Posted by: goodgoat | 23 October, 2010

Experiences please?

Can anyone out there of a charismatic persuasion tell me how they discovered and developed their gifts?

Thank you!

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Responses

  1. Dear Goat

    Sorry for the slow reply – I’ve only just noticed this. Moving house must be my excuse!

    Around 20 years ago, people began mysteriously asking me to pray for them, with them, get involved in prayer ministry of various kinds. I couldn’t make it out. Yet it happened so often I had to believe God was in it somehow.

    Around the same time, I began to be drawn to reading more about prayer, contemplative as well as intercessory, and I encountered people (particularly Colin Urquhart) writing about the gift of tongues. I knew that this was one of the keys (the other was the Jesus Prayer!) to the path God seemed to be calling me into.

    I prayed for the gift of tongues. Nothing happened. I prayed some more. Nothing. Then I recalled Urquhart saying that to pray in tongues you have to begin to speak. Feeling a fool, I tried it on a lonely country lane. Suddenly my heart leapt free, and I was able to pour out things I’d never been able to pray about before, even, in some cases, things I had never been able even to admit to myself.

    Over the next few weeks everything changed in my prayer life. Not only was I able to pray when I didn’t know how on earth to pray (Romans 8:26) but I knew the purpose of contemplation too, at least for me, was not in any kind of self-improvement or self-centred bliss, but in “…our being with God, putting ourselves in his presence, being hungry and thirsty for him, wanting him, letting heart and mind move towards him; with the needs of the world on our heart.” (Michael Ramsey)

    Since then God has opened connections, between my own music and church worship, still more between contemplative and intercessory prayer, and between those and the prophetic, especially in what Br. Ramon SSF called “praying the Bible”. Particularly, the Psalms – when I read Merton’s Praying the Psalms I recognised every word – he was describing precisely what God had been showing me all these years.

    So you can see, I am a proper Franciscan mixture of ways of prayer and discipline. Astonishingly, people on the whole seem to accept what God does with me: the Charismatics and the Evangelicals rarely criticise me for being too Catholic, and the Catholics are rarely upset by my style of prayer and of reading the Bible – though they may not always be able to cope with the kind of music I get involved in in church!

    Peace & all blessings

    Mike


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