What is “conversational prayer,” anyway? 

That was the initial thought in my mind – as a 16-year-old dishwasher at summer camp – when one of the guys in our cabin group suggested it as a way of wrapping up our Bible study one sweltering afternoon. As it turns out, conversational prayer allows everyone to contribute a sentence or two in closing prayer, versus just one person praying. 

Hardly what you’d call “living on the edge,” but it did break the routine at our theologically  conservative camp. However, what happened next was way outside our mental and/or spiritual grids. 

Wed gone about halfway around the circle, and suddenly, everyone became acutely aware of a dramatic shift in the room. None of us had asked for it, but suddenly, the Holy Spirit’s presence filled our cabin. 

I remember lying on the top bunk, looking up at the worn rafters – roughly autographed by a succession of campers over the years – and not knowing if I wanted to laugh or cry, but definitely feeling a surge of Life flowing through me. 

A few moments later – or was it longer? – that acute sense of the Spirit lifted as quietly as Hed arrived. After a short, hushed silence, the prayer time resumed. But as the final “amen” was spoken, whispers buzzed around the room. 

My coworker on the bunk below – the lovable and zany worker-in-training known as “Ferd” – peered at me over the edge of the bunk, eyes wide, voice hushed with awe. “Did you feel that?” I could only grin and nod. 

I sat up, minding the exposed rafters just above, and glanced around the cabin. Clearly, everyone had felt the Spirit's presence, even the two guys who claimed disinterest in Jesus (that changed dramatically over the next two days). 

No visions, prophecies, or speaking in tongues to report. But there wasn’t anyone in that room who hadn’t experience the Spirit’s manifest presence. We had no theological grid or vocabulary to explain it, but the experience was undeniable.

Long after that hot August night, the hunger for more of the Spirit continues.

Brother Maynard has suggested that, for the month of September, those of us who self-identify as post-charismatic should collectively broach what apostolic leadership could/should look like. I propose an intermediate step: I’ve just shared my earliest “charismatic” experience (after becoming a Christian, that is).

Whats your story? Lets invest the next month in sharing our Holy Ghost stories around the blogging campfire.

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