There is a way that I have helped some people to get started using their spiritual gifts. I am sure that my way is not the only way to do this, but it is the way I know. I am ordinarily hesitant to give people this information except a little bit at a time and go through it with them and talk to them a lot about what they think about it and life in general.
It can be difficult to go through this process without a lot of help and support. As I mentioned in some of my posts, like the ones about spontaneous combustion and about Thomas Merton, it can be quite risky at a certain point to work on your spiritual gifts.
I have been able to help some people past this dangerous point so that they were safe.
It is because of the probable threat on my life and maybe having only a short time left to pass on my experience that I am posting this here. I made it through the danger point of my spiritual gift development without human assistance and so have others. I will tell you as much as possible to help you with this also.
Finding, developing and using your spiritual gifts may be necessary to your continued survival and of the human race. If we end the earth in a nuclear holocaust, there may be nothing left except cockroaches and crabgrass. Both of those have survived nuclear bombs.
I am not fond of either cockroaches or crabgrass, so I hope that you and others will get your spiritual gifts going and use them for the good of mankind and the earth. :-)
In order for your spiritual gifts to even wake up at all you need energy for them to operate on. I call this necessary energy, "grace". I don't try to hide my viewpoint that explains my using the term, "grace". If you object to this word, don't let that stop you. You can call it whatever you like, Chi, Ji, Mana, Juju, Juice, they all pretty much are talking about the same energy.
We all need this energy or grace to operate our spiritual gifts. We even need it to stay alive and have the systems in our bodies work right. The energy that is already in us to run our bodies and stay alive is not enough to use our spiritual gifts. The amount of grace needed to use our spiritual gifts is usually much greater than what is running our bodies.
The amount of grace running our bodies is barely enough to even begin to wake up our spiritual gifts. You need to learn to get more grace to wake up your spiritual gifts. Most of us are so starved for grace that our spiritual gifts don't even stir.
The way that I got more energy for spiritual gifts was through prayer. The prayer does not need to be a formal church type of prayer or even a prayer that bears any resemblance to a religious prayer. This process has even worked for people who claimed to be Atheists or Agnostics.
One of the problems that I have encountered in getting church people started with this process is that they always say, "I already pray every day and nothing happens". This does not work because even enthusiastic praying people only spend a very small part of their whole day in prayer. That won't generate a lot of grace to use for spiritual gifts.
In order for your spiritual gifts to have enough grace to run on, you need to really ramp up your praying time. (Ignore this if you aren't churched.) The Bible says for you to, "Pray without ceasing." Other Holy Books say essentially the same thing somewhere.
The reason for this is that it takes so much energy to get spiritual gifts started that you need to figure out a way to pray stronger or longer.
My way of doing this is to start with a prayer asking that my entire life be dedicated to Gd. This is not a prayer to make lightly, because you may be taken at your word and will never have a normal life again. I feel that it was really worth it, though. This is true for every person I have helped with this process. Even if you are sure that you have already done this, do it again.
If you don't believe in Gd, find your best equivalent to what you do believe in. Some people have said this to the Universe, or the gestalt mind or other creative ways of looking at it. If you are sincere about your prayer or substitute for it, it will still work.
Once you do that, I find that a prayer or your substitute for it, as soon as you wake up, even before you get out of bed, is the next step. The prayer to use goes something like this, "I offer up everything I do for the rest of the day as a prayer", or "Please accept everything I do for this day as a prayer".
When you do this prayer right, it means that even your breathing or your heartbeat or whatever else you do during your sleep becomes a prayer. That effectively makes your prayer run day and night, 24 hours a day.
This will cause you to gain a tremendous boost in the energy or grace that comes into you. After you do this a while, your poor starved spiritual gifts will be like a seed being watered. Your spiritual gifts will begin to wake up and do something so you can have a chance to know they are there.
You need to pay attention to what is happening in and around you once you begin this process to awaken your spiritual gifts. Some spiritual gifts are not that flashy, especially when they are just beginning to wake up. You may even miss them unless you are paying close attention.
Exhortation and Helps are a couple of spiritual gifts that are not that noticeable, but are very important. Exhortation is the ability to say exactly the right thing at the right time.
When someone is feeling bad, a person with this gift will say the very thing to cheer them up. If someone else is getting cocky because of winning a football game or archery contest, the one with the gift of exhortation will say just the right pithy comment to prick their balloon and bring them back down to earth.
It is not necessarily sarcasm in the last example, just what the conceited person needs to hear to keep them from being unbearable to live with. Said pithy comment can also help the person it is aimed by keeping them on track for their spiritual development. Egotism can be a sidetrack for spiritual development.
I will write about helps tomorrow because this post is getting so long.