The Life in the Spirit Seminar was originally designed to be a seven-week program, modelled on the seven weeks of prayer and expectancy that Jesus’ disciples, including his mother Mary, lived from the Resurrection until Pentecost. On the fiftieth day, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).
Today, the Life in the Seminar is sometimes done in a two-week format, or over a weekend, or even in a single day. For some groups, these are the only feasible options due to various pastoral circumstances. However, they are less than ideal. Whenever possible, it is best to use the full seven-week format. In some cases, where people are unfamiliar with the gospel message, a longer format such as three months or a year is even better.
The Seminar is not only a matter of listening to talks, but of following a path of deep conversion, breaking with a life of sin, obtaining inner healing and liberation. People discover anew the Father’s love, come to know Jesus’ salvation and lordship, and are equipped to become his disciples and witnesses in the world. It is only after this formation and conversion that people are ready to receive a deeper outpouring of the Spirit and his gifts.
If there is insufficient preparation, the prayer for baptism in the Spirit will usually not bear the expected fruit of holiness, nor will it bring authentic charisms to serve the body of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Of course, God sometimes sovereignly baptises people in the Holy Spirit apart from the Life in the Spirit Seminar, for example through the sacrament of Confirmation if its preparation stresses the same themes as the Seminars. God pours out his Spirit when he wills.
— Charismatic Renewal International Service (CHARIS),
The Archdiocese of Miami website provides additional information on the major topics addressed in an LIS seminar.
The seminars are a series of talks and discussions which take place over a period of seven weeks. In the fifth week of the seminar, there is an opportunity for people to be prayed with to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. The four weeks before that time are devoted to an explanation of the basic Christian message of salvation and of what it means to be baptized in the Spirit. During the final two weeks, the teaching is oriented towards further growth in the life of the spirit.
But more than a series of courses or lectures, the Life in the Spirit Seminars are a chance for Christians who have found a fuller life in the Holy Spirit to come together with people who want to know more about that life, to share with them, and to help them take the firs steps of a new life themselves. For this reason, the team that presents the seminars is one of their more important elements. To provide the right kind of contact for the people taking the seminars, there should be one team member for every three or four new people.
— Catholic Charismatic Renewal – Archdiocese of Miami