Pastor Mike, I have kind of a weird question. I know that there is one God, but that He's three different ...um, (people?). Anyway, when we pray, do we pray to God the Father or to Jesus or to God's Spirit? Does it matter? What if I want to tell Jesus something directly, like praise Him for being my King, or if I want to ask God's Spirit to help me understand the Bible. is it okay, or do I need to talk directly to the Father - you know, kind of like going through the right chain of command or something? I just want to pray right, and not be disrespectful to God.
Post by Mike Miller on Sept 17, 2012 15:47:38 GMT -5
This is a terrific question. Certainly Jesus prayed to the Father, but is it permissible to pray to the other members of the Trinity as well? In the Bible, we see occasions of prayer to Jesus (Acts 7:59; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Revelation 22:20), but we do not see any prayers specifically offered to the Holy Spirit. However, since the Holy Spirit is our "Comforter" or "Helper" (John 14:16, 26), it would be unusual to think that we cannot pray to Him as well. Moreover, the Bible does not forbid the practice.
The bottom line is that the clear pattern for prayer in the Bible is to pray to the Father through Jesus. This should be our normal pattern. However, since Jesus is fully God, and the Holy Spirit is fully God, it would not be inappropriate to pray to either of them when prayer concerns their particular roles. For example, as Paul and John both prayed, we can pray, "Come, Lord Jesus." Or as you suggested, we might pray, "Jesus, at a time of global unrest and uncertainty, I look to you as King." We also might pray something like, "Holy Spirit, open my eyes that I might fully understand this passage of Scripture." Therefore, let us place emphasis where the Bible places emphasis and address the Father primarily, but let us not be afraid to address the Son or the Spirit as well.