Like all of God’s gifts, the Holy Spirit is received by faith (see Gal. 3:5). In order to have faith to receive, a believer must first be convinced that it is God’s will for him to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. If he is wondering or doubting, he will not receive (see James 1:6-7).
No believer has any good reason not to believe that it is God’s will for him to receive the Holy Spirit, because Jesus plainly stated God’s will in the matter:
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Luke 11:13).
That promise from the lips of Jesus should convince every child of God that it is God’s will that he or she receive the Holy Spirit.
This same verse also supports the truth that being baptized in the Holy Spirit occurs after salvation, because here Jesus promised God’s children (the only people who have God as their “heavenly Father”) that God will give them the Holy Spirit if they ask. Obviously, if the only experience one could have with the Holy Spirit was being born again at the moment of salvation, then Jesus’ promise would make no sense. Unlike a certain dying breed of modern theologians, Jesus believes that it is very appropriate for people who are already born again to ask God for the Holy Spirit.
According to Jesus, there are only two conditions that must be met for one to receive the Holy Spirit. First, God must be one’s Father, which He is if you are born again. Second, you must ask Him for the Holy Spirit.
Although receiving the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands is scriptural (see Acts 8:17; 19:6), it is not an absolute necessity. Any Christian can receive the Holy Spirit by himself in his own place of prayer. He simply needs to ask, receive by faith, and begin to speak in tongues as the Spirit gives him utterance.