Pray for the Holy Spirit

For much of my life when I would stumble upon a confusing section in the Bible, I would rush through it to reach something else that made more sense.

Lately, I’ve been doing the opposite. When I reach a confusing passage, I linger, seeking to dig deeper, contemplate more fully, and discover hidden truths.

Such is the case with Luke 11:13. Jesus is wrapping up his teaching on prayer, about how to pray, what to pray for, and God’s goodness in answering our requests, when he throws a curve ball. He concludes by saying God will give the Holy Spirit to all who ask.

Wait, where did that come from? Jesus was talking about praying for our daily needs, for food, and for forgiveness and protection from evil and stuff like that, when suddenly he mentions praying for the Holy Spirit. Why?

I’m still contemplating this, but have a few initial ideas:

  • Of all the things we can pray for, asking for the Holy Spirit (his guidance, filling, control, or whatever word you wish to use to understand his functioning in our lives) is perhaps the most important request we can make.
  • We need to first have the Holy Spirit to properly form all our other prayers.
  • We can be assured Father God will give us the Holy Spirit when we ask.
  • Our parents know how to give us what is good, even more so with God, who knows the best gift is the Holy Spirit.

I suppose there’s validity in each of these statement and I suspect there’s even more we can glean from this verse. I will continue to meditate on it and encourage you to so the same.

[Luke 11:1-13]

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at