“Honey, let me hold your baby.”
My husband Dave and I were happily sitting in a pew at Cariboo Bethel Church, Williams Lake, B.C., when this woman offered to take my child. “You can go forward for prayer.”
“Go forward?!” said my inside voice. “You don’t understand; I don’t go forward.” But I smiled and said, “No, thank you.” As a new seminary graduate and the church’s family counsellor, I needed to protect my professional reputation.
Before I knew what was happening, my baby was in her arms and she was urging me down the aisle.
“Ok, I’ll go,” I thought, seeing many others at the front. “But don’t try to push on my forehead, making me fall over, and pretend that’s the power of the Holy Spirit!”
The pastor had finished speaking when I reached the front. As I stood six feet away from her, she lifted her hand, looked at me and said, “Come, Holy Spirit.”
Before I could figure out what was happening, I was flying backwards like I had been hit with a jolt of lightening!
The first thing I noticed was the gum stuck to the bottom of the pew above me.
Alarmed that I had fallen down, I tried to get up. But I couldn’t move. I tried to lift my arms and legs. I couldn’t move
I tried to talk, but I couldn’t even move my tongue!
Now panicked, I became aware of a weight pressing down on
my whole body like a heavy blanket. “What on earth is going on?” I thought.
At that moment, I heard an internal-audible voice say, “Louise, cease your striving!”
The voice was full of authority – and love. Tears streamed down my cheeks as God rested on me. The intensity of God’s power was so great that I feared if it increased a single degree, I would be dust.
I declared in my heart: “Jesus, you are Almighty God and I am not.”
For two hours, I lay under the loving-fiery Presence. Like a person under anesthetic in surgery, I can’t tell you what God was operating on. What I do remember is that I knew heaven was real because I experienced it.
Then, out of another world, I heard Dave’s voice, “Louise, the baby needs to be fed. Get up!” My son’s crying slowly brought me back to reality.
When as I stood up, my words were slurred and I walked like I was drunk. Yet I felt the most intense love and joy I have ever known in my life. It made me start laughing.
“That’s it!” I said to my friends helping me; “That’s what my alcoholic parents and the whole world are searching for! All we need is the presence of God!”
That night as I fell into bed, I could not stop laughing and trembling. It was like an electrical current of intense love was constantly flowing through my body.
In the middle of the night, the Lord said, “Louise, get up. You must write a letter to your dad.”
Normally, the thought of writing a letter to my abusive alcoholic father would have terrified me. But under the influence of the Holy Spirit, this sounded like a fantastic idea.
“Write down everything he did to hurt you and then tell him that, because Christ has forgiven you a great debt, you completely release him from his debt of sin to you,” I heard the Holy Spirit say. “Tell him I love him and died for his sins so that he can have eternal life.”
Strangely – without any fear or anxiety – I wrote my atheist father and mailed the letter. A few days later my father phoned me, and with deep emotion, said, “Thank you.”
When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be my witnesses, Jesus said in Acts 1:8.
We are witnesses that the Holy Spirit is still being poured out today. First, a powerful revival visited our church in B.C., where we saw thousands touched by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Then, our neighbours came to know the Lord.
Not long after that, we received an invitation to become missionaries in Thailand.
Sixteen years later, having witnessed 100s of Buddhists throw away their idols and put their faith in the Living God, we still love drinking the wine of the Holy Spirit and being sent out with supernatural boldness to be his witnesses.
[Louise Sinclair-Peters serves with MB Mission in central Thailand.