Sometimes the greatest favor the Lord can do for us is point out our mistakes. He has given me many ‘favors’ in this area, more than I would like to admit. One correction that I am extremely grateful for is seeing the truth concerning the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we receive the Holy Spirit sealed within our hearts.
(Ephesians 1:13 ) And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
At this point, through the Lords redemption, we become son’s of God. (Galatians 3).
GAL 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,
After we are born again however, there is a special provision for believers. The Lord has given this gift to His children so we can accomplish His purpose for the church.
Using scripture as our foundation and personal testimonies as our examples, lets march forward and receive all the Lord has for us.
I. Receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
1) As with any gift from the Lord, we receive it by humbly going to Him and asking in faith.
(Mark 11:24) Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Luke 11:13 (Jesus talking to his disciples) how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Simply go to the Father and ask for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. He promises to answer our request. We need this extra anointing not only to have a closer walk with Him, but to minister to others as well. He will not withhold this from us. When we have the faith of a child and sincerely go before Him, His great provision will follow!
2) Believing for His manifestation.
As with any spiritual truth, when we believe and ask-the Lord, He answers.
When we ask to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, that request is granted by our Lord. The manifestation of this gift however can happen immediately or after the initial prayer. Examples are given below.
A) Acts gives us an example of receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit immediately after the gospel message.
Acts 10:44-46 While Peter was still speaking these words, (the gospel of salvation vs 39-43) the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
B) Receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit by ‘laying on of the hands’
The Lord can choose to allow a believer to receive this gift by laying on the hands from a leader in the church. This is the direction the Lord gave me. He wanted me to never think this power comes from my own strength. This gift was given to me by ‘laying on the hands’ from a brother in the Lord. While I believed I received this gift when I asked, it took 3 ‘attempts’ by different pastors to ‘feel’ a change. I knew the manifestation came when lingering hurts from childhood started to receive a healing. The brother that laid hands on me said he witnessed ‘chains breaking’ over my spirit. While I wanted immediate miracles, the Lord knew better. His love inside me-His touch that a counselor never could provide was enough at this time. Instead of being bound by my shortcomings, I now had a ‘crowbar’ to fight them back-Praise God! Here is a scripture that demonstrates experiencing this gift from laying on of the hands
Acts 8:14-17 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
C) Receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in various ways. While the Lord does give us guidelines in His Word for righteous living, He will never operate in mans ‘theological box’. Many receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in different and unusual ways.
Mickey Robinson received both the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Speaking in tongues after a near death experience. While not the recommended path for more of God, it is a wonderful testimony (See Christian resource list-site map).
After asking for this provision, many receive the manifestation during a powerful service on the altar of God. The Spirit of God just ‘hits them with His love and power’.
It’s an important point to remember that when we ask for this gift from God-we receive it. (Mark 11:24, Luke 11:13). The experience can come immediately, or it may start when His anointing is being manifested (in a service, laying of the hands, or one on one with Him). We begin by sincerely going before God and asking, then believing in faith for the manifestation.
Note: The best articles I have read on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (and the 9 accompanying gifts ) is by Kenneth Hagan Sr., Christian Resource, -site map.
II. Speaking in Tongues-using our prayer language
When we receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, every Christian receives a prayer language (speaking in tongues from man to God) ( see 1 Cor. 12-14, Tongues in Scripture-site map)
1 Cor. 14:2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.
This is different than speaking in tongues to a congregation, one of the 9 gifts from the Lord that is given to believers as He determines (I Cor. 12:11).
How a Christian ‘initiates’ their prayer language can vary with the believer. Some start to experience this immediately after receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit-when a powerful anointing from God is present
Acts 10:45 -46 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
Similar to receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, our prayer language can begin with a church leader laying hands on the individual
Acts 19:6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
It is important to note that Paul emphasizes that tongues should always be used in order and without confusion (with interpretation for the congregation). We can control the our heavenly language from God (I Cor. 14)
1 Cor. 14:32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.
This verse explains that it is possible for Christians to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit-and later ‘initiate’ their tongues as a prayer language (or the gift of tongues for the congregation-given to some as the Spirit determines 1 Cor. 12:11) at a later time. There has been much confusion in the Pentecostal church in this area. We can encourage-but need not ‘force’ a believer to speak in tongues -to have them fit ‘our’ timeline.
-For those believers who would like to begin using our prayer language now, we can start by being obedient to the Word. The Lord desires we all pray with our spirit to Him (see Praying with the Holy Spirit– under Prayer).
1 Cor. 14:2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God.
1 Cor. 14:15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind;
Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be watching and always keep on praying for all the saints.
I remember going to a service led by a retired married couple. The wife had everyone in the congregation ask for and receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (for those were in need of this provision from God).
As 1 Cor: 14 indicates, she had everyone start to briefly use their prayer language (This was a service for Christians who wanted this gift-interpretation for a normal service was not needed)
As we pursued this heavenly prayer, she assured us some things would happen…
1) As we begin to use our prayer language, it will seem to start in our own strength…but later you will since the Holy Spirits presence ‘going forth’ with this type of prayer.
2) Satan will attempt to make you believe it is not ‘real’ tongues or a prayer language from God. He will try and make you stop! You will have ‘real’ doubts at first.
3) After two or three days, you will know it is from God.
Her words were absolutely true for me. I had doubts etc., but after 2 or 3 days, I knew this was from God. From that day forward, my prayer language has been an absolutely vital part of my Christian walk.
Romans 8:26 At the same time the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we don’t know how to pray for what we need. But the Spirit intercedes along with our groans that cannot be expressed in words.
I pray in the spirit first, then pray for an interpretation- and a I pray naturally. It worked for me and I believe this will work for you 1 Cor. 14:28.
1 Corinthians 14:15 So what does this mean? It means that I will pray with my spirit, and I will pray with my mind.
If you feel more comfortable starting your prayer language while listening to others using theirs, you can join a small prayer group and ask mature believers to use their prayer language. As they are praying, it may be easier for you to start yours.
The most important point to remember is we need His Spirit in our prayers. Whatever ‘method’ we try is not as important as being obedient. The Lord will honor your sincere effort.
1 Cor. 14:5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,
1 Cor. 14:18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
The world is in desperate need of His presence and power. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is Gods provision to the church to accomplish this. Let’s ask and receive, for their sake. By doing so, we can start to use the Holy Spirit to reach the Father with ‘divine prayers’ through our prayer language-holy and true.
As I finish this article, I realize something. Many of you who are reading have humbled yourself and are reaching out for more of Him. You want more of God and less of ‘ourselves’. His beauty abiding in you. The church becoming one in Spirit-His Spirit! Because of your effort, we have a will taste of heavenly things to come. May the Lord bless you richly for seeking His fire from the Spirit of God.
Hebrews 6:5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age,