6 Prayers to Help a New Believer Receive the Spirit

Whenever a new believer professes her faith in Christ and experiences conversion, she receives the Holy Spirit. The Bible assures us in 1 Thessalonians 1:5 that conversion is a powerful work of the Holy Spirit. Also, verses like Romans 8:9 and 1 John 4:13 say that no one can belong to Jesus without having the Holy Spirit.

However, many new Christians are led to faith without any mention of the Holy Spirit. They may not understand that receiving the Holy Spirit is one of the most significant aspects of their decision to follow Christ. They may not be consciously aware or understand the Spirit’s presence and work in their lives, and instead just receive the Spirit passively.

In Luke 11:13, Jesus says we can ask the Father for the “good gift” of the Holy Spirit. So it’s an important step to pray with a new believer to receive the Holy Spirit while also affirming that the Spirit is already present in her life. You’ll help her actively ask for and desire the work of the Holy Spirit in her life. You’ll build her faith as she experiences how God delights to give us his blessings when we ask for them.

If there’s a new believer in your life, encourage them to pray boldly with you and ask for the Holy Spirit to be openly and powerfully received. Below are five areas of faith you and the new believer can pray for, accompanied by Scripture.

Ask the Holy Spirit to Bless A New Believer with:

1.Assurance of Salvation

Pray that the presence of the Holy Spirit will be her inner testimony that she is a child of God. Pray she will trust that it’s also a guarantee or down payment that, even as she experiences salvation now, she will receive the fullness of salvation when Jesus renews the world at the completion of all things.

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. (Eph. 1:13-14) (See also Romans 8:14-16.)

2.Conviction of Sin

Pray that the Holy Spirit will convict her of sin throughout her life, shape her conscience to recognize sin, and motivate and empower her to change. Pray that she will understand the difference between feeling condemned or trapped in sin (which is a work of Satan) and the holy conviction of sin that empowers her to change that area of her life. 

When [the Spirit] comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment. (John 16:8)

3. Intercession

Pray that the Holy Spirit will teach her how to pray, and that he will pray on her behalf when she doesn’t know quite what to pray for or how to pray for it. Pray that she will be confident that the Holy Spirit knows what she needs even when she doesn’t know and that the Father hears the prayers of the Holy Spirit.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Rom. 8:26-27)

4. Biblical Truth

Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide her as she reads the Bible, helping her to understand the truth of God’s Word and how to apply it to her life. Pray that the Bible will come alive and transform her, rather than just be words she reads and tries to understand on her own.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13)

5. Fruit of the Spirit

Pray for the development and evidence of the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

6. Empowerment for Ministry

Pray that she will be guided into the ministry to which God is specifically calling her, and that the Holy Spirit will give her new Spirit-empowered abilities or capacities for this ministry. You might also pray that the new believer will grow in any spiritual gifts you already detect in her, or simply that the Spirit will release spiritual gifts into her life. You could draw from passages like 1 Corinthians 12:4-31 or Romans 12:4-8 to pray about receiving the gift or gifts that will equip her uniquely to serve the body of Christ.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. (Eph. 3:16)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

Have comments or questions about praying to receive the Holy Spirit? Leave them in the comment box below.