When you pray, you're instantly in touch with God through His Spirit. God does His work in your life through His Spirit. God's Spirit is powerful yet gentle, invisible but real, hidden yet inescapable. He is as close to you as your breath.

Is He Scary?

Some Christians are afraid of the Holy Spirit, and who can blame them? Perhaps they've been mauled by fanatics who sat them in a circle, "laid hands" on them, then shouted gibberish in their ears. Or they are apprehensive because of the way some radio preachers refer to the "Holy Ghost."

There's no need to fear God's Spirit. He's neither a ghost nor a cosmic force. The Holy Spirit is a person.

What's He Like?

The Holy Spirit is like Jesus. Jesus promised His disciples "another Counselor," the Spirit (John 14:16-17). The Greek word translated "another" means "another of the same kind." Jesus promised us a supernatural Counselor who is just like Himself!

We know we can trust Jesus. He is loving and kind. The Spirit is like Jesus, and is, in fact, called "the Spirit of Jesus" (Acts 16:7).

The Spirit "With" Us

Jesus told the disciples the Holy Spirit "lives with you and will be in you" (John 14:17). The Spirit is with you before you turn to God. He works on your heart, stirring up thoughts and feelings, so you'll want God. He also "convinces" you of your need for Jesus (John 16:8-11).

The Spirit "In" Us

When you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit moves inside of you (First Corinthians 6:19 and Second Timothy 1:14). This is how Jesus "indwells" Christians, and it is correct to say that "Jesus lives in us by His Spirit" (Romans 8:10-11).

The Spirit works within you to promote Christian growth, new life (regeneration), enlightenment, changes in your nature, and help in prayer.

The Spirit "Upon" Us

Jesus told the disciples, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you ..." The Holy Spirit lives in you to help you become a strong Christian, but He also comes on you to do God's work in God's power. This is also referred to as being "filled" with the Spirit (Acts 4:8).

The "filling" is supernatural and enables you as a Christian to work beyond your own capacity. This experience was known in Old Testament times as well, but the main distinguishing feature of it (in New Testament times) is that it applies to all Christians -- and not just to a select class which includes prophets, priests, and kings (Acts 2:16-33).

Fruits and Gifts

The Holy Spirit, living in you, promotes the formation of Christian character. The qualities He produces are called "the fruit of the Spirit", and include love, joy, peace, and patience (Galatians 5:22-23).

When you are ready to serve God, whether to people inside or outside the church, the Spirit comes on you to give you power to succeed. The Spirit gives every Christian "spiritual gifts" (First Corinthians 12:1-11). Whenever the need arises, the Spirit enables you to use these gifts to serve others.