View Full Version : Sensing God's presence

11-01-01, 12:25 AM
Question: When the Pastor or someone says: "The presence of God in this place is strong" or "There's a strong annointing in this place", what do they mean?

Do they feel or sense something?

eg: when a suicidal sinner walks into a church building and senses peace, to him that may be God's presence or the presence of the Holy Spirit.

So what to you is "God's presence"? :)

11-01-01, 04:52 AM
Originally posted by Andrew
Question: When the Pastor or someone says: "The presence of God in this place is strong" or "There's a strong annointing in this place", what do they mean?

This is a really good question...

The only time I've ever heard anyone say this, was in the pentecostal church I used to be in. I always assumed (because they never told you what they meant) that they did indeed sense something, or feel some strong presence of the Holy Spirit.

I used to wonder why they said that, since the Bible tells us that for believers, He will never leave us. Knowing that He is constantly with each believer, I used to think, when I'd hear someone say this, "well of course you can sense that He is here, you're in a church full of His people".

It didn't really make sense to me, it always sounded like something such as walking into a tire store, and declaring "I can tell there are several tires in here".

So I'm not really sure why people say that, it seems to me they're just stating the obvious, in a church full of His people.

What are your thoughts on that?

11-01-01, 07:23 AM
Maybe they are trying to create some sort of "mystical" mood....

11-01-01, 09:16 PM
Christ Alone,

Well, I've never been in a Pentecostal church. But I've heard the same thing in the traditional Methodist church I used to worshipped at for some 20+ years.

Also, when I attend big events like the Festival of Praise or some other rally, I hear the same thing. ie not just charismatics say this.

I do not think all these Pastors are saying it just for the sake of saying it or as part of "protocol". I believe they do sense something. This shld not be odd. If some ppl can sense the presence of an evil spirit, why can't we sense the presence of the Holy Spirit?

Also, it is not wrong to want to sense God (of course i know we walk by faith). Just as I can't tell my wife all the time "Dear, I love you - take it by faith!", i believe at times God will let us feel something.

But what's interesting (for the purpose of discussion here) is just what do they sense? How do they know?

My personal experience is that I feel something LIKE "hairs standing". It is not exaclty the same thing but that's the closest i can describe. I feel it from my head to shoulders only. Sometimes it's there for a couple of seconds sometimes it comes in waves from head down. It usu happens when the worship leader begins with prayer or some edifying words/exhortation, when the Pastors prays over the congregation or gives the benediction. Sometimes i feel a cool breeze but dont know whether that's just the air conditioning!

God bless

11-02-01, 02:33 AM
Hello Andrew, I love your question. The Pentecostals are hounding me around here & I keep hearing terminology & phrases I have never heard before & I don't know what they are talking about either. But I know what they SHOULD mean when they say they "feel" the presence : Gal. 5:22,23- But the FRUIT of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." To me this means the Holy Spirit"s presence supernaturally produces these "fruits". So then the pastor is feeling the presence of supernatural love, joy, peace, etc. Debbie

11-02-01, 02:43 AM
Dear Deb,
The Pentecostals are hounding me around here
?? I dun think there are any Pentecostals in this forum, unless you r talking about your home or work area. I think there are only a couple of charismatics here, me included.

but back to the question, what in your own experience is the presence of God. ie how do you know "God is in the house". eg do you feel a sense of peace or joy, or does your hair stand? etc

I'm just trying to gather how diff ppl sense (thru their 5 senses) God's presence.


11-02-01, 10:26 AM
Question: When the Pastor or someone says: "The presence of God in this place is strong" or "There's a strong annointing in this place", what do they mean?
Do they feel or sense something?

Good question. I think some of it is just emotions. Like At a concert many people say it but I think that they were just more emotionally moved by what the musician had to say than God bing there. Not that that is a bad thing. Rich Mullins had a lot of good things to say about this topic. If I find a link to what he said I will post it. It was a lot like what I said above. It might carry more weight from him though.

You could find that statement in many traditions. I think of the Catholic discipline of comteplative prayer. It is a lot about feeling God's pressence. Also as a Baptist I have heard it many times. I thnk sometimes it is emotion or just made up but sometimes it is real. I think if it is real no one has to say anything. Everyone knows it. Like one time when I was at high school camp. It was raining. We were all praying underneath a shelter for the praise and sermon time to come and we also prayed for it not to rain. The moment we stopped praying the rain stopped. It was awesome. Also many times when I take prayer walks (i like to walk and pray or drive) I have felt His pressence. Usually it is very convicting. But also very hopeful and full of peace, love, joy, etc., etc., I think there is a feeling part of Christianity. Johnathan Edwards did too. So it is also in the rEformed community.
Lastly I think that God is always there. Sometimes He speaks to us so we can hear Him better than other times and some times we are listening more. Did any of this make sense?

11-02-01, 02:22 PM
Very well put Blackhaw. Sometimes I think people say it to show off, & sometimes His presence is unmistakeable in the warmth, love, peace, etc. & even an actual event like you mentioned the stopping of the rain. Very nice explanation , helped me understand the terminology better myself. Yes, Andrew, the Pentecostal aggression/hounding I'm recieving is in my personal life, not on the site. love, debbie

11-02-01, 06:03 PM
Here is wher Rich Mullins talks about the Spirit working.

John Rivers: 20: The Countdown Magazine remember Rich Mullins.

Rich: A lot of times we think something spiritual is happening and it is merely aesthetics. That is why it always bugs me at the end of a concert someone will say, "Wow the Spirit really worked" and I kind of go, "How would you even be able to know that? It was so noisy in here tonight. How would you know if the Spirit was working?"
"Well, I was really moved." Well, that is an emotional thing. That's not a spiritual thing. A spiritual thing is folding your clothes at the end of the day. A spiritual thing is making your bed. A spiritual thing is taking cookies to your neighbor that is shut in or raking their front lawn because they are too old to do it. That's spirituality. Getting a warm, oozy feeling about God is an emotional thing. There is nothing wrong with it. I think there is nothing more practical than real spirituality. But nothing more fun than
just a good heartfelt emotional experience of God because I think emotions are good. They are only dangerous when we come away from an experience where we were emotionally manipulated and we confuse that with being convicted. I think conviction - there is an emotion that accompanies that but it certainly goes deeper than just coming away going, "Oh isn't God neat? Two different worlds."

if you want to look at the whole transcript follow this link.


11-03-01, 12:36 PM
I think that if the Spirit of God is truly working, and truly strong in a place and truly moving in a powerful way...the only real and honest way of knowing that for sure is...are lives being changed in a sincere and tangible way.
Are people being saved? Are people deeply and honestly growing closer to Him?
NOT, did I "feel" happy, or joyful? Like the Rich Mullins comments...that's an emotional thing. It's not a bad thing, but there more important things.

11-04-01, 02:34 AM
Thanks for all the replies!

I think diff people express feeling God's presence in diff ways. we're all unique creations and express or interpret the same thing in varied ways.

But what's most important abt sensing God's presence is like wat fledge says - are lives being changed, yokes being broken, burdens lighten, etc what's the fruit?

Ken Nielsen
11-12-01, 06:01 PM
When a pastor says that "the spirit of God is very strong in this place" I simply trust his/her leadership. Scripture tells us that where two or more are gathered in His name that He is in the midst. To me, the pastor is calling us to calm, and to open our senses to the very real truth of God's Word.

12-03-01, 11:01 PM
God is always with us, but there are times when I feel myself being far from God. So when the Pastor or whoever is saying that the presence of God can be felt, I feel that God is drawing me closer to Him again and He's letting me know it by letting me know that He is present.:)

12-28-01, 01:01 PM
God draws near to me when I am worshiping him and when he does I always feel care-free and want to rush out onto the streets and tell people how good he is and he is offering his love to anyone. His presence in all just reminds me that whatever I have done it is forgiven and I always want other people to know that they are forgiven.

12-28-01, 01:11 PM
I have sensed a physical presence before, sometimes while worshipping, once while riding home in my car. It's hard to explain an unseen presence. Sometimes it feels good, sometimes it is a little frightening. The only way I can explain that I know it is God is that " His sheep will know his voice."
I have also felt the presence of evil spirits before, and it feels completely different.

CAn anyone relate to any of this?

12-28-01, 01:17 PM
You're right Jhamrick, it is completely un explainable. Like trying to explain tounges: You know the words but you don't understand them; It seems to spill out of you but yet you are in perfect controll, strange! (but very very cool!!!)

01-15-02, 07:58 PM
The only way i know its god is you will be praying for a long time and you feel a warm and awsome love come over you that will melt you with such peace you fell like your in heaven .