Who do we address in prayer Yahweh, Jesus or the Holy Spirit?

It’s important to recognize the model prayer—the prayer of Jesus, the prayer that Jesus taught his followers to pray—does start: “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name” (Matt. 6:9). And I think that the recognition here is that, first and foremost, our desire, what we really care about, is that God’s Name be made holy. Our daily lives should radiate a Prayer3Sfar greater commitment to God’s nature and His holiness than to our own needs.

So to pray, “hallowed be Your Name,” is to pray that God be given the unique reverence that His holiness demands, that God’s Word be preached without corruption, that our churches be led by faithful pastors and preserved from false prophets, that we’d be kept from language that profanes the name of God, and that our thought lives remain holy, that we cease from seeking honor for ourselves but ask instead that God’s Name be magnified.

In saying this there’s nothing wrong with using the names of God as opposed to the titles for God. There’s nothing wrong with addressing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and thanking Him for His sacrificial death on our behalf. There’s nothing wrong with thanking the Holy Spirit for empowering us as we pray, as we witness, as we provide for our families. So the standard is we pray to the Father, in the Name of the Son (or through the Son), by the power of the Holy Spirit. But Jesus Himself invites us to pray to Him in John 14:14.

So there is no set formula. We pray to one God revealed in three persons, who are eternally distinct.

—Hank Hanegraaff

For further related study, please see the following:

What Are Some Secrets to Effective Prayer? (Hank Hanegraaff)

The Prayer of Jabez or the Prayer of Jesus (Hank Hanegraaff

Prayer of Jesus: A Discussion Between Hank Hanegraaff and Lee Strobel

Is the Trinity Biblical? (Hank Hanegraaff)

[Answer taken from: “How Should Christians Start Their Prayers? Can We Pray to Jesus and the Holy Spirit?”]

3 Responses to Who do we address in prayer Yahweh, Jesus or the Holy Spirit?

  1. Karl Humphreys says:

    Although I agree with the spirit of the message. You are mistaken in saying Jesus invites us to pray to “him” using the scripture John 14:14..What it clearly says is: “If you ask anything in my Name, I will do it.: This doesn’t in any way say “if you pray to me”, Quite the opposite it says ask GOD THE FATHER in my Name and I will fulfill it. In fact, Jesus even states in verse 16 that “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you forever.”. Jesus Plainly was indicating that we along with Him are directing our prayers to the Father.

    Saying that, Jesus does say in verse 11, “Believe me, that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me; in the least believe me for the very works sake.”

    My point is not that Jesus is not God, and we should or shouldn’t pray to him, but the mistaken use of verse 14:14 to prove it.

  2. Doug Coy says:

    Thank you so much for this article/commentary. When I pray, I often address the persons of the Godhead individually. All three are God, and each have specific personalities and functions, so it just makes sense to me. I will say that when I was a very young, new Christian, I was pulled aside by a deacon in our church after I was asked to pray publicly. I was surprised when he told me that I was wrongly praying, and that I should be praying to God the father alone. I tried to explain why I prayed the way I did, but he insisted that I was wrong – even quoted various scriptures to “prove” me wrong. Ever since then, I’ve always felt self-conscious when asked to pray publicly, so I try not to do so. I also feel that to pray a “canned prayer” isn’t right either – that would feel like a performance, not a true prayer to God. Well, anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I greatly appreciate your words on this. God bless you and your ministry through CRI and the BAM!

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