I used to make up excuses for why I shouldn’t get anointed when prayer time rolled around each Sunday meeting.
My problem isn’t that important.
I’m shy and don’t like being the center of attention.
I don’t like everyone knowing what’s wrong with me.
It’ll take too much time.
It’ll be a downer.
Here’s the worst one of all: I’ve been anointed before, and nothing has happened, so why ask again?
One day after a normal Sunday service, a sister in my branch greeted me and asked me how I was dealing with a specific need that I had. She said, “I just feel like God is saying you should just keep getting anointed for it.”
This was, honestly, not at all what I wanted to hear. I already felt like I’d made a big enough deal about my need in my branch already, and I didn’t want anyone to think that I was putting greater importance on my need than others’ needs. Plus, it put emphasis on a problem that made me feel vulnerable and inadequate.
So, when that sister told me, “Just keep getting anointed,” I didn’t really plan on doing anything about it.
The next Sunday, during prayer time, I stayed in my seat, although the memory of what the sister said came back to me. I thought, “Lord, if you want me to get anointed, please make it possible” — a vague request.
Then, my father, a minister, did something he almost never does to me (or anyone else in our branch). He felt inspired to call me up to get anointed. Later, he apologized for putting me on the spot, and I told him that I was glad he did because I didn’t have the gumption to ask for anointing on my own.
Over the next several weeks, I continued to feel self-conscious about getting anointed, and the Lord kept finagling things so that I did get anointed. Finally, something clicked in my brain.
I thought, “Michelle, if God asked you to jump through a ring of fire to get your prayer answered, would you?” Of course. “If He asked you to scale a mountain or pay X number of dollars or eat a slug, would you do it?” Definitely. So, all He’s asking you to do is get anointed. Why won’t you?
I tried to really examine why I didn’t want to. And it came down to a lack of faith and a lack of respect for the ordinance itself. I felt like I was one of the people in 2 Timothy 3 who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof (v. 5). Since none of my anointings up to that point had produced the desired outcome, I allowed my faith to grow callous instead of concluding that the Lord simply wanted me to push through it and exert a little longsuffering, trusting Him to provide.
So, I got up in my testimony and told my whole branch what God had laid on my heart about getting anointed. I told them I planned to get anointed more often and asked in advance for their patience. They were very loving and supportive.
I really feel like this was a lesson that God wanted me to learn so that I can have a greater respect for the blessed oil, the authority of the priesthood, and most of all God’s transformative, healing power when I submit to His terms instead of insisting on my own.
P.S. God did answer my prayer! That story for another time…
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.