What’s a “prophetic frenzy”?

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emotionalism2

Scripture: 1 Samuel 19:18 Now David fled (from King Saul) and escaped; he came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had (attempted to kill him). He and Samuel went and settled at Naioth. 19 Saul was told, “David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David. When they saw the company of the prophets in a frenzy, with Samuel standing in charge of them, the spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also fell into a prophetic frenzy. 21 When Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they also fell into a frenzy. Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also fell into a frenzy. 22 Then he himself went to Ramah. He came to the great well that is in Secu; he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” And someone said, “They are at Naioth in Ramah.” 23 He went there, toward Naioth in Ramah; and the spirit of God came upon him. As he was going, he fell into a prophetic frenzy, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 He too stripped off his clothes, and he too fell into a frenzy before Samuel. He lay naked all that day and all that night. Therefore it is said, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Observation: The passage tells us that Samuel was in a “prophetic frenzy” along with other prophets – and David as well. And as Saul’s messengers came upon Samuel and David, they too fell into a prophetic frenzy. Finally Saul himself joins them. He sought David with murderous intentions. He was not looking to worship and praise God. But when the Spirit of God falls on a place, there’s really nothing else to do.

Application: Have you ever been in a place where the spirit of God is so heavy that people spontaneously praise and worship the Lord? It happens more often than you might think. In some kinds of churches (Pentecostal and other charismatic churches) it happens all the time. I personally enjoy it very much, though it’s not as common in the Lutheran church as in some others.

It usually begins with simple worship and prayer. When we seek the Lord and are open to experience him in this way, God will sometimes overwhelm us with his presence. You’ll see people with tears streaming down their faces, but they’re not sad. There’s just a profound sense of being in the presence of the holiness of God. Plus, it’s often hard to stand when this happens. People will fall to their knees or even lay down on the ground. It’s not that they WANT to leave their feet, but their legs sort of give way. Hours can go by in an instant. It’s like time stands still as is referenced in v.24 of our passage.

You should try it sometime. Once you get past the “weird” factor and surrender to the experience, it’s wonderful. Not only that, it is most certainly biblical

Prayer: Heavenly Father, send your spirit to your people. Give us grace to set aside our prejudices and pre-conceived ideas that we might encounter you in a new way. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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