Christian · Church · Church of England · faith · life · Spiritual gifts · spirituality · tongues

Mother Father Tongue

I’m reading a book. It’s quite an old book too. OK, not old in the annals of publishing, but old considering how fast Christian paperbacks seem to age and fall out of favour!

The book is called Signs and Blunders by Rev’d Peter Lawrence who until his death a couple of years ago, ministered up the road from my Mother-in-Law in the Parish of Canford-Magna, Dorset. It’s a great little book charting Peter’s own exploration and experience of exercising spiritual gifts during the Charismatic / Pentecostal awakenings of the 1980’s.

Peter covers quite early on in the book the gift of tongues.

I am not going to cover the ins and outs of this gift on this blog, many have gone before into that territory and many will go after.

The thing is, I was struck as I read the pages that speaking in tongues has in the past formed essential parts of my worship life. Yet I hadn’t really noticed that is something that has been missing for many a long year.

I used to worship privately using tongues, and at times I would, (I am almost embarrassed to admit)sing in tongues. And why not, it seems to me that this gift is something God has given us to be a special bond ‘tween Him and us.

So where has it gone? Why do I so rarely exercise this gift, even in private? Partly I want to link this malaise to the tiredness I mentioned in my previous post, but that would be an untruth. I have to admit that htis area of my spiritual life has been missing for sometime. Perhaps, though I am sure in no-way connected with, my going to theological college in ’04 to train for ordination – I may be wrong about this, but certainly it has been a while.

Peter Lawrence refers to All spiritual gifts, tongues included as

signs of the coming Kingdom of God

And I think I agree.

Then perhaps it is time for me to reconnect with my Father and Saviour through the Holy spirit and use this gift again.

This is not something I say lightly, I have always been somewhat embarrassed at the gifts of the Spirit, particularly the vocal and obvious ones! There is something very English and dare I say Anglican about sitting pew-bound and not making a scene. Well perhaps God isn’t English after all (and perhaps he isn’t even Anglican either!!!). Steve Nicholson of the VVineyard Christian Church of Evanston has a neat saying that if we feel led by God to do something we should do it. To get it wrong and feel foolish is far better than to have hidden from a genuine call.

We are called to use the Spiritual Gifts God has given us, in the ways he chooses to use them. If we suppress them, then perhaps we will lose them, or at least get so rusty in them that we become unwilling to open the gilded box in which we have hidden them.

Certainly for me, it feels it is time to step out once more in the gifts God has given me.

YIKES! Here Goes….

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4 thoughts on “Mother Father Tongue

  1. Wooh – spooky. :)I have been on almost exactly the same journey, re praying in tongues. Curiously enough, it was probably the processing of becoming an ordinand that was a large factor for me.. Somewhere along the line of preparing for my BAP I stopped being a 'Christian', and started being an 'Anglican'.Like you, I have also recently had a re-awakening to praying in tongues.From my journal, 17th September 2009:I've also 'discovered' praying in tongues again… I was pleading with God … and suddenly I ran out of of words and just started praying in tongues. I'd forgotten how releasing it was to switch off and pray with my mouth/spirit and not my mind.Is God on the move? 🙂

  2. Thanks James, You are the second person to make similar comments (the other fed back via Twitter) Interestingly that person is currently an Ordinand. I wonder if there is something about theological education – or at least it's processes that needs unpacking here!My hope is, it is God on the move!

  3. This is interesting – I was Googling Peter Lawrence to see where he was now; I'm sorry to hear he has died. His books were and are really important to me to make the link between what we do in churches and what seems to have happened in Acts. I was thinking I might email him and ask for his prayers. In my first post as Priest in Charge now and trying to work out what I do with the charismatic part of my spirituality. I've never used tongues a whole lot, except when asked to pray for healing or similar, but its important to me that I keep it in there – I always say a few words at the altar before receiving and also after the service when I've walked down to the door and the congregation are still praying.I trained on a local course and I remember at one tutorial group, someone rather bravely (given that the charismatic thing was *never* mentioned in teaching and the course had a reputaion for being extremely 'liberal') asked for a show of hands as to who had been influenced by the charismatic movement, and who had ever prayed in tongues. Almost all the hands went up to the first, and a big majority to the second. I like to think of that now – that the CofE has actually been infiltrated by all these vicars with secret charismatic leanings! Who knows what could happen!

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