I told part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6 in the previous weeks. This is the retelling of a talk I gave in April. And this is the final installment.
My own experience and that of many other people I know is that charismatic prayer is practiced most fruitfully within a prayerful charismatic community. This is the reason that charismatics form prayer groups that often continue for years and years. Meeting to pray with others who are living in the Spirit and striving to know God better throughout our lives builds faith, sustains us through trials, leads us to a richer and fuller faith life. As someone in our prayer group said a while back, she once had a dry faith, but now has a wet faith.
I personally expect to continue in a prayer group for the rest of my life. My prayer group helps me to grow in wisdom, grace, and understanding of the Lord. I never expect to be finished with that. At our prayer group we typically begin with praise and thanksgiving. Our praise and worship leads into singing. Then we usually have a teaching or sharing Scripture or a witness. At our prayer group everyone is welcome to share, some larger groups have a teacher or leader who does most of the talking. Our group generally chooses to read the readings for the upcoming Sunday liturgy of the Word. We share insights on those. Then we pray intercessory prayer for needs. Then we close with a little song. We welcome anyone who is Christian and feels a call to join us, but our group is Catholic. The size of our group ranges from maybe a low of 5 to up to a dozen or so people.
Usually at a prayer group meeting we find that the Holy Spirit is leading us and directing us in particular messages or leadings. Throughout the prayer group, especially during the beginning part of praise and worship and the closing intercessory prayer you might hear glossolalia. Not everyone in the group prays in tongues. Charismatic prayer has more to do with being open to the Holy Spirit than in one particualr prayer style. Sometimes someone is inspired to prophesy, which I will cover on some other Wednesday.
If you are interested or feel a calling by the Holy Spirit to open that gift you received at Baptism and see what charisms are for you, then I suggest that you attend a Life in the Spirit Seminar. If you can find a prayer group, then they can probably direct you to the next Seminar. I would encourage anyone, everyone, to listen to the call of the Holy Spirit in your heart and ask for the grace to know God in a more intimate and personal way through the leadings of the Holy Spirit.