As often used as it is, only a few people fully understand the meaning of spiritual gifts and how to obtain them.
Spiritual gifts are unique supernatural empowerment the Holy Spirit gives every believer to carry out specific ministries in God’s love and wisdom while serving the Body of Christ.
Some Bible passages that refer to spiritual gifts include 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12.
According to 1 Corinthians 12, spiritual gifts include; the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, the gift of healing, the working of miracles, prophecy, the discernment of spirits, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues.
Do you desire a spiritual gift or its manifestation? I will guide you through the steps on how to pray for spiritual gifts.
What is the Purpose of Spiritual Gifts?
The abuse of anything is inevitable when its purpose is not known. We often misuse spiritual gifts because we do not understand the purpose for which the Holy Spirit releases them to us.
The Holy Spirit gives believers spiritual gifts for the church (The Body of Christ). A further dive into this reveals what purpose the Spirit of God intends spiritual gifts to fulfill among believers in the church.
Below we will consider reasons/purposes for spiritual gifts.
The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts for:
1. Edification of the Body of Christ.
The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts for the edification of the Body of Christ. That is, to build up the body of Christ. He gives the gifts for the physical and spiritual increase of the community of Christians.
This shows that, as believers, we must not despise the gifts of the Holy Spirit, both ours and those of others. The Holy Spirit gives various degrees and proportions for the church’s edification and encouragement.
God also gives members of the Body of Christ these gifts for self-gratification. We are stewards to whatever God has given us; time, resources, money, and spiritual gifts. God gives us these things for our manifestations and His own glory.
3. Benefits of Others.
The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts for the benefit of others, not just for ourselves. He does not intend that we use them in isolation. That is why we must function effectively in a church or ministry.
4. Tools for Evangelism.
Spiritual gifts are tools for evangelism. The manifestation of these gifts is proof that we serve a God who is alive and works in supernatural ways.
5. Unity of the Body of Christ.
Spiritual gifts serve the purpose of uniting the Body of Christ and fostering dependence on one another.
6. Growth in the Knowledge of God.
The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts to help us grow in the knowledge of God. It is not to show that we have reached a peak in our knowledge of God but to open a gateway to knowing and experiencing God better.
Also See: Prayers for Spiritual Growth: 15 Helpful
How To Pray For Spiritual Gifts
You may ask, “If spiritual gifts are indeed gifts, do we need to pray to have them?” People indeed give gifts out of their free will. It is not any different with spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit freely gives them.
However, that does not dismiss the fact that we can desire and pray to have these gifts. Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:1 (NIV), showed us we could desire spiritual gifts.
He speaks thus; ” Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” Evidently, the Bible urges us to desire spiritual gifts earnestly.
Here are how to pray for spiritual gifts:
- Understand Why God Gives Spiritual Gifts.
A spiritual gift will enable you to serve God more effectively. God blesses anyone He chooses with spiritual gifts to serve effectively in His vineyard.
That is why He gives us divine abilities to make the work He commits to our hands easy. With this firm understanding, you can ask God for a spiritual gift. It is a beautiful thing to have spiritual gifts for many reasons.
One, your love for Christ deepens as you receive one or more, and you become aware of your abilities and what the Holy Spirit can accomplish through you. You will also become more conscious of those in your immediate environment and the role God wants you to play in their lives.
- Desire It Earnestly.
The next step is to desire spiritual gifts earnestly like you desired the baptism of the Holy Spirit. God recognizes and honors our desires. Sometimes, the things we want get to come to us due to our desire for them.
The Bible urges us to pray about all things. Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV) says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Our relationship with God is the same as that which exists between a father and his child. Children often desire gifts from their fathers and ask with all sincerity and innocence.
It is the father’s choice to decide whether such a gift is perfect for the child. That is what we do when we truly need something. We ask for it or go in search of it. Such might never come to us if we only sit around and wait.
So, let your heart be filled with the desire to have a spiritual gift or as many as you want.
- Ensure Your Intentions Are Pure.
As you desire it and want to begin asking for it, ensure your motives are pure. God is very particular about the intents of our hearts. He searches our hearts and knows the motive behind every of our desire.
We sometimes do not receive answers to prayers because God sees our intent as selfish and ungodly. That said, your desire and motive align with God’s purpose and the drive to use them to advance God’s kingdom.
Anything outside this can hinder you from receiving what you are asking God for. So, ask with the right intention – to bring glory to God.
4. Pray Fervently and Persistently.
Desiring spiritual gifts requires that we engage in fervent and persistent prayers. Persevere in the place of prayer, ask God for it, and do not stop until you receive your request.
There is nothing wrong in asking for the ability to speak in tongues and interpret the same or praying for the ability to discern spirits or work miracles.
As you pray, God will decide if what you are asking is in His will for you to operate in those supernatural gifts. But if it is not the case, He will give you the one that suits your ministry and calling.
For instance, you could desire the gift of healing and pray earnestly for it. God, who knows you more than you know yourself, would cause you to see that your calling or gifting is in the prophetic and then enable you in that line.
- Believe You Will Receive It.
Trust God and believe with full assurance when praying for a spiritual gift.
When praying for it, you should also note that you are praying for spiritual gifts not because the Holy Spirit has not given them to you but because you need to realize what He has already given to you. As Christians, God has imbued us with one or more supernatural abilities.
They are not limited to pastors, evangelists, apostles, or others who lead in the church. Many believers find themselves in the category of people who have not discovered their gifts in God.
This is a big problem in the Body of Christ. You must discover where God has called you to function. When you begin to pray, pray not as one who has not received but as one who wants to walk in the reality of those gifts. In other words, have faith that you already have it.
- Remain Consistent in Prayer.
Even when you receive the spiritual gift, you still need to activate and stir them up. This is because these spiritual gifts do not spontaneously begin operating in and through us.
Gifts can require time to mature and develop into their full potency. God requires us to develop our spiritual gifts when He gives them. Our spiritual gifts manifest in higher levels when we attain higher spiritual levels also.
When we even go further, we realize that we need prayers to sustain these gifts in us. Our effectiveness in exercising our gifts is proportional to our dependence on God.
When we maintain a life of constant prayers, God enhances these supernatural abilities to manifest in more excellent dimensions.
- Have a Track Record of Service. If You Don’t, Start Now.
Before God, humans are only equal in love, not in sacrifice. God recognizes and keeps records of our sacrifices and labor in His vineyard.
He would not give gifts to those who are wasteful. Some believers manifest seemingly greater dimensions of spiritual gifts because of the sacrifice they pay to stay with God.
Jesus gave a parable about talents in Matthew 25:14-30. As we saw, the master gave more to the servants who made profits and increased what they had.
But he took from the lazy servant the one he had and gave it to the one who had the most. If you desire and pray to have spiritual gifts, God will consider how faithful you have been in serving him.
He commits more to our hands when He sees our faithfulness, even with little. If we serve God faithfully, we won’t need to ask for more because He will give more as rewards and commissions for more excellent service.
But this does not mean that you will not receive the gift you are asking for. I only encourage you to look for where to begin serving, especially in God’s house – the church.
- Pray To Grow in Your Knowledge of God.
You need to have a good knowledge of God’s Word to effectively receive and operate in spiritual gifts. So, if you have little knowledge of Scripture, ensure you study it voraciously daily while depending on the Holy Spirit for interpretation and understanding.
Imagine having a child with stunted growth; this would be a matter of concern to the parents. Because of the slow development, such a child may never enjoy certain privileges.
Galatians 4:1 (NIV) says, “Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ from a slave, though he is master of all.” You may desire and pray for spiritual gifts, but God is concerned about the level of your knowledge of Him.
There are more profound levels of manifestation of spiritual gifts He only opens to those who have a deep knowledge of His Word and know Him intimately. So, if you do not have a profound knowledge of God’s Word, begin now.
- Pray To Understand Your Ministry and Purpose.
In praying for spiritual gifts, you must understand your ministry and purpose. Sometimes, people commit the error of praying for spiritual gifts that do not align with the purpose God has called them to fulfill.
This happens when we compare ourselves with others, thinking they are doing better than us because of a particular gift they operate in. God has not called us to compete with one another. We are uniquely empowered to advance God’s kingdom.
10. Take Advantage of Opportunities.
God brings to us certain situations we pray about to see our responses.
When praying for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to manifest certain gifts, take advantage of every opportunity you get to express such. It is a way of exercising your faith in your God-given ability.
How Does a Person Discover Their Spiritual Gifts?
- The first step to discovering your spiritual gifts is to understand that you are part of a body, the Body of Christ. Knowing this will help you realize you have a role to play in it.
- Prayer is an effective way of discovering spiritual gifts. If you are stuck not knowing what gifts the Holy Spirit has given you, ask in prayers; He makes this known to us by revelation.
- Studying the Scriptures can also help you discover your spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit sometimes reveals our purpose, callings, and gifts through His word.
- You can also discover your spiritual gifts by asking others. Sometimes, other people see what we do not see in ourselves. A spiritual authority or mentor in your life can help you discover that gift the Holy Spirit has given you and even go further in helping you fan it to flames.
- You can discover your spiritual gifts by looking out for the kind of people you are naturally drawn to. The kind of people we look out for or look up to are often endowed with the same gifts as us. Hence, you can list the spiritual gifts you see in them and might realize that you also have the same.
- You can discover your spiritual gift when you look at the things that satisfy you. God wired us to bring Him glory and experience joy and satisfaction while we serve others.
- Lastly, you can discover your spiritual gift through challenging situations that could trigger your using that gift unknowingly. This could be God’s way of telling you what gift He has given you.
A Prayer for Spiritual Growth.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your grace that increases us daily. I ask on this day that you cause me to grow spiritually, daily increasing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Despite the challenges and distractions in the world that can easily sway one from the path of truth, I ask that you help me walk in a manner worthy of you, to please you in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of you daily.
Dear Lord, cause me to increase and abound in love for you, members of the body of Christ, and all people, just as you do for us. Increase my appetite for your word so that by it, I may grow in respect to salvation.
Please give me the grace to apply diligence in my walk with you. In my faith, supply me with moral excellence, and in my moral excellence, add knowledge, self-control, perseverance, and godliness.
Abba Father, take away spiritual lukewarmness from me and keep me fired up, daily burning for you until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Precious Lord, for I know you have begun the work of increasing me spiritually, and I know you won’t stop until I attain spiritual maturity and make it to your right hand at the end of time.
In Jesus’ Mighty Name, I pray, Amen!
Serving God with our gifts brings us great joy and purpose. So, I encourage you to discover your spiritual gift now that you know how to pray for spiritual gifts and then put them to use. But don’t panic if you need to figure out what spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit has given you.
Hold tightly to the mindset that you have to help others. God will eventually reveal to you what that gift is, and as a result, everyone will profit from it—including you.