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By Jared Laskey

The day I quit drugs I flew to Kona, Hawaii, to participate in a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Discipleship Training School. I was 18 years old. God was working deeply within me and I pursued Him desperately. The fog of addiction had vanished, and I was asking for “more” of God. I honestly didn’t know what “more” of God meant even though we sang songs about it, but I craved His presence and read anything I could about Him, absorbing all the teaching offered.

One day while we were on work duties, I overheard some international students talking in their native language. I said, “I wish I could speak another language.” Just then a woman from New Zealand asked me, “Do you speak in tongues?”

“No,” I answered.

Immediately she laid hands on my cheeks and prayed for me to receive the gift of tongues and encouraged me to ask for it in prayer. I didn’t know fully what tongues and other spiritual gifts were, but I if they were the “more” I was asking for then I wanted them. I had read through most of the New Testament, so I had seen passages about the gifts of the Spirit but had never been taught about them or seen them demonstrated.

Later that day it felt like my cheeks were on fire and I had vivid dreams from God. The next morning after the missionary from New Zealand prayed for me, my roommates told me that while I slept, my cheeks were a fiery red. They knew God was doing something in me. I was hungry for more of God, diving into prayer and spiritual disciplines. I was on an adventure with God, and over the next few weeks He spoke to me through visions, dreams, and prophetic utterances spoken through other people. I asked everyone I could about spiritual gifts. I asked for the “gift of tongues” each time I prayed.

On the night of November 14, 1998, I went to my small group leader, Sam, and explained everything God had been telling me during those weeks. He listened and then asked, “So you want tongues?”

I answered, “Yeah…whatever that is.”

He said, “I believe God will give the gift of tongues to you now.”

He explained that the Holy Spirit might speak to me or show me a word or phrase in a language I didn’t know. I was to speak out the word or phrase the Holy Spirit gave me, and I would receive more. Excited, I quickly asked God to forgive me of any sin. Sam then placed his hands on me and prayed while I asked God out loud, “God, will you give me tongues, in Jesus’ Name?”

Instantly the Spirit of God gave me a single word to speak out. As I repeated it, more words erupted through me. The power of the wonderful Holy Spirit enveloped me in what seemed like waves of electricity. Something I can only describe as God’s love and power washed over me. It felt as if a spotlight had exploded out of my mouth as I spoke in tongues and felt my arms and hands surging with tremendous currents of electricity. I was immersed in His Spirit.

Over the course of several hours there were three huge waves of power with many smaller waves in between. My prayer for “more of God” was answered as I laughed, cried, and worshipped Jesus, the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. I was truly transformed that night.

Sam told me to pray in tongues every day, and doing so became a personal conviction of mine. After this encounter with the Holy Spirit I had a boldness to share the gospel, a spiritual hunger for His power, and a commission to lead others to Him.

I have seen many people baptized with the Holy Spirit. Each person’s encounter is unique and awe-inspiring. Some people speak in tongues for the first time for less than a minute while others pray longer. Some feel power surge through their bodies while others feel nothing. Some need someone else to pray for them for an increase of faith. Others go alone to their prayer closet and report to me later how God baptized them with His precious Spirit. I think God gives each of us the Spirit baptism in the way we personally need to receive it. Each story is incredible, and I love seeing God answer prayers for “more.”

Jesus said, “If you then…know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13, ESV). If you want more of God in your life or if you want to receive the incredible baptism in the Holy Spirit, simply ask. He will bless you and give you more of Him because He is a great Father who loves you.

About The Author

Jared Laskey

Jared Laskey is starting Destiny Open Bible Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is a contributing writer to Charisma Media. He served in the Marine Corps from 2006-2011 and lives to see Jesus awaken this generation to the power of His Holy Spirit. You can follow him on twitter @jaredalaskey, or contact him through his website, www.firebornministries.com. He recently co-authored Veronica’s Hero, which can be found on Amazon.