Skip to main content

Spirit lyfe

The Spirit lyfe stream invites us to be empowered and fuelled by the presence and power of God.

Session 2: Empowered

At Pentecost we read about the coming of the Spirit, as the prophet Joel had predicted and the church gets underway!

The Holy Spirit is available to all of us today.

This is how Jesus is with us now. It is the Spirit who guides and forms us as we grow in spiritual maturity.

YouTube videos require performance and advertising cookies, or
Or if you would prefer watch it on the YouTube website.

Previous session review

Recap on your experience of the previous challenge. How did it go? Was it helpful?

If you weren’t able to try the challenge, explore the question: Where and how did you experience God last week?


Read the passage several times through, slowly and prayerfully. It might help to use your imagination to picture the scene. At the end of the text you will find helpful background information in our ‘Setting the Scene’ section.

As you read, look out for shockers and blockers.

Shockers – a phrase, word, image or something from the text that resonates, stands out or connects with you.

Blockers – something from the text that raises questions for you.

Acts 1.1–5, 2.1–13

Theophilus, I first wrote to you about all that Jesus did and taught from the very first until he was taken up to heaven. But before he was taken up, he gave orders to the apostles he had chosen with the help of the Holy Spirit. For forty days after Jesus had suffered and died, he proved in many ways that he had been raised from death. He appeared to his apostles and spoke to them about God’s kingdom. While he was still with them, he said: Don’t leave Jerusalem yet. Wait here for the Father to give you the Holy Spirit, just as I told you he has promised to do. John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…

On the day of Pentecost all the Lord’s followers were together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting. Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak.

Many religious Jews from every country in the world were living in Jerusalem. And when they heard this noise, a crowd gathered. But they were surprised, because they were hearing everything in their own languages. They were excited and amazed, and said: Don’t all these who are speaking come from Galilee? Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages? Some of us are from Parthia, Media, and Elam. Others are from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya near Cyrene, Rome, Crete, and Arabia. Some of us were born Jews, and others of us have chosen to be Jews. Yet we all hear them using our own languages to tell the wonderful things God has done. Everyone was excited and confused. Some of them even kept asking each other, “What does all this mean?” Others made fun of the Lord’s followers and said, “They are drunk.”

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Setting the Scene

  • The book of Acts, written by Luke (following his Gospel), covers a 30-year period from the day of Pentecost to Paul’s eventual imprisonment in Rome. Under the power of the Spirit the new-born church bursts out of Judea to become a worldwide movement.
  • Pentecost commemorates Moses receiving the 10 commandments at Mt Sinai. It is the Greek name for the ‘Feast of Weeks’ when the wheat harvest was celebrated by a one-day festival during which special sacrifices were offered (see Leviticus 23.15–21).
  • The phenomena of ‘fiery tongues’ fulfils the prophecy of John the Baptist who said that Jesus would baptize them with fire. Transformed from fearful people hiding in the Upper Room, the apostles and disciples (approximately 120 people) become the new church, full of life and power.
  • They burst out in praise using the languages from the areas referred to in verses 9-11 (other than their own Greek or Aramaic). As they move out to the streets, their activity attracts attention from the crowds who were amazed and bewildered. This gave Peter the perfect opportunity to explain to the crowds what was happening (Acts 2 .14ff)


After you have all had time to read the text, pause and be still to listen to God through the Scriptures.

Begin your reflection time by each naming your shockers and blockers. Listen carefully to each other, share your thoughts and reflect on this passage together.

You might also like to explore these questions:

Q1. The Holy Spirit either tends to be ignored or overemphasised in most churches today – would you agree?

Q2. We will experience the Holy Spirit differently, according to our gifts and personalities. In what ways have you experienced the Holy Spirit in your own life?


Empowered challenge: This session leads us to explore the empowering of the Spirit. As a group, create a challenge to help you increase your understanding and experience of the Spirit this week or choose one of the following:

Challenge ideas

1 Spirit Past... Spirit Present

Take some time this week to read about times when the Holy Spirit has come in power since the time of Pentecost. You might like to Google ‘Azusa Street Revival’ – a revival that lasted three years from 1906–1909, and formed the roots of today’s charismatic and Pentecostal movement. Or the ‘1904 Welsh Revival’ which involved young men and women and, in particular, Evan Roberts. It is estimated that the revival brought in 100,000 new converts and soon spread across the world. This revival changed communities and Wales once again became a God-fearing nation. In the mines you could hear men working to the sound of hymns instead of swear words and cursing. The pubs were empty, magistrates had no cases and strained relationships were healed. Amazing stuff!

2 Change Churches

Consider attending a church that may have a different attitude towards the Holy Spirit than your own. For example, you might like to check out the nearest Pentecostal or charismatic church. If this is already the kind of church you are used to – then try and attend a church with a different approach. If you can’t physically attend, you could download a podcast sermon/service from a church’s website and listen in.

3 Reflection

Spend some time in quiet this week to reflect on your own relationship with the Spirit. You might like to spend some time in prayer talking to God about this and intentionally commit some time to asking God to fill you with his Spirit each day. Perhaps use your daily showering routine as a prompt – ask God to fill you with his Spirit as the water invigorates you and washes you clean.

Group Prayer

You might like to commit to praying for each person in the group this week as you look to explore and experience more of the Spirit.

Video resources

‘The moment that we feel we have the spiritual-life business all figured out, God surprises us with outbreaks of the Spirit we could never have imagined.’
Read the Bible icon Read the Bible
Open the full Bible