIL
ONE: O God, the giver of health and salvation, we give thanks to you for the gift of oil. As your holy apostles anointed many who were sick and healed them, so pour our your Holy Spirit on us and on this gift, that those who in faith and repentance receive this anointing may be made whole; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
*by Timothy Crouch, from a Healing Service in the United Methodist Book of Worship
INVITATION TO ANOINTING AND PRAYER
ONE: Brothers and sisters, receive this invitation.
Are any among you sick?
Call for the elders of the church and have them pray over you,
anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord.
The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise you up;
and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.
Therefore confess your sins to one another,
and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.
The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
*adapted from James 5:14-16 (NRSV)
ALL: Lord, look upon me with mercy.
Rest your healing hand upon me.
Relieve me of my burden.
Restore me to wholeness and strength.
Revive me in body, soul, and spirit.
Release me to share your infinite love.
* Original prayer by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
One or more stations for anointing and prayer are formed at the front of the sanctuary. Those who wish to receive the ministry of healing prayer, anointing with oil, and laying on of hands come forward. They may stand or kneel as they receive prayer. They may come on behalf of themselves, or on behalf of another person, the church, the community, nation, or world.
Song following the prayer time:
For a Traditional Service: Standing on the Promises (United Methodist Hymnal #374)
For a Contemporary Service: Our God Saves (CCLI # 4972837)
Scripture quotations are taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Compilation © 2011 Nicole Sallee and Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia