1 Corinthians 12, 8-10
Something to read
To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
New Revised Standard Version
Something to think about
Often people look at this list of ‘spiritual gifts’ and accept healing and miracles, as they pray for them in church. Wisdom, knowledge and faith are OK, as we all have them. But they often become intimidated by those that are beyond their experience.
In my own ministry, there have been moments when God has surprised me with a gifting that was beyond my natural skills and abilities, but which answered a specific situation. For example, on one pastoral visit I was asked to pray for healing by a bedridden gentleman. I prayed, and to my amazement he recovered his ability to walk - and did so until he died years later.
On such occasions there is a need for us to be open to God’s presence, and then have a willingness to allow the Spirit to work through us. As they say: Let Go Let God.
Archbishop William Temple said: 'When I pray, co-incidents happen, and when I don't, they don't.' Could these be God-incidents?
Such stories of God at work abound in the accounts of revivals and spiritual renewals that have occurred down the centuries.
In our so-called ‘scientific and enlightened world’, such moments are benignly smiled at, if not rejected. If we, as disciples of Christ, join that frame of mind, there is a danger of missing out on the spiritual resources that God offers us in our work for His Kingdom.
Something to do
Stretch your choice of reading; enquire at your local Christian bookshop about books concerning spiritual renewal and revival. Check that you’re going to enjoy it before purchasing... an unread book is a waste.
Read the first 10 chapters of Acts and note how many times the Holy Spirit is mentioned.
Something to pray
Relax for a few minutes in God’s presence, then ask God:
Lord fill me with your Holy Spirit [pray this line several times, pausing each time]
Use me this day in your service.
When I am fearful strengthen me
Lord fill me with your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today's contributor is The Rev Frazer Hawkes, a retired Methodist minister