In The School of Prayer

Seventh Lesson

How much more the Holy Spirit;

Or, The All-Comprehensive Gift

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto you? Children, how much more shall the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” — Luke 11:13.

The wonderful things that the Lord had to say were first articulated by Him in the Sermon on the Mount. HOW MUCH MORE? There is a distinction made in the book of Luke at the point where He asks the question again. He doesn’t talk about giving good gifts like He did back then; instead, He asks, “How much more shall the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit?” He teaches us in this way that the Holy Spirit is the greatest and most important of all of these gifts, or more accurately, that all of the other gifts are contained within this one. The Holy Spirit is the very first gift that the Father gives, and it is the one that brings Him the greatest joy to give. Therefore, the gift that we should seek after most importantly and primarily is the Holy Spirit.

How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!


The unmeasurable value of this present is something that can be comprehended without difficulty. Jesus referred to the Spirit as the promise of the Father, the singular promise in which the Fatherhood of God was made manifest. It is his spirit that is the greatest gift that a kind and knowledgeable father can give to a child on this earth. This is the primary goal of a father’s involvement in his child’s education: to instill in his offspring the same temperament and moral fiber that he possesses. If the child is going to learn about and get along with his father. If he is going to enter into all of his will and plans as he matures. If he is going to have his highest joy in the father, and the father is going to have his highest joy in him, then he must be of one mind and spirit with him. As a result, it is not possible to conceive of God bestowing any gift on His offspring that is more highly regarded than this one. The Spirit that is uniquely his. God is able to be who He is because of His Spirit; the Spirit is the very life of God. Think about what it means that God would give His Spirit to one of His children who lives on earth.

Or was it not this, the presence of the Spirit of the Father within Jesus, that was the glory of Jesus as a Son while He was on earth? At the time of His baptism in the Jordan River, the voice that was proclaiming Him to be the Beloved Son and the Spirit that was descending upon Him came together as one. In light of this, the apostle writes concerning us, “Because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Through his son’s entire education, a king strives to instill in his offspring the qualities that make a king. Our heavenly Father has the heartfelt desire to prepare us, as His children, for the holy and exalted life that He leads in heaven, and He does so by giving to us from the very depths of His being what we need. His own Spirit. After making atonement with His own blood, this was the overarching goal that Jesus had for his ministry. He went into the presence of God on our behalf so that He could obtain the Holy Spirit for us and then send him down to dwell within us. Because He is the Spirit of both the Father and the Son, the complete life and love of both the Father and the Son are found in Him, and it is this life and love that is descending into us. He brings us into the fellowship of those people. As the Spirit of the Father, He pours out the love that the Father had for the Son into our hearts and teaches us how to live in that love. This love was shown to the Son by the Father. As the Spirit of the Son, He instills in us the same childlike freedom, devotion, and obedience that the Son exhibited while he was here on earth. The Holy Spirit, also known as the Spirit of Sonship, is the highest and most amazing gift that the Father is able to bestow on his sons. Given the nature of this fact, it follows that this primary and most important blessing from God ought to be the primary and primary focus of all prayers. The Holy Spirit is the one thing that is necessary for fulfilling any and all requirements of a spiritual life. Jesus is the center of all fullness; he is the fullness of grace and truth, and it is from his fullness that we receive grace upon grace. The Holy Spirit is the appointed conveyancer whose special work it is to make Jesus and all that there is in Him for us ours in personal appropriation and in blessed experience. This is the mission that the Holy Spirit was given by God. He is the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, and just as wonderful as life itself is the provision that such an agent is provided to communicate it to us, so too is that provision itself just as wonderful. If only we would put ourselves completely at the disposal of the Spirit and allow Him to work his miracle on us in whatever way He sees fit. He will make the life of Christ visible to us within ourselves. He will accomplish this through the power of the Holy Spirit, ensuring that the life of Christ continues unabatedly within us. In point of fact, if there is one prayer that should draw us to the throne of the Father and keep us there, it is this one: that the Holy Spirit, whom we have received as children, would stream into us and out from us in greater fulness.

When it comes to the many different kinds of gifts that the Holy Spirit can give. He provides for every needs that a believer might have. Just consider all of the names that have been given to Him. All of the grace that is contained in Jesus is made known and distributed by the Spirit of grace. The Holy Spirit instructs us to begin believing, to keep believing, and to believe more and more as time goes on. The Spirit of adoption and assurance, who is a witness to the fact that we are children of God and who inspires the trusting and self-assured cry of “Abba, Father!” The Spirit of Truth, who will guide us into all truth and make each word of God our own in both word and deed. Prayer that must be heard, which is mediated by the Holy Spirit, through whom we communicate with God the Father. The Spirit of burning judgment, who investigates the thoughts and motives of the heart and persuades sinners. The Spirit of Holiness, who makes the presence of God the Father’s holiness appear in us and communicates it to us. The Spirit of power, which enables us, through whom we obtain our strength, to boldly testify and work effectively in the service of the Father. The Spirit of glory, which is the guarantee of our inheritance, the preparation for, and a preview of the glory that will be revealed in the future. One thing is essential for the child of God to have in order to be able to live as a child, and that thing is to be filled with this Spirit.

And now, the lesson that Jesus teaches us today in His school is this: the Father is just longing to give Him to us if we will but ask in childlike dependence on what He says: “If you know to give good gifts to your children, HOW MUCH MORE shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (If you know how to give good gifts to your children, HOW MUCH MORE shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him). The words of the promise of God, which read, “I will pour out my Spirit abundantly,” and the words of His command, which read, “Be ye filled with the Spirit,” are as follows: “We have the ability to judge what God is willing to give us and what we are capable of obtaining. Because we are God’s children, the Holy Spirit has already been given to us. However, we are still obligated to approach God in prayer and ask for His specialized assistance whenever we have a need for it. Not only that, but also for Himself to take full and total possession of it; for His unceasing guidance in the present moment. In the same way that the branch, which is already oozing with sap from the vine, is always pleading for the flow of sap to be sustained and increased so that it can bring its fruit to full maturity, so too does the believer, who rejoices in the possession of the Spirit, always thirst for more of it and begs for it. And what it is that the great Teacher would have us learn is that nothing less than God’s promise and command can be the measure of our expectations and our prayer. It is necessary for us to have an abundant filling. He would like for us to inquire about this in the faith that the wonderful how much more of God’s fatherly love is the pledge that, when we ask, we do most certainly receive it.

Let us now accept this as true. Let us not look to our emotions for the answer as we pray to be filled with the Spirit; rather, let us seek the answer in prayer. To benefit from any spiritual blessing, it is necessary to “receive” them, which means to either accept them or take them on faith. {1} Permit me to have faith that the Holy Spirit is bestowed upon the praying child of the Father. Even at this moment, while I am praying, I have to have faith and say that I already have what I ask for. The fullness of the Spirit is mine. Let us continue steadfast in this faith. We are confident that what we ask for will be given to us because the Bible tells us so. Let us, with thanksgiving that we have been heard, with thanksgiving for what we have received and taken and now hold as ours, continue steadfastly in believing prayer that the blessing, which has already been given to us, and which we hold in faith, may break through and fill our entire beings. Let us continue steadfastly in believing prayer that the blessing, which has already been given to us, and which we hold in faith, may break through and fill our entire beings. When we pray and give thanks in this believing manner, we make room in our soul for the Holy Spirit to take complete and unhindered possession of us. A prayer that not only requests and hopes, but also accepts and maintains, is the kind of prayer that receives the full blessing. Let us not forget in any of our prayers the lesson that the Savior has for us in store for us on this day. The fact that the Father wants us to be filled with His Spirit and that it brings Him great joy to give us His Spirit is the one thing about which we can be absolutely certain on this earth. If there is anything else about which we can be certain, it is this. What liberty and power to pray for the outpouring of the Spirit on the Church of God, on all flesh, on individuals, or on special efforts. When we have learned to believe for ourselves in this way, and when we take each day from the treasure that we hold in heaven! Whoever has first gained the ability to know the Father through prayer for themselves has also gained the ability to pray with the utmost confidence for others. The Holy Spirit is given by the Father to those who ask for it; in fact, this happens not least but most often when people ask for other things.

“O Lord, teach us how to pray.”

Father who is in the heavens! You sent your Son to us in order to reveal yourself to us as our Father-love and to show us everything that love has in store for us. And He has taught us that the Holy Spirit is the greatest gift of all the gifts that You would bestow on us as an answer to prayer.

You’re My Father! I come to thee with this prayer; there is nothing that I would — or perhaps it is more appropriate to say that I do desire — more than to be filled with the Spirit, the Holy Spirit. The blessings that He bestows are beyond description and precisely what I require at this time. It is through him that he pours out the heart’s love for thee and fills it with himself. I’ve had a longing for this. Because He instills in me the mind and the life of Christ, I am able to live in and for the love of the Father just as Christ did. I’ve had a longing for this. For all of my walking and working, he bestows upon me power that comes down from on high. I’ve had a longing for this. Father! I pray that today you will bestow upon me the fullness of your Holy Spirit.

Father! This question is based on the words of my Lord, which say, “How much more the Holy Spirit.” I believe that Thou hearest my prayer; I now receive what I ask, Father! I lay claim to the completeness of Thy Spirit, and I accept it as my own. I accept the gift again on this day as a gift of faith; by faith, I believe that my heavenly Father works through the Holy Spirit in accordance with what He has promised. While the Son lingers in communion with the Father, the Father takes pleasure in infusing His Spirit into the waiting body of the Son. Amen.

1 In Greek, the word for receiving and the word for taking are both the same. When Jesus said, “Everyone that asketh receiveth,” He used the same verb as when He said, “Take, eat,” at the Last Supper, or when He said, “Believe, accept, take, “the Holy Spirit,” on the morning after the resurrection. The act of receiving implies not only God’s bestowal but also our assent to what he has done.

Original by Andrew Murray

Revised and Updated by Nathan Zipfel
March 2023

By Nathan Zipfel

Ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene Pastor of the New Life Church of the Nazarene in Boswell, PA. Batchelor of Arts Pastoral Leadership, Nazarene Bible College Master of Arts, Ministry, Ohio Christian University Master of Social Work, Indiana Wesleyan University Behavioral Health Therapist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: