Father and son prayer

by Matt Slick

If the concept of Trinity is true that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all the one God, then is it not possible that we can pray to each of the members of the Trinity?  Or, should we only pray to the Father, or only pray to “God”?  Jesus told us to pray to the Father in Matt. 6:9 when He said, “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” What is the proper method of prayer?

We can answer this question when we realize that God Himself is worthy of prayer and God is a Trinity of persons.  Therefore, it would seem fair to say that we can pray to each member of the Godhead.

Jesus said in John 14:14, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” Therefore, it would seem safe to say that we can pray to Jesus and ask Him to answer our prayers.  Also, we can see further confirmation of this by looking at the phrase, “call upon the name of the Lord.”  In the Old Testament that phrase is used only of God and it includes the meaning of worship, adoration, and prayer.  Psalm 116:4 says,  “Then I called upon the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, I beseech Thee, save my life!’ What is interesting is that this phrase is applied to Jesus in 1 Cor. 1:2, “to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” Paul obviously knew the significance of the phrase, which included prayerful appeal, and applied it to Jesus.

In 1 Cor. 1:9 it says, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” The word “fellowship” is the Greek word koinonia which is also translated as the word “communion.”  1 Cor. 1:9 says that we are to have an intimate fellowship with Jesus.  That is fine.  But, how can we have fellowship with someone with whom we never talk?  Therefore, this verse can also be used to support the idea of praying to Jesus.

If it is okay to pray to the Father, and the Son, is it alright to pray to the Holy Spirit?  The answer would be yes because the Holy Spirit is also God.  Nevertheless, we never see an instance in the Bible where anyone prays to the Holy Spirit.  Why is that?  The answer is that the Holy Spirit does not bear witness of Himself.  He bears witness of the Son (John 15:26).  But still, we can pray to the Spirit because we are also called into fellowship with the Spirit.  2 Cor. 13:14 says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”

Finally, we can simply pray to God.  We can address God, the Lord, in our prayers and as we feel led, address the members of the Trinity.


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