Wade E Taylor
"Then were there brought unto him little children,
that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples
rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and
forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom
of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence"
Many consider bigger to be better. Because of this, pastors
are asked, "How many people do you have?" However,
Jesus placed a special emphasis on the small, rather than
on the large. He said that we are to "Suffer little children
and forbid them not."
This word "suffer" has a different meaning than
the one commonly understood in our day. It means "to
permit." Jesus placed great value on that which has potential,
even though it appears to have no present value. "Permit
little children ... to come unto me."
"And he laid his hands on them." This laying on
of hands speaks of "spiritual impartation." Even
though these children did not have a present capacity to understand,
Jesus was able to impart into them an impartation of Spirit
that would unfold and surface at a later time. A ministry
that includes this personal "laying on of hands"
is of great spiritual value.
In the mega-churches of our day, this is not possible. Each
individual becomes part of a "corporate person"
and looses his personal identity. In smaller meetings, each
individual becomes important. The minister is able to sense
the spiritual hunger and receptivity of each person and minister
to their individual need. This personal touch is lost when
the "corporate person "becomes the dominant factor
and the individual is lost in the crowd.
Jesus laid His hands upon each individual child to whom
He gave singular attention. This time of personal attention
accomplishes much. There have been prayer lines in which an
individual received this personal attention, their deep inner
needs being met. Then, the minister looked up and saw a very
long line. This provoked him to say, "It is not possible
to pray for each of you, please form a line and I will touch
each of you, as you go by." This is good, but something
of great value has been lost.
When a minister is able to spend relaxed time at the altar
with each individual who has needs, many hindrances to their
spiritual growth are removed. Now, these are able to receive
an impartation of the Spirit that brings healing, deliverance,
and edification. When a minister personally lays anointed
hands upon an individual, he has truly ministered to that
person. People know when a minister takes a genuine interest
in them and they feel the impartation that they receive.
Jesus laid his hands upon each of these children who, in
child like faith, came to Him. Later He said (to us), "Verily
I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little
children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven"
Matt 18:3. Jesus is saying that we are to come to Him with
the same child-like faith and trust that these children had,
if we expect to receive a personal impartation from Him.
Paul said to Timothy, "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" 2 Tim 1:6. Impartation is essential
for spiritual growth.
A primary means of impartation is through the laying on
of hands. This requires an environment in which adequate time
is available for each one that is being ministered to. It
requires that the one who is doing the laying on of hands
be anointed and have within them a reservoir of spiritual
life. This requires that the one doing the "laying on
of hands" first spend extended times of "waiting
upon the Lord" to receive of His life and power.
The laying on of hands should result in a spiritual impartation
from one who has a quality spiritual experience, to one who
is spiritually needy. Some years ago I attended a convention
where a minister who has a well known writing ministry was
present. After a long evening meeting, I asked him if he would
put his hands on me and pray for me. I wanted an impartation
of his ability to express on paper, the Word of God. It was
quite late and he told me that I was not being considerate.
I explained that I edited the Banner and desperately needed
an impartation of his anointed ability.
He put his hands on me and began to pray. When he did, the
power of God started to flow and he became excited as the
Lord imparted from his ability to my need. Then, he apologized
for his reluctance and invited me to come to his Church and
minister. I gained much from that experience.
An essential ingredient of impartation is having a personal
concern for the one being prayed for. Have you ever talked
to someone whom you felt was not interested in your need?
True ministry requires our being concerned with the needs
of another. Impartation is more than just some kind of a "power"
that is felt. It involves a flow of love, a genuine interest
in the needs of another. When your hands are laid on another
in ministry, it should include the warmth of your heart and
your genuine interest.
"Permit the little children." You may say, they
will not understand as they are too little. However, Jesus,
with profound truth moving within Him, allowed these little
children to receive from Him. His disciples were quick to
remind Him that He was too important a person to be bothered
by children. Yet He responded by laying His hands upon them.
Then He told these same disciples that they had to become
like these small children, if they intended to enter His Kingdom.
There is no further record of these children. Were we able
to find them twenty years later, we would find strong Christians
who had a deep personal knowledge of their Lord. We little
realize the power of impartation.
For most of us, who have little ability to preach, and difficulty
in our finding expression for the things of God we have seen
and heard in some measure of the Spirit. We are further faced
with personal lack when as part of the demands of the ministry
we find ourselves being called upon to personally lay hands
on those in need -- this can be tremendous challenge.
True spiritual impartation, through the laying on of sanctified
hands, is effective when we have taken time to receive
from the Lord and then impart of that which we have received,
to those who are in need. "For of such is the Kingdom