Receiving the Baptism of the Spirit After Pentecost
Not every believer was present at Pentecost. A practical question might be, how did believers receive the baptism of the Spirit after Pentecost? The answer is found in the book of Acts. On a couple occasions the Spirit fell on a group while Peter spoke to them, (Acts 10:44-46; 11:15-17). It appears that God led the church to receive the baptism of the Spirit in a more orderly way by the laying on of hands also, (Acts 8:12-17; 19:1-6). Note in Acts 8 the individuals of Samaria were led by the Spirit to accept Christ and be baptized. Yet they had not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Peter and John came to them from Jerusalem for the specific purpose to lay hands on them and pray for the baptism of the Spirit to come upon them. This is a clear indication that water baptism and Spirit baptism are two separate experiences. The Spirit leads an individual to accept Christ and be baptized in water. This is a different work than the baptism of the Spirit, which must be sought separately when one becomes aware of it. We see in Acts that Paul also received the baptism of the Spirit by the laying on of hands and prayer, (Acts 9:17). The one performing this prayer with laying on of hands should be a believer who has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit themselves.
When a member asks to be prayed for to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit an example of a prayer that might be used with the laying on of hands on the head of the requester is as follows.
“Heavenly Father, we come into Your presence in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. When on earth Jesus said; If we being evil know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more is our heavenly Father willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. And your servant Paul said that we receive the gift of the Spirit by faith. So Father, we come before you seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit for (name). In the name of Jesus Christ I claim the promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit for (name). I pray that You will so infill (name) with the presence of Jesus that His character will be fully manifest through (name). I pray that the fruit of the Spirit will be seen in (name) life and that (name) witness for Jesus will be attended as never before by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you Father for hearing our prayer. In Jesus name, amen.”
A believer desiring the baptism of the Holy Spirit does not necessarily have to have someone pray for them with laying on of hands. When I first began sharing this teaching with our church one of the members decided that very evening to seek the baptism of the Spirit. She earnestly prayed for God to fill her with His Spirit. She said later that she felt the greatest peace that she ever felt come over her. God has not limited Himself to only one method of receiving the baptism of the Spirit. I do believe that the special ceremony of praying with laying on of hands is a wonderful way to seek the infilling of the Spirit. It is always a special blessing to share in this sacred experience with a fellow believer.
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