Is it wrong for a believer to ask for more of the Holy Spirit? I have heard, “Do not pray for more of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a complete member of the Trinity and is not in pieces. Every child of God has all of Him, but does He have all of you?” What should be the proper request?
Thank you for this question. It shows hunger for what is available in the Spirit. The confusion comes when two distinct truths are merged into one.
The first truth is the indwelling of the Spirit which occurs at the moment of salvation. Ephesians 1:13 explains, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom [Jesus] also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” The definite article before the name Spirit emphasizes the person of the Spirit. A person comes as a whole, not in parts. Therefore, there is a real sense in which a believer gets all of the Holy Spirit at salvation.
The second truth is the power of the Spirit which is accessed through faith. Luke 11:13 explains, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” In this case there is no definite article before the name Holy Spirit. The article occurs in the English translation because it would sound strange without it, so it is rightly rendered. But we believe in verbal inspiration. There is a reason the inspired text includes the article in some cases and excludes it in others. Generally speaking, as the inclusion of the article before a proper name emphasizes the person, so the exclusion of the article emphasizes the quality or power of the person named.
The request in Luke 11:13 is for the quality or operation, we might say ministry of the Holy Spirit. This is needful repeatedly. The book of Acts demonstrates this truth. The believers prayed for the power of the Spirit in Acts 2. In Acts 4 they had a new need, so they asked again for the ministry of the Spirit. It is in this sense that we may, in fact we must, ask for “more of the Spirit.”
Many truths in Scripture have two sides. If you only embrace one of those sides, you get off balance. It is therefore vital to embrace both sides of truth. True, we receive all of the person of the Spirit at salvation. But we need new impartations of the Spirit’s power for new situations we face in life. Thus we may ask for more of the Spirit’s ministry—His quality and power—in our lives.
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