How do I pray for Baptism in the Spirit?

Author: Charles Whitehead

How do I pray for Baptism in the Spirit?

Charles Whitehead gives advice on how to pray for Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

There is not really a right and a wrong way to pray for Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

God is sovereign and will act as he chooses – as we know from examples in the Book of Acts (10:44-48) - but there are some factors to be considered and it’s always worth looking at these.

Anyone may receive prayer for Baptism in the Holy Spirit at any time and in any place, but it’s usually most effective when a person is seeking it for the right reasons and has understood that they should prepare for it spiritually.

The most usual way to approach Baptism in the Holy Spirit is by following a course of about six sessions, usually described as a Life in the Spirit Seminar, which clearly presents the basic Christian teaching on God’s Love, Salvation through Jesus Christ, the Gift of the Holy Spirit, receiving the New Life of the Spirit, Baptism in the Spirit, and concluding with how to live the Transforming Life of the Spirit.

An excellent up to date example of such a course on DVD is The Gift, offered by many parishes, communities, prayer groups or similar. In addition to the excellent talks this will have small groups for prayerful sharing/discussion, and will offer ample opportunity for personal questions prayer for baptism in the spirit and release of the charisms and clarifications (

Prayer for the Spirit

The actual prayer for Baptism in the Holy Spirit will be offered by the leaders of the seminars and small groups. This consists of an invitation to Jesus to pour out his Holy Spirit upon the candidate and into his or her life in a new way.

This also releases the power of the Spirit present in the person if they have already been baptised and given their life to the Lord. The prayer will normally be accompanied by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:17) and with the expectation that with this new outpouring of the Spirit will come one or more of the supernatural gifts, listed and explained by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 to 14.

These are gifts not rights. They require an openness on the part of the person receiving prayer, and will be given according to the will of God rather than the person’s choice.

They will equip the recipient to live a much more powerful and effective Christian life through their ministry to other people.

To live this fuller life in the Holy Spirit means turning from ourselves and our plans and desires, to God and his purposes and his equipping for our lives. It means listening every day for the prompting and guidance of the Holy Spirit and doing everything in his strength, not our own.

In this way we give the control and glory back to God.

In Rome on 1st June 2014, Pope Francis addressed a gathering of over 50,000 Charismatic Catholics, who would all testify to their experience of the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit. He told them: “I expect from you that you share with all in the Church the grace of Baptism in the Spirit……..”

So may I too encourage every reader to ask for this amazing blessing, confident that the Lord will respond to our simple prayer: “Come, Holy Spirit!”


  • Charles Whitehead is chairman of Celebrate and of the CREW Trust. This article is published in the current issue of Goodnews Magazine. For more information on Baptism in the Spirit, see the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) Doctrinal Commission book Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

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