I had an interesting conversation with my wife the other day about prayer. She ended up asking me a question that left me reeling a bit. She asked, “do you ever pray to the Spirit?” Now, as a Pastor I have thought through, to some degree, prayer and why and how we should pray. Therefore, out came the answer I had thought about. “I pray to the Father, as instructed by Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer, and I always pray ‘In the Name of Jesus”, also as instructed by our Lord. But there was left these gnawing questions, “why not pray to the Spirit, or to Jesus?” “Are they less God than The Father?” “Are they less caring?” “Are they less able to hear me?” “Are they less in any way?” Of Course not! No! No at all. But then why is it hard or weird for so many of us to pray to the other persons of the Trinity? I suspect their may be some underlying issues. Maybe we have unconsciously come to associate The Father with God and the other to persons of the Trinity as serving Him, and therefore less. Maybe it has to do with the lack of models of prayer to Jesus or The Spirit. Or perhaps it is simply because we’ve never really thought about it.
One could definitely see both The Son and The Spirit as subjugated to The Father, but this is a willing subjugation by Jesus and The Spirit. Both persons of the Trinity, in showing the nature of God, bowed in loving service to The Father. This doesn’t by any means preclude that the Father has never served The Son or The Spirit, nor never does serve The Son or The Spirit. Indeed, we can see that The Father serves The Son in vindication in raising Him from the dead. Further, we can see that Jesus doesn’t teach the world’s belief showing one’s might and “lording it over” others, and that we are not to do so (see Matthew 20:25). This is because the power structure in the Godhead is different than our conceptions of power. We send power out of a sense of fear and pride, but God has no fear, nor does He operate with our sense of pride. Therefore, in the unity of the Trinity there is perfect love, and an absence of displays of power for the purpose of one ruling over the other, giving to the freeness of each person in the Trinity to serve the other without any sense of being diminished. Further, this informs our prayer, allowing us to pray with freedom and security in the knowledge that whether we pray to The Father, The Son, or The Holy Spirit, that we can pray with the assurance that God will work His mighty power in accordance with His perfect will, and in conjunction with our hearts plead to our great benefit.
Therefore, Let us pray with confidence in our God and King whenever we pray, whether it be to The Father (as in the Lord’s Prayer), to The Son (who is our Advocate and Priest), or to The Spirit (who speaks for us when we haven’t the words to speak). And let us always remember that, if we are in Christ, we are God’s dearly loved children.