Two hours. Neither Spanish nor English would come out of my mouth.
After preaching a sermon on the person of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Bill Earley made an altar call. He said something like this, “If anyone wants to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, come to the front.”
Everything I heard on that Sunday morning service demystified the person of the Holy Spirit:
- He is a person, not an “it”.
- He is the power of God who dwells in us when we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.
- Our spiritual prayer language is a gift. We cannot earn it.
- We receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit by faith, just like we receive the gift of salvation.
The altar was full of people. His wife, the late Ps. Beverly Earley, placed her hand on my head, prayed for me, and instructed me to open my mouth and let out whatever came out. Soon after, I began speaking in tongues. I received my beautiful prayer language.
It was that easy. The teaching I heard dissolved my fears, apprehension, and misconceptions.
There I stood at the altar of The Glory Church on Pipeline Road in Hurst, Texas, receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit sometime in 2002. It was around 200 people in service that morning. Gianna was about two years old. I don’t have the date documented, but I do have that unforgettable experience etched in my mind and imprinted in my heart.
Everyone was gone by the time I was done. After I finished, I could not speak English or Spanish. My husband and daughter came for me. They stood by the front pew. Gianna smiled at me. Holding her doll in her left hand, as usual, she looked me straight in the eyes as if confirming she knew what I was saying. We got in the car, went home, and I would reply in tongues to questions my husband asked. My experience lasted a total of about 3 hours.
While I was at the altar, I sensed some tongues were prophetic. Some even sounded like an ancient language. I had a knowing it had something to do with Jerusalem because I had a picture of it in my mind.
After that experience, I went years without exercising my gift. I did not know I could tap into it daily if I chose to. Since then, I’ve had two other special experiences like that one.
One of them happened in the living room of our current home on October 23, 2019.
My Upper Room Experience
As my family and I prepared for bed late that evening, I sensed a deep desire to pray. I told my husband I’d remain in the living room and pray.
After a few minutes, I ran out of English words because I found myself repeating the same sentences. I decided to pray in my prayer language. Grabbing my two vision boards, I placed them on top of the ottoman, put my hands over them, and began praying in tongues.
I was in for a treat. This moment sparked a personal revival. Intimate times with God change us in ways we do not fully understand.
God’s Word says that when we pray in tongues we pray in the Spirit. Our spirit communicates with God. Because it is a spiritual language, we do not understand it unless we have an interpretation.
For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to people but to God—for no one understands, but in the Ruach [Spirit] he speaks mysteries.1 Corinthians 14:2
That Wednesday night, I had the most beautiful, intimate time with the Lord. I kept my voice low because my family was already asleep and I did not want to wake them.
At times, my prayer in tongues turned into song. There were moments when I felt that whatever I was praying was prophetic. After about an hour or so of speaking in my spiritual language, I asked the Lord to reveal to me what in the world I had prayed in the Spirit.
Opening my journal to a clean page, I began to write down what I heard the Spirit interpret for me. I wrote as fast as I could to capture the words I was hearing coming out from the center of my being.
I was blown away.
God repeatedly reminded me that He is my Father and that He loves me. There was a lot of affirmation. I wrote down many personal things the Spirit interpreted. I heard that some were a mystery to be revealed in the future.
I read this entry on my journal from time to time. It re-ignites my faith.
There are times in life that we don’t even know what to pray. We may be discouraged, confused, or feel so physically or spiritually drained that our inner energy feels like it’s melting like butter.
Nevertheless, our spirit desires to commune with God. We should give ourselves the time to do it. Amazing things happen when we enter the presence of God – we get fresh revelation, insight, encouragement, joy, peace, affirmation.
God’s Word says:
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.James 4:8
In God’s presence we are changed.
It is impossible for us to be in His presence and not be transformed. Our mindset changes. Our attitude is adjusted. Our spirit is refreshed. We get a new vision and dreams directly from our Heavenly Father.
Powerful vs. Powerless
I had many misconceptions about the person of the Holy Spirit prior to being baptized in the Spirit and receiving my prayer language.
First, I felt unworthy. Not good enough. Not spiritual enough to receive His gift.
Second, I felt it was unnecessary. I thought I’m already saved, I believe in Jesus, I love Father God, I go to church, why do I need to speak in tongues? It bothered me when I’d hear preachers say that proof of being baptized in the Holy Spirit is the evidence of speaking in tongues. I believe this attitude is part of the misconceptions, and also reveals a lack of humility on our part.
Now that I’m a little older and a little wiser, I know the difference between being a “power-full” Christian versus being a “power-less” one.
But you will receive power when the Ruach ha-Kodesh [Holy Spirit] has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and through all Judah, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.Acts 1:8
That means that the Spirit empowers us to be witnesses for Jesus.
Power is the enablement to do God’s work.
God’s Kingdom requires God’s tools and weapons; spiritual, not carnal.
God’s work involves working in the hearts of people – getting them saved, healed, delivered, set free from so many entanglements of sin, oppression, and memories of terrible experiences that keep people in darkness, unhappiness, and bondage.
If you do a careful study of the ministry of Jesus, you will note that He went straight to the root: people’s hearts. When the sick were brought to Him, He dealt with the invisible spiritual disease first, then He dealt with the visible physical ailment.
In order to heal, deliver, and set people free, Jesus had to be filled with the Spirit.
… and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing.
And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.Luke 5:17; Luke 6:19
In the book of Acts, we are reminded that Jesus operated in the power of the Holy Spirit:
You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.Acts 10:38
If the Son of God required the power of the Spirit to heal and set people free, how much more do we need it!
The Holy Spirit gives us power. And with power comes authority. The type of authority that heals, delivers and sets people free.
Why must we have the power of the Holy Spirit in order to do God’s work?
Because our battle is spiritual in nature.
We are up against the forces of darkness that can only be overcome in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Before and After
I did not know how much I was missing out in my personal spiritual walk with God without the unction and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, I was saved. Yes, I loved the Lord. Yes, I went to church and communed with God in prayer and reading His Word. But without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we are incomplete. We are powerless. We do not get the full experience of entering the “Holy of Holies” in our walk with God. We miss out on knowing God as our perfect Father.
Walking in the Spirit gives us confidence, peace, and trust in Our Father as sustainer, provider, healer, giver of life. We learn to trust Him more. We have greater peace of mind. We have greater joy because we are confident that He loves us and will take care of us better than we can take care of ourselves.
God desires for us to know Him intimately.
He desires to reveal His plans to us. He desires to use us to do the work of His Kingdom. In order to experience life with God in deeper levels, we need the power of the Holy Spirit.
There are no shortcuts.
Both young and old, quiet or influential, rich and not so rich (according to the world’s standards), need the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ask the Father to give you your spiritual language.
Expect it. Thank God in advance for His gift.
Once you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, your life will never be the same.
I guarantee it.