FIRE IN MY BONES: Lord, Send a Fresh Pentecost

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J. Lee Grady

Editor’s Note: Although Pentecost 2024 has passed, the need for the Holy Spirit’s power has not. Enjoy this column from former Charisma editor J. Lee Grady.

On Feb. 17, 1967, more than 57 years ago, a miracle happened near Pittsburgh that the world has largely ignored. It happened at a small Catholic retreat center called The Ark and the Dove, where a group of students from Duquesne University had gathered for a weekend of prayer. Suddenly and without any warning, those students were baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Patti Gallagher Mansfield, one of the first students to experience this outpouring of the Spirit, says she knew something remarkable and otherworldly had happened.

“Within the next hour, God sovereignly drew many of the students into the chapel,” she writes. “Some were laughing, others crying. Some prayed in tongues, others like me felt a burning sensation coursing through their hands.”

Gallagher had prayed a simple prayer prior to experiencing her personal Pentecost. She prayed, “Father, I give my life to You. Whatever You ask of me, I accept. And if it means suffering, I accept that too. Just teach me to follow Jesus and to love as He loves.”

The world was in turmoil in February 1967. Israel was on the verge of war with Palestinians. Racial tensions in the United States were triggering violence. Young protesters were demanding an end to the Vietnam War.

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Few people noticed what happened to those students at Duquesne, but the fire that fell on them spread quickly to other campuses. Within a year, the Catholic charismatic movement spread to millions—and it jumped the theological firewall to touch Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and believers from all denominations. It became the largest Christian movement since the Protestant reformation.

The wave of supernatural renewal that swept across the United States in 1967 continues today. The Holy Spirit has not withdrawn from us. He longs to fill us, refresh us and empower us in this new season. But if you want to experience your own Pentecost, you must surrender as Gallagher did. You must want more of God.

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told His disciples to stay in spiritual lockdown. He said in Luke 24:49 (MEV): “And look, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.”

The disciples didn’t know what they were waiting for. They had no idea what “clothed with power” meant. Jesus didn’t give them a church bulletin with specific times, and He didn’t warn them that they might experience wind, fire or strange languages. All He told them was “Stay put.”

And the waiting paid off. Several days later, the promised power arrived. Suddenly, the heavens opened. Every person in the upper room was filled with the Holy Spirit, and they were transformed into blazing spiritual torches. Before the day ended, 3,000 people believed in Jesus and were baptized.

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This is the message of Pentecost. Prayer comes first, then power.

I invite you to join me in personal Pentecost during the month of May. Soak in the book of Acts and pray for a rekindling of the Holy Spirit’s flame in our lives and in the global church. We are in desperate need of fresh fire today. The church is sick with hidden sin and weak with moral compromise and scandals.

Do you have the fire of Pentecost? The apostle Paul tells us that all Christians should have a spiritual temperature that reaches the boiling point. In Romans 12:11 he commands us to be “fervent in spirit.” The Greek word for “fervent” is zeo, which means “to boil like hot liquid or to glow like hot metal.”

If you are willing to take this risky journey, please join me as we pursue a fresh Pentecost. You can say this prayer as you begin:

“Lord, please set my heart ablaze. Send a fresh wave of the Holy Spirit to my church, my city and my nation. We need another earth-shaking revival like the great awakenings of past generations. Do it again, Lord. Let the book of Acts be repeated in my lifetime. Unleash the full force of Pentecost, and let me be a part of it. I don’t want to be a spectator in this movement. I want to be in the very middle of it! Let my heart burn with the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and let me carry that fire everywhere You send me. Amen.”

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J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years and now serves as senior contributing editor. He directs the Mordecai Project, an international ministry that protects women and girls from gender-based violence. His latest books are Follow Me and Let’s Go Deeper (Charisma House).

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