Following my response to God's call to enter the Gospel ministry, I [Adrian Rogers] had an experience with the Holy Spirit that occurred during my senior year of high school.
I had a burden to be used of God. I often walked alone on the football field to pray: When I was a kid preacher and God called me to preach, I was a football player down in West Palm Beach, Florida. The football practice field was near our house. I remember going out there on many a summer night in Florida, honored and awed that God would call me to preach. I would walk up and down that football field and say, "Thank You, Lord, for calling me to preach."
My frequent prayer was, "Oh God, I want You to use me."
I would describe myself as theologically ignorant concerning the ministry of the Holy Spirit. At the time of my experience, I had no Bible background. I could not have told you from Bible chronology who came first, Abraham or Moses. About all I knew concerning the Holy Spirit was that God was three in one – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and that the church baptized with The Trinitarian Formula.
Despite my limited understanding, I desired to commit my life completely to God.
One night, walking on the football field, I felt a need to kneel and pray. Alone on that football field, I called out to the Lord, "God, I want You to use me!" Kneeling did not seem good enough or humble enough, so I laid down prostrate in the grass and said, "Father, I want You to use me." That did not seem humble enough, so I took my finger and made a hole in the dirt, and put my nose down in that hole. I called out, "Lord, I am as low as I know how to get. I want You to use me."
The Holy Spirit is sovereign and His work is dynamic, creative, and demands a naiveté on the part of God's servants. Something happened in my life that night. I didn't have ecstasies or a vision of any kind, but there was a transformation. Although I did not understand the theology concerning the Holy Spirit, there was a deeper commitment to Christ, and I believe I had a personal experience with the Holy Spirit and was filled with the Spirit that night.
My early sermons were poor, both in structure and form. The Holy Spirit, however, gave life and energy to the truth that was preached. I would be less than honest to deny that God graciously released His power into my young heart and life.
The truth of the Word of God was made powerful because the anointing of the Holy Spirit was upon my preaching. God's hand was on my ministry, I know that now by remembrance and hindsight after having seen the Holy Spirit work these many years. God was working supernaturally in the life of a teenage preacher.
*This question and answer were extracted from "Love Worth Finding: The Life of Adrian Rogers and His Philosophy of Preaching.”