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While praying how should we pray? Should we praise the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and to whom should we ask? To the Father or the Son or the Holy Spirit?

John 14:14 (ESV) says
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

Does that mean we should ask only to Jesus. Or is that not a matter if we ask any one of them, since they act together?

I afraid we should not bypass any one of them. Or, is just closing the prayer by saying "In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit I ask" fine?

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6 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

According to Jesus,

This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father...

Jesus is clear that we pray to the father.

That said, I am personally convinced that if we get God's name wrong he still hears us. If my son occasionally calls me "mum" when he asks for my help I still help him (and it makes me smile, to be honest). I don't think a heavenly father would do any less.

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I like the example of Mum. Its very True, He is patience enough to listen us, even if we are wrong. I also wonder is that correct to call the Holy Spirit, since he is already residing within us as we become the church when we Accept Jesus as our Lord. I know in spiritual meetings (in India) while worshiping, Pastors who conduct the worship calls the Holy spirit to COME and fill the place. Is that right? –  Benny Sep 6 '11 at 10:42
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I believe that God is a very loving God that knows all. If we pray in submission to God we are praying in His will. I am age 77 and baptised at age 17. I was taught that there is but one God and but one bible, His holy word. Never had all this confusion as to what God,s word was or meant. The bible was God's word and there was none of this, "It means this, or it means that." We have drifted a long ways..........

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Welcome to Christianity SE. We're really looking for answers with sources (eg Biblical verses) rather than opinion. Please check out the FAQ. –  Wikis Aug 27 '13 at 20:01
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Welcome to the site. We are happy to have you participate. As @Wikis said, this is a q and a site. It is not a forum, so opinions without sources is not allowed. See the about pages and the help center. Please see also Newcomers: Be patient. You will get there if you follow our direction. Keep trying and the posts linked there as well. –  fredsbend Aug 27 '13 at 22:05
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Now to this context who are we to pray to:

We are to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit seals your prayer and teaches you what to pray for, so that you don't pray amiss.

Now we say we pray to Jesus, and we receive what we ask for because all things in heaven above or on earth below have been given over to Jesus in such away that at the mention of his name every knee will bow and confess that Jesus is Lord.

As a small child, one might call his father "mother", but a grown up child will not do so. That is to say the Father expects us to grow from babes into mature children of the kingdom.

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Thanks for your answer, ogundipe Taiwo! Can you please add some Scripture to back up your view? Thank you! –  daviesgeek May 4 '12 at 16:13
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As Kramii pointed out we have a clear model of praying to "our father" to follow.

While it is not part of the Lords prayer model, I think the tradional way many Christians close their prayers "in Jesus name" has Scriptural basis as an acknowledgement that we know whe can only aproach the Father by means of the Son (Hebrews 10:19) and the sacrificial work that he did on our behalf reconciling us to to Father (Colossians 1:20).

Some other things we do such as baptism are done in the name of all three persons of the Trinity, but prayer we typically understand to be part of the intercessory work of Christ.

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In the passage, 'Name' signifies not so much the utterance of a word, but the invocation of a power. To know someone's name in ancient parlance meant to be able to call upon them. You did not give your name to strangers. What this statement then means is that whatever is requested in his power he will grant. Another passage specifies that these things must be asked in obedience to him, which in other places we find is what reveals those who love God; those who love him keep his commandments. And given that St. John says, 'God is Love', we can then infer that it is the love of God that makes such prayers be fulfilled, for if God is love, then certainly to ask in his power is to ask in the love of God.

Secondly, 'The Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit' is Jesus Christ. But he and the Father and the Spirit are One, and Jesus is the only personal name for God that we have, that I am aware of. However, given what I wrote above, this passage is talking about asking in the power of God, not so much invoking him by a personal name.

Traditionally, most written prayers have either addressed

  • The Father
  • The Son
  • The Holy Spirit, or
  • The Trinity in common

Orthodox Christians have a very ancient set of prayers called The Trisagion Prayers (The prayers of the thrice-holy) which address different persons of the Trinity, as well as the Trinity in common;

The Lord's Prayer addresses the Father, 'O Heavenly King' addresses the Holy Spirit, All Holy Trinity.. addresses all of the three Persons. The Prayer of the Hours (another common prayer) addresses the Son.

The text of the prayers follows to exemplify that Christ's statement has not been interpreted to deter us from praying except only to him.

To the Spirit

O heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who art in all places and fillest all things; Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and dwell in us and cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O gracious Lord.

To the Trinity in common

All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us from our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy God, visit and heal our infirmities for thy Name's sake.

To the Father

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

To the Son

O Christ our God, who at all times and in every hour, in heaven and on earth, art worshipped and glorified; who art long-suffering, merciful and compassionate; who lovest the just and showest mercy upon the sinner; who callest all to salvation through the promise of blessings to come; O Lord, in this hour receive our supplications, and direct our lives according to thy commandments. Sanctify our souls, hallow our bodies, correct our thoughts, cleanse our minds; deliver us from all tribulation, evil and distress. Encompass us with thy holy Angels, that guided and guarded by them, we may attain to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of thine unapproachable glory, for thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

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+1 for bringing out the trisagion. –  user116 Sep 10 '11 at 1:29
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As has been pointed out, you can pray to the Father as Jesus did and taught.

However, there is a Biblical precedent for praying to Jesus:

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 7:59-60

I don't know of any Biblical precedent for praying to The Holy Spirit. However, prayers to The Holy Spirit do occur in songs.

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