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prayer to the holy spirit by joseph cardinal mercier

Spirit of wisdom and understanding, enlighten our minds to perceive the mysteries of the universe in relation to eternity. Spirit of right judgment and courage, guide us and make us firm in our baptismal decision to follow Jesus’ way of love. Spirit of knowledge and reverence, help us to see the lasting value of justice and mercy in our everyday dealings with one another. May we respect life as we work to solve problems of family and nation, economy and ecology. Spirit of God, spark our faith, hope and love into new action each day. Fill our lives with wonder and awe in your presence which penetrates all creation. Amen.


Oh Holy Spirit, You are the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. You are the Spirit of truth, love and holiness, proceeding from the Father and the Son, and equal to Them in all things. I adore You and love You with all my heart. Teach me to know and to seek God, by whom and for whom I was created. Fill my heart with a holy fear and a great love for Him. Give me compunction and patience, and do not let me fall into sin.

Increase faith, hope and charity in me and bring forth in me all the virtues proper to my state of life. Help me to grow in the four cardinal virtues, Your seven gifts and Your twelve fruits.

Make me a faithful follower of Jesus, an obedient child of the Church and a help to my neighbor. Give me the grace to keep the commandments and to receive the sacraments worthily. Raise me to holiness in the state of life to which You have called me, and lead me through a happy death to everlasting life. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Grant me also, O Holy Spirit, Giver of all good gifts, the special favor for which I ask {name special petition}, if it be for Your honor and glory and for my well being. Amen.


Holy Spirit of light and love, you are the substantial love of the Father and the Son; hear my prayer. Bounteous bestower of most precious gifts, grant me a strong and living faith which makes me accept all revealed truths and shape my conduct in accord with them. Give me a most confident hope in all divine promises which prompts me to abandon myself unreservedly to you and your guidance. Infuse into me a love of perfect goodwill, and act according to God’s least desires. Make me love not only my friends but my enemies as well, in imitation of Jesus Christ who through you offered himself on the Cross for all people. Holy Spirit, animate, inspire, and guide me, and help me to be always a true follower of you. Amen.


Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy. Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy. Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.

1.  “The Holy Spirit is a unique person and not simply a power or an influence.”
I remember thinking as a child that the Holy Spirit was more like a ghost than a real, concrete being, but that kind of thinking can damage how we relate to the Spirit and interact with him. “We have to understand that the Spirit of God, the third person of the Trinity, is personal,” Begg said. “As a person, He may be grieved (Eph. 4:30), He may be quenched in terms of the exercise of His will (1 Thess. 5:19), and He may be resisted (Acts 7:51).”

2. “The Holy Spirit is one both with the Father and the Son.”
This is the most powerful and baffling thing about the Trinity — each third is unique, but all three are united. “In theological terms,” Begg explains,” we say that He is both co-equal and co-eternal. …So the activity of the Spirit is never given to us in Scripture in isolation from the person and work of Christ or in isolation from the eternal will of the Father.”

3. “The Spirit is the author of the Scriptures.” We read in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “all Scripture is God-breathed” and in 2 Peter 1:21 that “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” These verses illustrate the divine work of the Holy Spirit through men to record what we know now as the Bible-

During His ministry on earth Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. The Bible reveals the primary purpose of the ministry of Jesus in 1 John 3:8 — He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. In this verse we discover the twofold mystery of the impartation was of power to us. First He gives us power to be like Him so that we are free from sin, because sin makes us like the devil; for the scripture says He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. Secondly, Jesus gave us power to continue His ministry to do good and heal all who are oppressed by the devil. That is why He gave us power over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt us.

So we have power to overcome sin, and power to destroy the works of the devil just as our Lord demonstrated for us while he dwelt in human flesh. We are partakers of His divine nature when we are anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power. We are not the Messiah, but we are His disciples, and so we learn from Him, how we are to walk in the earth. Have you been anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power? Are you destroying the works of the devil? Are you doing good? Do you know that you have been called to do greater works? Whatever you have done in ministry to date, the Lord is calling you to greater works. This is the mandate of all who follow Him. Hear the word of the Lord in John 14:12 — “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

You can be assured that if you believe in Jesus, He who has all power in heaven and earth, has anointed you and given you power. To be anointed is to be covered in consecrated oil, which is spiritual and not of the flesh. The oil that Moses was instructed to compose to consecrate Aaron and his sons for all generations, is a shadow of what Jesus pours out upon those who believe in Him — And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. It shall not be poured on man’s flesh; nor shall you make any other like it, according to its composition. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you. Exodus 30:31-32

Be assured that you have been anointed with the Spirit and with power to go about doing good, and healing all who are oppressed by the devil. We have power to set captives free and do the work of the ministry which we inherited from the Lord, and our inheritance is among those who are sanctified (set apart). The oil which is consecrated flows from those who are set apart. Just as Aaron and the generations who followed Him, we too receive holy anointing oil. They were to be covered as it is written in Psalm 133:2 — It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments.

For some people, the Holy Ghost may cause them to feel overwhelmed with emotion and moved to tears. For others, tears rarely or never come. And that’s okay. For them, the Holy Ghost may produce a subtle feeling of gratitude, peace, reverence, or love (see Galatians 5:22–23).

The scriptures also describe the Holy Ghost as a “burning” in the bosom (see Doctrine and Covenants 9:8–9). But the intensity or degree of that “burning” can be different for everyone. Sometimes it’s like a small glowing ember instead of a raging bonfire.

Or perhaps you’ve heard the Holy Ghost described as a “still small voice” (see Doctrine and Covenants 85:6). And you immediately thought: “But I haven’t HEARD a voice. Is something wrong with me?”

Again, not at all. That scriptural description doesn’t necessarily mean that we all hear a literal voice. Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that “the Spirit speaks words that we feel. These feelings are gentle, a nudge to act, to do something, to say something, to respond in a certain way.”1

The point is: each of us will experience the Holy Ghost differently. And in different degrees. What’s important is that we live worthy to receive it and recognize it when it comes. As we do, we’ll begin to notice that His influence is present in our lives a lot more than we expected.

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