Thursday, October 9, 2014

Catholic Conversion Stories

These conversion stories were shared in this thread:  Catholic Answers Forum- So Why Did You Convert?
"I also started praying a lot and praying consistently (probably for the first time ever). I realized I couldn't do this on my own, but I recognized the true gravity of this decision, and so I tried to clear my mind of all preconceptions and I honestly prayed (on many occasions over those months) something like this:
'God, if any Christian sect holds truest to your truth, or if somehow they all do, or certain ones do, please show me so I know how to best worship you. I want your Truth -- no matter the cost.'
And I tried to make sure that I meant it. Each time that I can remember praying that, I got an answer which was along the lines of a 'statistical miracle,' ...and it always pointed towards Catholicism. I would always feel at peace after this was revealed to me, not because Catholicism is the most comforting choice... but because the Truth became clear to me, finally.

...All in all, I found three ways of finding the Truth:
1. Forget your preconceptions because they may be misconceptions, and honestly and deeply (without forgoing the few Christian fundamentals that almost all sects agree upon) pray for the Truth. This is the easiest way, work-wise, although at least one of my friends claims that he did this and still earnestly believes he has the fullness of truth as a non-denominational (I don't understand nor can I account for this).
2. Go the logical route. Spend a considerable amount of time and energy slogging through apologetics until something clicks, and then account for everything that doesn't click. I would imagine this would work well, but it's tiring and sometimes depressing.
3. Believe in love. This is one of the most sincere patterns that I found: that the people who most completely live by the standards of the Catholic Church (the Saints, Blesseds, etc.), who lived in utter happiness and humility despite their (often extreme) sufferings -- and who were the champions of altruism, and who lived closest to the perfection of Jesus himself -- are not a swarm of insane, demon-possessed deceivers but instead will lead you to a supernatural truth. Basically, to believe and have faith in love, I had to leave behind all those bitter conspiracies and mean-spirited baseless dismissals.
Well, I hope you liked my (true) story. It was fun to write. I feel at peace now."

-from user sea_krait, posts 6-7

"This process took two years. We did not easily convert. But we were definitely wooed by God. Both of us, at one point, were spoken to by the Holy Spirit, Who told us, 'This is the truth. If you reject it, you are in danger of hellfire. Do you accept My teaching and will you say 'Yes' to the Catholic Church? Or will you reject My teaching?'"

-from user Cat, post 9

"Fast forward 5 years later, almost everyday I drive by a Catholic church and over these years thoughts would come to me of, 'stop by', 'you should be going there', 'You are welcome here', etc. For whatever reason, one Sunday morning I got up, got myself and my son dressed, and off we were to the Catholic church down the street from me. It was a beautiful experience and I truly felt that I had 'Wandered Home'...
I feel that the Holy Spirit truly led me to that Church and I have since turned my heart and mind to the Catholic faith that the Holy Spirit is residing within me like never before, or maybe it always has and I am just knowledgeable of it now. The world truly looks entirely different and my life is fuller and has more direction and meaning."

-from user Wandering_Home, post 15

"When I returned home, at the urging of some of the COC members, I attended one of their meetings. One of their practices was to call on the name of Jesus, calling out loud to him all in unison. It was so incredibly strange to me that I did not know what to do. Everyone was doing it and so I felt compelled to do it also. I started quietly at first, then in my desperation, I began loudly saying His name, asking in my heart for him to heal me. All of a sudden a rush of joy came into my heart that I had never experienced. I felt the sadness burn away and be replaced with a feeling of love and warmth. I was practically reduced to tears. I did not know what to say to anyone, so I sat quietly to myself until it was over. When I returned home, I sat down in my living room, saying nothing, just experiencing the feeling that was in me. It was the best thing I had ever felt, and I felt nothing but pure joy. No pain or sadness could touch me. I had finally gotten what I asked for.

...After we were married, I felt a strong pull towards learning about Catholicism. I was still trying to filter out all the junk and propaganda I had been fed even for the short time I had learned it. I can only imagine the difficulty one must face in joining the Church after a lifetime of fundamentalist inoculation. After many months of dryness and ignoring these feelings, I decided I would once and for all figure out this question. I decided to read the entire Catechism, and I did exactly that. I read it over a period of about 3 months, cover to cover. I came to points in the book I could not agree with, and I would get upset and anxious, like I normally do when something disturbs my peace of mind. I would wait until I was calm then explore it, and internalize it. After doing this throughout the book, and praying for the truth, I could no longer deny truth. I knew in my heart that I could never go back to being protestant, but I still was too cowardly to admit I wanted to be Catholic... I resolved then and there I would let go of my pride and join the Church.
After making the decision to become Catholic some months ago, I have been attending RCIA classes and reading anything Church related I can get my hands on. My faith and walk with Christ has only grown stronger, and not weaker. I know that once I can get the sacraments it will only get better. Praise God for leading me to truth, especially when I fought so hard against it."

-from user Chris_Rendall, posts 17, 18

"I needed something more in life. There was a void. I knew it was spiritual so I thought a long time about it. My grandparents were Orthodox and I would go to church with them... But there was still something missing. I knew it. I called our local RCC to find out when RCIA classes started. Then I went. It was like I was drawn to the church. After the initial period we went to part of the mass every week for the readings and discussions. There was never pressure to join. But I knew I would from the first time I stepped into the church. There was no question in my mind. Each class passed and I felt like I was home. It was a comforting feeling. With my husband going through cancer and he still is.. it held me together. The more I learned the more I wanted to be Catholic.
First confession was daunting and I had a lot of sins to confess and some big ones. But afterwards, well it was like I was lighter and free and happy again.
My priest said, I listened to what the Holy Spirit had tried to tell me for years. To come home to the Catholic Church but this time I heard him."

-from user stormy99, post 25

"I knew that the truth had to exist in a church so I kept seeking. Then I starting attending a cell church. It was a fundamentalist church that believed in the gifts of the Spirit. One night after a service one of the members said he had a 'word' for me. He told me to stand up, then he laid his hand on my head and told me that I was going to take a spiritual journey in a few months that would change my life forever. ...But then, for no reason at all I started weeping and my whole body started shaking. The folks there had to lead me back to my chair because my legs were so weak I couldn't walk. They said your face is glowing! What is going on?? I said I have no clue.
...Three months later after leaving the cell church I was in RCIA. That word I was given had come to pass. A year and two months later I was confirmed. I literally knew the meaning of 'Rome Sweet Home' then because I kept feeling like I was HOME. It was so wonderful. That night, while I was lying in bed, I heard a Voice and It said 'Welcome Home'. I know with every fiber of my being that It was the Holy Spirit."

-from user Theodosia33, post 26

Catholic Spiritual Experiences- What Does the Holy Spirit Feel Like?

This discussion came from the Catholic Answers Forum.  Catholics discuss what the Holy Spirit feels like:

"The Holy Spirit doesn't just give us feelings. He changes our hearts and lives. He makes us desire God, believe in him, love him, and be sorry for sin. He makes us love our neighbor and endure hardship with joy. He gives us special insights about ourselves and others. He helps us to have true confidence that we can be saved. Of course we can resist his influence or put up obstacles, or just be passive and not grow, in which case we will regress. 'Feelings' are nice, but not necessary to live a Spirit-filled life. If we depend too much on feelings to follow God, we do not yet love him for his own sake."

-from Catholic Answers forum user Ad_Orientum, post 11

"I've had an encounter with the Holy Spirit a few times, usually when being prayed over. I can only explain it as the most peaceful feeling you will ever encounter .... peace just pure peace ..... the Holy Spirit is a very important part of my prayer life."

-from Catholic Answers forum user CatherineFitz, post 14

"Some times when I'm reading Scripture, the Catechism, or if I hear a great truth of God I feel a sense of electricity go through my body. The Holy Spirit is getting my attention! He's saying pay attention! I have this deep sense of KNOWING that what I just read or heard is TRUE!
I have on rare occasion been given a gift of prophesy for some one. Some who are familiar with the Holy Spirit are very excited! Others who don't know God think I'm crazy, and should be on meds... until the prophesy comes true. Then they are stunned, and like, 'what?'
I feel the Holy Spirit at Mass, during the Sacraments, and in the music. The Holy Spirit calls us to surrender, deep surrender, be at peace. And it's a most excellent journey!"

-from Catholic Answers forum user Regina_Love, post 17

"Sometimes when I pray, I start to feel as if I am on skin, my face, and even my heart. It is as if the Lord is pouring love into me. I feel overwhelmed by his love, and I love him more than I have ever loved anyone in my life. At these times I wish I could just die on the spot and be with him forever. I am filled with joy and I am afraid of nothing. I want to do anything He asks of me. Other times...say while reading scripture...something will pop out and it is clear that is a message for me. It brings me to tears. I have had this happen during mass too...the priest will be giving his homily and say something that makes time stop for me. I start crying and can't even remember the rest of what he says."

-from Catholic Answers forum user WaitingForJesus, post 19

"The Holy Spirit feels like nothing I've ever felt before. I felt Him for the first time about nine months ago, and He's simply amazing. He moves me; He moves through and within me. He is the tears of my soul. I spent my whole life bottling up my feelings, unable to face myself. I was cold and unfeeling, but not by nature. Now my nature has come out, and I weep for joy at the beauty of Love Himself. He woke me up and taught me to be the man He'd designed me to be. He is all that is lovely and comforting in this world. I love Him so much, and I thank Him every day for my heart.
... Bottom line: the Holy Spirit is transformative. He took my old life and slam-dunked it in the rubbish bin."

-from Catholic Answers forum user Sorenu_Itenu, posts 22, 30

"I've had wonderful feelings come after prayer. I am, unfortunately, unable to give the experiences justice. I had felt incredible love and forgiveness and a physical warmth in my heart. I'd almost come to tears at these moments - found them incredibly humbling.
For me, these feelings did more to help me change my lifestyle than my own will was able to accomplish itself. I don't mean to say if you haven't had the feeling you are doomed - just that for me it was more profound than anything I could rationalize for myself. I'm definitely a sinner, and I think God knew I was in need of some help."

-from Catholic Answers forum user RedFox0456, post 32

Catholics discuss the Holy Spirit bringing people to tears at Mass:

"Has anyone had the 'gift of tears' before consecration?  I had them this morning, just before the priest washed his hands. I usually always have them after I receive Communion when they come. The tears just came all of a sudden for no apparent reason.
...this is the gift of the Holy Spirit being active in your life in a profound way. Accept it and thank the Spirit for allowing you to experience it.
...It truly is a gift. It comes from the Holy Spirit through you, but not from you. It is His gift at that time to you. It is a wonderful experience and He gives it to you at Will. I experienced it for quite a while before I found out what was happening. Just enjoy His union with you and just let the tears come...  It is a gift from Almighty God, just enjoy the intimate union."

-from Catholic Answers forum user lakotak, post 1, 15, 17

"I have to fight the tears sometimes as I kneel next to the priest at the altar during the consecration. I also experience this after receiving when I go back to my chair before the closing prayer..."

-from Catholic Answers forum user Lapey, post 2

"I have, many times. I didn't know what they were at the time it began. I would literally have tears streaming down my face through no control of my own, before the consecration, and while I received/after I received Communion."

-from Catholic Answers forum user thequietsinger, post 7

"I began having tears after receiving Communion at Mass -- suddenly, and with a deep feeling of joy, gratitude and peace."

-from Catholic Answers forum user crcurrie, post 29

"I did experience it one day after Confession. There I was walking home one beautiful spring day, it was a Saturday. The tears of joy just started pouring out and inside it felt as though the Holy Spirit was caressing my heart."

-from Catholic Answers forum user Abba, post 34

From another thread.  A Catholic describes a spiritual experience while partaking of the Eucharist.

"I was baptized, confirmed, and partook of the Eucharist last Saturday night during the Easter Vigil. It was magnificent and I am so happy to now be a member of the Catholic Church.
...When I was offered and received the Host, nothing happened. However, when I partook of the Blood of Christ, before I could even get back to the pew my entire upper torso seemed to 'heat up.' As soon as the blood hit my stomach I felt this warmth (I mean EXTREME warmth) and the tears came uncontrollably. This was the most dramatic experience of my life and I’ve been on this planet for 51 years. Well, this is probably a lame description but it’s the best I can do."

-from Catholic Answers forum user tmac1956, post 1

Another Catholic describes a spiritual Eucharist experience:

"I think the easiest thing to say is that God's main influence on my life is in peace. The pure peace and calm that I feel in the presence of the Eucharist and during the sacraments (especially confession and Mass) are really incomparable to anything I've ever felt anywhere else.
And I believe that I'm present for a miracle every time I go to Mass, when God himself descends to earth and allows us to consume Him and become one with Him"

-from reddit post, "Ask Me Stuff About Catholicism", by user RexPontifex

Other spiritual experiences:

"I've been involved with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal for those 20 years. I have felt His Presence off and on both during certain times of prayer and occasionally when I'm not in a 'prayer mode'. I'd say it's plenty of dryness with occasional reminders, 'Hey! I'm here! I love you!' I've seen tongues, words of knowledge, prophecy.
I believe that most miracles are of the heart or the soul (besides the Eucharist), but I have seen one or two physical changes. (My memory is a little fuzzy, but) an old man was doubled over with arthritis at a healing service, and he was prayed over and he stood straight up and walked around. An acquaintance of mine had pretty severe carpal tunnel, and she was healed of that."

-from reddit post, "Ask Me Stuff About Catholicism!", comment by user scardeal

"I am a revert not a convert (was raised catholic then left for protestant churches) and I had many doubts when I returned to the catholic church. Not Mary, but many other things.
...Most of my doubts are gone now. It's taken 4 years though. Just keep trying to learn and to understand and don't give up in the meantime. If you keep seeking God, He will answer. I have found that to be true. If I get confused now I ask God to show me the truth. He has and He will do it for you too. But maybe in His timing, not ours."

-from Catholic Answers forum user AnneTeresa, post 9

"...I was playing guitar and singing at a 6-week charismatic Life in the Spirit Seminar...  On week six, as everyone was going forward to be prayed over for receipt of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I sat in the back waiting to play closing music. One by one my friends went forward for prayer...  As I watched them cry tears of joy and burst into song, I got the strangest feeling of being in a holy place. I remember thinking, 'God, if this is real, I want it!'. The next thing I knew (literally) I was up front on my knees with tears in my eyes, and the words of all new praise songs flowing through my head. And I heard a voice from over my right shoulder; it said 'Welcome home, Tom'.
...Ok, I realize some of you may not recognize the Charismatic movement as credible, but that’s where I found God and surrendered to him."

-from Catholic Answers forum user Mathias64, post 29

These two testimonies are transcribed from videos on the Catholics Come Home website.  A woman tells of her return to the Catholic Church after leaving it in highschool:

"When I was away from church, I yearned to be home.  What brought me back was my longing for the Eucharist.  The Eucharist fills me with the Spirit you can't find anywhere else.  I have a peace when I walk through the doors of the Catholic Church, like that's where I belong."

-from Pam's Testimony

A man tells of his spiritual experience of confession.

"I had this sin that I carried in my heart for a long time.  And I told myself for many, many years that the Lord wouldn't forgive me for this.  When Father in confession says, 'Your sins are forgiven,' there truly is a feeling of weight lifted off.  I don't care if it's two or three little sins that you're carrying, there's a feeling of, 'I can breathe deeply again.  I feel pure inside, and I'm ready to come to Mass.'"

-from Frank's Testimony

A man converts to Catholicism from Islam.  This conversion experience came from Rev. Imambux Bawa's personal blog:

"I actually had the experience that I had been longing for, something impossible to put into words.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.’ How can I describe it to anyone who has not experienced it himself? Instead of darkness I began to see light everywhere. By divine grace, I experienced the love of God that cannot be expressed in words. My heart was dancing with ecstasy. I began to feel that my soul was imprisoned within my mortal body. I saw so much love on the Lord’s face and all around me, that my heart went out in love towards everyone.
With every breath I felt inspired to pray for the salvation of all mankind. I began to feel sorry for those who disregard this experience and hence lose a great blessing. My heart urged me to even give up my life, like the Lord did, to bring sinners to the righteous path and to devote all my energy, knowledge and life for serving the Lord.
By accepting Christ the Lord, I have received peace beyond understanding and my journey in this world has been filled with delight.
May all my countrymen experience and receive this divine favor."

-from "My Spiritual Experience", Rev. Imambux Bawa

Baptist Testimonies

I collected these Baptist testimonies and conversion experiences from various forums and church websites.  Links to sources are provided with each testimony.

"On a Wednesday night my dad was preaching at our church. He preached about the rich man going to hell. I felt the power of the Holy Spirit dealing with me once again. I felt so guilty and ashamed for rejecting Christ for so long. After the message Bro. Byron Shive came to me and encouraged me to pray. I went to the front of the church and began to pray. I repented of my sins and asked God to please forgive me. I remember getting to a point where I wanted to be saved more than anything else in the world. It was at that point that I felt peace flood over my body. I asked God if that was it. The peaceful feeling seemed to intensify. I knew I was saved and began to rejoice. This personal experience with God is what will take me to Heaven."

-Josh Elliott's Salvation Experience

"As soon as I knew God had to be first in my life, all the pain and shame I felt was gone. I felt such a peace. It was a new feeling to me. Brother Don Watts asked me if I was saved. I said 'I think I’m saved.' He said you have to know if you are saved. I began to pray again. I was scared I was wrong. I didn't want to take any chances. When I prayed this time, I didn't feel the same as before. I heard a very sweet voice as I saw a bright golden light say to me 'I have saved you.' I had no more doubt that I was saved that evening on November 20, 2002. I joined Southside Missionary Baptist Church the following week. God is an awesome God!"

-Karleen O’Flynn's Salvation Experience

"The Lord saved me when I was a 16 year old boy at home in bed. It was on a Tuesday night about 9:15 PM. I had been under conviction for almost two weeks. But that night the peace of the Lord came into my heart and that trouble and sorrow was gone. I had never known such peace and joy before Jesus saved me. The next morning was the prettiest morning I had ever seen. And it was all because of what Jesus had done for me.
Praise His Holy Name."

-Joe Whitley's Testimony, p. 20

"I was sixteen and Dillon was preaching about being saved or go down and all I thought about was that I wanted to be the one to go to heaven, and I prayed. I told God I would give up everything if I had to. And when I did, something inside me told me I was saved. I felt that everything bad disappeared. Peace was all I felt. It was all I wanted to feel. I felt a transition. The Lord had touched me, and I’m happy and free!"

-Maranda Herlein's Salvation Experience

"I realized I was lost when I was 16. I was under great conviction but put off going to the altar. Brother James Abbott was preaching on Friday night and I felt as though he was preaching only to me. God's amazing grace got hold of me and led me to the altar that night. I asked the Lord, 'Please, please, save me. I don't want to go to hell.' It seemed like I could see a light from heaven that filled me with sweet peace and my burden was lifted. I know God saved me and I'm glad I opened the door to let Him in."

-Shirley White Carroll's Testimony

"I was saved many years ago in a small church down on my knees. I prayed the sinner's prayer and asked Jesus to come into my heart and soul. He saved me. I know because a warm, peaceful feeling came over me and I was very happy in the Spirit of the Lord."

-Paulette Lambuth's Testimony

"On Tuesday, June 27, 2006, I was driving, on my way to work, and tuned on the radio. I tuned in on a station and they were playing one of my favorite gospel songs. I knew in my heart that I wasn’t saved and that if I died I was going to Hell. I started praying. Later on that day while I was at work, I still had that bad feeling. I started to pray again and just as soon as I started praying, I had a great feeling come over me. I had peace in my heart, a feeling I’ll never forget. I knew then without a doubt that I was saved and that when I die, I’m going to Heaven."

-Genetta Hill Rushing's Testimony

"After several years of living with the knowledge that I was lost and bound for eternal damnation, I attended several churches where people prayed for me. I never went to the mourners' bench until February 14, 1967 at Enon Missionary Baptist Church in Macon County Tennessee. My heart was so heavy and I was troubled. After pleading my case to the Lord, repenting of my past sins, the Lord gloriously saved my soul. That was the most outstanding day of my life even to this day. I know that the peace He placed in my heart that day will land me on that bright shore of Heaven. Glory to God in the highest."

-Tom Howard's Testimony, p. 24

"I finally did what so many people had been praying for. I cried out to God and said, 'God, I don't know if you are real, but if you are, I give my life to you. Please take my life, I give it to you.' In that moment, peace swept over my soul like I had never experienced. I experienced true joy and love and fell asleep in the spiritual arms of my Heavenly Father. The next day was a Friday. I had not realized that I had 'gotten saved', I just knew that I had prayed to God and that something was now different."

-My Salvation Testimony, by Nicole Muñoz

   "At the fall revival at Mazies Chapel during the third week in August, conviction fell upon me.  I was 12 years-old and it was on a Monday night.  This memory is so strong to me …. I was sitting in the middle of the church on the left hand side of the aisle.  The preacher had just completed his sermon on the Fire of Hell and was giving an altar call.  My heart broke, and I felt great fear that I had never experienced before...  I ran to the right side of the altar and began to pray with all my strength and poured out my heart to the Lord.  When I came to myself, I felt the sweetest peace in my soul.  The pain in my heart and weight in my chest were GONE.  I thought to myself: 'What happened - Had I fallen asleep'.  Before I could even rise up off the altar, the old devil said 'Boy, nothing happened to you'.  I left Church that night without telling anyone what had happened.
    For the next six years... I would try to pray and ask the Lord to save me...  I did not have a broken heart but I had allowed the devil to confuse me.
    At the age of 18, on another Monday night, I was determined to find an answer.  I was either saved; Or, I was lost and needed to be saved.  As I prayed at the same spot where the Lord had saved me six years before, I asked Him if I was saved as that 12 year-old boy.  The Lord by His great mercy and grace showed me what He had done.   I so vividly recalled that night as a 12 year-old boy.  The peace was so strong … I was not resaved or anything like that.  I was enjoying my salvation and was so happy.  I immediately rose to my feet and started to tell everyone what the Lord had done for me.  Praise the Lord!!!"

-Tony Johnson's Testimony

"The truth is that Jesus took me that day just as I was. My heart was heavy and I knew I was Hell bound if I did not listen to Jesus in my heart. Then for a moment it was just me and Jesus and that's all that mattered to me. No one else existed to me. I gave into Jesus with my whole heart. Full of faith and belief. My heart was all of a sudden light now and I didn't wrestle anymore with tugging in my heart. I knew I was saved and Jesus would take care of me while here on earth. Jesus saved me from this world of sin and hell. I placed my trust in Him on the back pew of the church. I then went up to the speaker and told him I had been saved."

-Jennifer Andrews' Testimony

"I screamed out loud, 'Oh, God'. In my heart, I was feeling 'Change me; do something for me if You are real; I can’t take this any longer.' It was complete surrender. I needed Him. He had to do something because I couldn’t do anything. Change and help had to come from outside of myself.
 At that moment, something happened. A supernatural event took place that is hard to articulate fully. I could feel a Presence beginning to start moving. The Holy Spirit was moving down and then back up on and in my body. I was completely cleansed and I knew it beyond any shadow of a doubt. Nothing could be added to what He did in my life. I felt like a newborn baby I was so clean.
 Peace and joy came over my soul at that moment, my heart and my mind like I had never experienced. I would laugh for about 20 minutes as I drove. Then I would cry for 20 minutes. But it was tears of joy and gratitude and praise. I was different. I was saved and I knew I would never be the same. I was truly ‘a new creation in Christ Jesus’. Old things had passed away and all things had become new."

-Testimony from
[unfortunately, this website is no longer functioning]

"As I prayed, a still, small voice impressed me to stand up and say that I was saved.
...This time when the Lord impressed me to stand up and say I was saved, something just came over me and the next moment I was on my feet and proclaimed, 'I’m saved!' and instantaneously I was changed. It felt as if my heart was transformed. I had never felt so wonderful and at peace. The burden was gone and again it was true, 'I knew.' Love overflowed in my heart and the tears were now tears of joy, not of repentance or sorrow. The act of standing up and speaking audible words was not what saved me, it was the faith it took to do it. Truly this was the greatest moment of my life and I have never been the same since that night. I have no doubt that this experience will allow me to live forever with my Lord in Heaven."

-Testimony from a member of Southside Missionary Baptist Church
[unfortunately, this page is no longer functioning]

"I poured out my heart and did not get saved that night. I continued to go to the altar asking the Lord to save me. I did everything; I tried every position, on the altar, under the altar, lying in the floor. I did everything that I had seen other people do in times past when they got saved.
Then one night I gave up doing things my way or someone else’s way. In so many words, I said, 'Lord, I’ve done everything I know to do. If I’m going to besaved, you will have to do it.' After that there was a space in time I'm not sure of. All I know was that there was peace in my heart. The fear and worry of hell was gone.
...The Lord showed me clearly that night that I was saved... Shortly after that, I joined the church and was baptized. We serve a God that lets you know you are lost and lets you know you are saved."

-Elder Barry Armour's Salvation Experience

"My spiritual birthday was on a Sunday in July. I think that I was around eleven years old, but I’m not one hundred percent sure of the age and the date. ...God was in control and that crowded Sunday Revival morning in July, the Lord decided to deal with me. I was burdened so badly and I knew that I was lost. I thought that I could push the pains away. My mom looked at me and asked if I was lost, and those few words were all it took to get me to move. I’m not sure how I made my way to the altar through all the people, but I did... My burden was so heavy and I needed relief. I ended up on the front bench of the Amen’s section of the church during a crowded Sunday Revival meeting. I knelt at the altar and prayed and prayed, begging the Lord to save my lost soul. I felt like I was praying at Jesus’ feet. I kept praying until I felt peace come into my soul, and that heavy burden was gone, and I knew the Lord had saved my soul. I stood up and told the church that He saved me."

-Tracey Choate Armour's Salvation Experience

"I was saved on the altar at Old Union Missionary Baptist Church in Warren County, KY. I usually sat in the choir loft and sang during the song service. Then, when the invitation to sinners was given to come to the altar and seek my salvation, I would walk down out of the choir and go to the altar. That Sunday night I didn’t immediately recognize that I was saved. I doubted my salvation because the devil told me I could NOT have been saved because basically nothing happened. I didn’t see a great light or angels or hear music, or anything. But praise God, finally on Thursday night Jesus broke through and showed me that I was saved! I was in the choir singing as usual when the preacher gave the sinner’s invitation. But that night they were singing, 'When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, I’ll Be There!' And suddenly I knew in my heart that (yes!) I was on my way to Heaven! I didn’t have to come down and go to the altar again, because I had been saved! I started shouting and praising Jesus because I knew I was saved!"

-Larry Galloway's Salvation Experience

"I was eleven years old when I got saved on a Wednesday night. A couple of hours before church we weren’t planning to go, but I felt something was going to happen and dad knew it too, so we went. At that service someone was preaching on salvation and hell. I knew I didn’t want to go there. I remember praying asking God how do I not go there. Right when Mrs. Cindy came and told me, 'If the Lord is telling you to do something, you do it right then,' it hit me that I have to give everything over to the Lord and ask Him to save me. Don’t know if I fell to my knees or if I chose to get on my knees, but I was there, and I heard people praying with me, telling me they can’t give it to me, I have to ask for it. I told God I would give everything to Him if He would save me. I even remember saying I would die if he would save me. Right then I felt peace wash over me. I wasn’t sure if I was saved until they started singing the Days of the Week song. The Lord told me,'You need to stand up on Wednesday.' So I did, and I felt peace and happy. That night I went to sleep and knew if I was to die that night, tomorrow, or the next day,or the next year, I wouldn’t have to worry. I knew where I was going."

-Alyssa Herlein's Salvation Experience

"I was saved in December, 1971, at age 13 years old... I became under conviction during that chapel service and several of us asked our teacher if we could go back to the sanctuary to pray. I went to the choir loft and began to pray for the Lord to save me. It seemed like only a short few minutes and I felt peace and knew the Lord had saved my soul."

-Susan Wright Hick's Salvation Experience

"When I was 47 years old, God came looking for me... Through some solid preaching of his Word, the Holy Spirit of God began to deal with my heart... All of this led me to pray and to tell God I was sick and tired of my way of doing things, and I really wanted to go his way. I told him I was sorry for my whole life of sin and refusal to let him be God. I asked him to forgive me. I believed in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and his resurrection. I knew Jesus was alive and that he was wooing me to follow him. I gave him the keys to the car and said that I would ride in the back from now on. I gave up my self-reliance and submitted myself to Christ.
...It took a couple of days, but I then realized I was different. I knew that something had changed, and it seemed to have changed from the inside-out. My wants and desires were different. I began to want to talk with God and study his Word. I soon was feasting on his Word, keeping a journal, and dealing with real life situations by seeking God and his will and guidance... I have true peace, true joy, love for others, and it’s all because of Jesus. He sought me out, forgave me, and changed my life. Thank you God!"

-Robert L.'s Story

An atheist girl is saved at a Youth Camp:

"For the invitational he asked the pianist to play the hymnal, 'I surrender all'. As I stood there with my head bowed, I could hear the words to each verse in my mind, being that I had heard this song so many times since I was young. The words convicted my soul and tears could not be held back. I had no where to go except to the alter. I knew what I was and I knew who He was. I got down to the alter and my pastor came over to me and was saying some stuff but I wasn't paying any attention to him. It was between me and God. I repented of what I was and said in my heart, 'I surrender all.'
Immediately the weight of sin was gone! Instead of guilt I had peace in my heart like I had never known before! I was innocent as a child! I could communicate directly with God and ask him anything! And he would answer! No one needed to explain to me how God exists because he now existed inside of me!   ...It was great! All these hymns that I had heard so many times before took on new meaning! For the first time I had sat down and read the Bible and understood what it was talking about. Tears came again as I saw what he did for me!"

-from user JJJ4given

A Baptist preacher realizes he was never saved, and tells of his journey to being saved.  This is part of a much longer story.  If you read his full sermon, you will get a much greater sense of the spiritual process he went through:

"I did not realize that I had missed Christ and had never been saved, and I was therefore always in search of something I knew I did not have.
...I was conscious of the fact that there was something missing in my life, but not one time did I doubt my salvation.
...I found myself crying unto God, 'Oh God, if I'm not saved, save me.'
...Slowly I was beginning to see that I was under judgment and going to Hell...

[Here, he tells of a long, painful struggle, full of pleading with God.  He is ready to give up his ministry.  He struggles for a very long time, studying, praying, trying to come to know God and be sure of his Salvation.  After many weeks, he finally has what he considers his true Salvation Experience.]

...It was Monday morning at the break of day, as I was riding on the train between Tallulah and Delhi, Louisiana, that the burden and guilt of sin weighed heavily upon my soul. I was lost and going to Hell, and I knew it. I walked from one end of the coach to the other end and fell down upon an empty seat, crying from the depths of my soul with all hope gone, 'Lord, I am lost; save me, or I perish!'
...The battle was over; the Holy Spirit had at last brought me to the feet of a sovereign, eternal, merciful, pardoning God and made me to realize that He could save me or damn me. There I rested, knowing only two things – first, that I was a lost sinner condemned to die, a sinner whom God ought to send to Hell, a sinner who did not deserve to be saved, a sinner who, if God chose to send me to Hell, would say, 'Amen,' to his own condemnation, and second, that God could pardon me because Christ died for me. A quietness came over my soul, and a peace settled down upon me. There was no more struggle. My one hope was that Christ died for such a sinner, and I believed it. God's Word could not be broken.

[Later that day]

...The preacher had not been preaching very long when, to my utter surprise and gladness of heart, the Holy Spirit revealed Christ definitely to my heart as my Saviour and Lord.
What a moment when God chose to reveal His Son in me! I sat there in amazement and wonder. I would say to myself, 'Is this salvation?' I had made sure that, if and when God saved me, no doubt I would shout all over God's creation; but there I sat not saying a word. It was so different from what I had expected. It was the quiet revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ to my heart and life as my Saviour and Lord. The Holy Spirit had brought me to rest upon Christ and to commit everything into His hands, and now He had revealed Him to my heart as the One who had died for me – my Substitute, my risen Lord."

-"How and When God Saved a Baptist Preacher", by L. R. Shelton, Sr.

Pentecostal Testimonies

I gathered these testimonies from various forums, blogs, and church websites.  Links to sources are provided with each testimony.

"The day I got the Holy Ghost was a day I will never forget. I went to the altar which was very hard for me to do. I repented of my sins and that's when it happened, God's saving grace took hold of me. It started from my feet and went clear to the top of my head. It felt like electricity went right through me! I started speaking in a language I had never heard before. I felt like a new person. Life started looking different. Everything I looked at looked different. Flowers were more pretty! The sky was more blue! The air smelled better! Life was so much better after that! I will never forget what Jesus has done for me and in me. So, I was born again October 2001, and baptized December 31, 2002. I have been serving him ever since, and I will continue to do so until the day he calls me home. Amen!"

-Gerri Zimmerman's Testimony

"At an Apostolic Church in 1985, the truth found me. I was 18 years old, raised Roman Catholic, but had questions that centuries of tradition could not answer. All I knew was that I needed 'something.' When Jesus found me, I knew that was what I needed.
Filled with the Holy Ghost baptism on June 23, 1985 and water-baptized in Jesus' Name later that same evening. I have found rest for my soul!"

-from ApostolicFriendsForum user Withdrawn, post 5

"My Great Grandmother Mandy Dedmon was filled with the Holy Ghost in Spanish Fort, Mississippi in the early 1900's under the ministry of Bishop A.J. Tomlinson...
She had seven daughters that played musical instruments and prophesied and 'Mama' was given to dreams and visions.
My Grandmother was filled as was my mother and I was born and raised in the Church of God of Prophecy and was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost at the age of 5 in a camp meeting in Eupora, MS.
I have lived for God all my life because of the keeping power of the Holy Ghost!
...After a 21 day total fast in 1982 God gave me a mighty revelation of who He is and I have never wavered from that Revelation since that day.
I am thankful for Pentecost and for preachers that preach the power of Pentecost.
...I love the Pentecostal church and would rather be in a black church with the Hammond Organ going 100 MPH and people dancing up a storm than anything in this world!
There ain't NOTHIN' like Good Black Pentecostal CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!"

-from ApostolicFriendsForum user ThePastorsCoach, post 22

"God, You amaze me.
Every time You forgive me, Every time I experience a moment of Your grace, Every time I experience something beautiful I know it’s the touch of Your hand, My eyes light up, I’m filled with joy and my heart is drawn closer to You. I don’t understand why You’d do this for me especially when I’m unfaithful to You. But I know that You do. And when I feel Your presence, I fall deeper in love with You. I turn around and suddenly, like a rainbow in the clouds, Your beauty is revealed and my heart is filled with joy. I dance, I sing, I praise You and I live for the touch of Your hand."

-Amanda's Testimony

"I heard a small voice say, 'Call Ann.' I ignored it. It happened again, 'Call Ann.' I thought, 'What does she know?' It happened one more time, so I called Ann, and asked if I could come visit her...
This time was different. We had a heart-to-heart talk. She told me her testimony, witnessed to me, invited me to the next church service, and I accepted.
My first visit was a Wednesday night. All I remember was the singing, and a missionary report. There was no altar call. But the Lord knows our heart. The songs of worship and praise brought tears to my eyes, and a hunger for more of what I felt. At the next service there was an altar call. I went forward and poured my heart out to the Lord.
I was baptized in the name of Jesus on March 5, 1980, and God filled me with His wonderful Spirit on March 16, 1980. Jesus saves, keeps and satisfies!"

-Darrelette Souders' Testimony

"My heart was struck by this great love, and I began to cry. The altar call was given, and I practically ran to the altar. As I stood there crying with the multitude of people gathered around, I made a vow to the Lord. I didn't know what to say after I repented, but I was so grateful that I told the Lord that no matter what came my way, I would always serve him.
...Then I began to attend Bible studies. I just couldn't seem to get enough of his Word. I didn't want to go home because it felt so good. In one Bible study, the man who was leading it began to tell of his desire to receive the Holy Ghost just like they did in the Bible. He said he shut himself in his bedroom, and prayed until he began to speak in other tongues. Then he asked if anyone there would like to receive it. I came forward because I wanted all that God had for me. They all laid hands on me as we prayed, and soon I had received the same experience. When I went back to church for the next service, the pastor asked me how I felt. I said it felt like a well of joy springing up in my soul. My understanding of the Bible increased even more. It was like a whole new book. I loved reading it so much I could hardly put it down. I read it every chance I could.
...After I was baptized in Jesus' name I felt a cleansing in my soul that I never felt when I was baptized before.
I felt so good. I have continued to serve the Lord in Spirit and in truth here ever since then."

-Lynda Hartzell's Testimony

"On Friday night, when Pastor Danny Thornton visiting, I was prophesied to. I was told that I was a woman of wisdom. I really felt blessed that night. God really spoke to my heart. He was so strong I felt weak in the knees and fell to the floor, literally! God's powerful, and it was nice to know that He knows who I am! - who everybody is!"

-Heather B.'s Testimony

"Before I knew you I was far away from you, I was like your story of the Lost Son. I did a lot of bad things in my life that I regret. You called me to you, you changed my heart. You forgave me, you changed my life and circumstances. I have been with you for over a year now and I've come a long way. I know I have purpose now, I have a plan for living a good life. I can't turn back now, I know you are real, you speak to me through your word, your people and spirit. You are always there, you never change, you are constant. When I feel guilty for the bad things I do I know that I can turn right back to you and apologize. Your forgiveness is much appreciated by me. Thank you. I never thought that I could know you this close. You are so amazing, your love is so great and unexplainable! I love you Lord, thank you for saving me, I know I didn't deserve it."

-from a church member testimony- "Thank you Lord for turning my life around"

"I had a great time at Acquire the Fire. The part that stuck out to me was when a few of us were singing in the car on the way home; you could really feel the Holy Spirit."

-a testimony from "Acquire the Fire 2001"

"I was sixteen. I’d only been 'born again' for about six months, and I knew I could experience God the same way people in the New Testament did. Paul talked about spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians – healing, prophecy – and I believed.
I wanted Jesus to fill me with the Holy Spirit, the same way he did for believers in Acts.
...I decided to pray at a park near my house. At night. I wanted power. Power to do miracles. Power to heal the sick. Power to raise the dead. I’d wait in silence, but eventually, the prayers came out. I cried out to God, even argued with God. And every time, I felt something: warm waves of love crashed into my chest. I physically trembled. I shook.
I kept it up for over a month. Nightly trips to the park, rain or snow. The good feelings kept coming, but I wasn’t experiencing the power I wanted. I wanted more than a feeling. So I decided to chill out on begging God to Spirit-baptize me. Every once in awhile, I’d mention it in my prayers, but disappointment restrained my expectations.
And then I was troubled. I’d stopped actively seeking my own personal Pentecost, and one night, as I prayed, my words were dry, inauthentic. It annoyed me. I remember pacing through the second floor of our house, ticked off at God, and as I stepped into the bathroom, some words fell out of my mouth. But they weren’t in English. I didn’t recognize them.
Was I speaking in tongues?
I was scared. This wasn’t the gift I wanted. It didn’t make sense. But it felt – good. So good!
I ran to my room and prayed in the most pious position I could think of, with my hands folded on the corner of my bed, back straight, knees bent on the floor. I asked God for wisdom in regard to whatever had just occurred. As a precaution, I cast out any pesky demons trying to deceive me, and I asked God, yet again, to fill me with the Spirit. I felt an urge to open my mouth and there they were, those same mysterious words.
They kept coming. And somehow these words that I didn’t understand felt truer than anything else I’d prayed that night. Somehow the barriers I’d been running up against in prayer were gone.
...The night I first spoke in tongues, I felt those feelings again – the ones that made me quake. The love rushing over me. Like I was cocooned in the Holy Spirit. After I stopped praying, and as I laid in my bed, the warmth and energy remained hovering over me, covering me; and I was at peace. I felt safe. I felt known.
...I’ve been praying in tongues. Most of the time, I just don’t know what to pray, and words fail to carry what God is stirring within me, so I lean on the Spirit and let her pray for me. In that place, I find rest. The syllables and noises can be clumsy and strange, but as they roll out (or burst out) I feel my spirit breathing, I feel life pouring in.
This act of holy-foolishness grounds me in Christ’s faithfulness, gives me a way to yield and be faithful in the face of my own confusion. The truth is, I still want power. But God knows what I really need."

-From "On Speaking In Tongues", by Hye Sung Francis

"The Lord reminds me of a time a friend from Finland and a friend from solomon islands prayed over me in tongues for a specific deliverance. They had no common human language but as they prayed they soon were speaking the same language in tongues. They actually conversed back and forth, then in unison. My ailment left and I was free… and very in awe of G-d."

-From comment on "On Speaking in Tongues", by user PrayThroughHistory

A miraculous healing:

"He asked the congregation, 'Do you believe God can heal this young woman?' With his faith, mine and theirs working jointly he anointed me with oil, laid his hand on my forehead and prayed for deliverance.
As Josephine and I left the tent I felt something different — I was being healed as we walked toward the bus stop!
The next day the doctor examined me and told me I was fine. When I got home I watched steam rise from my mother's stew and my mouth salivated. The potatoes, tomatoes, beef and onions smelled delicious. My appetite had returned.
During the next few weeks my weight returned to normal. I had been healed by the power of God. Thank you Jesus for healing me! After X-rays revealed that I had no TB, my husband returned and I got to raise my children. He became a Christian before he died many years later.
Now, at 83 I am a great-grandmother. I give God all the glory. I won't tell how much I now weigh, but by looking at me, you wouldn't believe I ever had TB!"

-Opal Capaldi's Healing

A vision:

"It was on a Sunday night in 1999 that I stood singing in a choir much like I had done countless other times. We began to sing a song very familiar to us called 'Jesus, We Crown You With Praise' and we had sang this song many times over. It was a beautiful song sang by a beautiful choir just like always but this night, there was something different about the singing. I can't begin to describe to you how deep the presence of God was and the more we sang, the more we felt God's presence like you could literally reach out and touch Him.
All across the building, people began to pray and God was changing many, many hearts.
I can't tell you how it started or how it ended but all of a sudden, I was in a place where I was totally unaware of who or what was around me and I became aware of a presence that I knew was Jesus Christ. I looked up and I saw Jesus leaning over looking down from Heaven and even though I could not see His face, I knew there was a look on His face that said He was extremely pleased with the worship and praise that was being offered up in that sanctuary. It lasted only seconds but it felt like an eternity where it was just me and God.
That night when the service had ended, our visiting preacher sat down with the pastor and told him what he saw. He said that when the choir was invited to the platform, he saw people from all over the congregation get up to sing, but there was something strange about some of them in that a lot of them were dressed in pure white clothing and it wasn't until the choir began to sing that he realized he had seen angels get up to sing with the choir that night. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget...
I have experienced a lot of great things in my life including the one I just related to you but the one of the greatest experiences I've had was receiving the Holy Ghost at the young age of 9 in my parents living room and to know that the experience of receiving God's Spirit was just the beginning of many to come gave me all the more inspiration and faith to follow what the Bible asks of me.
I could relate to you other things that I have seen but the greatest part of my relationship with God is, everyday, He comes near. He comes near when I am happy, He comes near when I am sad, He comes near when I'm pleasing to Him and he also comes near when I don't deserve it.
God is ready and willing to come near to anyone that would ask and if you would allow Him to fill you with His Spirit, you can't get any nearer than Him living inside of you."

-When God Came Near, by Rev. Andy Hines

A former Pentecostal man cannot deny his spiritual experiences:

"I can not deny basic facts and things that I experienced, they have become part of my core. For example, feeling the anointing of God in the church, His power coming down in there and His presence in my life. For me, this was very real and to this day, I still hold fast to it."

-from reddit post, "I left 9 years ago and I feel sort of guilty and lost"

Christian Testimonies (No Denomination)

These general Christian testimonies come from around the web.

“Here I was, so filled with anger and hate, and she said there was someone who really loved me. And who was it but the God of the universe! That thought just staggered me. To think that the God of the universe should love me, Bill Craig, that worm down there on that speck of dust called planet Earth! I just couldn’t take it in.
That began for me the most agonizing period of soul-searching that I’ve ever been through. I got a New Testament and read it from cover to cover. And as I did, I was absolutely captivated by the person of Jesus of Nazareth. There was a wisdom about his teaching I had never encountered before and an authenticity in his life that wasn’t characteristic of those people who claimed to be his followers in the local church I was attending. I know that I couldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
… Meanwhile, Sandy introduced me to other Christian students in the high school. I had never met people like this! Whatever they said about Jesus, what was undeniable was that they were living life on a plane of reality that I didn’t even dream existed, and it imparted a deep meaning and joy to their lives, which I craved.
To make a long story short, my spiritual search went on for the next six months. I attended Christian meetings; I read Christian books; I sought God in prayer. Finally, one night I just came to the end of my rope and cried out to God. I cried out all the anger and bitterness that had built up inside me, and at the same time I felt this tremendous infusion of joy, like a balloon being blown up and blown up until it was ready to burst! I remember I rushed outdoors—it was a clear, mid-western, summer night, and you could see the Milky Way stretched from horizon to horizon. As I looked up at the stars, I thought, 'God! I’ve come to know God!'
That moment changed my whole life. I had thought enough about this message during those six months to realize that if it were really the truth—really the truth—, then I could do nothing less than spend my entire life spreading this wonderful message among mankind.
For many Christians, the main difference they find in coming to know Christ is the love or the joy or the peace it brings. All of those things were thrilling for me, too. But if you were to ask me what is the main difference Christ has made in my life, without hesitation I would say, 'Meaning!' I knew the blackness, the despair, of a life lived apart from God. Knowing God suddenly brought eternal significance to my life. Now the things I do are charged with eternal meaning. Now life matters. Now every day I wake up to another day of walking with Him.”

-from "Personal Testimony of Faith", by William Lane Craig

"I was raised by a darwinist father and a feminist mother, and never went to church. I rejected Christianity as boring and the Bible as a fairy tale, although I would have said I believed in God.
...My new friend invited me to her baptism after I'd known her about a year, and I went along because it obviously meant a lot to her.
...Several people gave their testimonies that day, and as I listened, I started to feel strange inside. I could see that these people really did believe that they knew Jesus and that knowing him had changed their lives. Then the pastor spoke for a while, about the sadness in the world and how people tried to fill that gap inside with drugs, alcohol, sex, money.....but none of these things worked, which is why so many are on pills for depression. I was one of them, and I started to get tearful. He said that only Jesus could fill this emptiness, and that if anyone wanted to be blessed by Jesus, would they raise their hand. Well, this was it, my moment! I knew by now that God was talking directly to me, and I hesitated......but somehow my hand went up, I was not going to miss this. The pastor said, 'bless you,' and I was overwhelmed in that instant by the presence of God. It's hard to explain, like trying to explain how you know when you are in love, but I was filled up with joy and peace and I knew that God was there and would look after me, always. That was 7 years ago and I have not forgotten it. 
That is very detailed and very true. I was healed of my depression in that moment too."

-from Yahoo user good tree

"I have seen Jesus, he called me back to him in a vision that changed every thing I knew and believed, That's my truth.  And my first experience I have had more, but no one needs a vision to know God, he is ready for every repentant soul and needs our yes."

-from Yahoo user korban

"I wouldn't be who I am today without revelations revealed to me through the holy spirit. God has given me so much knowledge about almost anything and everything I've ever wanted to know. I don't know where to start to tell you the things I have learned and have applied to my life. I could write a book! All I know is, people that deny he exist or say he isn't good, I am simply flabbergasted by. I've experienced his mercy and grace everyday that I live. The things he's brought me through, the revelations about Heaven that he's given me, the revelations about the people on this Earth and what he's going to do, I mean, there is so much love and goodness coming to this planet from him!! If most only knew!!"

-from city-data forum user allenk893

"The altar call was made to give your heart to the Lord. I knew I wanted to. I knew I was home. I knew I was ready to make a commitment to Jesus, not to an organization, not to the church, but to give my heart to Christ.
...Now I am able to raise my hands, because I’m worshiping Him. The freedom is Christ. My spirit just came alive inside of me! God will reveal and guide and lead you into all truth. He’s the Revealer of all truth and that truth does set you free!"

-Deborah Antignano's Testimony

Raising the Dead

"I walked out through the door to this emergency room and I heard this voice say, 'Turn around and pray for this man.' I wanted to ignore that voice because I said to myself, How can I pray for that man? He’s dead he’s gone. There’s no life in him, so I keep walking. The voice came back again and said, 'Turn around and pray for that man.' I stopped and thought I need to honor the Lord. So I turned around at the doorway, and I walked to the side of the body.
...I opened my mouth and these words came out: 'Father God, I cry out for this man’s soul. If he does not know you as his Lord and Savior, Father, raise him from the dead now, in Jesus name.'
...The other doctor walked in the room and I pointed to him and said, 'Shock this man one more time.' He looked at me and said, 'Dr. Crandall, we can’t shock him. He’s dead. There’s no life in him. He’s gone.' I said, 'For me, shock him one more time.' That doctor out of respect and honor for me went over to that body with those defibrillator paddles and put his paddles on that patient and shocked him. Immediately an instant heartbeat came back. Instant perfect, regular, which we’ve never seen before.
When I came in Monday morning, Jeff was sitting up in bed, and I said, 'Where were you that day that I prayed for you in the emergency room?' And he said, 'I was in total darkness and I was so disappointed.' I said, 'Jeff, what were you disappointed about?' He said, 'I was alone for eternity.'
Jeff recalls, 'He asked me at that time if I was willing to accept God into my life and into my heart and I did. I just opened my arms and accepted God. It was just a very emotional time and I remember crying in his arms.'"

-from "Jeff Markin: Back from the Dead, Reborn Into the Light"

Conversion from Hinduism

"I was sleeping and all of a sudden I woke up. I felt like the Holy Spirit was saying, ‘Now is the time. Now is the time to come into My kingdom.’ At that point I said, ‘Lord, I accept You as my Lord and my Savior. I am Yours. Please forgive me of all my sins.’ I felt like the weight had been lifted. There was something in my spirit that… It was almost like—think of a really, really dark room. And then all of a sudden like a small crack opens up and light shines through. You just know it. The Lord is real. God is in me. The Holy Spirit is living in me.
...Jesus Christ to me is, first of all, He’s a Friend. He walks with me. He lives in me. He guides me. He’s just – He’s just amazing. He is everything I mean, when I’m down, He pulls me up.
When you earnestly seek the face of God, and you’re sincere in your seeking the face of God, God shows up."

-from "Shailesh Ghimire: Finding Jesus in America"

Conversion from Judaism and a vision

“This being appears in my dream in glory like I’ve never seen before in my life.  I’m not looking at this with my eyes.  I’m in a dream, but this is real. I don’t know how else to explain it, but I thought I was going to die in the presence of this being with eyes so bright that they were brighter than the sun. In His hand was an old looking parchment, and it had all this writing on it and I couldn’t read it. It was too small. But I knew in my spirit that it was my whole life up to that point. In the bottom in big bold letter it said, ‘IT’S TIME TO COME HOME.’”
...He prayed to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
“It was like a brick house lifted off me, a dark, heavy stickiness. This is what I’ve been looking for.  I knew that all my sins had been forgiven, that I was right with God now.”

-from "Cyril Gordon: A Spiritual Journey Leads to Christ"

An ex-Christian reconverts to a more liberal version of Christianity after spiritual experiences:

"At my mom's insistence, we attended a Seventh-Day Adventist service at a different church. When she suggested it I started having a panic attack, but I said I'd go with her and dad anyway. We went. And it was.... nice. I had been suffering from anxiety for a while now, and that day felt like one of the only days I've had truly free of anxiety. The service was nice, I hung out with my boyfriend later and didn't feel bad, and it was just... good. All the troubles I had were suddenly washed away, and I thought, you know, maybe I can give Christianity a try again.
...I started reading a book called 'Kissing Fish: Christianity for People Who Don't Like Christianity' that introduced me to Progressive Christian thinking. At first, I was afraid that I was just trying to make myself feel better, that I was just trying to find a way to twist God into a mold that would make me feel more comfortable with my life choices. But in reading some of the passages in there, I began to feel the same sense of peace and acceptance that I felt on that one church service. I finally started to realize... if God truly is love, then He truly loves me, imperfect and flawed as I am. This peace that I'm feeling... I've never felt it in any other spiritual situation before. I've never felt this before. Many of the ways of thinking presented in that book about God, Jesus, and the Bible seemed to wash over me in waves of love and comfort, something that I've never felt from religion. I finally started to realize what all those Christians meant when they said they could feel God's love. I don't have to be trapped by the staunch dogmas I thought were 'true Christianity'. I felt just a little bit more free.
...I don't know what the future will hold, but for the first time, I can find comfort in trusting a God that has revealed Himself to be truly loving."

-from "Recovering Christian: There and Back Again" by reddit user malheureux_

Prophesy, Revelation, Healing by Laying on Hands

"As a young married couple starting in ministry, Robert and Stacy Gay wrestled over the decision to have a second child.  Stacy was ready. Robert was not.  'She said, ‘Lord, I just want confirmation if this is me, if this is You, or if this is something we should proceed ahead on having another child,’' Robert recalls.
The answer came shortly there after at a church conference through prophetic words. 'I didn’t get just one, not two, but three words,' he says. 'One of them was: ‘I see a baby,’ and another was: ‘I see you are about to have a child.’ The other was: ‘I see you are going to have a child, and you are going to have this child by the end of the year.’'  Stacy recalls, ’A daughter who would be a dancer in the house of the Lord...’
'Whenever I got those words, I knew,' Robert says. 'Lord this is You.'  Like many Christians, Robert and Stacy believe that God still speaks today. He often speaks through others using prophetic words. 
Robert says, 'About the end of March, we found out that Stacy was pregnant.'  But one week later…  'I began to bleed and spot very heavily,' Stacy says... 'The prognosis was that there was no life in the womb.'
'She called me on the phone and she was crying,' Robert says. ‘What are we going to do?’ ...And I said, ‘You are not going to do anything. We are going to stand, and we are going to believe the word of the Lord. The word of the Lord said we would have a daughter who would be a dancer in the house of the Lord.'
'That evening when I got home from work, I laid my hands on her stomach and said, ‘You will live and not die.’' We began to agree together, and the church began to pray. We all began to speak life to the womb, and we began to declare the prophetic word that had been spoken over our lives.'
But the bleeding continued...  Subsequent visits to the doctor brought the same dire report...  But several weeks later, the Gays received a very different report. A strong heartbeat resounded from the womb.  Eight months later, the astonished doctors delivered a perfectly normal baby girl...  For 18 years, the Gays have praised God for their beautiful dancer."

-from "Robert and Stacy Gay: The Word and the Promise"

Hearing the Voice of God

"Let me tell you about a most wonderful experience I had early Monday morning, March 19, 2007, a little after six o’clock. God actually spoke to me. There is no doubt that it was God. I heard the words in my head just as clearly as when a memory of a conversation passes across your consciousness. The words were in English, but they had about them an absolutely self-authenticating ring of truth. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God still speaks today.
...As I prayed and mused, suddenly it happened. God said, 'Come and see what I have done.' There was not the slightest doubt in my mind that these were the very words of God. In this very moment. At this very place in the twenty-first century, 2007, God was speaking to me with absolute authority and self-evidencing reality. I paused to let this sink in. There was a sweetness about it. Time seemed to matter little. God was near. He had me in his sights. He had something to say to me. When God draws near, hurry ceases. Time slows down.
...I was being enveloped in the love of his personal communication. The God of the universe was speaking to me.
Then he said, as clearly as any words have ever come into my mind, 'I am awesome in my deeds toward the children of man.' My heart leaped up, 'Yes, Lord! You are awesome in your deeds. Yes, to all men whether they see it or not. Yes! Now what will you show me?'
The words came again. Just as clear as before, but increasingly specific: 'I turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There they rejoiced in me—who rules by my might forever.' Suddenly I realized God was taking me back several thousand years to the time when he dried up the Red Sea and the Jordan River. ...God himself was narrating the mighty works of God. He was doing it for me. He was doing it with words that were resounding in my own mind.
There settled over me a wonderful reverence. A palpable peace came down. This was a holy moment and a holy corner of the world in northern Minnesota. God Almighty had come down and was giving me the stillness and the openness and the willingness to hear his very voice.
...I sat staring at nothing. My mind was full of the global glory of God. 'I keep watch over the nations.' He had said this to me. It was not just that he had said it. Yes, that is glorious. But he had said this to me. The very words of God were in my head. They were there in my head just as much as the words that I am writing at this moment are in my head. They were heard as clearly as if at this moment I recalled that my wife said, 'Come down for supper whenever you are ready.' I know those are the words of my wife. And I know these are the words of God.
...What effect did this have on me? It filled me with a fresh sense of God’s reality. It assured me more deeply that he acts in history and in our time. It strengthened my faith that he is for me and cares about me and will use his global power to watch over me. Why else would he come and tell me these things?
It has increased my love for the Bible as God’s very word, because it was through the Bible that I heard these divine words, and through the Bible I have experiences like this almost every day. The very God of the universe speaks on every page into my mind—and your mind. We hear his very words. God himself has multiplied his wondrous deeds and thoughts toward us; none can compare with him!"

-from "The Morning I Heard the Voice of God", by John Piper

Martin Luther King, Jr. hears the voice of God.  After receiving many death threats, King was heavily shaken and prayed for help.

"'Lord, I'm down here trying to do what's right. I still think I'm right. I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But Lord, I must confess that I'm weak now, I'm faltering. I'm losing my courage. Now, I am afraid. And I can't let the people see me like this because if they see me weak and losing my courage, they will begin to get weak. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they too will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I've come to the point where I can't face it alone.'
As he prayed alone in the silent kitchen, King heard a voice saying, 'Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo, I will be with you. Even until the end of the world.' Then King heard the voice of Jesus. 'I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. No never alone. No never alone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.'
And as the voice washed over the stains of the wretched caller, King reached a spiritual shore beyond fear and apprehension. 'I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced Him before,' he said. 'Almost at once my fears began to go,' King said of the midnight flash of illumination and resolve. 'My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything.'"

-from, "Receiving the Call"

An ex-convict heard the voice of God

"One night in January 2007, while laying in bed praying and talking to God ... God spoke to me!  It was the very first time I've ever heard God speak to me!  God said three words to me, and the best three words I have ever heard!
God said, 'Welcome home, son.' 
I didn't know what to think!  I was scared at first, but then I started to question how could God ever welcome me home -- a sinner, lost to the world?  I have heard of God speaking to others, but ME?
I know some reading this will be skeptical that it was really God who spoke to me.  Many will just think I imagined it, or am lying about it to impress others.  That is understandable.  I'm not out to try to prove to anyone that it was really God who clearly spoke to me.  God knows the truth and I know the truth, and that is really all that matters in the end.  I believe God knew I needed to hear His voice clearly, otherwise my relationship with Him might well have continued on shaky ground.  Lord knows I sure didn't deserve to hear His voice, but because He did allow me to hear it ... it has helped me greatly to get much more serious about walking in obedience to Him.
I've since learned that God promises to speak to each of us once we become fully born again and purpose to walk in the Spirit as Romans 8 speaks of -- becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus.  He doesn't want it to be some big deal (Though it is!). It should become very common-place - very ordinary.  It may not be in any remarkable and dramatic way like the first time it happened to me ... but it certainly can be.  Often it is more of a knowing that anything else.  It's hard to describe it to anyone else at times, but you just have a knowing that it wasn't you listening to your own thoughts, but the voice of God talking to you.  God has also been known to speak in dreams and even visions, or it can be through another person.  Most often, learning how to hear His voice comes as you study the Bible with the purpose of really wanting to know everything God has to say to us in it, with a desire, of course, to obey Him as He reveals His truths to you.  That is the most common way Jesus teaches His true followers how to hear His voice."

-from, "God Spoke to Me!", by Chris Alexander

Christians Discuss- What Does the Holy Spirit Feel Like?

"Generally speaking, when the Spirit speaks, people recognize the message as coming from God.  So the first thing I’d say is the Holy Spirit feels like truth.
The Spirit is described in various parts of scripture as fire, power, faith, peace, joy, fullness, or holiness (the seal of God’s promise in and on us).  All these things come from God and when the Spirit makes His presence known we usually feel at least some of these things in some way or another.
In most cases in scripture the arrival of the Spirit is followed immediately by someone speaking God’s word or prophesying.  The Spirit of God brings God’s word, and when the Spirit inspires, it feels impossible to keep quiet about the Word.
The Spirit is, truly and literally, God within us.  Sometimes a person can sense the presence of a Being far greater than can be imagined; I’m sure when the Spirit touches us, He holds back a great deal otherwise we’d be completely overwhelmed.
In conjunction with healing and other miracles, the presence of the Spirit is often described as 'warmth', 'a tingling sensation', 'electrical' or 'breathtaking'."

-from Getting Started blog, “What Does the Holy Spirit Feel Like?”, by Peg

From comments on the article:

"There is no better mental or physical experience than that of the Holy Spirit. The enormous peace and joy that engulfs your mind and body is something that’s unexplainable; it has to be experienced by the believer."

-from blog user Dorothy

"It was like a warm oil filling my body via the top middle of my head and lowering slowly to fill my whole body. When my body was filled human words could not possibly explain how perfect it was and how happy I became. I remember saying if this is what heaven is like, I want to go straight there. It was unexplainable. I knew it was GOD, I knew it was the truth, I knew it was perfect. Since then, I am still the same person, except I believe in GOD 100%, I have absolutely no fear, I love all the time, even when times are tough, and sad. My emotions are more sensitive and maxed out. I have more understanding of life, and I see everything in a better light. My life is still the same, but it does not worry me or concern me as I know there is something much better beyond this life."

-from blog user Mark

"I felt a warm tingling sensation that started in my head and moved to the rest of my body – similar to the sensation of taking a relaxing hot shower. This was accompanied by so many tears of joy that I had to stop singing but continued to mouth the words out of love for God. This was the first time I had ever experienced joy to the point of weeping, so it all seemed very strange. Looking around I could see others were experiencing the same tears of joy."

-from blog user Tom

"When I first started feeling this holy spirit is when I got saved and was unaware of what is was, it felt like best way for me to explain it was when I sung songs gospel songs or prayed to GOD I would feel something like oil being poured over my head and continuing down my torso – body.
It was not a warm feeling or electricity feeling but a presence like I said like oil being poured on my head and flowing downward my body I feel very peaceful when it happens not scared and sometimes I get like a smile so powerful like happyness feeling.
In some way people could I guess descibe it as tingly but I strongly feel it feels more like a presence to me at least.
I asked alot of christians about it and some answer me saying it is the holy spirit and others I asked say they never felt it, I hope it is from GOD and thats what I strongly feel"

-from blog user Robert

"You will probably be familiar with this feeling, the warm buzzing, vibrating kind of physical feeling that you may have felt in Church before, or when you have been on your own praying etc. I personally associate this feeling to the presence of the Holy Spirit. Whenever I am in communion with the Spirit of God, this feeling is with me. In actual fact, this feeling is with me pretty much all the time. Except whenever I have grieved the Holy Spirit, this feeling leaves me.
...I said Holy Spirit show me how and where I begin getting to know the Father. Immediately that buzzing was there, it was all over my body. It wasn’t full on, it was clearly there, but not overwhelmingly so. I began to say “my spirit to your spirit Holy Spirit” and I said this over and over, then all of a sudden, it had taken over. My entire physical body felt as if it wasn’t there anymore, my eyes were closed, but I could feel the Glory and presence of God right before me, and it was lifting me up.
...I felt so humbled, and grateful to be given such an opportunity to experience God like this. The Holy Spirit was telling me, that to get to the know the Father, you start with praise. You praise him for the wonderful blessings, and lessons he has brought to your life. You start with loving the Father and the Son. You allow them into your life, and they will show you exactly how much they love you.
This experience was unlike anything I have ever felt before in my life. And before that night, there was always doubt. A little bit of doubt, not much but it was there. Now there is none.  My life has changed so much in such a short amount of time, all because I listen to those thoughts that enter my mind...  A little voice comes in and convicts me of that, and tells me that’s not the right thing to do. I listen to myself when I feel bad because I havent read the bible in a few days. You know. I listen to the word of God when things jump out at me, and are applicable to my situation at the time. These things are all the Holy Spirit."

-from blog user Victoria

A woman describes her experiences with the Holy Spirit:

"This whole week I’ve been blogging about the Holy Spirit.  I can’t stop thinking about Him. I’m so awed by whom He is and all that He does for me.  I reflected back on all the interaction I’ve had with Him.  My first big shocking interaction was when my husband spoke in tongues and then I did.  It was so shocking and so exciting.  I knew speaking in tongues was real because the language was so beautiful and I know I could not have made that up on my own.
The experience went through every part of my body.  I was so excited that all I wanted to do was pray to God.  The Holy Spirit also manifested Himself to me in other ways.  We truly have a very close relationship.  It wasn’t that He was only in me… but through me and all over me.
The Holy Spirit not only reveals Himself to me in prayer…  but at so many other times…  His counsel to me has been incredible.  He advises me every day about something.  I have felt His arms around me when I needed comfort.
 In my singing ministry…I walk up to the microphone to sing and sometimes I’m not feeling up to par… I start singing and halfway through the song I feel the Holy Spirit fill me and I know then that the music has gone to another level.  I feel like we are singing and not just me.  I feel the congregation feels His presence too.  Sometimes I get so nervous before I have to sing and I ask Him if He’s with me and He makes me know in some unique way that He‘s with me.  Sometimes I can feel Him escort me up to sing and other times like I said…He manifests Himself while I sing.
...The Holy Spirit has even showed me a vision of Himself when I first committed myself to the Lord.  ...He will always be with me and will be there the day I die which is so comforting to me.  I am always in the presence of my God."

-from the blog, "God Speaks, I Listen", by Tanya Nemley

From Yahoo Answers question, "What does the presence of the Holy Spirit feel like?"

"I have been really blessed to feel the Holy Spirit twice. I asked God to come into my life again because I was feeling a void. I was spiritually thirsty for Him. The next morning when I woke up, I felt the Holy Spirit! To make it short, it feels like peace, knowledge (of God), love, electricity from head to toe, fire burning inside you, happiness, peace, joy, safety... Emotions humans don't even have words for. I felt all of these. Some people feel one of these, or a couple, or all. It is a truly beautiful feeling and experience."

-from Yahoo user Sstrom

"Really I think it's like different from person to person. Also it's kind of like indescribable sometimes. You just feel have this calmness in times of trouble, you feel like someone is always watching over you, idk it's really not like anything else so I can't really describe it. The best thing I could say is that it feels better than without having the Holy Spirit (and I do partially know what that feels like). God bless :)"

-from Yahoo user S

"Like being enveloped in Light and Glory. Some of my friends have fallen down under god's power when someone has prayed for them and those who continue to rest on carpet feel cocooned in amazing peace, some experience a sense of being cleansed or healed. Some have been healed of a physical complaint.My husband has had a powerful vision - it involved seeing the steps of God's throne and his robe flowing down the steps, also he saw Christ standing by him and then experienced the Power of the Holy Spirit! The Spirit settled on him like a calming, soothing, cleansing coverlet which seemed to seep through his flesh into his very soul!  ...It was a Trinitarian experience of God!
...In worship I have a sense of great love, glory and the perfection of Heaven. So many of us are so overwhelmed at these beautiful times that tears roll down our faces. Sometimes I feel as though i want to weep heartily and noisily with all my might!
I ask myself - 'Why this compulsion to weep?' - It is because the love, glory and pefection that we feel is in such stark but wonderful and stunning contrast to the sorrows, pain and sheer evil that we all experience to some degree in this life. The sense of wonder and Joy seems to be too Pure and Perfect for the human heart to handle! It truly is fantastic! Some people get almost addicted to worship because it links you in a very intimate way with God. Charismatic worshippers when in praise song, often close their eyes, engrossed in the presence of God."

-from Yahoo user Yorkshire Lass

"Very happy :)
It's hard to explain because the happiness you feel (from the Holy Spirit) is nothing of this world. The happiness just makes you want to praise God :)"

-from Yahoo user Jesus = only way to salvation

"An overwhelming presence of love and happiness. So overwhelming, that words can't justify it. It's truly remarkable."

-from Yahoo user Barry Obama

"Tingles to me but its different for everyone He is a personal God"

-from Yahoo user Kylie


"When I experience the Holy Ghost for the first time I felt that fire or an intense feeling that starts from the pit of your stomach and spreads throughout the body.
Not a fire that feels like it's burning you alive from the inside out...No!
Just an intense warmth or tingling sensation that can be at times breath taking. Do not forget however, that this was and still is what the presence of the Holy Ghost feels like for me.
...When the presence of the Holy Spirit is manifested it also fills you with this sense of peace and joy, or belonging and purpose, and leaves you feeling complete and empowered.
...The Holy Spirit presence embraces you like the comfort of a friend. It feels like a very real presence that accompanies you throughout your day."

-from "What does the Holy Spirit Presence feel like?"

From the Revolutionary Faith Blog:

"Whenever I’m worshiping in the Spirit, it literally feels like a river is flowing out of my belly–a river flowing with life. Some people might find that description unsettling, but it’s really the most comforting and freeing sensation imaginable. The barrier between God and my flesh is temporarily removed, and I commune deeply with Him.
...When the Holy Spirit is stirred inside of me, all of my anxieties and frustrations melt away. I feel excited about doing God’s work and want to humble myself in worship. He speaks His vision to my heart and gives me hope for the future. Sometimes, the joy I feel is so great that I want to dance. But even more than that, the Holy Spirit surrounds me with His gentleness and compassion. His words may challenge me to eschew sin, but He’s never harsh or manipulative.
...I have experienced... boldness when sharing the gospel with others. Sometimes, it’s like a warm, raging fire in my chest.
...Sometimes when the Holy Spirit is stirred within me, I feel ecstatic–like I could float right up through the ceiling. At other times, I sense a sober and weighty formality. That formality, I believe, comes from God’s glory. God’s presence is a very humbling thing.
...And that’s what the Holy Spirit feels like. He is a river of living water. He is a consuming fire. He is gentle, patient and loving. He brings insight, healing, freedom, boldness and joy. He reveals the glory of God."

-from "What does the Holy Spirit feel like?", by April K

"Then, at the final service, God shattered all of my preconceived notions about experiencing His presence. I always thought that I had to feel something: a weight, an elation, a loss of my senses. After all, most of my faith experience at this point had involved some kind of emotionalism. But none of that happened. God showed me that I could experience Him with my physical senses–emotions not needed.
...I began praying with a woman from my church, waiting to feel God’s presence bubbling up in my soul. But I felt nothing but a cold void inside of me...
And then...
I heard someone singing. It was nice. Very nice. Beautiful. Heavenly, in fact. Arresting. The sound grew louder, more intense. It was the most beautiful singing I had ever heard. Who was that?
...The other women began to hear it, too.
...Soon, I could count six distinct voices...  And the sound grew more intense by the minute. I could feel vibrations in my chest. This went on for 15 or 20 minutes.
And the sound. My God. There was nothing like it. I remember hearing Charlotte Church sing when I was a kid. This blew her out of the water. These were operatic voices with no vibrato. Perfectly pure. Divine. These were angels singing.
I didn’t run around the chapel. I didn’t leap or wave my arms. I didn’t shout in tongues. I didn’t fall out or roll on the floor. Instead, I simply sat and listened with my jaw on the floor. Many of the women were crying and praising God. Thirty-five out of the 38 women at the service said they heard the singing. The next day, some of them reported seeing wings and other visions during that time. I heard a deep, thundering voice speak at the peak of the singing, but what it said, I can’t fully recall or express it in English."

-from "My Faith Experience: Part 2", by April K