Why am I here? What is life all about? What is the meaning of life? How we answer these big-picture questions is important so we can live with hope and a sense of purpose in times of uncertainty, pain, and frustration.
What is the meaning of life according to the Bible? According to the Bible, knowing God is the meaning of life because He is the “author of life” (John 17:3). The meaning of life is not based on things we see in the world “for life is more than food, and the body more than clothing” (Luke 12:23).
What does it mean to know God? Why can’t we base the meaning of life on relationships, career, or personal happiness? Understanding the answer to these questions in the Bible gives a sense of purpose and fulfillment in our lives.
What is the meaning to life? Why am I? What is my reason/purpose? A routine question that strikes us at moments of reflection/trial. What is “Life”?
God, as The Author of life, brings meaning to life. Everything God created was meant to show what God is like. God created a world with a purpose, by His design. The world we live in and the life of every person has a purpose and is not just the product of chance, random events, and biological selection.
Prayer helps you develop a relationship with God
Just like your parents here on earth, your Heavenly Father wants to hear from you and talk to you. When you pray, He listens. Then He answers your prayers in the form of thoughts, spiritual feelings, scripture, or even the actions of other people.
Prayer helps you gain an understanding of God’s loving nature
The scriptures teach, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). You can feel that love as you speak daily with Him through prayer, seeking His guidance in your life.
Prayer provides answers
Praying and listening to the answers God gives you can help you better understand your purpose in life. God will help you understand why you are here and what you can do to return to live with Him after this life.
Prayer helps you find direction in your life
When you privately pray to God, you can work through serious decisions in your life. God always listens and often provides the specific answers and guidance we seek. Even when He chooses not to answer immediately or in the way we might have hoped, prayer itself is a way to find peace.
Prayer gives you strength to avoid temptation
Jesus counseled His disciples, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation” (Matthew 26:41). Through prayer, we can overcome temptations to sin. Pray for God’s help to keep you from making wrong choices. This will give you the strength to do what is right.
Prayer aligns your will with God’s will
The purpose of prayer is not necessarily to tell God how you want Him to do things. Rather, it’s to better understand Him and His ways, bringing yourself into alignment with His will. As C.S. Lewis is often attributed as saying, prayer “doesn’t change God. It changes me.”
Prayer and regular fasting can help you accept God’s will
Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights before He began His ministry on the earth. As He did this, He communed with His Father in Heaven in prayer. Likewise, if you pray and fast, you can feel closer to God and better understand the things He wants you to do.
Prayer can work miracles
Throughout the scriptures, we see many examples of the Lord working miracles as an answer to prayer. In Old Testament times, the prophet Daniel was thrown into a lions’ den because he refused to stop praying. When he prayed to God in the lions’ den, angels appeared and closed the mouths of the lions. Through daily prayer, you can also experience personal miracles such as healing, peace, and forgiveness for sins.
Prayer invites the Holy Spirit into your life
As you pray daily, you invite the Holy Spirit to be with you and to comfort and direct you. The Holy Spirit can give you answers, help you feel God’s love, and bring feelings of peace and joy into your heart.
Prayer helps you become more like Jesus
Jesus set the perfect example of prayer. If you try to follow His example through prayer, you will become more like Him and develop a better relationship with Him and Heavenly Father.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. Philippians 4:13-15
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.
The Holy Spirit is one third of the Trinity, along with God the Father and God the Son Jesus – collectively referred to by some as ‘the Godhead’. However, among long-time and new Christians alike, the Spirit is often the least clearly understood of the three. In this article, I hope to answer 4 of the most popular questions asked, beginning with “What is the Holy Spirit?”
For new believers, I’ll try to keep all my answers relatable and to-the-point – rather than ‘dry’ and theological. In addition to Bible verses, I’ve also included references for further reading if you want to dive deeper into any topic.
1. What exactly is the Holy Spirit?
People often ask “What is the Holy Spirit exactly?”. No surprise, since spiritual ideas and concepts are a bit harder to capture within the limits of our everyday language.
For starters, the Holy Spirit is actually a ‘who’ – a Person, not a ‘what’. But a little more on this later!
In Christianity, the Holy Spirit is an inseparable part of the Trinity. He – not ‘it’ – is the Spirit of God who has existed from the very beginning, appearing many times in the Bible. This includes Genesis 1:2, as he floated over the dark waters, all the way up to Revelation 22:17, when he speaks as one with the bride of Christ (see also 2 Corinthians 3:17; Ephesians 4:30; John 15:26). Today, God’s Spirit dwells in each of us; a gift from Him for anyone who repents and has faith in the redeeming work of Lord Jesus Christ.
Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.2 Timothy 1:14
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?1 Corinthians 3:16
2. How is the Holy Spirit a Person?
As said above, the Holy Spirit is a Person. But how so?
For some people, this is a really strange thing to hear. After all, when we use the word ‘person’, we’re traditionally talking about someone with an actual physical body. With hair, eyes, hands, legs, the works.
However, think about it for a moment. When we speak of such physical aspects, what we’re really doing is describing the material markers of a person – not who the person is, nor the invisible qualities that form a personality.
Thus, when we say the Holy Spirit is a person, we are essentially saying he is not some ‘detached force’ or ‘abstract energy’ – with zero distinct identity.
Quite the opposite! In fact, in the original Biblical language, Jesus himself describes the Holy Spirit using a pronoun, indicating personhood (see John14:26; John 15:26).
Moreover, the Spirit has his own will, feelings, and judgment. For example, he can feel grief (Ephesians 4:30), love (Romans 5:5), and can convict us (John 16:8). As a Person, he is also capable of intelligently knowing things, “even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).
The above are most certainly person-defining qualities. However, you might ask: how is the Holy Spirit as a Person different from mere people like us?
For starters, he is God’s Spirit. Thus, he isn’t restricted at all to the same physical time-space markers we are. That’s also why he’s able to dwell inside all believers, at the same moment.
In short, it’s not that bizarre to see the Holy Spirit as a person. After all, if God can create each of us with a personality, He most certainly can exist as His own Spirit with divine personal qualities – and far beyond!
You receive the Holy Spirit when you first truly repent for your sins, sincerely declare your faith in Jesus Christ as God who died to redeem you, and aim to walk a new life in our Savior’s name.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”Acts 2:38
What does repenting for our sins look like?
First, we begin by believing in God’s existence, and then confess from our heart that we have done wrong in His eyes (e.g. being prideful, unloving, judging others, lying, selfishness, etc. – to any extent in our lives).
In short, we willingly let go of our personal ego and admit we’ve strayed away from God’s original plan for us (1 Peter 2:25). To repent thus means humbly seeking God’s forgiveness with a genuine desire to become a better person, according to His greater will – not simply ours (see Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:9).
Faith in Jesus Christ is also crucial to receiving the Holy Spirit. This means not seeing him as a mere mortal man or prophet. Rather, we choose to recognize him as the Son of God who came to pay the price of our sins, forevermore (John 3:16; John 3:36; 1 Corinthians 15:3). Thus, by His grace, Jesus has atoned for our ways and reconciled us with God.
But what about water baptism?
Lastly, regarding water baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit, this analogy offers a good clarification:
“It must be clear that baptism is no more required for becoming saved than putting on a jersey is required to officially join a sports team. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9), just as a professional football player is made a teammate by signing a contract. Baptism, like the uniform, is an outward, public sign, not a requirement in and of itself.”BibleRef.com; see also GotQuestions.org.
Faith is the real heart of it all. Faith in what exactly? In the life, death, and resurrection power of Jesus Christ who saves us and grants us eternal life with God (John 3:16; 1 John 5:11). To this degree, baptism is a biblically recommended outward declaration of our inner trust – not a conditional ‘work’ we must do to receive the Holy Spirit.
Thus, to sum things up, The Holy Spirit is a gracious gift from God – placed inside you – when you sincerely confess and repent for your sins, believe in Jesus, and seek to live boldly in your faith and salvation.
Check out this article for a deeper theological dive into what believers call the Baptism of The Holy Spirit. This is not the same as water baptism.
4. What does the Holy Spirit do?
To know what The Holy Spirit does, it is good to first understand why God has given Him to all believers. For starters, Jesus, shortly before His ascension to Heaven, says:
“When The Advocate comes, Whom I will send to you from The Father—The Spirit of truth Who goes out from The Father—He will testify about Me.”John 15:26
In short, The Holy Spirit’s indwelling in our lives keeps us focused on Jesus, bearing witness to the redeeming Love of our good Savior (Acts 1:8).
From the vine of this truth, The Holy Spirit takes on many roles.
For example, He offers us true fellowship from within us, encouraging us day by day to lead more Christ-like lives (2 Corinthians 13:14). Of course, as mere humans, we’ll surely stumble on our journeys. However, it is The Holy Spirit Who continuously spurs our desire to nurture a more intimate relationship with God.
Moreover, the Holy Spirit can also pray to our heavenly Father on our behalf (i.e. he intercedes for us). This can happen without us even knowing, especially so when we feel weak in our faith or are unable to find the right words to pray (Romans 8:26-27).
He bears fruit and brings gifts.
By living our lives in Christ, we begin to bear the fruit of the Spirit. This enriches who we are according to God’s will. It can also make a highly positive impact on people around us (believers or not).
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23
The Holy Spirit also teaches us God’s ways, strengthening our faith in the process. This can involve inspiring our spiritual learning as we read the Bible (John 14:26; 2 Timothy 3:16) – or even through spiritual gifts (Hebrews 2:4).
Of spiritual gifts, this can sometimes involve more direct supernatural moments with our living God. For example, receiving prophecy, healing, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 12). There are also other wonderful spiritual blessings, such as teaching, leadership, and more (see Romans 12:6-8).
The Holy Spirit also speaks to us in our spirit via very diverse ways. Occasionally, this can happen through what some Christians call ‘spiritual promptings’ that guide us to do, say, or pray specific things, always according to God’s will (John 16:13-15).
If you do receive such a prompting, be sure it lines up to what is taught in the Bible, never contradicting God’s established Word. This is why reading it is always important!
To learn more about the Holy Spirit’s promptings, I recommend reading Surprised by the Voice of God. An excellent book that’ll open your heart to believing God still speaks to His people today.
By God’s Loving grace, The Holy Spirit also serves as a ‘deposit’ placed inside us. As believers, this guarantees our place in His Heavenly Kingdom and our eternal identity in Christ (Ephesians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 1:22).
But The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For The Lord sees not as Man sees: Man looks on the outward appearance, but The Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
God tells us in Matthew 6:8, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” But in the next verses He tells us to pray for our needs. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 God commands us to pray continually. That means to pray a lot!
Prayer is God’s way for us to receive what we need from Him (Heb. 4:16). He tells us the reason we don’t have what we need is because we haven’t asked or because we are asking selfishly (James 4:2-4).
Great Provider! God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Heavenly Father, accept my worthy worship and praise in Jesus’ name, Amen.
We thank God from whom all blessings flow in Jesus’ name, Amen.
I plead the redeeming blood of Jesus upon my body and spirit to attract the blessings of God in Jesus’ name, Amen.
And we seek God’s favor in prayer:
In the name of Jesus, wealth and riches shall be in mine house: and Jesus’ righteousness endureth forever. Every stronghold battling with my ordained blessings be pulled down in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Hallowed Hallelujah! Thank God, I claim the blessings of the Lord that make me rich without sorrow, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
The forbidden fruit is illustrative of temptation and sin in general. Eve took and ate what God had commanded her not to eat due to three factors: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the prideful desire to acquire “wisdom” apart from God. We too struggle in today in all three areas in striving to resist sin.
And we pray:
You have promised, Lord, to always provide a door of escape when we face temptations. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to Mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, Hallelujah!!! But when you are tempted, God will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 But we must be looking for that escape hatch and must be willing to use it. We are tempted to please our bodies, eyes, and prideful minds more than to please God; and we pray by Your grace, Lord, we can overcome every temptation that Satan may attack us with. Amen.
Father LORD, You are our Center, our core, our ALL, Amen. You have reminded me that with You there is no ‘Time’; once something is spoken into existence by Your Essence, it is set. Hallelujah, Amen. ‘Time’ is a comedy with and for You. You Exist outside of ‘time’; a thousand years is like the blinking of a huMan eye for You El Shaddai, Amen. You are The Center of my ALL, Amen. https://www.openbible.info/topics/christ-centered You have Said “Ask and I shall recieved…” Father, in The name of Jesus, I proclaim Your will be done in my life, Amen. What are my ‘plans’ but as folly before Your Essence. I can make many plans, but Your purpose will prevail. Many are the plans in the mind of a Man, but it is Your purpose that WILL stand. There are many devices in my heart; nevertheless Your counsel stands, Amen. Father LORD, open my heart to recieve instruction, direction and cause on and in my journey to You. Wash me with The blood of Jesus, Amen. It is my heartfelt desire to lay worthy before You LORD, Amen. Father, seal me, use me, direct me to Your glory in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Faith makes all things possible. Yet, man struggles with believing this is possible. We live amongst others who have suffered disappointments and may have grown bitter as a result. But, Jesus tells us “if” we believe, all things are possible. Believers must recognize this means all things are possible through Christ – not that all things are possible through the believer himself. Once we understand that God is capable of doing all things, we may have peace. Knowing all things are possible through God is sometimes all we need to face our struggles and overcome.
And we pray:
Dear God, when we are struggling with believing You will answer our prayers, help us to remember that You are capable of ALL things. Help us to place our trust in Your promises and to believe that You know what we need and when we need it. Do not allow me to place faith in myself or anyone else but You, O Lord. Jesus, You are all we need, Amen. Give us peace knowing You have a plan for our lives. May our belief in You and Your endless possibilities draw others to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.