To Whom should we pray?
My son can come to me anytime and ask my help. I like it best when he comes to me and says, “Dad… can you help me with this…?” He could come to me and say, “John… can you help me with this…?” or, “Pastor/Elder McLean… can you help me with this…?” But I like “Dad” the best. I prefer “Dad” because it acknowledges and affirms our relationship. I am his Father. As an offspring he is like me, and he can become more like me as we interact in relationship.
Paul cited the words of the Cilician philosopher Aratus, “We are His offspring,” and applied them to Jehovah God and the Greeks to whom he was speaking (Acts 17:28). Believers on the Lord Jesus Christ are “born again” into a special son/daughter-ship in God’s family: “born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:13). In Hebrews we read, “Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters” (Heb. 2:11).
I will still hear my son’s request if he addresses me as “John” or “Pastor/Elder,” but if he were to ask my preference I’d tell him “Dad.”
Now the Trinity is not just a matter of three roles like my admittedly weak example above. Scripture teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three Persons – three Persons yet One God. It should not disturb us that wrapping our minds around this is very difficult. In fact it is very likely impossible. But far more disturbing I think it would be if it our puny mortal minds could encompass the very nature and composition of God!
Interestingly there is no instance in scripture of believers praying to the Holy Spirit. As we study the Spirit’s role we see His ministry is largely in drawing men and women to Christ (John 16:8). He leads us into Truth (John 15:26; 16:13). He intercedes for the believer and helps them in their praying (Rom. 8:26-27), but our prayers are addressed to God the Father or Christ Jesus the Living Word made flesh. Christ too, like a lawyer, intercedes for us and as such we may rightly bring our pleas to Him.
Whomever of the GodHead you address the important thing is that you pray. As Paul enjoins,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)
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