(Scripture quotes are taken from memory and may not be exact.)
Had a cool thought this evening at prayer meeting. On Sunday nights at our church, we anoint people who are sick with oil (as we are instructed in James 5) and pray for them. Anointing with oil was the thing that they did when God chose who would be king - "The Lord's anointed." We are chosen by God. Psalm 23 says, "He anoints my head with oil, my cup runs over." To me, I read that and think, "I am his chosen one (anointed with oil), and he causes many blessings, much FRUIT to come of my life, to the point where I am overflowing with it - overflowing with gladness (my cup runs over)."
Then, in John 15 Jesus says he is the vine, and we the branches, and that fruit in our lives is a result of his work. Olives are a fruit of the vine (or tree, as the kingdom of heaven is also metaphorically described), and olives produce oil. When we pray over people, we (the branches) lay our hands on them, anoint them with oil (the fruit), and pray in the name of Jesus (the vine).
The Bible also says that "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous man runs into it and is safe."
Jesus is the vine, the source of power, life, healing. Jesus is our strong tower, and when we trust in his name, we are safe. Jesus produces fruit. And we, as we draw our life from him and anoint each other with a sign of being HIS, we ask the Lord to produce fruit through our prayers, through the branches that are our lives, in each other. For, if there will be fruit, it will come from the life that is in the vine. It will come from Jesus.
Standing around people laying our hands on them and praying this evening, I had a strong visual of this tree of life... We are all depending on Jesus for life. We are all connected to each other by him. And, as many arms were stretched out to lay hands on the person on whose head we put this oil (the fruit), the picture I was getting was that of living, breathing BRANCHES, reaching out, connecting ourselves to another branch of the tree, asking our STRONG tower, trunk, vine, LORD, to send his power through us and produce fruit in the life of the individual we were praying over.