Should we practice laying on of hands?


The Bible mentions two types of the phrase "to lay hands on".  We will review both with the emphasis on the healing properties associated with laying on of hands to heal a person.

The first meaning is related to physically grabbing a hold of a person or thing in a manor to detain or lay siege to or to take control of a person. 

There are a number of scriptures which make mention of this.  One of the common relations between this and the healing that is associated with laying on of hands is that you are associating yourself with the person or object.

Physically laying on of hands:

Nehemiah 13:21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.

Matthew 21:46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

Luke 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.

Luke 20:19 And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.

There are many more scriptures which relate to this topic. Keep in mind that an association is made by laying hands on a person


Healing; laying on of hands:

First lets start our journey in the book of Acts. We find here that the true power of healing is from God and not from within man. This is opposite to what the new age (lack of) thinking is. It is believed that man is evolving into god hood, and that we have the god potential within all of us.  God is that one who provided the gift of healing as we will later see.

Act 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, (19) Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. (20) But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Peter clearly stated that it is a power given from God.

An act of association:

In the Old Testament the high priests would lay hands on the burnt offering to pass the sins of the people to the animal to be sacrificed. The actual act in it self did not transfer the sins to the animal but the obedience of following the law of God. 

The priests were associating themselves with the animals to be sacrificed for the sins of the people.

Leviticus 4:15 And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the LORD: and the bullock shall be killed before the LORD.

Numbers 8:12 And the Levites shall lay their hands upon the heads of the bullocks: and thou shalt offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, unto the LORD, to make an atonement for the Levites.

Leviticus 16:21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:

The act of laying on of hands was not the only means of association reading in Act 5:15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.

In 1st Timothy, Timothy says that with the laying on of hands, while in 2nd Timothy he uses the phrase of by laying on of hands.

 1Timothy 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

2Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

In 2nd Kings Elisha raised a child from the dead in a slightly different approach. 2Kings 4:34 And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.

The laying on of hands is not always mentioned when a healing is done. In Mark we read that oil was used, and no mention of hands were made for this healing Mark 6:13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

 Also in James 5:14-15 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (15) And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

Jesus made clay to heal a blind man's eyes in John 9:6, Jesus in Matthew 8:13 healed the centurion's son from a distance by speaking the word. In Mark 5:27 a woman was healed by touching the hem of Jesus garment, and again in Mark 6:13 oil was used with no mention of laying on of hands.

In Acts, Paul's handkerchiefs or aprons were given to the sick and were healed by touching them.  Act 19:12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.


The laying on of hands is not required to heal a person. The actual act of laying on of hands is not what heals a person but the power of God does the healing.

Whenever possible laying on of hands should be done as an association with the person whom you are praying for as you are connecting yourself with that person in need.


** Note all references are taken from the King James Version.