Can prayer partners anoint each other with oil?


By BibleAsk Team

The practice of anointing with oil in prayer has a rich biblical foundation, symbolizing consecration, healing, and the presence of the Holy Spirit. In Christian communities, Christians leaders and members come together to intercede for one another’s needs, seeking God’s guidance, comfort, and healing. This essay seeks to explore the biblical perspective on whether two prayer partners can anoint each other according to the teachings of the Bible, drawing upon references from the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible.

Biblical Basis for Anointing

    The practice of anointing with oil is rooted in the Old and New Testaments, where it is used symbolically to signify divine favor, consecration, and healing. In the Old Testament, prophets, priests, and kings were anointed with oil as a sign of their appointment and empowerment by God.

    Scriptural Basis:

    • Exodus 29:7 (NKJV): “You shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint him.”

    In the New Testament, Jesus instructed His disciples to anoint the sick as a means of healing and restoration.

    Scriptural Basis:

    • Mark 6:13 (NKJV): “And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.”

    These biblical examples illustrate the significance of anointing as a tangible expression of faith and a symbol of God’s healing power.

    The Role of Prayer Partnerships

      Prayer partnerships are a common practice among Christians, where individuals come together to pray for one another’s needs, burdens, and concerns. This collaborative approach to prayer fosters unity, accountability, and mutual support within the body of Christ.

      Scriptural Basis:

      • Matthew 18:19-20 (NKJV): “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

      These verses emphasize the power of agreement in prayer and the assurance of Christ’s presence when believers come together in His name.

      Who Is the One that Should Anoint?

        Notice in the passage of James 5 that those who anoint others are the “elders” in the church and not the common members in the congregation.  The elders were not the apostles, for elders are mentioned separately from apostles in Acts 15:2, 4, 6. The term elder is used for officers who held the primary responsibilities in their local congregations.

        In the early church, the elder was also known as an episkopos, meaning “overseer,” a word that has come into English as “bishop.” The evidence of the New Testament indicates clearly that, in apostolic times, the two terms referred to the same official (1 Timothy 3:2–7 with Titus 1:5–9; Acts 20:28; Philippians 1:1).

        Scriptural Basis:

        • James 5:14-15 (NKJV): “Is anyone among you sick? 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. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

        This passage specifically refers to the elders of the church anointing the sick and it highlights the importance of prayer and faith in seeking God’s healing and restoration.

        Principles to Consider

          The practice of anointing is to be approached with reverence, sensitivity, and biblical discernment. Here are some principles to consider:

          • The sick should express his faith and trust in God’s healing power.
          • Anointing should be accompanied by submission, obedience and reliance on God’s promises, as outlined in Scripture.
          • The act of anointing should be conducted with reverence and respect for its symbolic significance and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
          • Believers should pray that God’s will be ultimately done in the sick person’s life.


          In conclusion, the practice of anointing with oil in prayer can be a meaningful expression of faith and unity. The Bible shows that elders are the ones that should do the anointing. By approaching the anointing with reverence, sensitivity, and biblical discernment, the elders can participate in this act of consecration and intercession, invoking God’s blessing, healing, and guidance upon one another. Ultimately, the act of anointing serves as a tangible reminder of God’s presence, power, and grace in the lives of believers, strengthening their faith and deepening their fellowship with one another.

          In His service,
          BibleAsk Team

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