Shortly before Jesus died He said to His apostles: “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
Later, just before He ascended into heaven, He promised His apostles: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses to the very ends of the earth.”
Jesus’s promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came in great power upon the apostles and their friends as they were praying in the upper room of the house in which they lived.
The promises Jesus made were not for the apostles alone, though, or for the people of His time, but for all of us. And the Holy Spirit has been given to all of us too. Unfortunately, many of us have not experienced His power in our lives, often because of willful and continuous disobedience.
But, now that we have made ourselves right with God through repentance and forgiveness, and further opened ourselves to the channels of His grace and love by surrendering our lives to Him, we can ask for an outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon us. We can also ask for the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings with Him: gifts that help us grow as Christians; and gifts that help us in our witness to others. Let this be our prayer.
Holy Spirit, I am sorry for all the times I have not listened to your voice, choosing instead to do whatever I wanted. I have realized what a mistake that was and am truly contrite. Please do not hold my disobedience against me and start speaking to me again. I promise you that this time I will listen—and do my very best to obey.
I need you in my life, Holy Spirit, to grow as a Christian and as a person. I need your gifts of sanctification—wisdom and understanding, counsel and power, knowledge and a healthy fear of the Lord—to be able to lead a life pleasing to the Father. I ask you to bestow these gifts upon me now, sweet Spirit of the Living God.
I also ask you to bestow upon me the gifts of manifestation to help me witness to a lost world. I ask you for the gift of tongues and the ability to interpret them. I ask you for the gifts of faith and healing, prophecy and miraculous powers. I ask you to help me hear messages of wisdom and knowledge. And, finally, I ask you for the ability to distinguish between spirits so that I can recognize your voice when I hear it. I promise you, Holy Spirit, that I will never use these gifts for my own personal glory, but always use them to build the body of the Church that we are all part of.
The body lies in pieces, Holy Spirit, and I know how grieved you must be to see it like that because you have always desired to see one Church. Empower me to help put it together again, Holy Spirit. Empower me to unite all Christians who are brothers and sisters in Christ into one family. Empower me to rebuild the Church and, along with it, the world so that they both become places where we can all live peacefully together.
I know that I can do this only if I bear your fruit in abundance—fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. I also know that I can bear such fruit only if I become a true disciple of Christ. Help me, therefore, to be such a disciple, Holy Spirit. Help me walk in the footsteps of Jesus, and lead a holy and pure life like He led when He walked upon this earth. Help me to love others like He did. Help me to be somebody that He—and you—would be proud of.
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for coming into my life. Thank you for being my comforter, my counselor, my guide, my friend. Thank you for your gifts and your love. Thank you, Holy Spirit.
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