So yesterday I had a very interesting experience. Two couples, four people, came down to CFCI Costa Rica to pray for the ministries and missionaries. They set up times for missionaries to be able to come and get prayer. I wasn't sure if I was going to go, but my GIRLFRIEND (...read below) encouraged me! So what did I do, but sign up!
Remembering my faith heritage-- presbyterian, baptist, covenant-- I was definately a little, um, nervous about having some more pentecostal peeps praying for me. I've just never experienced that! But I was able to get to know them a little bit first and they're wonderfully down to earth people, who die laughing about casting out demons and seeing people fly across the room! They were very pastoral in their prayers and asked what I wanted prayer over. Two things: my calling, that it would continue to form and be clear; and my relationship with Verónica.
They prayed for about 30 minutes, or so. Shared some "words" they received and prayed them over me, one of which was a pastoral calling. Then they brought Verónica back in and prayed for the both of us. It was all very edifying and an overall joyful experience.
Reflection: I'm presbyterian and so none of this is in my faith background, but I also grew up in Tulsa, home of Oral Roberts University and Billy Joe Daugherty, with his Victory Christian Center. I don't doubt that God works in these ways and I know that I have a deficient theology of the Holy Spirit and all that He can do. Is there such thing as a baptism of the Holy Spirit that is separate to Baptism? I wouldn't argue that point, but these two couples would. Are tongues important? Sure, but look at the placement of 1 Corinthians 13, as Paul talks about the giftings of the Spirit. Slain in the Spirit? I don't know. I would probably argue though that it is more related to our inability to stand before such a strong Spirit of the Lord, rather than being struck down. I thought about this as I fell back on the couch after standing in prayer. I was guided back, trusting their hands on me that I wouldn't crash against the floor (and the couch was lower than I remembered it!). Was there lightning bolts of the Spirit passing through them to me as they would come back and touch my head? Maybe, but for me it was more of a shock, to that of being barely asleep and someone touching you.
Does this negate their ministry and giftings? No. As I said before, it was joyful and edifying. I think God has a strong ministry for them, but it's not something that everyone has been gifted for. Each of us have our own giftings that God has bestowed on us according to His plan for us and how He's going to use us. I would argue that the most important thing for us to continually seek is His presence. To find ourselves at His throne seeking His grace on our lives. To continue to take up our Cross daily-- sometimes hourly-- and knowing that we are not our own, that we were bought with a price, we are to be living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, our spiritual act of worship.