How to Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

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For the past several weeks we have been talking about the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues.

We’ve seen that this is what the world really needs from the church right now, and why failure to recognize our need of the gift of tongues renders the church powerless in our culture.

Two women praying with their hands raised

We also looked at 3 reasons why we need the gift of tongues and 4 reasons why the Holy Spirit is so crucial in our lives; as well as what the Bible has to say about the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues.

But how do we receive this gift?

How to Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

First and foremost, we must realize that just like our salvation, the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the gift of tongues is just that…a gift.

There is nothing you can do to earn or deserve this gift.

Just like salvation, though, we will very often fail to reach out and receive this gift.

Most often with the misconception that we have to have things right in our own lives to receive this gift, or that we are not good enough.

But the moment we can get past our own hang ups, receiving the gift of tongues is actually quite easy.

Another thing that prevents us from receiving this gift is our own lack of faith, or a belief that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not for today; that it died out with the apostles.

In my post 10 Bible Verses on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues, we discovered that Scripture itself declares that this gift is for “all who are afar off” (that’s you and me…we’re definitely afar off) and has not yet ceased.

So, now we know that this is a gift, and that we are the only ones who get in the way of receiving it.

How do we just reach out and take it then?

1. Ask for the baptism of the Holy Spirit

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37-39

Do you thirst for the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

The Greek word for thirst means to eagerly long for, to painfully want. It indicates a deep, deep longing for something.

How deeply do you long for the gift of tongues?

In another passage, Jesus talked about asking, seeking, and knocking. So often, we quote that passage with regards to prayer, but Jesus was – in fact – talking about the Holy Spirit.

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:9-13

God wants to give you this gift because He’s a good, good Father!

He knows just how needful the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for you to live in victory and power each and everyday.

He wants you to have this gift. How much do you want it?

2. Wait and do not give up

Not long ago, I had the amazing privilege to watch a dear sister in Christ receive the gift of tongues, and that experience taught me something I will never forget.

It all started with a weekly Bible study at my dad’s church.

He was doing something he’s done occasionally for as long as I can remember: “Pastor on the Hot Seat Night” – which is a time when those present can ask any question about the Bible they have…and he attempts to answer them.

Someone asked about the gift of tongues and the lady sitting next to me spoke up about how she’s asked God for the gift for years and had yet to receive it.

She asked, “I just don’t know what I need to do!”

That’s when my dad replied that she didn’t need to do anything. It’s a gift.

In that moment, the presence of God was so strong, several of us at the table began to get tears in our eyes as we felt His presence come over her in that moment.

My dad expressed a desire to pray for her after the meeting.

Now, I’ll be honest – I wanted to pray for her right then! God was so strong in that moment… but my dad chose to wait.

After the study was over, people were standing in groups talking, others rushed to get their kids from kids’ church… and it was like the moment had passed.

But she hadn’t forgotten.

My dad came over to her and began to walk her through the steps to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and once again God’s presence was felt very strongly.

She raised her hands and began to worship Jesus…and we waited.

A few minutes later, it was like you almost felt the moment had once again passed. The feeling dissipated.

And it is at this precise moment when so many people will look at the person seeking the gift and say, “You can receive this gift anywhere and at any time. Just keep praying and seeking….” and they move on.

But my dad did just the opposite.

He pressed in. He laid his hand on her head once again and began to proclaim this gift over her in a very strong voice and all of a sudden it was like Heaven opened up and a flood of joy just poured down in buckets.

She began to laugh and speak in tongues – after so many years of seeking this gift… she finally received it!

It was such a lesson to me: so many times we give up at 11th hour and miss what God has for us!

Don’t give up, press in!

If God is a good, good Father – and He is – then He wants this gift for you more than you want it for yourself.

3. Surrender yourself to the control of the Holy Spirit

I believe the reason why many believers diminish the need for the Holy Spirit, or fail to even desire the gift of tongues, is their fear of relinquishing control.

And that fear is, in some ways validated.

In recent years, we’ve seen people distort the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues, taking it’s supposed expression to excess.

This is, in fact, not how the Holy Spirit expresses Himself.

Anytime I see believers attribute workings of the Holy Spirit in excessive ways, I ask myself what would be the purpose and can we find this expression in Scripture?

If the ultimate purpose isn’t to draw all men to Christ, and if we can’t find the expression in Scripture, then we have to determine that this expression is – in fact – not the work of the Holy Spirit but the out-of-balance expression of man.

Why would we want to surrender ourselves to the control of the Holy Spirit?

  • Because He wants to enable us to live holy, sanctified lives
  • Because He wants to use us to do signs and wonders in His name
  • Because He wants to proclaim the gospel through us with power and might

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

We should not be afraid to surrender control to the Holy Spirit.

If He truly loves us – and He does – He will not do anything through us to bring shame to us…and ultimately to Him.

Anything He does through us will be to glorify the Father.

So, in prayer, we express our longing and desire for this gift, we ask for it, we wait for the gift, but as we wait we both worship God and surrender ourselves to the control of the Holy Spirit.

And in one moment He takes control over our tongue and we begin to speak in a heaven language as the Spirit gives utterance.

Once we’ve received this very precious gift, we must daily use it in our personal prayer time.

I urge every believer to spend 15-20 minutes praying in tongues.

It not only allows you to pray the will of the Father as the Holy Spirit prays through you – with “groanings that cannot be uttered”, but it also daily fills with you with supernatural power.


It is important to note that when a person is saved, they receive the Holy Spirit into their lives.

He takes up dwelling within them; making their body the temple of the Holy Spirit.

This is what begins the life-long work of sanctification in the life of the believer.

This is separate from the baptism of the Holy Spirit

1. Upon salvation the Holy Spirit begins to dwell in us

2. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit means we are saturated in Him

Two different works.

The first work is necessary for salvation to occur, the second work is a gift that grants us the power to walk in righteousness, holiness, and the power that God so longs for His people to have.

I want to invite you to check out this incredible study written by Dr. Hackett (also my father), about the Holy Spirit. It is a simple but powerful handbook.

More Articles on the Holy Spirit

Resources for Baptism in the Holy Spirit

10 Bible Verses On the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues – FREE PRINTABLE

Prayer and Meditation Journal – The Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues

Articles on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

3 Things That Have Made the Church Powerless In This Culture

3 Powerful Reasons We Need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit Now More Than Ever

4 Reasons Why You Need the Holy Spirit

How to Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Prayer and Meditation Journal - Holy Spirit
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