The Holy Spirit is often thought of as confusing. For how can anyone be clear about something that is invisible?
The Bible helps us with any confusion we might have. The Spirit does not have to confuse any of us; instead with clarity we can grow in our understanding of who the Spirit is and how the Spirit works through each one of us.
This week a different prayer about the Holy Spirit is shared each day.
Monday, October 26
Read Genesis 1:1-5
It’s easy to think that the Holy Spirit only appeared in the New Testament—but this is far from true.
In the very first story in the Bible the Spirit was present. While the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, “a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.” The English word “wind” comes from the Hebrew word, “ruah.” This Hebrew word could also be translated as Spirit or breath. The Spirit of God was hovering over the darkness in the creation story.
This past Sunday Pastor Paul shared that the Holy Spirit is God—just as important as the first part of the Trinity and the second part of the Trinity. And though the Trinity can be hard to understand at times—for accepting that 1=3 and 3=1 is not easy—we can understand from this story that the Holy Spirit is God.
Oftentimes people will pray to the Holy Spirit. Try praying this way today. At the start of your prayers address God as Holy Spirit. “Holy Spirit, [content of prayer].” Addressing the Holy Spirit in our prayers and directly can help us connect to the Holy Spirit, the wind of God—in a fresh way.
Tuesday, October 27
Read Exodus 14:19-21
Once again the “ruah” or wind or Spirit of God showed up at an important time. The Israelites were literally boxed in. On one side was the Red Sea; on the other side were the advancing Egyptian armies. The Israelites had nowhere to go.
Except God can always find a way for us to go. Look at verse 21, “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind [ruah] all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided.” Exodus 14:21
The ruah or the wind of God, or the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit created a path of life for the Israelites.
One activity of the Holy Spirit is to create a path of life for each one of us. Even though each of us is alive, the Spirit can help us discover new life. We’re filled with a sense of energy or excitement or imagination or awe, or something else. We can literally skip again.
Reflect about times in your own life when the ruah has helped create new life for you.
And make new life your prayer today. Try this prayer, “Holy Spirit, through you may I find a path of life.”
Wednesday, October 28
Read Psalms 104:27-30
Verse 30 is powerful and worth committing to memory:
“When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.”
Each of us could insert our name into this verse. Try the following:
“When you send forth your spirit, [insert name] is created; and you renew the face of the ground.”
The English word for spirit once again is translated from the Hebrew word, ruah. Each of us is created in a new way when we encounter God’s Spirit.
This is not a self-help program. The Psalmist would have never said, “do these five things and your will receive the spirit.” The Spirit comes from God and is sent by God.
One way to pray for the Spirit is to paraphrase this verse. Try praying the following over and over again.
“Send forth your Spirit so I am created in a new way.”
Thursday, October 29
Read Matthew 3:13-17
We know that Jesus was a Spirit-led leader. The story of his baptism proves this.
Just as Jesus was coming out of the Jordan River, the heavens opened and the Spirit came upon Jesus like a dove. It landed on him and stayed with him for the rest of his ministry.
As a human, Jesus carried the Spirit with him; as God, Jesus shared the Spirit with anyone who wanted it.
We can pray that the Holy Spirit will come upon us. Even if we’ve been sealed with the Holy Spirit in baptism, we can still pray that we will come alive this day through the Spirit. Try this prayer:
“Land on me today, Holy Spirit. May your light shine through me through all who encounter me today.”
Friday, October 30
Read Luke 4:16-19
Verses 18 & 19 are almost the same as Isaiah 61:1. In Isaiah 61 the Spirit comes from the Hebrew word, ruah; in Luke 4:18 the Spirit comes from the Greek word, Pneuma.
It is no accident that the first words of Jesus as an adult that were recorded in the Bible shared a teaching about the Holy Spirit. Jesus wanted people to know that the Spirit of the Lord was upon him. Jesus wasn’t an ordinary leader; he was an extraordinary embodiment of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus never would have had made such an impact on people’s lives in his age and in the centuries following without the help of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit helped transform Jesus from being ordinary into being extraordinary.
If you’ve ever wanted to be extraordinary, then turn to the Spirit for direction and help. Try the following prayer today.
“Holy Spirit—turn this day from an ordinary one to an extraordinary one.”
Saturday, October 31
Read John 20:19-23
Sometimes the Holy Spirit is described as the breath of God. This story illustrated how this idea came to be.
Jesus literally breathed on his followers as they were in a locked room afraid for their lives. As he breathed on them, he said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Just like in the first story of Genesis where the Ruah or wind of God brooded over the deep, in this story the Spirit is the literal breath of Jesus.
As you pray today, imagine that the breath of God is filling you and surrounding you. Try the following prayer:
“Breath of God, fill and surround me today.”