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.

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 aside 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 the 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 on 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: in the David McCracken Ministries family

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

  1. Thanks for the time you took putting this together. The Holy Spirit has been taking me on a deep journey and I am awed by the teachings. Your article really confirms what he is doing in this believer’s life.

  2. The last couple of months the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me, This is what I hear Him saying;

    There is a shifting in the presence of the Heavens upon earth, this is motivated by the Father in heaven who desires a more intimate relationship from those who are called by His name. This shift will mark a turning toward the end times harvest. For the Holy Spirit is moving in our midst today and presently recruiting those who will draw deep into Him; those that will spend more time in that secret place and know and learn genuine relationship with the Father. Those that move under His glory will understand humility and will be opposed to the legalism brought by man that divides Gods people by denominational segregation, for the body of Christ is but one body not multiple individual groups as defined by man. The present day church more often resembles the church prior to the crucifixion of Jesus, lead by Sadducees and Pharisees.

    This divine move will be lead by the Holy Spirit and require much greater intimacy. For this relationship will be one of humility, yet power and it will not be lead by the secular church but by those who understand obedience and will walk in deep personal relationship with the Spirit not being distracted by the ways of the world. The Holy Spirit will be known thru intimacy, intimacy, intimacy in the secret place.

    The Holy Spirit is actively finding those children of God who seek His face and understand the living water of His presence. Intimacy with the Father is cultivated in private and secret places by those who truly humble themselves to the King of Kings. Intimacy with the Spirit of God comes before power and glory in His name. Often the children of God pursue His power but fail to find intimacy in relationship first. Genuine relationship with the Holy Spirit will produce the Fathers glory and power which is only attained thru intimacy and never thru flesh.

    The glory of God is being poured out upon His people. The power of His mere presence will be magnified greatly within those who humble themselves before Him. There will be a great harvest of the lost. There will be signs and wonders and creative miracles that have not yet been seen. Intimacy, intimacy, intimacy by God’s humbled children is where the fire will be ignited and of His out pouring burn with heavenly riches. For all those who understand and are obedient they will move in the Holy Spirit in ways that will shadow what has been seen in today’s church.

    The glory of the Kingdom of God is being poured upon mankind, Praise, glory and honor to our living God.

    The Holy Spirit cautions; Many present day religious leaders will be left behind for they have become confused by the world rather than lead by the Spirit of the Living God. Those leaders who spiritually sleep in vain as they steal the glory from the children of God and claim it for self promotion cannot shepherd with grace nor honor. The competitive and controlling leadership of the secular church is consistently lead by the flesh and does not protect the Fathers children and are accountable.

  3. Ibe Tochukwu @dailygospelvibe

    Great article.
    The holy spirit is our way maker. Intimacy with him heals our wound.
    Our focus on building intimacy with holy spirit through our worshipful meditating on the word of God cleanses our souls.

  4. I need help concerning this particular issue: i was reading another mesaage which talked of Dunamis power of God. and i was referred to your website of which am a member, Now my issue is i speak in tongues but there in no power in me (Holy Ghost power)

  5. Greetings i nJesus name,
    wow am very much encouraged by all this teachings / help with my desire to really flow in the Prophetic. My Pastor encourage me really whole heartedly to release and let go what the Spirit of the Lord Jesus has bestowed upon me, but there’s always that blockage. Sometimes I think God sees my heart and let me experience what could happened if I allow Him to take control. Pray for me so that the fear of operating out of self must die and trust fully on God’s Spirit to take lead in my ministry. I love to worship God and specially leading others to that place of worshiping Jesus as the only one true God, that is my desire. My desire to not only speak in tongues but also to interpret, as that is my next level of desire now in this stage of my ministry. Pray with me for this to be fulfilled in Jesus name . The LoRD Jesus bless you

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