7 Ways To Grow in Intimacy with the Holy Spirit

Hiker on hills, "How to grow in intimacy with the Holy Spirit"How can we grow in intimacy with the Holy Spirit?

We have all heard of individuals who have taken to a cave, room, or wilderness, spent weeks with God, and emerged on fire, powered up and talking about intimacy with the Holy Spirit.

Special times spent in God’s Presence are vital to those of us who want to grow in prophetic ministry.

  • However, the reality is that for most of us, life is busy. We have families, jobs, and ministries that require daily time and attention.

With that in mind, are there some practical ways that we can develop intimacy with the Holy Spirit—whilst going about our daily life, family, business, and ministry? Here are 7 things that I have found helpful:

7 Ways to Grow in Intimacy with the Holy Spirit

1. Study what the Bible says about Intimacy with the Holy Spirit

God’s anointing, gifts, and power are not sourced in an impersonal force or ability. They are the manifestation of a Person—the Holy Spirit.

  • ‘May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.’ (2 Cor 13:14, NLT)

Being grounded in Scripture ensures that we have a strong foundation for developing an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. The Bible reveals that the Holy Spirit has a will and emotions. He has a voice and communicates in many different ways.

In your quest for intimacy with the Holy Spirit, take time to study what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit as well as how people in Scripture lived and walked in an intimate relationship with God.

2. Discover how you Uniquely Connect with the Holy Spirit (and put it into Practice)

Every relationship requires communication, and intimacy grows when we have special times together. Our relationship with God will benefit from learning how we personally relate best to Him. [1]

I value walking and praying outdoors. In the wide-open spaces of creation, I have the freedom to talk to my Father and listen to the Holy Spirit without interruptions. However, it will be different for you.

Do you enjoy quiet times alone with God, or do you encounter Him best in the company of others? Do you connect with Him in an intellectual way, or in the context of worship and music?

Your Father created you the way you are and loves and relates to you in your individuality. In the Bible, every person was unique in the way they journeyed and related with God (for example, look at Jesus and His disciples).

Give yourself permission to explore an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit in the way that suits you and never be intimidated by another person’s relationship with God.

3. Pay Attention to, and Cultivate an Awareness of the Holy Spirit

Cultivating an awareness of God’s Presence does not mean that we will always feel Him physically. In fact, this begins with the revelation of His nearness. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit is present in and with us. So, we can be assured He is our constant Companion.

Throughout Scripture we learn of how God spoke to people at many different times—not only when they were waiting, but also when they were traveling and working.

The Holy Spirit will communicate with you ‘on the go’. He desires to be a part of your life in busy times, as well as in quiet spaces and in the night hours.

No moment of our day should be ‘off-limits’ to the Holy Spirit. We can anticipate the communication of the Holy Spirit and tune in.

Operating in a spiritual gift is also a powerful opportunity to seek and lean in closer to an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit.

You can grow in sensitivity to Him!

There are many ways that the Holy Spirit communicates, and He longs to share what is on the Father’s heart for you. Primarily, this will be through the Bible. You will also discover that there are one or more ways that you mostly hear from the Holy Spirit. [2]

I love the expression Bill Johnson often uses: ‘turning our affection towards God.’ All it takes is a moment to respond. This helps us develop an intimate love relationship with His Spirit, and be aware that His Presence with us.

4. Relate to the Holy Spirit in a Natural Way

There should be nothing strange or weird about our intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. It should provoke others to desire what we have, not put them off.

Our relationship with Holy Spirit should be natural and life-giving, just as our relationship with Father and Jesus is. [3]

The Bible is our guideline for our intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Some of the ways we can intimately relate to the Holy Spirit include:

  • As Helper and Comforter—the One who comes alongside us. (John 14:16)
  • Our teacher and guide (John 16:13)
  • The revealer of Father’s purpose and everything God has made available to us (John 16:14-15)
  • The Anointing who is within and upon us (1 John 2:27, Acts 10:38, Luke 4:18)
  • As our prayer partner (Rom 8:26)
  • As God’s intimate Presence with us (John 15:15-18)

5. Be Real and Authentic with God

In our intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, we have nothing to hide. And, we have no need to perform. A helpful word-play on ‘intimacy’ is ‘in-to-me-see.’ You can be yourself, with both your strengths and your weaknesses.

The Holy Spirit is our Comforter and Helper—but if we are not vulnerable and authentic with God, we cannot receive the assistance He desires to give us.

In our leadership culture today, we tend to deny emotions we perceive as ‘weak’ and strive to always act in a strong, faith-filled way. But Father’s arms are waiting. He longs for us to express our grief or distress to Him and receive His comfort. (2 Cor 1:3-4) Faith then arises out of that encounter with the Comforter.

Don’t hold God at arm’s length when you need His love, grace, and comfort. The presence of weakness does not diminish the quality of your faith—it enhances it and is a powerful witness to others.

6. Practice Accountability in Your Spiritual Experiences

Intimacy with the Holy Spirit is not about having a relationship in isolation. The New Testament demonstrates a life with God that is lived in the context of community, with accountability. [4]

We must never make the mistake of thinking that we can grow past accountability in our intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit.

I regularly share descriptions of my encounters with God with my leaders and fellow team members. They help clarify what God is doing in my life and provide a means of accountability and growth. This is not always comfortable. However, I recognize that it is one of the most beneficial (and biblical) things I can do. As a result, there is no ceiling on my ministry and intimate relationship with God.

7. Pray and ask for Greater Intimacy with the Holy Spirit

Does the desire to have an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit resonate with you? Today, take time to pray and ask God to stir up the desire for a greater level of encounter and intimacy with Him. (Luke 11:9-13)

Finally, remember that ‘praying in the Spirit’ is one of the most intimate encounters you can have with the Holy Spirit. In those moments of prayer, you unite with the Holy Spirit to establish Father’s purposes for your life and those who are in His heart. (Jude 1:20, 1 Cor 14:2, Rom 8:26)


[1] See the article How to Discover Your Spiritual Pathway for some helpful ideas

[2] Read 10 Ways to Hear God’s Voice for some of the ways the Holy Spirit speaks.

[3] See Relational Pathways to Intimacy with Father, with Jesus, and with Holy Spirit

[4] Read more here: The Power of Prophetic Accountability

Learn More with the School of Prophetic Prayer

  • Would you like to grow in intimacy with the Holy Spirit in the context of prayer?
  • Does the thought of being empowered in prophetic prayer stir you?
  • Do you believe God has called you to be a prophetic intercessor (or prayer warrior) and could benefit from some teaching and help?

My aim in developing this course is to provide a Biblical foundation for prophetic prayer, practical insights, and a whole lot of inspiration to help you move forward in prophetic prayer and intercession.
Discover more about intimacy with the Holy Spirit, and prophetic intercession, in the Enliven School of Prophetic Prayer

© 2015 Helen Calder, Enliven Blog

Enliven Ministries: Prophetic Ministry for a Revival Generation

27 thoughts on “7 Ways To Grow in Intimacy with the Holy Spirit”

  1. una de las razones por las cuales algunos que son llamados al Ministerio profetico han cometido muchas fallas,creo yo, que se debe a que han dejado de tener comunion con el Señor. tienen tantos compromisos nacionales como internacionales de conferencias aqui y alla,que han dejado al Patron proveedor de sus ministerios…le dare un ejemplo,profeta reconocido mundialmnente,dijo una profecia:ISRAEL ATACARA IRAN ESTE AÑO,y dijo el año como el mes y dias,pero NADA SUCEDIO,y dijo otras profecias mas que,creo yo han dejado mucho que desear de su Ministerio…la pregunta que me hago,la voz de quien escucho,su espiritu humano,su alma,o la voz de un demonio…NO LO SE,lo que si see ahora es que trajo confusion a muchos creyentes,quiza debiera en este caso y en otros considerarse las palabras de ezequiel 3,y Jeremias ,,,hablaron palabras de sus propios corazones…Oro por su Ministerio,saludos!

    1. Hi Voke,this is a really good question, especially if what we are concerned about is causing us emotion, or if it is a matter of great importance. These are the times when it can be helpful to have others around us who are also praying and hearing from God to bring wisdom and confirmation.

      Here is an article on different ways the Holy Spirit communicates that you may find helpful: https://www.enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2015/01/27/10-ways-you-can-hear-gods-voice/

  2. Dear Helen,
    I am writing my comment here, though I wanted to respond to the current post on regret, but whatever I do the comment button there does not appear.

    I am so incredibilly grateful for your words on regret. This is exactly what is causing a lot of pain apart from my situation which has not yet much changed. I kept wallowing in regret, because I stayed too long with my ex-husband. I wrote you about that and now that I have been divorced for 6 months I blame myself for having ended up in this financially and otherwise difficult situation. Now after reading your words I discovered my mistake and how all this regret viscious circle functions and I feel better, because I now Jesus is there and I could act differently in the past because I simply could not know that my husband was a narcissist just using me to have a good time at my expense. Even though it is painful to discover that, I have learned something and I hope so much that Jesus will help me out of my situation. I still need an employment because I only work on a small freelance job as lecturer for business English students and I hope there will be enough participants in October so that I can go on. A real job would be a breakthrough and I could move out then, because my nasty landlord will certainly not change his character (last night he first argued with his wife and then later turned on the music at 3:10 in the morning).
    If possible please pray for me again, because I know whenever you praid something happened here and I got through with my English course and some other things turned out fine.
    I need wisdom to see the way Jesus has for me and take the right steps.
    God bless you with all you need in abundance.
    Yours Conny

    1. Hi Conny,
      I’m sorry about the problem with leaving comments, we have figured out the issue with that now!
      I’m glad to hear you have a received a vision from God that you can live regret-free. That is your inheritance in Jesus!
      I do agree with you in prayer for the job, may His favour open a new place of employment and make a way for you to live in a peaceful place!

  3. Uhm… well, I am twelve, and I have had encounters with demonic spirits. Satan has made me think what I thought were my own thoughts. About suicide. And, frankly, I have tried to be happy. Positive. And I try to help myself with this. I currently have a best friend that is way older than me and she helps me the most. I might not be here if it wasn’t for her. I remember things that I thought was real. Me, being alone with a man, a woman, and a girl. The most vivid memory of them that I have is of the girl. She was leading me on a trail made out of rocks. She asked me to stay on the stones and not stray onto outside of the trail. She was dancing on the rocks and laughing, turning around every once in a while. I wondered how it was that she could skip and dance on the rocks with out falling when I was having such a hard time. Even though I didn’t know their names, and I forgot their faces, I loved them and felt so safe even though my mother and sister weren’t there. When I tried to tell my mom, she had no idea what I was talking about. But as I got older, she realized I wasn’t lying. And she said that she didn’t know who I was talking about, since she wouldn’t leave me alone at someone else’s house at my age. And, I think, that they were spirits that I remember and are trying to help me. I also remember a man. We would talk, and then he would leave. One day at church, we were looking at a picture of angels and Jesus and I saw an angel that kind of looked like the man. I have no idea how they got an angel to look like the man, who I think is an angel, with out actually seeing him. But they did. And, as I said, I have had bad experiences with evil spirits. I also have anxiety. And I knew that my anxiety was different, because people didn’t freak out like I did. Their heart just went really fast and they couldn’t breathe. And sometimes they would cry. I do all that and more. I clutch my head and rock back and forth, sometimes mumbling things in ancient Greek. Sometimes I would scream, and i felt like someone was crushing me, like millions of spiders crawling over my body. Everything is black and I feel so terrified. I sob and cry, scream and kick, I feel like I am going to die. Sometimes, I hear a voice in my head. I feel a pit in my stomach, hiding everything good away. I feel so alone and terrified. Then, I figured out, it was more spiritual then a disorder. Well, thank you for listening to a twelve year old.

    1. Hi Mikayla, thank you for leaving the note and I certainly listen to you. You are loved and very special to Jesus – you have been on a difficult spiritual journey, but it sounds like you have good friends, family and a church who are there for you, and that’s very important. Always remember that when you speak the Name of Jesus, the anxiety and darkness has to leave when you tell it to go, and that you are stronger when you have others who care and pray with you. Focus on growing in your faith and on the good things available to you in Jesus – He has grace, strength, and a destiny ahead for you.

  4. Hi Helen, I have read and reread your article on Growing in intimacy with The Holy Spirit. What you have written pretty much follows what I have learnt over the years in Bible College and in my own study of Scripture. I am now 68 years old. At a youth camp when I was twelve years old, I was baptised in the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues. Over the ensuing years God has greatly blessed me, and I have learnt a lot. Having said that, try as I might, I have not succeeded in building a relationship with The Holy Spirit that has been meaningful and developing. I have tried two lines of approach, the first, trying to develop a relationship through The Rhema Word, and the second, waiting to hear the Still Small Voice. Both of these have ended in utter frustration. I know that God has seen my frustration and as a consequence given me a circle of senior pastor friends who do have intimate relationships with the Holy Spirit, and who in turn speak into my life. I appreciate the help and direction they’ve given me, however it is not the same as the one on one relationship with The Holy Spirit that I crave. My question to you Helen, is, when I finally face the Judgement Seat of Christ, whenever that may be, have I the right to ask Jesus why I was not able to have the relationship that I wanted with The Holy Spirit that He promised in His word. Helen, I will deeply respect and prayerfully consider any insights and suggestions that you may offer. Kind regards, Kelvin. (I live in Melbourne, Australia)

      1. Hi Helen,
        Thank you for responding to my question on building a relationship with the Holy Spirit. For many years now, I have functioned as a closet intercessor. I have oversight protection from a circle of senior pastors, who in turn supply me with a variety of needs to take to The Lord in prayer. Helen, I would like to be used by The Holy Spirit in this gifting at a level similar to Rees Howells, who along with other members of the Bible College of Wales, fought the Second World War on their knees in prayer with incredible results! That has been my heart’s desire particularly over this last twenty years. Again, thank you for the suggestions, kind regards, Kelvin.

        1. Yes I have been inspired by the example of Rees Howells and George Muller and others. I can identify with you too with desires that I’ve had many years that are yet to be fulfilled. I pray that you will receive a fresh touch from God, Kelvin and that your faith will be stirred to reach and reach again. God’s best is within reach for you.

  5. i have a challenging situation that always makes me worry ,I had a dream whe i was seven years now i am 42 and i still remember it vividly .Some of the meaning of the dream has to do with prophesy and being in that ministry and being led by the infill of the holy spirit.At times i see visions ,have dreams which come to reality or at times say out a word prophesy that would come to pass.My big question is am i really a vessel of God or its something else .I have a desire to be filled with the holy spirit and fulfill the journey.


    1. Hi Hamadzang, this certainly is a big question. The answer to ‘am I a vessel?’ is always yes!
      However, regarding your personal call, I can give you some general information (such as the eBook ‘Grow Your Prophetic and Prayer Gifts’ on our online store) but the best thing to do is journey with your own local spiritual leaders and mentors in this area.

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