As far as prayer charisms go you would think the gift of praise would be the first one given. Maybe, for many people, that is the case. Not for me. This was one of the last prayer gifts I received, only God knows why.
For many years I had trouble praising God. Oh, I praised Him. Often. The problem was: unlike the rest of my prayer life, it didn't seem to come from the heart. I would force myself to do it and I would even pray Psalms of praise to Him. I loved Him dearly. Why couldn't I praise Him with my whole heart? It was as if I was somewhat blocked when it came to praise. So... for years I praised and thanked God and then I would apologize to Him. "I'm sorry, Lord. I want to praise You with my whole being but it just won't come out."
One day my daughter was watching TV and fiddling with the remote control. She got bored and left the room to go do something else. I started cleaning the living room and paused to dust the top of the TV. As I was dusting, a televangelist on the TV said, "Something BIG is going to happen in your life!" Fire went through my body. "I don't know if this is for someone in the audience or someone at home, but something BIG is going to happen in your life." The fire of the Holy Spirit engulfed me and I was given the gift of praise. This is a true story, despite how weird it sounds. God has a great sense of humor and if He wants to heal or give gifts to someone through a television set, that's exactly what happens. All power is His and who are we to say otherwise. After that I was able to praise Him with my whole heart. I was even waking up from dreams with praises on my lips. It was really strange, but stranger things have happened. God is a God of miracles!
Thank you, Lord, for this precious gift!
Oh, by the way, pip, it gets a lot weirder than this but I guess you're right, I can always offer it up as suffering if people think I'm crazy ;)