The Fruits Of The Holy Spirit
Here’s something to think about. The Church teaches that we first receive the Holy Spirit when we are baptized and that the gift is completed when we are confirmed. In Galatians 5:22-23, Saint Paul informs us that the fruits of the Holy Spirit are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”. If the Spirit does indeed reside in us, why is it that so many of His fruits are not evident in our life?
As is the case with so many of the spiritual gifts, we do not receive because we do not ask (James 1:5). God will not force His way into our lives. The fact that the Holy Spirit lives in us doesn’t automatically mean that His gifts will blossom. We need to give Him permission to do His thing!
Where Do We Begin?
So where do we begin? We begin by inviting the Holy Spirit to work in our life. Jesus assures us that our Heavenly Father will not deny this request:
“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:9-13)
The 2 Second Prayer
Now, before you think this is a complicated process, let me assure you that it is not. Unleashing the power of the Holy Spirit in your life can be done with a 3 word prayer. This prayer will take no more than 2 seconds to pray. It is so simple that we can write it off as being too trivial. If you pray it as soon as you wake up and throughout the day, you will see tremendous results. It might not happen overnight, but the fruits of the Holy Spirit will eventually be evident in your life. What is that 3 word, 2 second prayer that will change your life?
It Sounds Too Simple!
Let’s be honest, we often have a tendency to complicate spiritual matters. If something sounds too simple, we somehow feel that it won’t be effective. This is nothing new. Do you remember the story of Naaman the Syrian (2 Kings 5:1-27)? A commander of the army of the king of Syria, Naaman was a leper. When Elisha the prophet informed him that washing in the Jordan seven times would cure his leprosy, Naaman was not pleased:
But Naaman went away angry, saying, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand there to call on the name of the LORD his God, and would move his hand over the place, and thus cure the leprous spot. Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?” With this, he turned about in anger and left. (2 Kings 5:11-12)
Viewing Elisha’s instructions as too simplistic, the leper wanted to ignore them. But when his servants convinced him to follow the prophet’s instructions, Naaman’s flesh was restored and the leprosy was gone. Prayer doesn’t have to be long and convoluted in order to be effective. If my wife needs me to help her with something, all she has to do is tell me to come over. Why wouldn’t God be able to operate in the same way? If we want the Holy Spirit to become active in our life, all we have to do is ask!
Give it a try and see what happens. Start praying the 2 second prayer each day. If you want, you can modify the prayer to something like, “Holy Spirit, please guide all my thoughts, words, actions, interactions and decisions today.” Keep praying it faithfully and then watch for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to be more evident in your life. I have a feeling you will be very pleased with the results!