Holy Spirit: Strengthen, Empower, and Sustain

June 5th, 2024 by Carl Buffington

Is confirmation for you? Read on to learn about confirmation: what it is, what it's for, and whether you should be confirmed.

Holy Spirit

What is Confirmation?  

Confirmation is a service for those of us who were baptized as infants to make our own, mature and public, decision to follow Jesus with the blessing of the laying on of hands by a bishop.  

The laying on of hands is for the imparting of the Spirit to serve; to minister as Jesus did.

I got confirmed at the age of nine.  My reason was clear and simple, I wanted to be an acolyte, wear a red cassock and white surplice, and serve at the altar on Sundays.  

But that’s not a good reason to get confirmed.  

A good reason to have a bishop lay hands on you and pray for the Holy Spirit to strengthen, empower, and sustain you is for an equipping to do ministry.  

It’s the way God has always done it.

What Is Confirmation?

What About Bezalel? 

Take Bezalel.  God says in Exodus, “See I have chosen Bezalel … and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge…”

God equips us two ways, via natural talents and abilities, and by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  And the Spirit anoints our natural gifts.

Throughout the Old Testament we see that when God calls someone, he anoints them with the Holy Spirit to do the ministry they are called to do.  


We see it repeated over and over again in the Book of Judges. We could begin in chapter 3 with Othniel, “the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, so he became Isreal’s judge.” (Check it out: e.g. Judges 3.10; 6.34; 11.29; 13.24; 14.19; 15.14)

Even Jesus Was Anointed with the Spirit

And then in the New Testament, we see that even Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit.  “…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”

In his high priestly prayer, Jesus says to his Father, “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world”  (John 17.18 ).

And we see this prayer realized in John 20 where Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you. And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit .…”

Receive the Holy Spirit

Why and for Whom is Confirmation?  

So confirmation is about confirming the promises made for us at baptism and receiving the empowering and authority of the Holy Spirit to live them out.

So confirmation is about confirming the promises made for us at baptism and receiving the empowering and authority of the Holy Spirit to live them out 

We all need this to follow Jesus from here to eternity.

Come to think of it, even if we have previously confessed our faith publicly, I can’t think of a good reason not to receive the blessing of the laying on of hands and the prayer for the Holy Spirit to strengthen (because we need it), empower  (because we can’t do it alone), and sustain us all our days (please, Spirit of Jesus!).  It was Jesus who said, “He who endures to the end will be saved.”

What Is Involved in the Confirmation Service?

During the confirmation service, you reaffirm the baptismal covenant before the congregation and receive prayer from the bishop. 

You can read the entire confirmation service here (it's not that long).

Here is the closing prayer to the service:

Let us pray:
Almighty and everlasting God, let your fatherly hand ever be over these your servants; let your Holy Spirit ever be with them; and so lead them in the knowledge and obedience of your Word, that they may serve you in this life, and dwell with you in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. (Book of Common Prayer p.419)

If you'd like to be confirmed, contact the church.

Contact New Covenant Church

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About this author:

Carl Buffington

Carl Buffington

Carl Buffington is a bishop in Anglican Mission International (AMI). He has been in ministry for over forty years. He lives in Florida with his wife Barb and their two golden retrievers, Sammy and Tilly.

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