Skip to content

Preparing For Pentecost

One of the three great holidays of the Christian Church will soon be here, Pentecost. However, unlike Christmas and Easter, there is no season like Advent or Lent to prepare for Pentecost. Or is there?

On the Christian liturgical calendar, there is a short season called Ascensiontide. It is part of the days after Easter and commemorates the ten days between the Ascension of Jesus and Pentecost. During these ten days, Jesus’s followers prepared themselves as they waited for the promise that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came on them. (Acts 1:8, 14).

Although every day and season is an excellent time to prepare ourselves to receive the power of the Holy Spirit, may I suggest the following to help you prepare for Pentecost?

1. Desire More of The Holy Spirit

The first step in preparing for Pentecost is to desire more of the Holy Spirit than you already have. The scriptures teach that everyone who professes that Jesus is Lord has the Holy Spirit and belongs to Christ (1 Cor 12:3, Rom 8:9). Therefore, every Christian has the Holy Spirit. 

However, scripture also witnesses that the Holy Spirit may fill a person more than once. Acts 2:4 states that on Pentecost, all of Jesus’ followers were filled with the Holy Spirit. And then, in Acts 4:31, we are told that at another gathering, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” again.

And in Ephesians 5:18, Paul states that we are to “be filled with the Spirit.” The Greek verb form translated as “be filled” here is the present passive imperative. This verb form describes something that begins now and continues into the future. Some Greek interpreters suggest that “keep on being filled with the Spirit” might better capture the verb tense here. The point is that being filled with the Holy Spirit is not a single event. It is an ongoing and continuous process. A person can be full of the Spirit yet become even fuller.

I think of the Holy Spirit’s infilling as a balloon filled with air. I can blow air into a balloon until it is full. Yet I can blow more air into an already filled balloon. And then even more air into that fuller balloon. Of course, there is a limit to how much air a balloon can hold before it stretches to the point of rupture. But is there a limit regarding how full I can be of the Holy Spirit?

Ephesians 3 does mention a limit or measure of the Holy Spirit that we can receive. Here in verses 17-19, Paul is praying for those who are already “rooted and established in love” (that is filled with the Spirit) to “have the power…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” And then Paul adds, “that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” The measure used to determine the limit we can receive from the Holy Spirit is God. Our desire for more of the Holy Spirit is the desire to have the Holy Spirit fill us until we have the fullness of God.

2. Attend to the Means of Grace

The second way to prepare for Pentecost is to practice the Means of Grace regularly. I am sometimes guilty of thinking about the Holy Spirit only coming in extraordinary ways. I look for him in the fire, the earthquake, the thunderous wind. After all, that is what happened at the first Pentecost. And we witnessed an extraordinary encounter with the Holy Spirit last year during the Asbury Outpouring. But if we are only living for the next revival, outpouring, or Pentecost, then we are most likely missing the Lord coming in the still silence. Even if we have experienced an extraordinary encounter with the Holy Spirit, that doesn’t change our need to experience his presence through ordinary means of grace.

By means of grace, I am referring to the typical or ordinary channels through which the Spirit of God operates on the Christian to transform them into the likeness of Christ. These means are ordinary because they are always available to us. And they are primary because this is the chief way the Holy Spirit makes his presence known to us.

There are many different means of grace, but the “big 3” are searching the scripture (which includes reading, hearing, and meditating on it), prayer (both personal and in corporate gatherings), and Holy Communion. When we give proper attention to these means of grace, we find ourselves obedient to the imperative “be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And this constant drip of the Holy Spirit will erode our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh that prepares us for Pentecost.

3. Be in Fellowship with Spiritual Friends

I recently conversed with a young person who identified as a Christian but was not participating in a church or house fellowship. She believed in Jesus, prayed, read her Bible, and tried to do good in the world. She didn’t see any reason why she needed the church. I affirmed that what she was doing was good. Still, there was one thing the scripture commands followers of Jesus to do that we can never do by ourselves: fulfill all the “one another” commands. For instance, to give a short list, you can never love one another (John 13:34 – a command that occurs at least 16 times), build up one another (Rom 14:10), bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), comfort one another (1Thess 5:11), or pray for one another (James 5:16) by yourself. Following Jesus was never a solo endeavor. It has always been a team sport.

And so it’s no surprise that after 120 Jesus followers had spent ten days “joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14) that, “they were all together in one place” (Acts 2:1) on Pentecost, when “all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4). At the heart of following Jesus and receiving even more of the Holy Spirit is being in fellowship with spiritual friends.

4. Lower your resistance

In John 3:8, we read, “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

When you live in Oklahoma, you learn a little bit about wind. One of the things that I have learned is that the wind blows from high to low pressure. It moves to the point of least resistance.

One does not have to convince the wind to blow from high to low pressure; that is what the wind does.

Likewise, the Holy Spirit also moves from high to low pressure, to the point of least resistance, to the place of surrender, the “I give up.” One does not have to convince the Holy Spirit to move from high to low pressure; that is what the Spirit does.

This analogy reminds us that we don’t have to do much to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit. We must lower our resistance and open ourselves to God’s divine presence. And when we do, the wind of the Holy Spirit will blow right into that point of least resistance in our lives.

T.A. Tozer wrote in Born After Midnight, “It may be said without qualification that every [person] is as holy and as full of the Spirit as [they] want to be. [They] may not be as full as they wish they were, but they are most certainly as full as they want to be.”

Luke 11:5-13 is not a teaching about getting what we want when we pray. It is about God’s desire to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask, seek, and knock (cf. Luke 11:13). The Father in heaven knows how to provide us with good gifts, and the best gift God has for us is the Holy Spirit.

Tozer concludes, “The problem is not to persuade God to fill us, but to want God sufficiently to permit Him to do so. The average Christian is so cold and so contented with [their] wretched condition that there is no vacuum of desire into which the blessed Spirit can rush in satisfying fullness.” (quoted from Born After Midnight by T.A. Tozer, pg 8.)

5. Invite the Holy Spirit

A few years ago, I sat on the steps, going up to the chancel in a sanctuary and praying. I spoke a prayer that the Church has prayed since ancient times: “Come, Holy Spirit.” But right after saying those words, I questioned if they were appropriate. Is it right to ask the Holy Spirit to come when he is already present?

As I prayerfully pondered this question with my eyes closed, in my mind, I saw the sanctuary I was sitting in. And on the back pew, there was the outline of a person sitting there. Then I heard the words, “Come, Holy Spirit,” and the figure on the back of the pew stood up, entered the aisle, walked towards me, and entered the prayer circle I was a part of. And suddenly, I understood there is a difference between the Holy Spirit being present versus being invited to join us.

So let me ask you, how much of the Holy Spirit do you desire? How have you prepared your heart through scripture, prayer, and Holy Communion? How much of your life are you willing to surrender to his presence? Are you ready to pray the words Christians have prayed through the centuries?


Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love.

Brian is an Inspire Missioner, based in Oklahoma, USA

error: Content is protected !!