A recent “Power from on High” conference from the Ibero-Americano region of the Sword of the Spirit was a great experience for me – and a challenge for my personal life. The Lord showed me his greatness and power, and I am grateful for that.
I was happy to greet several brothers I knew from previous Worship Conferences who now were attending the “Power from on High” conference as coordinators of their respective communities. And since this conference, I have continued to keep in touch with other community leaders as well.
The prayer times during the conference were enriching and motivating as we saw the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst. The fellowship times also served to help us get to know other brothers better, to learn about their struggles and victories, and their hardships and consolations.
Personally, the “Power from on High” retreat was like living a new Pentecost. Through the talks and times of prayer I was able to confirm that the Lord wants to use all of us to spread his merciful love with the outpouring of his gifts and charisms. As I prayed with and for my brothers, the Lord gave me “words of knowledge and encouragement” for them. When my turn came for the brothers to pray over me, the Lord gave them “words of knowledge and encouragement” for me as well. I believe the Lord is preparing me for a time of special mission and is equipping me with the gifts that will be necessary for it.
The Lord also delivered me from a sinful spirit that had clung to me for several years. I clearly saw a vision of a shadow with sharp teeth and claws that screamed as it was being driven from me while the evil spirit said, “Why (should I leave now)? I have had him in my grip for many years!” Then I saw a vision of the Lord Jesus standing behind me and showing me his wounds and his blood (which he shed for me on the cross) which was now being poured over my head, and then he said to the unclean spirit: “I paid for this man so that he would be set free from your power over him.” Since that moment I have experienced freedom and strength to fight and resist temptation every day.
Another experience that also left its mark on me was when Rafael Cuenca, at the end of his talk, prayed for everyone to receive a double portion of the Holy Spirit. I could see a vision of a red mantle being placed over me. Years ago, I had prayed to the Lord for a double portion and now that prayer was being answered. Each day I am becoming more open to the action of the Holy Spirit in my life and I am growing more confident that He will accomplish what Christ has promised.
In the following days since this retreat, I have experienced an ongoing renewal in my personal prayer life, and in my service, and communion with the Lord. I know that He will use me according to His purposes.
I continue to be thrilled to discover more of what the Lord wants and expects of me: how and when I should exercise the spiritual gifts He has provided me, how to improve in my service in the Community, and how to better encourage others to be open to the action of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and to be more creative in evangelization, and to be more attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in giving direction for my life and ministry.
Thank you Lord for your love and faithfulness. I am here to do your will, not by my strength, but with the strength given by your Holy Spirit, and with the charisms you have given me, and desire to give me in the future as well.
This article was first published © 2023 on the Sword of the Spirit website.
Top photo of Raúl Rios (5th left to right on the top row) along with the evangelical brothers from the Arbol de Vida community and other coordinators from the region.
Raúl Ríos is a member of the Incienso de Dios community in Xalapa, México.