How to Lay Hands On Someone

How to Lay Hands On Someone

There are many different ways to pray for other people. You can pray and intercede for other people in private prayer, publicly, or with the person. We see examples of each of these throughout the Bible.

When you’re praying for someone, it’s a common practice to place a hand on the person you’re praying for. This is called laying hands on someone. We see various examples of this in the New Testament. When Jesus was praying and ministering to people, He would often place His hands on the person.

Laying hands on people while you pray for them has a physical and spiritual impact on people. 

Physically, when we have a physical connection with the person we’re praying with, we feel comforted and supported. There’s also a spiritual impact when we lay hands on someone. When we’re praying for someone and laying hands on them, there can be a spiritual connection and transfer that happens. 

Paul instructs Timothy to not lay hands on people too quickly. When we do that, we can actually share in their sinful lifestyle. 

"Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.”
1 Timothy 5:22 NKJV

Likewise, when we lay hands on people, we can transfer good spiritual things to other people. We transfer healing, faith, and spiritual gifts to other people when we’re praying and laying hands on people.

Paul said he wanted to visit the Roman church because he wanted to impart spiritual gifts to them. That implies that Paul needed to be physically with them to accomplish that—it wasn’t something Paul could pray for privately. 

“For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established.”
Romans 1:11 NKJV

How you should lay hands on people

The first thing you need to understand is that you shouldn’t rush to lay hands on someone. Pray for spiritual discernment and pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

You also need to ask the person you’re laying hands on if they’re comfortable with it. 

When you feel peace about laying hands on someone, and the person you’re praying for is okay with it, simply place your hand on their shoulder, arm, or upper back and pray for them.

If you’re more comfortable with the person, you can place your hand on their head—don’t do this with a stranger, as it can make them uncomfortable.

You can also lay hands on a specific area if the person you’re praying for is in pain and you’re praying for healing. For example, you can place your hands on the person’s elbow if they have elbow pain and pray for healing. Jesus said we will lay hands on the sick and they will recover. Believe in faith that what He said is true!

“They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:18 NKJV

Other examples of laying hands on people

“They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.”
Acts 6:5-6 NIV
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”
Acts 13:2-3 NIV
“Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.”
1 Timothy 4:14 NKJV

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