Mystical Experiencer: Male in mid-sixties
Submission date: June 24, 2021
Current location: Australia
Age at time of experience: 19
I was 19 and about to commit as an atheist when (on the prompting of Christian friends), I decided to challenge God to reveal Himself before I would choose atheism. I went to my bedroom and prayed that if God existed, He should be powerful enough to reveal His presence to me. Needless to say, this led only to silence.
I then pondered life and the universe and it seemed that the universe was cold and empty and conscious life was a cruel experience contemplating our own demise. But then I remembered I needed to ask forgiveness in Jesus’ name. I went through the motions but again nothing. I didn’t even feel I had any sin that needed forgiveness. But suddenly I was overcome with guilt at my arrogance and literally started crying uncontrollably. I felt driven again to pray with genuine remorse and humility. Immediately I prayed this way, and my whole room erupted in warmth and was suffused in a Golden Light. My immediate surroundings remained visible but lost their “solidity” – my bed, the furnishings, and walls seemed like a poorly constructed stage set. I literally felt like I was held and “baked” in enormous Love. I briefly contemplated asking for objective proof such as a simple levitation but felt that this was ridiculous in the reality of what I was experiencing.
As the early 1970s was a time of Vietnam, the threat of nuclear conflict, and environmental degradation, I mentally told God of my fears and despair for the world and asked God about the problems of the World. A calm and Powerful Thought emerged in my perception that those problems were under His control and I need not worry – just that I should be at peace that I was eternally Loved and that my sins were gone. After a few more seconds the room returned to normal and I felt joy and gratitude. I understood what “Grace” was.
After this, I went to one or two churches but found only emptiness there. When I see people raising their hands and falling to their knees in praise it seems fake to me. My experience is not that God “demands” worship, but that feeling love and awe are just a natural reaction when we really join with God.