We can ‘stifle’, ‘grieve’, or ‘quench’ (yet another name for it) the Holy Spirit simply by busying ourselves doing the work of Jesus.
There is no doctrine so chilling as the doctrine of the Spirit when held in cold passivity and personal unbelief. The hearers will turn away in dull apathy from an exhortation to be filled with the Spirit unless the Spirit Himself is giving the exhortation through the speaker. It is possible to learn this truth and preach it faithfully, and still be totally devoid of power. The hearers sense the lack and go away with numbed hearts. …it is as if they had been hearing an echo and not the voice, or seeing a reflection and not the light itself. – A.W. Tozer, Paths to Power.
You may not be a preacher or an evangelist, but if you are a believer you are also a witness to Christ in your generation. Your presence is light and salt in this world. You have not been asked if you would like to be light and salt you simply are light and salt. Your business is to come out from under the bushel… to maintain your savor. (See Matt. 5:13-16)
Prayer is the key to being what you profess… to surrendering all to the Spirit… to stoking not quenching His burning.
Prayer is spending time in the Presence of God. It need not have anything to do with petition, i.e. asking God for things. Prayer is simply choosing the better part, as Mary did while Martha busied herself ‘serving’ Jesus. It is not ‘spending’ your time like Martha, but ‘investing’ it like Mary. (Read Luke 10:38-42)
Prayer is what makes your ‘doing’ effective.
Ministry or testimony that is watered down weakens its potency and swiftly quenches the Spirit’s fire. Are you afraid of the fire? Are there things of wood, hay and straw (1 Cor. 3:12) deep within you that you want to keep? Is it possible that in holding on to these you are actually quenching the Holy Spirit?