I’ve never really done an extended study on the speaking in tongues but I’ve found it to be both refreshing and revelatory for my own personal life and growth.
Just recently family member passed this story on to me and I had to push this up on the blog. I believe it’s prophetic to the day and time I sense the Lord is taking the church. It brings together revival, a prayer room reality, speaking in tongues and even the gospel impacting the Jews.
Note by the author: During my research I was in correspondence with one of the few surviving eyewitnesses to the Azusa Street revival. He is Mr. Harvey McAlister of Springfield, Missouri, who wrote me that he had visited the Mission himself many times. He had one especially interesting incident to relate:
“My brother, Robert E. McAlister, now deceased, was in Los Angeles when the following incident took place and he reported it to me. The girl, whom I knew well, and I heard the incident also from her parents, was Kathleen Scott.
“This … took place in what is known as Old Azusa Street Mission. People traveled from every part of the world to investigate what was happening there. There was a large auditorium with an ‘Upper Room,’ upstairs. The place was open day and night for several years, with preaching services two or three times daily, and people in prayer in the Upper Room day and night. At the close of the preaching, crowds would retire to the Upper Room to pray. When time came for preaching, someone would ring a bell and all would come downstairs for the services.
“Kathleen was in the Upper Room, teenage, at this particular time. A man entered the building, the service now being in process, and hearing people pray, he ventured upstairs to the prayer room. The moment he entered, Kathleen, moved by the Spirit, arose and pointed to the man as he stood at the head of the stairway, and spoke in a language other than her own for several minutes.
“The ringing of the bell, calling the people to the preaching service, interrupted. All the people arose and made their way to the stairway. The man, as Kathleen approached the stairs, took her arm and directed her downstairs to the speaker’s desk and waited until order was restored in the auditorium. Then he spoke.
“ ‘I am a Jew, and I came to this city to investigate this speaking in tongues. No person in this city knows my first or my last name, as I am here under an assumed name. No one in this city knows my occupation, or anything about me. I go to hear preachers for the purpose of taking their sermons apart, and using them in lecturing against the Christian religion.
“ ‘This girl, as I entered the room, started speaking in the Hebrew language. She told me my first name and my last name, and she told me why I was in the city and what my occupation was in life, and then she called upon me to repent. She told me things about my life which it would be impossible for any person in this city to know.’
“Then [Mr. McAlister’s letter concludes], the man dropped to his knees and cried and prayed as though his heart would break.”
Endnote: 1. From John L. Sherrill, They Speak With Other Tongues (New York: McGraw Hill, 1964), 41,42.
I believe the Lord is baptizing the church again with a fresh wave of His Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. He is bringing back a praying church with Upper Rooms [Prayer Rooms] that serve as a place of continual corporate communion and a heavenly power supply.
It’s time to move on into the depths of the Spirit with greater willingness and hunger, praying in the Spirit and displaying God’s love unto a greater global awakening.
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