God had my attention.
I was His.
And I wanted more.
I wanted so much more!
As I sat there continuing to pray with this lady...(sorry for continually referring to her as "lady". I don't remember her name, but to make her more personal we can call her Janice.)
So, Janice and I are continuing to pray together when I start to see something.
A fire, maybe?
It was getting closer...
Yep! Definitely a fire.
Almost as if on cue, Janice says, "Lauren do you see anything?"
"Fire. I see fire."
Even though our eyes were still closed in prayer, I could almost hear her smile as she said, "Yea! That's the Holy Spirit! Let's keep praying."
So we did.
And the fire came down.
It swept over my head and the burning came with it.
Every part of me was burning.
Janice's hand was on my shoulder and I think I mumbled something along the lines of, "Your hand! It's burning me!"
She laughed and moved it higher...but nothing could stop the burning. Every where her hand went the burning went.
It wasn't painful, but it was consuming.
It was cleansing.
It was renewing.
It was God like I'd never experienced Him before.
I could barely catch my breath as I clung to a little wooden cross that Janice had placed in my hands earlier.
My lungs could hardly keep up.
I could barely hold myself upright.
Tears were flowing and my nose was running. (Sidenote: at some point, I'm pretty sure I felt someone wipe my nose- Hey! I never said this Holy Spirit thing was pretty!)
My mind left me and my spirit began to speak for itself in a way that I had never heard before. Syllables spilled from my mouth in a language only God could understand.
And I wanted more.
Oh, how I wanted more!
I can't tell you how long I was there for.
I truly have no clue.
There was no concept of the outside world.
In those moments it was just Janice, Me, and God.
At some point the visions of fire died down and I sat up in my chair and looked at Janice with a look of pure amazement plastered across my face.
She sat there smiling back at me, and said, "Well it looks like you're not doing this on your own anymore! You were just baptized in the Holy Spirit!"
I wasn't even entirely sure what that meant, but I smiled- that was about all I could do at this point.
A guy came over and sat and talked with me for a while about what it meant to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. He explained to me all the things that the Holy Spirit does, and then he said to me, "Do you know how to hear the voice of God?"
"Umm..well, I've practiced journaling His voice and, ummm...."
"No," he said, "that's good, but if you asked God a question right now would He answer you?"
"No, I guess not."
"Okay, I want you to close your eyes."
I shot him a skeptical glance, but did as he said.
"Now, I want you to ask God out loud what He thinks of you?"
I opened my eyes and looked him over with a questioning glare, but he just smiled and told me to do it.
"God....what do you-" before the words even finished leaving my mouth an image of a rose came into my head and God began speaking so plainly through that single little flower. His words began flowing out of my mouth, bypassing my mind until my ears heard what I was saying. For several minutes God spoke and I sat there in awe of His power and love.
Then they explained to me what it meant to have a prophetic gift, and told me that God would be putting it into action.
And then they anointed me with oil.
Okay! So, to sum it all up we have...
Burning via an all consuming and imaginary fire: check!
Speaking in tongues: check!
Seeing prophetic visions: check!
Anointed with oil: check!
New revelation of God: check!
As I got up to leave the prayer room that day, I finally understood the words "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
Yea, this was definitely a new me.
And God wasn't done yet...