Should Christians speak to God the Holy Spirit? Or should all our prayers be directed only to the Father? Or only to the Son? As we continue our study of the Holy Spirit, we are suggesting that some Christians overemphasize Him while other believers overlook Him. Let’s strive for a biblical balance in understanding His personality, His deity, and His ministries.
The Bible nowhere commands us to speak to the Third Person of the Trinity, but, I would suggest, allows us to direct our prayers accordingly. Of course we can keep our prayers general and pray to God, but doesn’t it make sense that we thank the Father for creation, the Son for His atoning work, and the Spirit for His ministries of conviction of sin, leading, comforting us, baptizing us, etc.?
The only prayer I know of in the New Testament directed to the Lord Jesus is Stephen’s prayer as he was being martyred in Acts 7. There we read,
55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 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.
This is an amazing text as Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, sees Jesus standing (to receive him). And Stephen, while he was being stoned, prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” With his dying breath he prayed, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” What a godly example to all of us!
Christians traditionally have divided themselves into two groups (they’ve majored in dividing over silly issues, but that’s a different story): those who will do only what is specifically allowed or practiced in Scripture and those who will do things that are not forbidden by the Word of God. Although this is a huge topic, I would suggest that there is some value in directing some of our prayers to God the Holy Spirit (even though we have no specific example of the early Christians’ doing so).
What might some of those prayers look like? Here are a few suggestions —
“Holy Spirit, please bring conviction of sin to my friend __ who desperately needs the Lord Jesus!”
“Holy Spirit, I need your guidance as I study the Word. Help my thinking and my study!”
“Holy Spirit, I am so ashamed about my recent sin. Please remind me of my secure place in the family of God.”
The Challenge: If you’ve been persuaded to develop a relationship with God the Holy Spirit, then why not write out an introductory prayer to Him expressing your desire to cooperate with one of His ministries in your life?