Saturday, December 1, 2007

Beyond the Veil

About a month ago, Anthony, Teighlor, Alec and I attended a Friday night event at Gateway called Beyond The Veil. This special service was designed to teach about the temple of the Old Testament and how the why’s and what’s that went into the physical structure can be lived out today in our worship/prayer lives. It was a three hour service that felt like it went by in one - even to the kids.

The night was one I’ve never experienced before, and it was a night filled with the Holy Spirit. This movie (that’s played on the welcome page of my site) was created by Gateway specifically for Beyond The Veil. It is the most impacting video I’ve seen regarding prayer... “the incense of the saints”... and it encompasses the power of that night.

For several years now God has been opening me up to and letting me experience and partake in the gifts of the Spirit. My walk with Him has never been deeper than it is today and much of that is because I know Him and the Holy Spirit in ways I didn’t just 5 years ago.

I have, for a long time, yearned to be given the gift of tongues... my prayer language. I knew as a young adult that my main spiritual gift was the gift of intercession/prayer. I’ve never felt closer or more connected to the heart of my Father than when I am in prayer. There are many people I know who have been given their prayer language, and I wanted a deeper intimacy in my prayer life that I believed I could get if my spirit could - at times when my heart couldn’t - pray for me.

Although I’ve wanted this gift, I’ve also been a wee-bit afraid - faithless? - in truly asking for it. I’ve always wondered what it would “feel” like to pray in a language I didn’t know; to have my tongue speak a language I’ve never learned or probably ever heard. There have been a handful of times when I was deep in prayer, when I felt the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit and prayed to receive the gift of tongues. Two separate times I felt this power (for lack of a better word) build up in me and intuitively knew that the Holy Spirit was going to give me my prayer language. Both times I got just to the point where I knew if I simply opened my mouth and began to pray out loud that I would not be speaking English. And then I was overcome with doubt and literally pulled myself out of the moment; the same way you can imagine pulling yourself out of a dream.

At about the 2 hour mark during Beyond The Veil, we were taught about the Holy of Holies and the prayers that were offered up inside the sacred place. We were in intense worship and prayer at this point, and the Pastor who oversees the Prayer/Intercession Ministry came to prayer over those in attendance. Her ‘job’ was to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as it concerns the gifts, and I was in a place spiritually where doubt and fear weren’t even on my radar. I prayed the most sincere prayer to receive my prayer language - no more doubting - and the Holy Spirit answered.

Like before, I felt this power build up in me but this time it was quicker and more intense. My tongue felt different - kind of thick and heavy. This time though, there was no backing out for me. I opened my mouth and began to praise God. It was intense and heavy worship. And then I simply let the Holy Spirit bring forth my gift. My tongue spoke in a language that I didn’t understand yet it felt so natural, like I had known it all my life. The words felt different coming off my tongue - I remember that distinctly. More importantly, I remember feeling overwhelmed with gratitude, praise, excitement and wonder as I realized that the Holy Spirit had chosen to anoint me that very night with one of His gifts.

Since that night I have purposed to use this gift as I’ve been in my prayer closet - no really, I literally pray in my closet because it’s my very own space (and quite a good size) where I can retreat to. I do not know why the Spirit waited or even chose this particular night to gift me with my prayer language, but I hope that this may encourage you. If you have been praying and longing for any special gifts of the Holy Spirit, don’t quit asking - and don’t do like I did... deny the gift out of doubt or fear. Go before the throne of God with boldness and courage!

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