Lawrence (who died in 2009) attended a conference in 1985 where John Wimber spoke. Wimber's words of knowledge convinced Lawrence that God can speak today and is willing to do so.
He studied Scripture, knowing that the Spirit spoke through the Word. “Most Christians accept that God communicates through the Bible, but some go on to say that today God speaks to us only through the Bible.” (25)
It was the “only” that concerned him. He found three reasons he could no longer accept the “only.” Logically, if God spoke then (to the prophets, to Peter and Paul), He speaks now. Christians throughout history have claimed that God spoke to them. Lawrence saw nothing in the Bible that precluded the Spirit speaking today.
Lawrence shares his own fledgling attempts at hearing the Spirit in his Church of England congregation. He shares where he got it wrong, then began getting it right. God who speaks lives inside every born again Christian, and it is only right, he says, “we should all expect Him to speak to us by His Spirit.” (50)
He began to experience prayer, not as a chore, but as an adventure. We should “expect to hear Him and know Him within our innermost being,” looking “regularly for God's direct communication to us.” (59) He shares his own experiences of speaking in tongues and praying for healing, being very honest about the times he was, and was not, obedient to the Holy Spirit. He gives suggestions for hearing and responding to the Spirit in a group setting. He tells how the Holy Spirit goes outside the meetings, proclaiming the kingdom. He gives examples (his own and others') of word of knowledge, emotional healing, physical healing, and dealing with demons, including exorcisms, and the breaking of soul ties and blood lines. He gives biblical examples as foundations for the supernatural events. He also gives teaching on testing the spirits and how to regulate (test) words to be given publicly. He ends his book with the account of his own brain tumor.
In his chapter, “Signs and Blunders,” he openly shares his errors. “Sometimes we can get it wrong,” he says, “yet better that than not try at all.” (167)
A study guide is included at the end of the book. Some of the suggestions/questions include the actual practicing of hearing the Spirit and then ministering. Because of that, this book would be a great one for an individual or group of people who desire to see the Spirit actively moving in their lives.
It's been decades since I read Nine O’clock in the Morning about the revival of the charismatic movement in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. Lawrence's book is similar, showing the Holy Spirit's work in England. If you believe the Spirit is no longer active in believer's lives, this book will irritate you. If you want to get an idea of how the Spirit could be moving in your life, today, you will find this book to be a treasure.
David C Cook, 235 pages.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.