Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Stand Among Us"1 (Lyrics)
Acts 1:8 – But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (NKJV)
I have always understood the concepts of God and His beloved Son Jesus. The concept of a Holy Spirit, however, has always somewhat eluded me. While I may have encountered the Holy Spirit numerous times before, I had not made the connection until this weekend, attending a church as a visitor. As part of the service, there were prayers for members of the congregation with some serious health concerns. What was different about these prayers was that they were accompanied by anointing with oil and the laying on of hands by the pastor and some twenty other members of the congregation. They surrounded the individuals being prayed for and placed their hands either directly on these individuals or on the shoulders of those who had direct contact with the individuals. As the pastor prayed for strength and healing for these individuals, I was stunned as others interjected with responses of "Amen" and "Praise Jesus", while yet others, in low voices, added prayers of their own. As a staid Presbyterian, I found this noise disturbing, even irreverent. I was reminded of the Bible story of the tower of Babel, where languages were separated and confusion reigned. Then, suddenly, I felt first one tear, then numerous other tears slide down my face. This reaction confused me, as I did not know the individuals involved. But suddenly, I felt a warm glow inside and the overwhelming power of God in the room.
As I go for my daily walks, I try to listen for what God has to say to me. Today, I thought about this experience. I realized that the overwhelming power and awe, which I had experienced in being part of these prayers, had been the Holy Spirit Who was working in that room and in me. As I prepared to write this devotional, I searched for Scriptures that related to this experience.
James 5:14 – Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. (NKJV)
I had not remembered this verse correctly. Wow! That was exactly what I had witnessed. Then, I read the description of what I had heard as prayer:
Acts 10:46 – For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. (NKJV)
Have you struggled to understand the concept of the Holy Spirit? Please pray with me:
Prayer: Dear Lord, may we, as Your servants, be vigilant to search for the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives every day, even if we do not totally understand. May we truly seek the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Amen.