April 3, 2019
Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
April 03, 2019
We can certainly say that Christianity is like no other religion. To prove this, we can start with God Himself. Any of His attributes show that our God is incomparable. If someone from another religious background were to visit our church, what difference would stand out to them more than anything else? Perhaps the doctrine of the Trinity. We worship a Triune God: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
When we pray, we pray to all three Persons. Dr. John Stott, each morning would begin his day by worshiping the Triune God. He would begin, “Heavenly Father, I worship you as the creator and sustainer of the universe. Lord Jesus, I worship you, Savior and Lord of the world. Holy Spirit, I worship you, sanctifier of the people of God. Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Heavenly Father, I pray that I may live this day in your presence and please you more and more. Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you. Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, three persons in one God, have mercy upon me. Amen.”
Can we justify biblically praying to each Person of the Godhead individually? Arguing that we pray to the Father is easy. We can go to the Sermon on the Mount, to the Lord’s Prayer. Matthew 6: 9, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name.” What about the Son? We could go to Hebrews 4: 14- 15, “Since then we have a great high priest, Jesus the Son of God”. He is our Mediator, able to sympathize with our weakness. Also, in John 14:13, “Whatever you ask in My Name, this I will do.”
Even if we do not pray to the Son directly, our prayers are to be marked by Trinitarian flavoring. We pray in Christ’s Name. This is a blood-bought privilege. What about the Holy Spirit? Does the Bible ever speak of talking directly to the Holy Spirit? John Piper says, “If I grieve the Holy Spirit, I should probably talk to Him and find out how I grieved Him.” We could use Ephesians 6:18 to speak of praying to the Holy Spirit. “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” We can’t ignore the Spirit when praying. Also, Romans 8: 15 & 26-27, Paul makes it obvious that we need the help of the Holy Spirit. “But you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by Whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” As well, Jude 1: 20, “But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit.” We certainly cannot pray without the Holy Spirit.
So, our prayers should be flavored with the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. This is what separates our prayers from the prayers of the Hindu or Muslim or other false religions.