Refrain:
Give us the Holy Ghost,
Father, give us the Holy Ghost,

1. Like a child that can’t speak and who knows not his way,
We don’t know what to ask at Your Throne when we pray,
    So give us the Holy Ghost.

Refrain
2. That Your Name be revealed as the Father of love,
In the world all around us, below and above,
    So give us the Holy Ghost.

Refrain
3. That Your people in Babylon finally leave,
And refuse all her wine, and her plagues don’t receive,
    So give us the Holy Ghost.

Refrain
4. That Your church be united in action and thought,
And in oneness of love and of feeling be brought,
    So give us the Holy Ghost.

Refrain
5. That the Fourth Angel’s message shine out all abroad,
With the latter rain power and glory of God,
    So give us the Holy Ghost.


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The prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is based on a few Scripture promises and reasonings. First, on the basis of the Jewish agricultural year, there was:

  1. an early rain at planting time, to help the seed grow, and then
  2. a latter rain later, to ripen the grain before the harvest.

This agricultural cycle was used as a type, or picture, of the development of the work of Christ, the heavenly Farmer, in growing His holy seed, the church.

First, He planted the Jewish people, to be His holy crop, and to do His work of gathering in from all nations, all who would be part of that crop. When they chose not to do the work, then the kingdom of God was taken from them and given to others who would do the work (Matthew 21:43).

After the gospel invitation would be carried to all the world, and all who chose to be part of that holy kingdom were taken in, and prepared to meet their Lord, then he would come to gather the harvest.

Mark 4
26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

Matthew 13
39 …the harvest is the end of the world…

But before this harvest can be gathered, there must be the reception of the early and latter rain, to ripen it. These outpourings of rain symbolize outpourings of the Spirit of God:

Joel 2
23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.

In Acts 2:16-20, Peter applied this prophecy to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the early church, which gave them power to proclaim the gospel message of Jesus Christ. But it is clear from last few verses of the prophecy that it also applies to the last days, just before the “great and terrible day of the Lord.”

Was Peter wrong in applying it to that time? No, for the apostles were experiencing the “early rain”. The “latter rain” would be another outpouring that would come just before the end. The prophecy covered both rains, therefore Peter was correct in applying it. James also pointed to this double rain:

James 5
7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Master. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

It is important to see that the outpouring of the Spirit is not merely to give power for outward miracles:

John 14
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

The work of the Holy Spirit is to give us a deeper understanding of the words of Christ, or the Bible. The power is given by a special message drawn from Scripture which will make the word of God living and powerful in the lives of His people.

So it was with the early church: the Holy Spirit gave them power, not merely to work miracles, but to proclaim the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, as a fulfillment of the prophecies, and to make those teachings living and practical. The Spirit’s power was needed to cut through the darkness of unbelief, sin, and false teaching which Satan had put up to block out the light from men’s minds.

The prophecy in Joel 2 also supports this truth, that the outpouring of the Spirit comes via a special message of truth. In the marginal notes of King James version Bible, on Joel 2:23. The words “former rain” mean “a teacher of righteousness”; and the word “moderately” means “according to righteousness”. Therefore, the rain is a “teaching of righteousness according to righteousness.” In the giving of the spiritual rain, Christ gives us a message of righteousness, which is to purify His church: physically, mentally and spiritually.

The prophecy in Malachi 3 also points to this work:

Malachi 3
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

Ellen White adds some further comments in the book Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 415, 416, which point to this purifying message and work:

“Behold,” says the Scripture, “the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:2.

It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth.

This is the work outlined by the prophet Isaiah in the words, “O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.” Isaiah 40:9,10.

Those who wait for the Bridegroom’s coming are to say to the people, “Behold your God.” The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them.

The light of the Sun of Righteousness is to shine forth in good works—in words of truth and deeds of holiness.

Therefore, to pray for the latter rain, or for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, is to pray for this last message of mercy, and the power of the Holy Spirit to make the message real in our lives.

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