CLP Talk 7 Growing in the Spirit





“But you will receive the power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my

witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8


GOAL: To lead people to understand and receive the power and the gifts of the Holy Spirit


The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Holy Trinity, “…the Lord, the giver of life.” It is the Holy Spirit who unites us with God, gives us a new nature and empowers us to be witnesses of Jesus to Judea, to Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. There are different gifts from the Holy Spirit – hierarchical and charismatic. One of the charismatic gifts is the gift of tongues, which is a gift of praise. It is a means to enrich our prayer life. The enkindling of the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit will be in a form of a “pray-over” session. There will be laying-on of hands to pray with and for participants, specifically about their concerns and the gifts they wish to receive. We hope for a fuller release of the Holy Spirit through this pray-over.

TENOR: Empowering


1. Play video clip of the Pentecost

2. Talk proper

3. Reflection

4. Group discussion

▪ Who is the Holy Spirit for you?

▪ Which among the gifts do you want to receive? Why?

5. General pray-over care of the Team Leader

6. Full worship

Note for the Team Leader in conducting online Christian Life Program

Explain that the following shall happen physically when allowed:

  • Explanation on the pray-over
  • Commitment to Christ
  • Actual pray-over
  • Exhortation to vocal prayer


A Couples for Christ brother, preferably an elder, who by his experience of fullness of life in, through and by the Holy Spirit can explain with clarity and inspiration what it means to receive and be empowered by the Holy Spirit






“If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life.”1

1 Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013), 49: ASS 105 2013), 1040

Much of Christianity today looks weak and lifeless, lacking in power and effectiveness. But this was not so at the beginning of Christianity. The early Christian movement was dynamic, strong and attractive. For example, from a small sect, it subsequently conquered the Roman Empire. The source was the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Acts, we see the Holy Spirit acting among them, guiding them, speaking to them, and giving them gifts.

This experience of early Christians can also happen to all of us. We will experience the same vigor and dynamism in our faith once we are able to understand fully how the Holy Spirit works in our Christian life. The Holy Spirit enables us to experience God, a living relationship with him, and His actions in our lives. Unfortunately, many of us know do not know or are close to the Holy Spirit as we are with the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ.


a. Holy Spirit is God, the Third Person in the Holy Trinity.

“To believe in the Holy Spirit is to profess that the Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father and the Son: “With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.” (CCC 685) 

“Holy Spirit” is the proper name of the one whom we adore and glorify with the Father and the Son. (CCC 691) The Church teaches us that although there is only one God, yet, somehow, there are three Persons in God. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, yet we do not speak of three Gods, but only one God. They have the same nature, substance, and being.2 Even though the Three Persons are One God, they are distinct: for the Father has no origin, He came from no one. But the Son is begotten, He comes from the Father alone. The Holy Spirit comes or proceeds from both the Father and the Son. These different relations of origin tell us there are three distinct Persons, who have one and the same divine nature.3

2 Rev. William G. Most, The Holy Trinity

3 Rev. William G. Most, The Holy Trinity

4 Tim Staples, The Divinity of the Holy Spirit

5 Pope Francis, Iuvenescit Ecclesia

b. Holy Spirit is the Lord and Giver of Life. 

The Holy Spirit is revealed here to be both a person and divine. He is depicted as “bear[ing] witness”, “establish[ing] a covenant,” is referred to as “the Lord”, “puts [his] laws on [our] hearts”, and even forgives sins. How many Catholics realize when they recite the Nicene Creed every Sunday at Mass that they are clearly and concisely professing just what we see here in Scripture: the Holy Spirit truly is “the Lord and Giver of Life.”

If we notice in the gospel, Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit. When the angel told Mary that she would bear a Son that will be the Messiah, it puzzled her because she does not have any relations with a man. “And the angel said to her in

reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” Luke 1:35 (NABRE) The same Spirit needs to be alive in us in order for us to enter the Kingdom of God. In John 3:5 (NABRE), it is said, “Jesus answered them, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.’”

 c. The Holy Spirit is the Paraclete.

The Paraclete is, contemporaneously, the one who distributes efficaciously, through the sacraments, the salvific grace offered by Christ dead and risen again, and He is the one who bestows the charisms.

“Paraclete” is a term with diverse meaning. The word is derived from a Greek term meaning “to exhort”, but it has a wide range of meanings. Included in these are “guide”, “friend”, and “defender”. The term also connotes the imparting of strength. Because of this wide range of meanings, Scripture translators vary in the way they render the word in English. Sometimes, it is translated “counselor” (since the Spirit provides guidance). Sometimes it is translated as “helper” (in the sense of friendship) or “advocate” (in the sense of a legal defender). This translation is also justifiable since “paraclete” was used in the first century to speak of a defense attorney in legal proceedings. And finally, “comforter” (in the sense of giving strength) is a possible translation. As is common in John, we are not intended to pick the “best” meaning of Paraclete but rather to bear in mind that all these meanings are intended.6

In the Resurrection narrative found in the gospel of Luke, before Jesus’ ascension into heaven, He showed Himself to His disciples and spoke to them these words, “And [behold] I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) During this very moment, the disciples are hiding in fear for their life after Jesus’ death on the cross. The instruction of Jesus was clear before they were to continue the mission, and before they were to be given the power to continue the mission, they had to be ‘clothed with power from high’ – the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit. The Paraclete empowered them to be bold in their proclamation and witnessing as well as to have the knowledge and wisdom in proclaiming the Gospel.

Life in the Holy Spirit is very important because it is the kind of life that God wants for us. The verse from Ezekiel 36:24-28 reminds: Like the people of God during the time of Ezekiel, we have also become spiritual exiles because of sin; and we long to return to the place promised to us by God. But God continues to call and gather us and to prepare us for our return to the kingdom of God. Once we respond positively to God’s call, he will pour on use the “pure water”, the grace of forgiveness, to cleanse us of our sins. And then God will give us a new heart and put a new spirit within us. God will remove our heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. He will give us the power to resist sin and avoid wrongdoing. This he will do by putting his spirit, the Holy Spirit, the spirit of Jesus, within us. As a result, his promise will be fulfilled. We will return to the Promised Land, God’s kingdom here on earth. And we will be s

people and he will be our God.

When we receive the Holy Spirit, we gain:

1. Union with God, a new relationship with God as Father that is deep and personal (Eph. 2:18)

2. A new nature – we receive spiritual power for living the Christian life (2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 5:16-23) The inward dimension.

3. A power to serve as Jesus’ witnesses (Acts 1:8) The outward dimension.

We can receive this power of the Holy Spirit by asking God the Father in faith to give us

the Holy Spirit. (Luke 11:9-13) For us Christians, this will not be the first time we will receive the Holy Spirit. We already received the Holy Spirit during our Baptism and Confirmation. Rather, what we will experience is a fuller release of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.


a. The difference of hierarchical and charismatic gifts

Hierarchical gifts are bestowed to the leadership of the Church to “ensure the continuing presence of Jesus’ unique salvific mediation, and this started with the Apostles who were enriched by Christ with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (IE 14)

On the other hand, charismatic gifts enable the faithful to do evangelical mission, discern the signs of times and interpret them in the light of the Gospel. The charismatic gifts enable the faithful to respond to the gift of salvation in complete freedom and in a way suited to the times. (IE 15)

b. In Couples for Christ we specifically ask for the charismatic gifts. (1 Cor 12:1, 4-11)

There are 2 teaching gifts: wisdom and knowledge, 3 sign gifts: faith, healing and miracles, and 4 revelation gifts: prophecy, discernment of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues.

Note to speaker: Definition of each gift is found at the annex.

c. The Gift of Tongues

We should all desire and ask for the gift of tongues. It is a gift from God. We should ask it in faith. And then we should cooperate with God’s Spirit in order to receive it.

  1. Tongues is a gift of praise. It is a means to enrich our prayer life.
  2. Cooperate with God’s Spirit and yield to the leading and prompting of the Spirit by opening your mouth and speaking out.

▪ Begin by just praising God in your own words. Then start speaking out in tongues. If necessary, begin by uttering meaningless sounds (e.g., la-lala-la). The Holy Spirit will form these sounds into tongues. (Analogy: it is easier to manipulate the steering wheel of a car when it is in motion rather than stationary.)

▪ Do not analyze the sounds or focus on the experience. Just focus on the Lord and offer to him your utterances as prayers of praise.  

▪ Resist the temptation to think that it is just you and not the Holy Spirit forming the sounds.

The gift of tongues is a common experience when we receive the Holy Spirit, just like the experience of the disciples described in Acts. But unlike the other spiritual gifts, ‘tongues’ is a gift that may not immediately manifest, and it is okay. We will not expect nor force ourselves to have it for it is only the Holy Spirit that will have a say whether we can have the gift of tongues or not.

Once we receive it, it can have great consequences in our spiritual life, especially in our prayer and worship.


The power and gifts are already in us from the day we were baptized and became official members of the Church. It is also strengthened through the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The enkindling of the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit will be in a form of a “pray-over” session. Your facilitators will lay hands on you to pray for you, specifically about your concerns and the gifts you wish to receive. This pray-over is basically between you and God.

  • This is not a baptism, not even a second baptism. We should refrain from using the term “baptism” to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. This is a prayer session for the fuller release of the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Different things will happen to different people. Do not seek a particular kind of experience. Just turn to the Lord and receive the new life of the Holy Spirit from Him.

We enkindle through:

  • ▪ Strengthening prayer life, study of the Sacred Scriptures and sanctity in daily life
  • ▪ Whole-hearted service in and through Couples for Christ
  • ▪ Active participation in the bigger Church


God offers each of you a new life. This new life in the Holy Spirit is the normal Christian Life. It is the authentic Christian life. And God desires it for all.

Thus we need to be open to it, better yet, desire it with all your heart. And have faith that you will receive it, because God has so promised.

Look forward to this new life and to experiencing your own “Pentecost”. And remember that

“there is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary.” (Benedict XVI, Regina Caeli)


  1. Who is the Holy Spirit for you?
  2. Which among the gifts do you want to receive? Why?





REFERENCE: Training on Spiritual Gifts

In Couples for Christ, however, we specifically ask for the nine (9) charismatic gifts. These charismatic gifts are introduced by St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-11). These gifts may be divided into 3 groups: two teaching gifts: wisdom and knowledge; three sign gifts: faith, healing and miracles; and four revelational gifts: prophecy, discernment of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues.

The nine (9) charismatic gifts are for the up building of the body. It is described as “manifestation” of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7). Thus, where spiritual gifts operate, the Spirit is at work. The gifts make us aware of God’s presence. The gifts make us aware of God’s power.

 The nine (9) charismatic gifts:

Couples for Christ, Training on Spiritual Gifts

a) Wisdom – Concerned with the best way to live. God’s guidance on how to live as a Christian.

b) Knowledge – More of doctrinal teaching. Speak an understanding of the truth of the mystery of Christ.

c) Faith – The charismatic gift of faith seems to be a special gift of prayer. Praying with God-given confidence, which produces extraordinary results. It’s knowing that what one asks for will be given. Mark 11:23-24.

d) Healing – the Holy Spirit can manifest this special gift through any believer so He can then heal someone of any kind of disease, illness, or sickness.

e) Miracles – supernatural activity from Him. (E.g. Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding of Cana, Jesus feeding 5000 people by multiplying 5 loaves of bread and two fish, God parting the Red Sea for Moses and the children of Israel).

f) Prophecy – The gift by which God speaks through a person a message to an individual or a whole community.

g) Discernment of spirits – The gift by which a person can tell whether in a situation what is at work is the Holy Spirit, an evil spirit, or just man’s own spirit. A kind of a vision or a sense.

h) Tongues – A gift of praise that is meant to enrich our prayer life.

i) Interpretation of tongues – Does not refer to the abilities of an interpreter of languages.

The one who exercises this gift does not even understand the tongues. What is spoken in tongues may not even be an actual language. Like in prophecy, there is an urge to speak words. What is spoken is an accurate interpretation.





FOR ONLINE Christian Life Program:

The Team Leader explain the following items briefly before the end of Christian Life Program session 6:

  • ▪ Explanation on the pray-over
  • ▪ Commitment to Christ
  • ▪ Actual pray-over
  • ▪ Exhortation to vocal prayer

Actual pray-over and full worship must happen as soon as local authorities allow small group gatherings to resume. These can be conducted together with the Dedication Ceremony and Lord’s Day (conducted only on Saturday evenings).


The speaker proceeds with the following:


1. Explain the procedure and what will happen during the pray over session (refer to manual).

  1. We will pray the Commitment to Christ.
  2. We will lay our hands on you and pray with you. But it is basically between you and God. We are just instruments. You have to ask God to give you what He promised. And in faith expect it to happen!

2. Some important points to have in mind:

  1. This is not a baptism, not even a second baptism. We should refrain from using the term “baptism” to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. This is a prayer session for the release of the power of the Holy Spirit.
    1. ▪ Do not entertain thoughts that you might look or sound foolish if you begin to praise God in a new way, raising your hands or speaking in tongues.
    1. ▪ Nobody will laugh at you. Instead, we will rejoice and be glad with you. We love and care for you.
  • Different things will happen to different people. Do not seek a particular kind of experience. Just turn to the Lord and receive the new life of the Holy Spirit from Him.

3. Right attitudes during the pray over session:

  1. Relax. The more relaxed you are, the easier it is to receive God’s gifts. Open your hands and place them on your lap with palms facing upward. It is harder to receive something in a clenched fist than in a relaxed and open hand.
  2. Do not be afraid. The Lord is here with us, and he loves you very much. He wants you to experience His love in a new way. 
  3. Do not be concerned about how you might act as you respond to the promptings of the Spirit.

4. After you are finished being prayed over, please return quietly to your seat and avoid talking with anybody on your way back. We will have some closing remarks and then we will all end together.

  1. While waiting, you can continue to pray in your heart, read the Psalms, or pray the rosary silently. Pray for your brothers and sisters here as well.
  • Maintain an atmosphere of prayer and reverence and refrain from doing anything that will disturb those being prayed over.


  1. Start with a song. (Let the Fire Fall)
  2. Review the procedure briefly.
  3. Sing another song. (Create in Me)
  4. Do the “Commitment to Christ” and prayer.
  • Proceed with the pray-over session (refer to manual for details).
  • Give the closing exhortation.
  • Give the mini-talk on vocal prayer.
  • End with full worship, with singing in tongues.


▪ Do you renounce Satan and all wrongdoing?

▪ Yes, I do.

▪ Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died to free us from our

sins, and that he rose to bring us new life?

▪ Yes, I do.

▪ Will you follow Jesus as your Lord?

▪ Yes, I will.


Lord Jesus Christ, I want to belong to you from now on. I want to be free from the

dominion of darkness and the rule of Satan, and I want to enter into your Kingdom and

be a part of your people. I will turn away from all wrongdoing, and I will avoid

everything that leads me to wrongdoing. I ask you to forgive all the sins that I have

committed. I offer my life to you, and I promise to obey you as my Lord. AMEN.


The speaker rests or joins the service team. He returns to give the closing exhortation

after everyone has been prayed over with.

CONCLUSION: CLOSING EXHORTATION (after all have been prayed over)

1. Different people have different experiences.

  1. Feeling is not the important thing. Rather, look for the new ways that God is at work in you and respond to it (e.g. a new desire for prayer, for Scripture, etc.).
    1. If you did not speak in tongues, do not worry about it. Do not equate receiving the Holy Spirit only with receiving the gift of tongues.
    1. In your prayer time this week, give plenty of time to praise and thanksgiving.

Do this aloud, if you can without disturbing others. And continue to be open to the Lord forming your praise into tongues.

2. Be aware that Satan can tempt you to doubt.

  1. Satan is seeking to rob everyone of God’s gift. For him the next best thing to keeping you from getting it is to keep you from using it.
    1. Do not let feelings of doubt bother you. Just remember the fact that God promised it and that you asked for it. 

3. Do not expect all your problems to go away all at once, though many will. The Holy Spirit will make a big change in you, and you will see it. But not everything will change. Some things will take a while to get worked out. But now you have a new power to use in working them out.

4. Be faithful to a regular time of daily prayer. Spend a good portion of your prayer time in praise and thanksgiving in your own words. Pray in tongues every day.

5. What just happened is only a beginning.

6. Let us now learn about vocal prayer.


A. Today we want to introduce to you all another way of praying from what we are used to. Typically, most Christians today are only used to quieter ways of praying, e.g. silence or just one person praying out loud. Singing is one exception to the quieter approach most people take.

B. The Bible shows other ways that are more varied, expressive and demonstrative for prayer and worship.

1. We can learn from how the Israelites, God’s chosen people, praised God.

  1. Psalm 95:1-2. Singing and crying out.
    1. Psalm 81:2-4. Singing, shouting, and playing instruments.
    1. Psalm 150:3-6. Playing instruments and making a loud noise.

2. In these passages, the Lord is being acclaimed like a king with shouts, songs, playing of instruments and dancing. When a king entered his throne room or appeared before an assembly of his people, all would stand and acclaim him with shouts and songs to express their love and loyalty, like, “Long live the king!”

3. This is a good way to worship the Lord.

4. The angels and saints in heaven worship God in the same way. (Rev. 19:1, 4-6)

C. A key element of this type of prayer is simultaneous praising. This is when people praise God in a loud voice and all at the same time.

  1. We praise God by acclaiming who He is (samples in Annex D of CLP Team Manual) and what He has done for us (our many blessings).
    1. This type of prayer can help us enter into the throne room of God, where we can truly feel His presence in our midst.
    1. This type of prayer also allows us to worship actively as a community, in a way that is enjoyable, inspiring and faith building.

D. We are going to do some vocal prayer in a short while.

  1. At first it may seem strange or chaotic. But it is neither. Or to others, it might be a turn off. Please just be open to it. It is new and will take some getting used to. After a few times doing it, it will feel much more natural and you will be able to see its benefits.
    1. First we will sing a song of praise. Then we will go right into worshipping the Lord in this way. Then we can have sentence prayers of thanksgiving or petition, like we have been doing up to this point.
    1. Remember: we are coming before the Great King of the universe, our King who loves us and who sent His son to die for us and rise from the dead. Let us acclaim our King and worship Him!