At church on Sunday we heard from someone who had come to the end of her first week after having been baptised with the Holy Spirit.
Dianna was not sure she had received the Spirit so she came to me the Sunday before and I prayed for her. I am not sure what she had expected but I explained that we don’t need something emotional (like the priests of Baal in their challenge with Elijah), but a simple, calm, prayer of faith in the promise of Jesus.
I find it interesting that many Christians are familiar with what is known as the Lord’s Prayer, yet without knowing the context which gives it meaning. You will see in the gospel of Luke in chapter 11 that Jesus begins with that great prayer and then goes on to teach the need for persistence in prayer for .. for what!? The answer is found in verse 13 when Jesus says, “…how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
I liked Dianna’s simple account of her experience. You can hear it on the York Elim church website as it takes up the first few minutes of John’s sermon. You will hear that even as a new Christian, recently baptised in water, the Spirit has given her some understanding of what her prayer language is for and what it will do in her.
Dianna mentioned that the Holy Spirit was praying through her. It reminds me of the poem by John Donne called ‘A Sinner is More Music’:
Hear us, O hear us Lord; to thee,
A sinner is more music, when he prays,
Than spheres, or Angels’ praises be,
In Panegyric Alleluias;
Hear us, for till thou hear us, Lord
We know not what to say;
Thine ear to’ our sighs, tears, thoughts give
voice and word.
O Thou who Satan heard’st in Job’s sick day
Hear Thyself now, for thou in us dost pray.