There is a question about praying to Jesus already, but I noticed there is no question about praying to the Holy Spirit. What is the biblical basis for praying to the third person of the trinity?

  • 1
    This, in my view, is a matter of interpretation (and personal, spiritual, experience). On a few occasions prayer is addressed to God when the context indicates that the Spirit of God is the prime frame of reference. But there will be a spectrum of opinions about this, I suspect. Up-voted, +1, nevertheless.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 8, 2021 at 11:34
  • In short, there is no Biblical basis - I could find no prayer directed to the Holy Spirit - plenty of prayers to Jesus and the Father, but NONE to the Holy Spirit.
    – Dottard
    Feb 13, 2021 at 5:41
  • 1
    @Dottard - in Acts 10:9-19 Peter had a conversation with a voice. In verse 19 we are told that the voice was the Holy Spirit. Was Peter talking to the Holy Spirit in previous verses?
    – user50422
    Feb 13, 2021 at 14:51

3 Answers 3


What is the biblical basis for praying to the Holy Spirit?

There is no clear biblical basis for praying to the Holy Spirit. Christians the world over do it, but the Scriptures give us no clear examples of it either.

The Trinity shows us that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all God together as one. When we pray to any of them, we pray to God. The most important thing to remember is that God desires to be in relationship with us and that requires prayer.

Who are we to pray to as Christians? Are we supposed to pray to Jesus? Or are we supposed to pray to the Father? What about the Holy Spirit? Can we pray to the Holy Spirit?

The most prominent pattern of prayer in the New Testament is to the Father, in the name of Jesus.

In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. (John 16:23-24).

Prayers can be offered to both the Father and the Son. What about the Holy Spirit? While there are no prayers in the New Testament addressed directly to the Holy Spirit, neither are there any prohibitions. Admittedly, both of those statements are arguments from silence. There were really two questions: 1) Are there any Scriptural references about praying to the Holy Spirit? That one’s easy … “No” not that I could find. 2) Is there anything (in Scripture) that suggests we could pray to the Holy Spirit? I would cautiously say, “Yes.”

Should You Pray to the Holy Spirit?

The short answer, I believe, is that there is nothing wrong with offering a prayer to the Holy Spirit, since God the Spirit is, of course, fully God, just as is God the Father and God the Son. However, most prayers in the New Testament and in the church of the second and third centuries were to God the Father, with a few exceptions.

I recently read an article by Boris Paschke entitled: “Praying to the Holy Spirit in Early Christianity.” His conclusions include the following:

This article studied praying to the Holy Spirit in early Christianity, with the following results: While the New Testament neither contains prayers to the Holy Spirit nor references to such prayers, later early Christian sources from the Second and Third Centuries AD contain at the least a few passages that are relevant for the topic. In Tertullian’s De oration 12, spiritus sanctus is envisaged as addressee of Christian prayer. However, it remains unclear if this Latin term refers particularly to the third person of the Trinity or to God in general. In De baptism 8, Tertullian states that spirit epiclesis were components of the baptismal services he was familiar with. At the beginning of his homilies on the book of Leviticus, Origen encourages addressing not only Jesus but also the Holy Spirit in prayers asking for understanding the biblical text (Orig. Hom. Lev. I 1). In Jesus’s hymn and round dance (which is found in chapters 94–96 of the Acts of John) it is probably not the Holy Spirit but rather Jesus who is addressed with the epithet ‘Spirit’. The Acts of Thomas contain two prayers to the Holy Spirit, namely the spirit epiclesis in chapters 27 and 50. However, it is possible that these epiclesis not only ask the Holy Spirit but also Jesus Christ to come. In view of these findings, it seems (1) that prayers to the Holy Spirit were very rare in early Christianity; and (2) that the Holy Spirit was addressed either alone (Tertullian De baptism 8) or together with Jesus Christ (Orig. Hom. Lev. I 1).[2]

So, what about our practice? My recommendation is that, following the biblical pattern and the pattern of the early church, we should normally address our prayers to God the Father, but still allow occasional addressing of prayers to Jesus, that is, to God the Son, as well as occasional prayers to the Holy Spirit, that is, to God the Spirit. But since the common pattern is to address God the Father in prayer, I would suggest that praying to God the Son and God the Spirit should focus more upon the works that are specifically connected in Scripture to those persons of the Godhead. Thus, the occasional prayer to Jesus might look something like: “Jesus, thank you for dying as a substitute on the cross in our place,” or “Lord Jesus, we long for your second coming” (cf. 1 Cor. 16:22 “Our Lord, Come!”). The occasional prayer to the Holy Spirit could be: “Spirit, fill us with power to speak your word with boldness,” or “Illumine your Word as we read it, and help us know how to apply it.”


What is the biblical basis for praying to the Holy Spirit?

This passage is a good starting point. Remember, praying is an act of worship.

"But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

You can find answers here that may give you a more profound view on praying to the Holy Spirit relating it to Spirit and Truth. According to Catholic Church, what does it mean to worship God in spirit and truth?

Jesus said, He is the "Truth".

Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me. (John14:6

We are praying to the Jesus to embraced Him and be one or in union with the Truth.

How about the "Spirit"?

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.

And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.(Romans8:26-27

The passages John4: 23-24 , not only give us the need to pray to the Holy Spirit, but we must seek to pray both to Jesus the Truth and to the Spirit the Holy Spirit, so that we can truly worship the Father in "Spirit and Truth".

Praying to the Holy Spirit is the Will of the Father. And we must follow the Will of the Father if we want to enter His Kingdom, because Jesus Himself was sent not to do His own will but to do the Will of the Father who sent Him.

In the end, praying to Jesus and the Holy Spirit is doing the Will of the Father and will assure us in the end of entering the Kingdom of God in Heaven.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,* but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."(Matthew7:21


The biblical basis for praying to the third personage within the One Being of God is that prayer to one member of the Trinity is prayer to all because all three are one.

When we pray to the Father, we pray to the Son and to the Holy Spirit because all three are equal.

We are told to pray in the Spirit and in His power:

“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit” (Jude verse 20 NIV).

The Spirit helps us to pray, even when we do not know how or what to ask for:

”In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will” (Romans 8:26-27).

It is also worth mentioning that Romans 8 speaks of the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps the best way to understand the role of the Trinity in prayer is that we pray to the Father, through (or in the name of) the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. All three are active participants in the believer’s prayer.

The thing about the Trinity is that you can’t have one without the other two.

P.S. My apology for not adding more to this answer because I've left it a bit late to answer this very good question and I have to sign off for today.

You must log in to answer this question.