I have always been the person to think abstractly enough and “put myself in the shoes of others”. I have also always been the type to support something even if I have never experienced it. This is my latest physical experience in my walk with Christ and my growing in the holiness of Christ. I had always heard from my mother, sister, grandmother and others who had had experiences in praying in tongues. Crazy? Yes, I thought the same thing; however, I did not “knock it” as being true. I, personally, had never experienced this. I knew the bible spoke of this gift and referred to it numerous times. How could something not exist if it was mentioned in the Bible directly? How could someone possibly suppress this when its directly spoken about by name?? I don’t see the wind, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I have never seen the air I breathe, and yet, I breathe it every day keeping my body alive and kickin’…
1 Corinthians 12:27 (The Message)
You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything. You’re familiar with some of the parts that God has formed in his church, which is his “body”: apostles prophets teachers miracle workers healers helpers organizers those who pray in tongues. But it’s obvious by now, isn’t it, that Christ’s church is a complete Body and not a gigantic, unidimensional Part? It’s not all Apostle, not all Prophet, not all Miracle Worker, not all Healer, not all Prayer in Tongues, not all Interpreter of Tongues. And yet some of you keep competing for so-called “important” parts. But now I want to lay out a far better way for you.
1 Corinthians 14:1 (The Message)
[ Prayer Language ] Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. Most of all, try to proclaim his truth. If you praise him in the private language of tongues, God understands you but no one else does, for you are sharing intimacies just between you and him. But when you proclaim his truth in everyday speech, you’re letting others in on the truth so that they can grow and be strong and experience his presence with you.
1 Corinthians 14:13 (The Message)
So, when you pray in your private prayer language, don’t hoard the experience for yourself. Pray for the insight and ability to bring others into that intimacy. If I pray in tongues, my spirit prays but my mind lies fallow, and all that intelligence is wasted. So what’s the solution? The answer is simple enough. Do both. I should be spiritually free and expressive as I pray, but I should also be thoughtful and mindful as I pray. I should sing with my spirit, and sing with my mind. If you give a blessing using your private prayer language, which no one else understands, how can some outsider who has just shown up and has no idea what’s going on know when to say “Amen”? Your blessing might be beautiful, but you have very effectively cut that person out of it.
1 Corinthians 14:26 (The Message)
So here’s what I want you to do. When you gather for worship, each one of you be prepared with something that will be useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight. If prayers are offered in tongues, two or three’s the limit, and then only if someone is present who can interpret what you’re saying. Otherwise, keep it between God and yourself. And no more than two or three speakers at a meeting, with the rest of you listening and taking it to heart. Take your turn, no one person taking over. Then each speaker gets a chance to say something special from God, and you all learn from each other. If you choose to speak, you’re also responsible for how and when you speak. When we worship the right way, God doesn’t stir us up into confusion; he brings us into harmony. This goes for all the churches—no exceptions.
But again, I had never personally experienced it. I was not against the idea of it by any means. Recently, I was at a new church sitting in an evening service. The pastor was preaching on “the baptism of the Holy Ghost”. Immediately, I folded my arms in disinterest of hearing what was being said. But secretly, I wanted to experience what he was talking about. While I had never had anything against this gift, now that it was resting on my heart to experience it, to be open to it, I was petrified. I had my eyes closed and the pastor said to say in prayer to myself (speaking to the congregation) “Lord, I want to experience the Holy Ghost”. I began to repeat these words. Tears poured from my eyes like rivers of water, uncontrollably I wept and wept and wept. The pastor said, “I know someone in here is wanting to experience this, to be given this gift”… “if I could grab this person I would, but the Lord won’t allow me.” I said in my mind, “God, I wish he would just come get me, then I would have to do it and get over this fear.” (Let me make this clear at this point — this pastor knew NOTHING of what I was going through or how I felt towards this gift.) After saying those words to myself, my eyes opened to a man sitting next to me saying, “you’re scared aren’t you?” It was the pastor! God had heard me and there he was calling me out!! lol I answered “yes” as he began to pray for me. A female also prayed with me, my sister prayed with me placing their hands on my back and my shoulders. I prayed continuously for the Holy Ghost to fill me up, to be able to experience this amazing gift they were talking about. I was asked to stand up and lift my hands, so I did. The pit of my stomach began to burn intensely. The burning sensation began to slowly move upward from my stomach, into my chest, into my throat and then sat at the back of my throat while my jaws began chattering away as if it were 20 degrees in that room. (Which it was not). The feeling was like no other I had ever experienced. It lasted for at least 10 minutes. My tears continued to come until my jaws started chattering. When my jaws stopped, the tears began again. I believe with all my heart I experienced an the first of a Holy Ghost filled experience. I am praying for the release of the fear I have held regarding this gift because for those 10 minutes my life was completely different. I was the closest I had ever felt to God and his presence was spiritually and physically all over me. I could feel it! I learned this day that there is no way to experience something like this if you are close minded to it. You have to open your mind to the ability of the Holy Ghost and all it can do just like those at Pentecost were. (Read Acts 2:1-4, Acts 10:46, Acts 19:6 and surrounding verses)
I’m praying for the continued gift to become part of me 100%. I want this gift. I want to experience it again, but Lord willing further of an experience. I want what was in my throat to come out. To hear others speak — it’s beautiful. A language that only the Lord could create that is so gorgeous. I pray Lord, please grant me with the filling of your Holy Ghost!