Simple for me and hard for Mom - by Michelle Simons
I became a Christian in the 80’s when people in our area (Ottawa, Ontario) were just beginning to talk more seriously about the Holy Spirit. My mother (who had a Catholic background) and I, age 16, were attending a small Anglican church. One of the landmark books that everyone was reading was Holy Spirt and You by Dennis and Rita Bennett.
My mother very much wanted to receive the gift of tongues. She prayed about it quite a lot. She had laying on of hands for the gift as well. One morning she woke up and her tongue felt funny. She felt that something was up. On another day the same thing happened. When she did her morning devotions she would often light a candle. On this day she was unable to blow out the candle when she had finished praying. Sensing it was the Lord asking her to continue she kept on praying and it was then that she began to speak in tongues.
Meanwhile I had my own but very different journey. I picked up the book Holy Spirit and You that had been left on the coffee table, opened it randomly and read a page. I thought that’s interesting and put it down. Later on when I was praying in my room I thought, “I should try that.” I began to speak in tongues immediately and have ever since.
I have often chuckled at the difference in my own and my mother’s story that happened around the same time. One story is filled with heartfelt intercession, numb tongues, and candles not blowing out. The other story is a simple childlike assumption and a thought of, “I should try that.” I love the gifts that God gives and I love the variety of ways that He gives them.
Mark Virkler’s reflections: God can use events, (like a candle not blowing out) to urge us in the right direction so we receive what He has for us. Receiving is harder for some of us and easier for others, who simply step out in childlike faith and speak.
Revelation came first, and tongues and gifts later - by Marlene Santefort
I am a denominational girl who has wanted all God has for me. So when I heard of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and watched others who enjoyed this blessing and saw it in the Bible, I set a day to seek God for this empowering gift. I spent the day reading the Word. Then I decided to ask God for this experience. I was home alone. The Holy Spirit came and filled me up from the bottom of my being to the top with warm liquid Love. Then I had a vision of the Bible from beginning to the end. It all flowed together like I had never understood before. I couldn't say how long the vision lasted, but when it finished I could understand the Bible is a whole new way. It was the history of God and His dealing with His people through time. I was very glad and grateful and really knew the Love of God for me like never before, one on one. The Bible then came alive to me like never before and became a personal letter to me. I did not manifest tongues or the other gifts at that time.
Later on, at one point at a prayer meeting, I felt my tongue moving in my mouth and went into the washroom to watch it! I didn't know God was trying to give me tongues and I only needed to cooperate by giving it air and sound. I didn't tell anyone and so it stopped. But a year or so later, the tongues came painstakingly slow with only one word: "Hallelujah!"
One day some time later, my son came in and told me he was going to get married! When he left, I dropped to my knees to pray and my prayer language released and flowed fully and freely. It still does. If I spend enough time praying in tongues, I find it changes to different languages, I can laugh or more often, cry without being connected to why but trusting the Holy Spirit to give me the prayers He wants prayed through me. And when I pray through, my prayer tends to change to singing in tongues. At times God the Holy Spirit gives an interpretation or a prophecy or words of knowledge in a meeting setting. I also found many times as I go into travailing prayer for increased salvations before a meeting I am leading, the number of people who get saved in that meeting is greatly increased.
Mark Virkler’s reflections: Revelation and the fruit of love, joy and peace came first; tongues and gifts came later. Also note that enlarged emotion (e.g., travailing prayer) creates a greater channel for the release of spiritual power. Spirit-born emotions are the carrier wave for the power of the Holy Spirit to ride upon.
Related Resources:How to Be Empowered by the Holy Spirit!