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. 
I value walking and praying outdoors. In the wide-open spaces of creation I have 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. It begins with the revelation of His nearness—the Bible says that the Holy Spirit is present in and with us and so we believe it. He is our constant Companion.
Throughout Scripture we learn of how God spoke to people in many different times—not only when they were waiting, but also when they were travelling and working.
The Holy Spirit will communicate with you ‘on the go’. He desires to be a part of your life in the 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. 
I love the expression Bill Johnson often uses: ‘turning our affection towards God.’ All it takes is a moment to respond. It is simple; it is about developing an intimate love relationship with His Spirit and 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. 
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 an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, there is nothing to hide and 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 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 arms 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. 
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 recognise 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)
 By way of an example, if you have the ‘YouVersion’ Bible App, the plan ‘Forgotten God’ with Francis Chan contains a simple Bible study on the Holy Spirit to get you started. You can find it here: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1464-forgotten-god-with-francis-chan
 See the article How to Discover Your Spiritual Pathway for some helpful ideas
 Read 10 Ways to Hear God’s Voice for some of the ways the Holy Spirit speaks.
 Read more here: The Power of Prophetic Accountability
© 2015 Helen Calder, Enliven Blog
Enliven Ministries: in the David McCracken Ministries family