When I’m counseling people, I often ask them to close their eyes and imagine Jesus. Once they’ve done so, we ask the Holy Spirit meet with us in that space.
Once while doing this, the person I was working with needed to give Jesus a part of their pain, so I asked them to reach inside of them and pull that pain out and hold it in their hands. I then helped them understand why they didn’t need to carry this pain anymore and led them through a prayer to let go of it. After this, I asked them to give this pain to Jesus, but they fell asleep while doing so. And so I sat there wondering if they had truly let go of it enough for Jesus to take it.
About 10-15 minutes later while still asleep, they started to speak in a trance-like state. “I will take this for them, but they’re not done working on it yet,” they said very slowly and softly. They then drifted back off to sleep and woke up a few minutes later with no memory of that moment. Once awake, we returned to that visionary state, to find Jesus holding that part of their pain.
After Paul got saved, he went and prayed at the temple and fell into a trance. It was there that Jesus had a conversation with him and gave him instructions as to what he needed to do next. For many, prayer is nothing more than listing a bunch of needs off before God in a long and tedious fashion, but these trance-like and visionary moments help show us that prayer can be a conversation—a give and take between us and the Holy Spirit. And when we pursue prayer that way, there’s no knowing what we might hear the Spirit say, see him do, or even if we might fall into a trance.
*This devotional was created out of the themes of Acts 22:17-29 found in today’s reading at CommonPrayer.net.