04 September 2013

Can You Pray To The Holy Spirit?

About two years ago, I found myself in a bible study where this question arose. I was the only one who answered it in the affirmative and my position on the subject was met with vehement opposition. The general consensus seemed to be that we were only to pray to God the Father.

I later discovered that such a conclusion was neither biblical nor logical.

It is not biblical to say that we should only pray to God the Father. Scripture records for us the dying prayer of the martyr, Stephen, in the Acts of the Apostles when he looked up to heaven and prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (Acts 7.59).

I didn't have much that was significant to defend my answer in that bible study, but one thing I did ask those who answered the question with a definite 'no', was to approach the Elders of the church to have at least one song removed from our songbooks. "Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me." A song which is a prayer to God the Holy Spirit.

What about the Lord's prayer in which the Lord presented the model of prayer for all to follow that addressed God the Father? Well, one must understand that there is only one God. When we pray, we pray to Him. Granted there are three persons in the Trinity. But while They are different in function, They remain one in essence. Therefore, it is not possible to pray to One without praying to All Three. Thus it is not logical to conclude that you cannot or must not pray to any of the persons in the Trinity other than the Father.

When, then, are we to pray to the other two? One instance when it is appropriate is when we are praying with an emphasis on One's function. For instance, it is God the Holy Spirit who convicts men of sin. It is therefore only fitting that when we are praying for conviction of sin to take place, we pray to the Holy Spirit.