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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

TITLE: He is enough
By Johnna Stein
11/27/07


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Speaking in tongues? Fiona felt anxious and uneasy about this weird idea her small group leader Rachel had conjured up last week. Fiona’s original viewpoint that speaking in tongues was just for freaks had been somewhat altered when she experienced this strange phenomenon at a women’s conference last spring. Beyond merely speaking in tongues, most of the women had actually sung in various foreign sounding languages. Although she felt extreme trepidation before the onset of the singing, once it began, the melodious songs gave her an inkling of how a heavenly choir might sound. These strange languages seemed to naturally roll off the women’s tongues joining together to form a beautiful and glorifying song.

Fiona had gained a new appreciation for this spiritual gift, yet she had no desire to try it out herself. And now, there seemed no escape from the impending meeting this morning. Her biggest fear was that it just wouldn’t work for her. What if she asked God for this special gift and she somehow couldn’t receive it? The other fear which resided far in the recesses of her mind was what if she did speak a new language, yet was really faking it. Who would know? Would she even know herself ? Contemplating these probable scenarios on her drive to Rachel’s home, made her stomach double up in knots and she found herself gritting her teeth with her jaw tightly clenched.

The meeting started with the usual chitchat over coffee, but an unusual nervousness and sense of expectation hung in the air. Rachel opened worship with one of Fiona’s favorite songs, “Praise the Lord, O my soul”. She could feel her defenses go down as they began to praise God in song. Her fear began to fade and amazingly enough was replaced by an anxious excitement.

One by one women went forward to be prayed over by their two leaders, Rachel and Susan. Not wanting to be distracted by what others were experiencing, Fiona bowed her head and prayed silently. A gentle tap on the shoulder from Rachel signaled Fiona to come forward for prayer. Her palms felt moist and butterflies swished in her stomach.

As Rachel and Susan lay their hands on Fiona’s head and shoulders, she closed her eyes and let their soothing words wash over her. Suddenly she felt a tingling in her fingers; the tingling became stronger more like electrical currents moving up her arms and down her legs, extending even to her toes. Rachel was encouraging her to speak and allow this new language to emerge. She felt she might burst and couldn’t help but open her mouth as a way to release some of the tension and joy she was feeling. Finally, Fiona uttered one phrase over and over and that’s all that came out of her mouth; just one strange phrase.

Susan explained that often only one phrase or word is first given, but if she would start using this new prayer language, more would come. Fiona felt light and full of joy that entire day; she was in awe of the rollercoaster journey of emotions and sensations she had experienced. She obediently practiced her new prayer language, but disappointingly only one phrase was added in the many months that followed the meeting. A seed of doubt had been planted and the idea that she was making up this prayer language lingered.

At the next women’s conference, Fiona was asked at the last moment to help with prayer ministry. She had never used her new prayer phrases (she dared not call it a language yet) when praying for another, but knew most women used it during ministry time at these conferences. When the first woman came forward, Fiona’s prayer partner began praying beautifully in English and then in tongues. When Fiona began to pray, she shyly repeated the strange phrase she had so often prayed in the privacy of her room. To her it sounded like “Prize da hair. High is heknewg”, but then pronounced with some odd guttural inflections. Suddenly, the woman began sobbing, then surprisingly her sobs turned into laughter. Finally she explained to Fiona that she was Dutch and she understood the precious words Fiona had been praying, “Prijs de Heer. Hij is genoeg”. This dear widow had been crying out to God for a sign of His love. His message had come through Fiona loud and clear, “Praise the Lord. He is enough”.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 11/29/07
This is something very much outside my realm of experience, but I found your last paragraph very moving, and the whole piece was very well-written.

I didn't understand why Fiona felt that she had to go forward to recieve that particular gift...it almost seemed as if she felt pressured to do so? Chalk it up to my own lack of understanding, probably.

I definitely hung on every word, and found this very interesting.
Laury Hubrich 12/01/07
Thank you for sharing this experience.
Laury
Peter Stone12/08/07
Wonderful article. It addresses real thoughts people experience while stepping out in faith to speak in tongues. (Reminds me of my own experiences.) Loved the ending.