I believe in the importance of charismatic prayer. I grew up in a charismatic Catholic church, and for most of my life I took that for granted. There was one event in my life, however, that showed me what a blessing that could be if I let it. I was devastated, but I found strength in the Holy Spirit who had been a fairly quiet part of my life until then.
Two years ago, on Thursday, August 26, I woke up at two in the morning. I woke up crying for no apparent reason; I fell back asleep eventually and didn’t think of it until that morning when my whole family was in the car on our way down to Ohio. I heard my mom talking on the phone to one of my aunt’s friends. She was saying, “Around two o’clock this morning.” My cousin, Joe, had drowned that morning; we were on our way to his funeral.
The few days after that were what I remembered most with every little detail burnt into my mind. The weeks afterward, on the other hand, were a blur to me. I went back at school, but I hardly noticed. I went out with friends, but I couldn’t have told you what we did. One thing that I do remember from the following month and a half is that every week on Thursday mornings I would wake up at two in the morning and lay awake remembering.
I needed to sleep through those nights and I knew it. I just wasn’t sure that I could. One day at my church, I thought, “Well, I guess it couldn’t hurt to get prayed over.” So I went to one of my older friends and asked her to pray for me. The Holy Spirit moved in my heart at that moment in a way that I will never forget. I was given new strength and love that I didn’t know I could use.
Two years later I am sleeping quite well on Thursday mornings. That’s not to say that I don’t miss Joe, I certainly do, it’s just that now I know that even if something like that happens to me, I can go to God for love and support. Two years later, and I’ll never forget the immense feeling of love that was there when my friend prayed over me. That feeling is what keeps me coming back, why I think that the Holy Spirit is a very important part of my faith, and what gives me strength to keep going.
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