Praying for the Holy Spirit

“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;  or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Romans 11:11-13)

Jesus introduced this teaching with the story of a man going to his neighbor in the middle of the night, waking him up, and asking for bread. Jesus said the neighbor gave the bread to him not because he was his friend but because of his imprudence (NIV says, “shameless audacity”). It would be inappropriate for you or me  to speak to our friends in this way, but not so when praying to God for the Holy Spirit. We need to pray for salvation which brings the Holy Spirit into our lives but we need to also ask to be filled with the Spirit (see Ephesians 5:18). Jesus showed that this involves asking to receive, seeking to find, and knocking to have what God offers opened to us. This all is about praying with shameless audacity.  God is ready and waiting to give us the fulness of the Holy Spirit, but we need to pray earnestly, and persistently for this. He will not fail to answer our prayer when the asking-seeking-knocking conditions us to receive the Holy Spirit. This will involve surrendering fully to God and dying to all of the old life we lived before coming to God for salvation. It may involve getting our hearts conditioned by asking others for forgiveness and  reconciling with them. It may involve getting our hearts conditioned in other ways. It may involve turning from worldly, pursuits. But if we meet the conditions, the Heavenly Father will fill us with the Holy Spirit.

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