Copyrighted Logo
 

Bruce's 5th book, a Home Study Course, is now available.
Books & Tapes by Bruce Moen
    Bruce's Blog now at http://www.afterlife-knowledge.com/blog....

  HomeHelpSearchLoginRegister  
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
Spirit Baptism and Praying in the Spirit (Read 2124 times)
TheDonald
Full Member
***
Offline


ALK Member

Posts: 160
Spirit Baptism and Praying in the Spirit
May 18th, 2017 at 6:47pm
 
Jesus warns that effective prayer can be undermined by 2 habits: excessive repetition in prolonged prayer and praying as if God needs the information we share in prayer.
The way we seek to address these 2 habits can be crucial to the quality of our intimate connection with God.  One way to address the problem is to understand and master praying in the [Holy] Spirit.  Vince has asked me to discuss biblical teaching about this form of prayer. 

But adequate discussion of this topic requires a discussion of the best known form of praying in the Spirit--speaking in tongues (glossolalia).  That topic in turn requires a more general discussion of Spirit baptism, a controversial subject that is clearly among the most important biblical topics we can discuss. 

What is at issue here is the widespread failure to recognize just how experience-based (as opposed to faith-based) Paul's spirituality and mysticism really is.  This failure has led to the reduction of denominational Christianity to a set of doctrines, sacred rituals, and a lifestyle governed by a set of principles; and this reduction has been a major factor contributing to the younger generation's disillusionment with institutional religion. 

I will begin this discussion with a description of what was by far the most powerful, life-changing, and beautiful experience of my life, an experience of glossolalia at Manhattan Beach Camp in Manitoba. I was 16 at the time and felt I had lost my faith. I was determined to give it my best shot to find God real, but not to succumb to wishful thinking and emotionalism. That fateful, Tuesday, I went on a 7 mile walk towards Ninette, MB, pleading with God to make Himself real to me. That evening, I did something I'd never done before. I fasted for dinner and put my dinner money in the offering plate. After the service, I stayed at the altar and prayed to be filled with the Spirit as I had previously done in vain. After almost everyone (about 1,000) left the amphitheater, my heart still felt like stone as I tarried in prayer. Then suddenly I felt a warm breeze, but it wasn't the wind from nearby Pelican Lake; it was the Holy Spirit first warming me and then possessing me. I was forced against my will to speak in tongues at the top of my voice. More importantly, wave after wave of liquid love surged through my being with ever increasing intensity until I feared it might kill me. My ego seemed on the verge of collapse into the divine presence.

A Lutheran pastor observed me, unseen, and quietly came and knelt beside me. He told me he was not Pentecostal and had only come to the camp meeting as an interested observer. He said he could tell God was doing a special work in me and he asked me to pray for him. The moment i touched his forehead, he exploded into tongues like me. Another lady was sitting in the now darkened amphtheatre and just staring at me. Self-conscious, I asked her why? She said, "Don't you know? Your face is glowing in the dark!"

When it was all over, I realized that God had said to me clearly: "Son, you long for answers to burning questions. But answers aren't good for you right now. They will make you live in your head, and I want you to live in your heart. I want you to live your questions until they lead you to the center of my heart." That message is the reason for my long educational pilgrimage from BA to MDiv to doctorate in NT, Cultural Backgrounds, and Intertestamental Judaism. Interestingly, the experience made me a much better student than I had ever been.

Classical Pentecostals believe that speaking in tongues is the unique initial evidence of Spirit baptism and I will critique that claim. This thread will initially focus on the often electrifying experience of speaking in tongues. I will discuss the function of this gift and its relationship with Spirit baptism.  Hard won experience has taught me that about 95% of glossolia is a counterfeit of the real thing; so I need to discuss how the authentic gift can be received and that discussion will lead into a discussion of praying in the Spirit in general (i. e. apart from glossolalia).   

Just as marijuana is often considered a gateway drug for the use of hard drugs like cocaine, the tongues experience described above served as my gateway experience for other charisms, especially "the word of knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8)."  For example, the experiences related in "The Spirituality of Premonitions" thread are one of the outcomes of my experience at Manhattan Beach that fateful day. 

Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
I Am Dude
Super Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 1462
Gender: male
Re: Spirit Baptism and Praying in the Spirit
Reply #1 - May 18th, 2017 at 9:44pm
 
I remember you mentioning that you had a speaking in tongues experience back when I first joined the forum, but I had no idea how amazing and transformative it actually was. And how you passed it to pastor! Incredible. Thanks for sharing!
Back to top
 

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
 
IP Logged
 
TheDonald
Full Member
***
Offline


ALK Member

Posts: 160
Re: Spirit Baptism and Praying in the Spirit
Reply #2 - May 25th, 2017 at 12:48am
 

During the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, spectators from all over the Roman empire hear Christian believers speak in their languages. In Caesarea (Acts 10) and Ephesus (Acts 19), the new believers again receive the Spirit and speak in tongues (= glossolalia), but apparently not in human languages as at Pentecost. In modern Pentecostalism, Christians sometimes speak in unfamiliar human languages that they have never learned, but this is very rare. In my next 3 posts, I will describe 3 such cases.

(1) When I was 19, I joined YWAM (Youth with a Mission), a Christian organization devoted to witnessing in the streets and door to door all over the world. It founder, Loren Cunningham, was driving our bus from Winnipeg to Toronto, when he told me this story. He was visiting an Amazon tribe, hoping to find a way to share his faith beyond the usual tracts. No interpreter was yet available. So he just spoke in tongues, and the natives were shocked to hear him witness to Jesus in their language. Just then a woman with cataracts approached him. Loren realized that she wanted him to pray for her. So he laid hands on her and her cataracts vanished! This miracle opened minds to the Gospel in a unique way. Loren's testimony illustrates the frequently close connection between speaking in tongues and divine healing.
\
(2) In his early 20s, Dennis Balcombe was attending an independent Pentecostal church in Almonte outside Los Angeles, when the wife of the main preacher began delivering a message in tongues. A congregational member gave the interpretation aloud: the gist of it was that Dennis was going to be used in a great missionary work in Communist China. An American Jew who spoke Hebrew and just happened to be be present in the meeting confirmed that the message had been given in fluent Hebrew and that the interpretation (translation) was totally accurate.

But Dennis got derailed from his calling for a while. He was drafted and spent a year in Vietnam in 1969. During a week of R & R in Hong Kong, he attended a local Pentecostal church and someone prophesied that God was calling him to stay there after his military service. So he studied Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese there and then pioneered a Chinese church. He told his people to think of him as an egg--white on the outside and yellow on the inside!

Soon Dennis got permission to teach English in Communist China and used that privilege to bring in a hundred thousand Bibles there. Then in the 1980s, several Christian house church leaders wanted him to teach them about Spirit baptism and speaking in tongues. After a year of resistance, the Holy Spirit fell on many and they spoke in tongues. Dennis became the first white missionary in many decades to travel to inland China. It was dangerous work: sometimes he was moved in a coffin on a cart with wheels. Once the police interrupted his meeting, but he hid in the coffin, and the cops never opened it. Other times he wore a face mask, a fur hat, and a thick, padded cotton coat. Other times still, he wore women's clothes.

There were regular dramatic healings, including many blind who received their sight. When Dennis laid his hands on people, they sometimes were so intoxicated with the Spirit that they couldn't sleep for days! Once filled with the Spirit, these new Christians couldn't stop themselves from boldly witnessing to others. Within a decade of his ministry there, one half to two thirds of the 80 million strong house church movement became Pentecostal or Charismatic!!! How crucial to Chinese church history was Dennis Balcombe's calling in a mesage in Hebrew tongues back in the late 1960s!

Source: David Aikman, "Jesus in Beijing," pp. 271-275

(3) A young female missionary in a remote village in Uganda became gravely ill, so ill that her parents in Saskatchewan, Canada, received a telegram that she was too sick to be moved the many miles of jungle trails to the nearest doctor and would likely die shortly. This need was brought before a prayer meeting at the parents' Pentecostal church in Saskatchewan. There was a message in tongues. A visiting African student stood up and proclaimed that the message was in Swahili, his native language. The message said that God had given the young woman a healing touch and she would soon be reunited with her parents. There was great rejoicing when this prophecy came true.

I have begun this thread with 4 of the most impressive cases known to me of speaking in tongues. But sadly I would estimate that 90% of such manifestations are counterfeit. Still, the 10% that is truly genuine is so precious, so powerful, so life-changing that in my view it is worth coping with the wildfire to get to the real thing.

I will now take up these issues through discussions of these 5 topics, the 5th of which will address Vince's question:
(1) What the NT teaches about speaking in tongues.
(2) What the NT teaches and does not teach about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
(3) The Danger of Counterfeit Speaking in Tongues
(4) How to Receive Genuine Spirit Baptism with the Sign of Speaking in Tongues
(5) How to "Pray in the Spirit" (without speaking in tongues)
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
TheDonald
Full Member
***
Offline


ALK Member

Posts: 160
Re: Spirit Baptism and Praying in the Spirit
Reply #3 - May 25th, 2017 at 7:16pm
 
I will now approach this topic in small digestible sections.

(1) Is every believer meant to speak in tongues?
In 1 Corinthians, Paul identifies speaking in tongues as one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (12:10). But later he asks several rhetorical questions, including this one: "Do all speak in tongues?" The implicit answer is no, but not no in the sense that God never intends everyone to speak in tongues; rather, he is saying, "Look around you. Does everyone you see speak in tongues? Of course not." I say this for 2 reasons: (a) Paul says we should "earnestly strive for the greater gifts (12:31)" and he repeats this admonition in 14:1, where he makes it clear that he includes speaking in tongues and prophecy within the scope of this exhortation. Here is the point that gets lost: he makes it clear that tongues ranks just as high as prophecy, if the tongues are interpreted (14:5). Paul goes on to say, "I would like all of you to speak in tongues (14:5) and "I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you (14:18)." Of course, speaking in tongues loses its validity and spiritual value if it is not an expression of agape love, "the more excellent way (12:31; 13:1)."

The Book of Acts establishes the pattern of tongues as the unique initial evidence of being baptized with the Holy Spirit. In 3 of the 5 descriptions in Acts of Spirit baptism, the initial evidence includes speaking in tongues: the Day of Pentecost (2:1-8), Cornelius's household (10:44-46), and the church at Ephesus (19:1-6). In the 4th case, Samaria (8:17-18), we are not told how the reception of the Spirit manifested itself, but Simon the magician is so impressed by this demonstration of the Spirit's bestowal that he offers Peter money for the power to impart the Spirit. It is logical to conclude that he too witnesses speaking in tongues.

In the fifth case, Ananias lays hands on the blinded Paul to bestow the Holy Spirit (9:17). Luke doesn't describe the experience. Was it accompanied by speaking in tongues? Paul's question "Do all speak in tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30)?" expects a negative reply because in fact some Corinthians have not yet received or sought this gift. But Paul's question does not imply that God never intended that everyone speak in tongues. On the contrary, in 1 Corinthians Paul says, "I want you all to speak in tongues" (14:5) and "I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all (14:18)." He considers ecstatic prophecy the best spiritual gift, but concedes that speaking in tongues equals prophecy as the greatest gift, if the tongues are interpreted (14:5). Who are we to trivialize by our apathy spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit has given to build us up in the faith?

The tongues don't need to express unknown human languages. That was the case on the Day of Pentecost, but not in the other cases in Acts. Peter equates the tongues in Cornelius's household with the tongues spoken at Pentecost: "The Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as it had upon us in the beginning (11:15)." Indeed, the tongues don't need to be human at all: "Though I speak in tongues of people and of angels (1 Corinthians 13:1)." The Jewish background of this angelic possibility is the Testament of Job (48-50), in which Job's daughters speak in an angelic dialect.

My next planned post will discuss the purpose of speaking in tongues.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
TheDonald
Full Member
***
Offline


ALK Member

Posts: 160
Re: Spirit Baptism and Praying in the Spirit
Reply #4 - May 27th, 2017 at 5:57pm
 

THE PURPOSE OF SPEAKING IN TONGUES (Glossolalia)

Speaking in tongues is prohibited in church services attended by outsiders. Otherwise, it serves various purposes: (1) edifying messages in tongues during corporate worship that need to be interpreted (1 Corinthians 14:12, 23); (2) an aid to praising God more spontaneously and authentically by speaking or singing in tongues (14:15).

(3) Most Pentecostals seem unaware of the neglected vital intercessory role of praying in tongues explained in Romans 8:26:

"Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes on our behalf with groans without articulate words (Greek: stenagmoi alaletoi)."

This is a literal translation, but the Greek is often distorted by translations like "groans or sighs too deep for words." The Vulgate's Latin translation of stenagmoi alaletoi in Romans 8:26 parallels the Latin words used in Lucan, Civil War 5:16--60 AD) to portray the glossolalia used by Delphic prophetess in Lucan Civil War 5:16, an incoherent message that a male prophet must then interpret in coherent speech. Thus, Romans 8:26b can be clarified by this paraphrase: " That very Spirit intercedes in our behalf through our speaking in tongues displayed in groans."

So how does this intercessory praying in tongues "edify" us or build us up? Most Christian praying launches endless petitions God's way without knowing whether our desires reflect God's will. Praying in tongues compensates for this ignorance by enabling us to so unite with the Spirit that the Spirit prays through us for what we really need and for what is truly God's will for others.

But you don't need to speak in tongues to pray in the Spirit:

"Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert and persevere in supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)."

Here praying in the Spirit refers to a special kind of prayer that develops through prolonged prayer vigils that require disciplined alertness and perseverance. When I was a late teenager, my doubts and emptiness drove me to the room up in our church steeple for several hours of fasting and prayer after the Sunday morning service. At first it was very hard to concentrate, but after about 30 minutes, I would feel a wonderful feeling of relief as the Holy Spirit took over my laboring thought patterns and prayed through me in what felt like spontaneous prayer in which I marveled at the words that came to mind. Invariably, those prayer sessions yielded the most marvelous answers to prayer that I ever experienced. In my view prayer in tongues just facilitates such praying in the Spirit much sooner.

Praying in the Spirit provides one solution to a serious problem with intercessory prayer.  Jesus warned against 2 dangers in prayer: (1) repetition of vain phrases and themes; (2) pray as if an omniscient God actually needs the information (Matthew 6:6-8).  The longer we pray the more intimately we bond with the Holy Spirit.  But the longer we pray the more labored the prayer becomes.  We mechanically praise and thank God and then tediously reiterate our laundry list of requests and we begin to feel that God has better things to do than listen to our tired and repetitive prayers.  Prayying in the Spirit corrects this because the Holy Spirit ensures a natural flow of thoughts during which prayer becomes a kind of conversation with God in which we express ourselves and then patienty listen for a response conveyed to our intuition.  But such prayer intimacy takes time and great focus and, for that reason, Paul warns the praying in the Spirit requires a state of high alertness. 
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
rondele
Full Member
***
Offline


ALK Member

Posts: 148
Virginia
Gender: male
Re: Spirit Baptism and Praying in the Spirit
Reply #5 - May 28th, 2017 at 7:20pm
 
Don, when I pray via the Lord's Prayer, even though the Bible tells us this is the way to pray, it's hard not to feel like it's all by rote. I never pray for material things but rather I ask for help in doing what God truly wants me to do.

Helping others is, I believe, pleasing to God. Faith without works doesn't cut it. But how many of us could or would dispose of everything we have, trusting that God will provide?

Praying is really communicating with God. It's like the satisfaction a parent gets when his child tells him how much he means to him, and expresses gratitude for all the things the parent did for him. God must be overjoyed when we thank him and when we express our desire to strengthen our relationship and ask for help in doing so.

You mentioned that you prayed in the spirit as a teen. Do you do that often?

R
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
TheDonald
Full Member
***
Offline


ALK Member

Posts: 160
Re: Spirit Baptism and Praying in the Spirit
Reply #6 - May 29th, 2017 at 2:41pm
 
Roger: "Don, when I pray via the Lord's Prayer, even though the Bible tells us this is the way to pray, it's hard not to feel like it's all by rote."

The Lord's prayer was never intended to be regularly recited liturgically.  Rather, it is offered as a model.  As a model, it makes many points, but the most basic point is that its first 3 petitions begin with God's concerns and the last 3 with our concerns.  Most Christians treat God like a consmic slot machine and ignore the basic purpose of prayer: to express and develop the intimacy of our relationship with God. 

"I never pray for material things but rather I ask for help in doing what God truly wants me to do."

What you do in effect is pray some form of "Thy will be done."  But the petition "Give us this day our daily bread" makes 2 points: (1) God wants us to pray that our true needs be met.  (2) Such petitions about our needs lack an extended warrantee!  Literally, the Greek reads, Give us today our bread for the coming day" (not for the distant future).  The request for needs to be met must be renewed daily as part of our intimate connection with God.  And after you've made it clear that you want only God's will, you should pray very specifically for what you want, knowing that God will respond to the need behind that desire. 

For example, I've been praying that God would heal Bruce in such a way that Bruce will recognize the need to surrender to the biblical God of love.  But then I questioned myself about this rider I imposed on my request and I revised my prayer to say, "OK God, just heal Bruce, and if that healing just reinforces his New Age perspective, we can dialogue about that after he is healed."   

Praying is really communicating with God. It's like the satisfaction a parent gets when his child tells him how much he means to him, and expresses gratitude for all the things the parent did for him. God must be overjoyed when we thank him and when we express our desire to strengthen our relationship and ask for help in doing so."

Excellent statement!  Perhaps the best biblical statement on the right approach to prayer life is Psalm 37:4,7: "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart....But be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him."  It's best if the delight is spontaneous, so that the praise and thanksgiving arise from a grateful heart rather than from a laundry list of bases to cover during a prayer session. Petitions offered in the flow communication to and from God tend to be the most effective, just as the magic moments in your vacation to Hawaii arose from unexpected opportunities. 

"You mentioned that you prayed in the spirit as a teen. Do you do that often?"

No, I suppose because the most effective prayer takes great self-discipline and a serious time commitment.  Despite my membership in a prayer group, I've grown spiritually lazy since my retirement.  When I was a pastor, I used to sit in every row at church and pray for the people that would sit there on Sunday to be blessed.  I'm trying to psych myself up to re-develop long prayer vigils.  [But it's hard when my bathroom sink springs a leak and gushing water ruins my floor and carpet!  The landlord is trying to fix the leak as we speak!]

Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Lights of Love
Super Member
*****
Offline


Afterlife Knowledge Member

Posts: 881
Re: Spirit Baptism and Praying in the Spirit
Reply #7 - May 30th, 2017 at 4:48pm
 
Quote:
The longer we pray the more intimately we bond with the Holy Spirit.  But the longer we pray the more labored the prayer becomes.  We mechanically praise and thank God and then tediously reiterate our laundry list of requests and we begin to feel that God has better things to do than listen to our tired and repetitive prayers.  Praying in the Spirit corrects this because the Holy Spirit ensures a natural flow of thoughts during which prayer becomes a kind of conversation with God in which we express ourselves and then patiently listen for a response conveyed to our intuition.  But such prayer intimacy takes time and great focus and, for that reason, Paul warns the praying in the Spirit requires a state of high alertness.


I think of the Holy Spirit as a gift that we've received.  It makes perfect sense that the longer we pray, that we not only bond with the Holy Spirit, but we enable ourselves to willingly receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, which then speaks and acts through us.

This is a bit off topic, but many times when talking with others I'd have the feeling of being "overtaken" by the Holy Spirit where the words that would come from me would speak directly to what the person(s) I was talking with needed to hear at that exact moment in their life.  Many times I didn't remember what I'd said.  During this time I would feel incredible clarity along with an emotional high that was oddly serene.  At a later date, when running into these people, some of whom I'd only met that one time, would come up to me to thank me and tell me how much their lives had changed since that time.  I have to admit that it always annoyed me that I couldn't remember what I'd said to them, yet at the same time I was filled with gratitude that God had spoken through me to help others.  In this way, it's almost like your whole life is lived as though it were in prayer.

Praying in the spirit reminds me of how I've prayed for years only I've thought of it more as "prayer meditation" with more of a focus on feeling my intent, rather than speaking it either out loud or silently.  Intuition is certainly part of it, though I try to leave the outcome up to God and the person or situation that I'm praying for.  For example when I pray for Bruce my intent is: "if it be your (God's) will" which is felt rather than "thought" and then I feel all aspects (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) as being completely healthy and whole.  Not only do I intuit things, but sometimes an image or vision appears such as one time I saw Bruce happily running through a meadow in springtime, another time an image of a normal, healthy liver appeared and I felt it as being radiantly healthy and functioning normally.  If no vision or intuition occurs, I simply feel my desire for his wellness as though it has already happened and all aspects of him are perfectly healthy and functioning normally.

I don't think meditative prayer has to last a long time.  I think it's more important to become relaxed and focused enough to fall into a deeper brainwave state like alpha or preferable theta, and feeling serves to facilitate that, where thought puts you into a beta state, a normal waking state. 
Back to top
 

Tread softly through life with a tender heart and a gentle, understanding spirit.
 
IP Logged
 
I Am Dude
Super Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 1462
Gender: male
Re: Spirit Baptism and Praying in the Spirit
Reply #8 - Jun 4th, 2017 at 1:24pm
 
Don, you mentioned listening. I'm curious what would be, in your opinion, an appropriate ratio of speaking vs listening during prayer in a normal situation.
Back to top
 

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
 
IP Logged
 
TheDonald
Full Member
***
Offline


ALK Member

Posts: 160
Re: Spirit Baptism and Praying in the Spirit
Reply #9 - Jun 4th, 2017 at 10:37pm
 
I Am Dude wrote on Jun 4th, 2017 at 1:24pm:
Don, you mentioned listening. I'm curious what would be, in your opinion, an appropriate ratio of speaking vs listening during prayer in a normal situation.


Vince, a simple but excellent question that I will provisionally answer, but must contemplate further to determine whether I can improve on my reply.  When God spoke to me in that epic experience described in my first post, I only realized that fact upon further reflection the next day.  So develop the discipline of "entering the holy silence" with the intent of hearing God speak to you.  Then accept by faith that God is impinging on your thought patterns and pay reverent attention to the subsequent flow of thought.  It would be helpful to record your intuitions and reflections at the end of the day in a journal.  Only as you mature spiritually will you gain confidence by trial and error in discerning the difference between your wishful thinking and unexpected helpful divine impulses. 

I believe the most productive prayer experiment is to set aside an hour or two, if not weekly, at least sometimes and just rest like a young son on your heavenly Father's lap until you "hit the wall."  What I mean by that is that your initial efforts are likely to be uncomfortable and labored because you will find yourself repeating themes and phrases and praying as if God actually needs the information.  Breakthroughs can be achieved when you linger (1) in the frustration that you don't know what to say next and (2) in a mild sense of shame that your words now feel cheap, mechanical, and contrived.  Then when, like a child, you confess that frustration and shame to your Father and just remain silent, that's when the magic can begin in 2 ways: (1) You will feel a deepening intimacy with your Father that allows you to bask in His presence without concern for what you should say.  (2) At that point, a restful spontaneous flow of thought can gush from your heart that takes your mind in unexpected directions.  For example, you might now feel like babbling on about how much you, God's child, adore Him, and then might feel like thanking or praising Him for His divine overture towards you.  Then as you bask in the new conviction that God accepts you just the way you are, you might feel emboldened to pour out the desires and burdens of your heart and ask for His intervention.  When you feel satiated by that entreating phase of prayer, you might simply meditate for several minutes on the thought (1) that He wants to use you to promote his Kingdom, (2) that He has certain spiritual gifts in mind that He wants to develop in you, and (3) that He might now guide your steps through synchronicities in a pattern that only gradually becomes obvious to you. 

I will caution you about one pitfall that can inhibit this holy process and I will use the example of praying in the Spirit that I've been discussing in this thread--speaking in tongues. It's OK to ask God for this gift, but then you must forget about the gift and seek the face of the Giver.  Otherwise, the gift becomes an unhealthy fetish and you feel like you're trying to manipulate God to give you a certain spiritual high.  But as you seek the Giver, the aforementioned frustration and shame (discussed above) will begin to take over, and your words will now seem cheap and woefully inadequate to express the ever deepening longing that is building up in you. 

At that point, many seekers make a serious mistake that prevents them from experiencing the real thing.   They try to help the gift along by stepping out in faith and beginning to babble in the hope that God will meet them halfway and control their tongue.  Like so much of spirituality, you can't try to make it happen; the real thing takes you by surprise as an unexpected divine invasion of your eager spirit.  Yes, tension seeks resolution, but the key is to relish the agony of your pure longing until God takes over on His timetable, and not yours.  If you master this restraint, then, when the gift of tongues is actually imparted, your experience will be powerful, life-changing, and unforgettable! 

But forget about the gift of tongues for a moment.   Standard praying in the Spirit is sabotaged when you try to achieve a specific prayer goal.  Instead, you must learn to linger in a state of pure surrender to however God wants to have His way with you. 

You might also research about spiritual retreats in Brazil led by a well-trained Spiritual Director for a guided group process of prayer and meditation, coupled with private interviews about your inner life during these processes and group sessions for all the pilgrims. 

In a future planned post, I'll try to ground some of this biblically for you. 




Back to top
« Last Edit: Jun 5th, 2017 at 1:16pm by TheDonald »  
 
IP Logged
 
I Am Dude
Super Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 1462
Gender: male
Re: Spirit Baptism and Praying in the Spirit
Reply #10 - Jun 5th, 2017 at 9:04am
 
That was very helpful Don, thank you!
Back to top
 

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print


This is a Peer Moderated Forum. You can report Posting Guideline violations.