The Holy Spirit is the unseen but active presence of God in the world.

Holy Spirit and FlameJesus told his followers that God would send the Holy Spirit to help them in their mission:

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God. (John 14:16-17)

The coming of the Holy Spirit had been prophesied in the Old Testament.
Seven weeks following the resurrection of Jesus, at the time of the Jewish Feast of Shavuot or Pentecost, the promise was fulfilled:
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4)

What Does the Holy Spirit Do?

The Holy Spirit makes the presence of God felt on earth: sometimes dramatically and miraculously; often gently and quietly. The Spirit works in the hearts of people to awaken them to the truth of Jesus and to help them grow to be like him.

The Apostle Paul writes:

“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control.”                     (Galatians 5:22-23)

These qualities are a perfect summary of the character of Jesus. And they are the qualities the Holy Spirit wishes to form in our lives.

Means of Grace

Very often the Bible compares the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit to the wind. We cannot control or manipulate the Holy Spirit any more than we can control the wind.

Nevertheless, there are spiritual practices that can open our lives to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes these practices are called ‘sacraments’ or ‘means of grace’.  They include:

  • Baptism
  • The Lord’s Super or Holy Communion
  • Participation in Christian Community
  • Silence and Solitude
  • Prayer
  • Fasting
  • Praise and Thanksgiving
  • Confession
  • Studying the Bible
  • Living Simply and Sustainably
  • Prayer with the Laying on of Hands


Filled with the Spirit

In the Book of Acts, we read that people were filled with the Holy Spirit when the church leaders prayed for them with the laying on of hands.

If you want to experience God’s presence in a tangible way, don’t be afraid to ask for prayer with the laying on of hands and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Above all, don’t settle for knowing about God when the Holy Spirit will enable you to encounter God for yourself.

 Be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:17)