Saturday, March 3, 2007

Would Jesus' Praying Embarass the Uptight?

Writing on speaking in tongues and looking for other blogs on the subject, I was dismayed at the number of bloggers who are put off by the experience. It seems that so many are shaken up by the behavior of Charismatics.

A lot of these nervous folk are Bible readers, so I point them to today’s Lectionary reading. There we find a description of Jesus at prayer: “Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears.” How embarassing.


Anonymous said...

The Holy Spirit is truth. He is also the character of the Lord God Himself in us. He is love, joy, peace, long suffering, temperance, meekness. He also has tremendous abilities, they are the word of wisdom, word of knowledge, discernment of spirits, gift of faith,working of miracles, gifts of healing, gift of prophecy, tongues and interpretation of tongues. Holy Spirit you can manifest yourself in and through me any way You want to. For you always honor and glorify Jesus Christ. Saints lets learn to die so that we can live not for ourselves, but to be a witness to a lost world and lost souls. For all who are writing I hope you are witnessing to someone each day, and will be willing to die for your witnessing.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps one reason for discomfort with emotional worship or praying comes from our own discomfort with our emotions. I had a difficult time praying to receive the gift of tongues by myself. Up until that time, I had only seen people pray in tongues in a heightened emotional state that was trance-like. I didn't know that it was possible to speak in tongues outside of altered states of consciousness. The funny thing is that I don't think I would ever have spoken in tongues with any freedom without falling under the power of God in a tent meeting. While under the influence of the Spirit's power, my inhibitions let down and I was able to pray freely in tongues. That freedom continued after I returned to normal consciousness. Over time I came to see that emotional expression is a normal part of worship in the bible. Worship is filled with shouting and singing. Loud praise is given to God. But none of the heightened emotional expressions are necessary to speak in tongues - even though they are normal parts of biblical worship. That distinction helped me. I can worship God freely and allow the Holy Spirit to touch my emotions. And I can stir up my affection toward God. I can also stir up my spirit and pray in tongues with no emotional content - though sometimes I become extremely aware of God's presence and love for me while I pray in tongues. That awareness touches my emotions - releasing positive emotions and healing hurting ones.