… Holy Spirit
Stories about the Holy Spirit
Talking to God
Fiona led studies on CQ Rendezvous 2010 (youth & young adult camp) and then came as a guest to our church in July of the same year.
Fi prays for people a lot. Often, God provides words or a picture that Fi shares with that the person she is praying for, and it is usually a great source of encouragement.
Fi also leads others in praying the same way for others, as she did at CQ Rendezvous and in our church. Keisha and I were among those who experienced this in our church, and we share it with you.
The day Fiona spent with us in our church is a day I will always remember. Fiona asked me if I wanted to be prayed for, for anything. I said “Yeah, well I haven’t been prayed for to be filled with the Holy Spirit yet.” Fiona offered to do it right there, and I agreed. Fiona told me I had to start the prayer, which made me uncomfortable because I don’t like to say my prayers out loud. But I did it and I’m glad I did. I said a short prayer and then Fiona took over.
After we prayed we sat in silence for a couple of minutes, then Fiona said, “Do you want to talk to God?” I was keen so I agreed again. We prayed that God would show Fiona something about my life, and me something about her life.
The first time we prayed we “got” nothing, but Fiona so expects to hear from God we didn’t give up. We prayed again and we both “saw” pictures which we shared with each other.
I know that Fiona’s picture for me was really accurate and helpful. Fiona said mine was really accurate too. I walked away from that afternoon feeling very alive.
I have witnessed similar things before, but Fiona really seems to expect to see and hear things from God, and I don’t doubt the reality of her God experiences through the years.
On the Sunday night she shared some of her experiences with us, then split us into groups to pray for each other, asking God for words or pictures to encourage each other.
I was in a group of three, and we didn’t have a great deal to share as we prayed around the group. One of the people in our group I had not met before, and we prayed for her last. The moment we started praying I had a clear picture of a horse, and then nothing.
I shared the picture, and it turns out she had just come from mustering on horseback, and she does a lot with horses. It didn’t change anything, but it surprised me (the image was really vivid) and perhaps it told her that God really knows her. Of course, she may have thought I knew something about her.
We share these stories because although they are a little strange, they still showed us how real and near and interested God is in us.
“The Shoe Story”
Editor’s note: Not every encounter with God is world-changing. Sometimes there can just be a small, even insignificant thing that makes us realise God really is interested in us. This is such a story … take it away, Keisha …
After Church on Sunday the 17th of July (when Fiona Saxby was present). I went home and walked straight into my bedroom and lay on my bed going over and over what had happened just a few hous earlier – talking to God for the first time with Fiona.
I wanted to see if I could talk to God by myself so I sat up on my bed and tried. I decided I would ask God if he had anything to say to Fiona through me.
I sat in silence for about a minute. During that minute I saw a very clear image of a pair of “shoes”. I didn’t know why God was showing me an image of shoes for Fiona.
I spoke to her a few days later and told her what had happened. She had a story for me.
Fi’s friend wanted to buy Fi some new shoes so they went shopping and Fi found a pair she liked. Fi’s friend told the shopkeeper that Fi was a full time volunteer at YWAM (Youth With a Mission) in Townsville, so they shopkeeper gave her a big discount on the shoes.
I guess that’s why God gave me the clear image of shoes.
I was pretty shocked because I didn’t think I was brave enough to talk to God by myself, but I did it, and he answered my prayer. Now it’s pretty much an everyday routine.
I have prayed for people to be filled with the Holy Spirit many times, but only twice have they reported a feeling like an electric current surging through them.
In one sense this is not my story, and perhaps in the future these stories might be told by the people who had this experience. On both occasions I felt nothing, which incidentally is normal for me – when I pray for people and they feel something (eg heat or “electricity”) I feel nothing different to normal.
Still, on both these occasions I was specifically asking God to fill these people with the Holy Spirit. As I said, they both described the experience being like an electric current running right through their body. On one of the two occasions the feeling lasted for at least 20 minutes.
Other people I’ve prayed for, even on the same occasion, have felt nothing like this. Some have described a distinct feeling of peace move through them, and other have felt nothing at all.
I do not believe that the feeling = the Holy Spirit. I believe all those who ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit will have their prayer answered, and at some time along the way, they will have experiences of God because they have been filled with the Spirit of God. But every person’s experience is different.
Shaking and the Holy Spirit
Shaking because of the Holy Spirit has been reported often, famously among the Quakers and Shakers, but in other places as well. I experience is sometimes, as did someone else I once knew.
It happens to me sometimes when I’m talking about the Holy Spirit with people. It happened for quite some time before I realised what it was. I don’t find it comfortable at all. Sometimes it becomes quite difficult to talk, like being freezing cold without actually being cold at all. Hard to describe.
More than a decade ago I was leading my first ever Christianity Explained course, and in the final week someone asked a question about the Holy Spirit. In the course of discussion about the Holy Spirit, one person in the group started to shake.
They didn’t mention it in the group, but stayed behind, unsure of what was happening. I didn’t know them or their background, so I was uncertain about what was happening to them. It was so extreme they had to wait a while before they could trust themself to drive home.
A week later we had the chance to discuss it. “Don’t worry,” they said. It was God. This last week I’ve had close contact with God that I didn’t even think was possible in this life. It has been amazing.
So even in my complete ignorance God did something unusual and powerful in that person’s life, and taught me a bit too.