Introduction

The Holy Spirit is the wonderful gift given to the disciples by Jesus, following His resurrection. The gift was so significant that Jesus said it was expedient that He return to heaven. The disciples obeyed the instructions to tarry for the Spirit, and spent ten days praying together, searching their hearts, confessing their sins and removing the rubbish that was preventing the Spirit coming. Prayer played a preeminent role in bringing about the desired blessings. The texts and quotes speak to the blessings that come to people who pray for the Holy Spirit.—Dan

"Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you….”

 

What the Bible says about Prayer and the Holy Spirit

Zech. 12:10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”

John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." 

John 14:16 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

John 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”

Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you….”

Acts 2:1-2, 4 “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. … And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Rom. 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

 

Quotations on Prayer and the Holy Spirit

Seeking the Holy Spirit Should Be a Priority

"Seasons of prayer should be held for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.--Letter 292, 1907."  {4MR 335.4}

“The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the church is looked forward to, as in the future; but it is the privilege of the church to have it now. Seek for it, pray for it, believe for it. We must have it, and Heaven is waiting to bestow it.”—Letter 15, 1892, pp. 8-10.

"Seasons of prayer should be held for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.--Letter 292, 1907."  {4MR 335.4}

"Could there be a convocation of all the churches on earth, the object of their united cry should be for the Holy Spirit. When we have that, Christ our sufficiency is ever present, we shall have every want supplied. We shall have the mind of Christ."-- Letter 114, 1894.  {4MR 335.5}

"My brethren and sisters, plead for the Holy Spirit, God stands back of every promise He has made. With your Bibles in your hands, say: "I have done as Thou hast said, I present Thy promise, 'Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.'" {8T 23.1}

 

The Holy Spirit Inspires Acceptable Prayer

"The Holy Spirit indites all genuine prayer.  {YRP 26.2} The Spirit of God has much to do with acceptable prayer. He softens the heart; He enlightens the mind, enabling it to discern its own wants; He quickens our desires, causing us to hunger and thirst after righteousness; He intercedes in behalf of the sincere suppliant." {8MR 195.3}

"The Holy Spirit Intercedes for Us We have only one channel of approach to God. Our prayers can come to him through one name only,—that of the Lord Jesus our advocate. His Spirit must inspire our petitions. No strange fire was to be used in the censers that were waved before God in the sanctuary. So the Lord himself must kindle in our hearts the burning desire, if our prayers are acceptable to him. The Holy Spirit within must make intercessions for us, with groanings that cannot be uttered. – {RH February 9, 1897 Par. 10} … We need not try to work ourselves up into an intense feeling; but calmly, persistently, we are to press our petitions at the throne of grace. Our work is to humble our souls before God, confessing our sins, and in faith drawing nigh unto God. The Lord answered the prayer of Daniel, not that Daniel might glorify himself, but that the blessing might reflect glory to God. It is the design of God to reveal himself in his providence and in his grace. The object of our prayers must be the glory of God, not the glorification of ourselves." – {RH February 9, 1897 Par. 11}

"When we in humility tell the Lord our wants, the Spirit itself makes intercession for us; as our sense of need causes us to lay bare our souls before the all-searching eye of Omnipotence, our earnest, fervent prayers enter within the veil, our faith claims the promises of God, and help comes to us...."  {OHC 129.2}

 

We Must Prepare to Receive the Holy Spirit

"Before giving us the baptism of the Holy Spirit, our heavenly Father will try us, to see if we can live without dishonoring Him."

Letter 22, 1902

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

"It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now." {TM 507 }

"By prayer and confession of sin we must clear the King's highway. As we do this, the power of the Spirit will come to us." {CCh 326.5}

"Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord’s promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people “to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13. But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive." { DA 672.1}

"Before giving us the baptism of the Holy Spirit, our heavenly Father will try us, to see if we can live without dishonoring Him. Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. Do not think ... that you have received all the spiritual help you need. And do not think that you can have great spiritual blessings without complying with the conditions God Himself has laid down. James and John thought that for the asking they could have the highest place in the kingdom of God. Oh, how far short they fell of understanding the situation! They did not realize that before they could share Christ’s glory, they must wear His yoke and daily learn His meekness and lowliness."—Letter 22, 1902, pp. 9, 10. (To Elder and Mrs. J. E. White, February 1, 1902.) – {2MR 43.1}

"We are to pray for the impartation of the Spirit as the remedy for sin-sick souls. The church needs to be converted, and why should we not prostrate ourselves at the throne of grace, as representatives of the church, and from a broken heart and contrite spirit make earnest supplication that the Holy Spirit shall be poured out upon us from on high? Let us pray that when it shall be graciously bestowed our cold hearts may be revived, and we may have discernment to understand that it is from God, and receive it with joy. Some have treated the Spirit as an unwelcome guest, refusing to receive the rich gift, refusing to acknowledge it, turning from it, and condemning it as fanaticism." {TM 64.1}

"The experience of Paul and Barnabas is recorded for the instruction of the churches today. "Arise, shine," the Lord commands, "for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee" (Isaiah 60:1). The Holy Spirit was given to these disciples who were especially set apart, and the same presence will go with every one who will be a laborer together with God, seeking His counsel, and surrendering the will to His will. The Holy Spirit--this is the sacred endowment of those who humble their hearts before God, and submit to His guidance; this is the secret of their power. Much prayer, and a humbling of the heart, a constant surrender of the will to God, will bring the help pledged to every worker by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Angels of God will work for those who yield themselves to the leading of the Spirit."  {7MR 354.1}

"The great outpouring of the Spirit of God, which lightens the whole earth with his glory, will not come until we have an enlightened people, that know by experience what it means to be laborers together with God. When we have entire, whole-hearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of his Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God." { RH July 21, 1896, par. 2 }

"Meetings should be held in every church for solemn prayer and earnest searching of the word to know what is truth. Take the promises of God, and ask God in living faith for the outpouring of His Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is shed upon us, marrow and fatness will be drawn from the word of God. . . When the churches become living, working churches, the Holy Spirit will be given in answer to their sincere request. . . . The promises of God now repeated as if the soul had never tasted of His love, will then glow upon the altar of the heart, and fall in burning words from the lips of the messengers of God. They will then plead with souls with an earnestness that cannot be repulsed. Then the windows of heaven will be opened for the showers of the latter rain." { RH February 25, 1890, par. 5 }

 

An Instructive Final Testimony

"Then the Spirit of God like a tidal wave swept over the congregation. Such solemnity, deep, earnest, heartfelt confessions, were made. These men who had stood like icebergs melted under the beams of the Son of righteousness. They came right to the point. They made thorough work. Confessions were made with weeping and deep feeling."

20MR 359.4

"Friday morning at five o’clock we commenced our meeting, and I arose and talked a short time telling them we had waited for these leading men to take a position which God could approve and let His Spirit into the meeting. We had no more appeals to make to them and no more time to lose in waiting for them. They had stood directly in the way of our work from the first, and now our work was for these who had come to this meeting to be benefited. I had two front seats cleared and asked those who were backslidden from God and those who had never started to serve the Lord, to come forward. They began to come. Other seats were cleared, and finally there was the whole body (of) seats of the tent filled; about one dozen were in the side seats." { 20MR 359.3 }

"Then the Spirit of God like a tidal wave swept over the congregation. Such solemnity, deep, earnest, heartfelt confessions, were made. These men who had stood like icebergs melted under the beams of the Son of righteousness. They came right to the point. They made thorough work. Confessions were made with weeping and deep feeling. We had a most solemn, blessed season of intercession, and then closed the meeting and took our breakfast and assembled again at eight o’clock to finish the work. Parents confessed to children and children to parents, husbands to wives and wives to husbands, brothers to sisters, and sisters to brothers. It seemed like the movement of 1844. I have not been in a meeting of this kind for many years. After the hard fought battle the victory was most precious. We all wept like children." { 20MR 359.4 }

Quotations taken from the writings of Ellen G. White.