I am writing my story because it might help others who have not gone far down this track. All my life I have been connected with churches which believed that there was a cessation of the gifts of the Spirit, so it has been quite a venture.
My husband and I were members of our last church for about 17 years. Gradually I found that Sunday attendance became a duty rather than a delight and I struggled to go to the services.
After my husband died I became more restless. While doing the “Freedom in Christ” course with Gateway church (though not attending the services), I found relief from my spiritual strait- jacket when the leaders prayed for me. After a few weeks I felt that it was right to leave my old church and ‘try out’ worshipping at Gateway. I loved the enthusiastic worship and the friendliness of everyone but felt less at ease when it came to speaking in tongues. However I put that on one side (as there was no pressure) and came into membership after doing the Vision and Values course.
When Ben Goodman visited the church, he was very encouraging when I shared my biggest worry which was that I would get a counterfeit experience by trying in my own strength to bring it about! He reassured me and prayed with me but nothing happened.
I went home and continued praying and found that I was speaking in tongues! I then decided that a one-off episode was enough to satisfy my misgivings especially as I did not seem to be able to repeat the experience.
My daughter pointed out that I was wrong to limit it to a one-time experience and after seeking the Lord, I found that I was able to pray freely in tongues and my ‘quiet times’ were enriched by this deeper ‘tuning in’ to the Holy Spirit. After the multiplex talk we had on Jackie Pullinger, I read her book ‘Chasing the Dragon’ and found an even deeper dimension to this wonderful gift. Jackie was challenged to pray in tongues for 15 minutes every day and found that her work amongst the drug addicts in Hongkong exploded with many addicts responding to her message about Jesus. In a small way I am now finding that I have more freedom in talking to others. I want especially to thank the Lord for leading me in this way and giving me this gift! I realise that I still have greater experiences ahead of me (God willing!) and that even in old age I can be fruitful.
By Margret Harman
Why not listen to the Ben Goodman talk from his last visit which Margaret refers to? Titled 'Raising Our Game' - head to: https://soundcloud.com/gateway-church-ashford/raising-our-game-ben-goodman-110218 Would you like to sign up for our next Freedom In Christ Course? Speak to Paul and Barbara Claydon or the church office to join the next one.
Hear the talk about Jackie Pullinger by Karen Bingham - head to: https://soundcloud.com/gateway-church-ashford/jackie-pulinger-karen-15-7-18