Receiving the Holy Ghost Through the Laying on of Hands – a Thing of the Past?

Doctrine of Laying on of Hands
Receiving the Holy Ghost through the Laying on of Hands - a Thing of the Past?


Laying on of Hands to Receive the Holy Ghost

The Doctrine of laying on of hands has extensive applications in the Church. One of which is the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Ghost.

It’s a common practice to lay hands in churches. We lay hands to bless, in ordination, the dedication of a baby, “healing services”, to pray and so on.

Even the routine of laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit is commonplace.

However, the result is very few and scarce. In more than 35 years, I probably have seen countless acts of Believers laying hands on others to receive the Holy Ghost, but only seen two or three persons (the most) actually received Him. It’s not an everyday event.

Nevertheless, it’s not a futile gesture. It’s a powerful Christian principle. It’s an invaluable tool for a Believer in Jesus Christ. But it is not necessary in every instance for a “Seeker” to receive the Holy Spirit in this manner.

The Laying on of Hands to Receive the Holy Ghost Started With 2 Apostles

The Laying on of hands of Believers on other Christians “seeking” the Holy Ghost is biblical. It started in the newly founded church in Samaria.

“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost” (Acts 8:14-17).

Both Apostles Peter and John “prayed for them” that they would receive the Holy Ghost. But they didn’t.

“Then”, they decided to lay their hands on them. They did and the Samaritans Brethren received the Holy Ghost.

Receiving the Holy Ghost through the Laying on of Hands - a Thing of the Past?
This Might Man of God Received the Promise of the Father in this Manner

Next, a disciple living in Damascus name Ananias laid his hands on Saul of Tarsus and he received the Holy Ghost.

“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 9:17).

Twelve Believers Received the Comforter by Laying on of Hands

Finally, after the conversion of Saul, now call Paul, he also laid his hand on a number of Believers. They experienced water baptism. But now they need to receive the Holy Spirit.

He laid his hands on them and all twelve of them simultaneously received the Holy Ghost just like he did before them.

“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

” When Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

… all the men were about twelve” (Acts 19:5-7).


The laying on of hands to receive the Holy Ghost is for Believers. It’s not for skeptics and unbelievers. They have no place in this.

Nevertheless, it’s not for every Believer. The Lord sent the Brethren in all three instances detailed above. They laid their hands on others and they received Him.

The apostles in Jerusalem “sent unto them Peter and John” to Samaria (Acts 8:14).

Similarly, the Lord sent Ananias to Saul. For he told Saul that “Jesus” “hath sent me” to lay hands on you (Acts 9:17).

And finally, the Lord God sent Apostle Paul (Acts 9:15-16).

If You Meet All these Requirements Others Will Receive the Holy Ghost When you lay Hand on them

Therefore, any time you desire to lay your hands on another Believer for the Comforter to come, ask yourself: Did the Lord send me to do this?

The Lord gives the Comforter. Therefore, if you are a Believer and the Lord sends you He will always give His Spirit when you lay hands on others (Acts 8:18).

As a result, no doubts exist. If the Lord sent you; and you lay hands; He will give His Spirit, and Believers will receive Him. So, lay hands in the name of Jesus.

Please share. Blessings!!

3 comments… add one
  • Tony Aug 9, 2021 Link

    All true… what about Peter going to Cornilious’ house… the Holy Spirit fell before he’d finished preaching? No hands were laid on Acts 10:44.

  • Leroy Daley Aug 9, 2021 Link

    Hi Tony, thanks for your comments. In Cornelius’ case, there was no need, for he and his household all accepted, believed, and received the Word of God with all their hearts.

  • Chris Oct 6, 2021 Link

    I wish I knew a Paul with the authority to lay on hands.

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