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The Trinity in Prayer and Worship

Biblically, we can pray to and worship the Father and the Son, but there is no precedence for praying to or worshipping the Spirit.

Prayer

Prayer is obviously made to God:

One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night.

Luke 6:12

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

Acts 12:5

Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved.

Romans 10:1

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

James 1:5

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

1 John 5:14

With respect to the Trinity, prayer is made to the Father:

...Pray like this: Our Father in heaven...

Matthew 6:5-15

After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you."

John 17:1

He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine."...

Matthew 26:39-42

and to the Son:

Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

John 14:14

As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." He fell to his knees, shouting, "Lord, don't charge them with this sin!" And with that, he died.

Acts 7:59-60

However, there is no biblical basis for praying to the Spirit. We pray in the Spirit:

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.

Ephesians 6:18

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.

Jude 20

and the Spirit helps us:

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

Romans 8:26

but the Spirit is never the object of prayers.

If we want wisdom (intimately connected to the Spirit, see e.g. Isaiah 11:2), we ask God:

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.

James 1:5

and if we want the Spirit, we ask the Father to give him to us:

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.

Luke 11:13

The Spirit makes us alive to God in order that we can pray to God, not to the Spirit.

Worship

Worship follows a similar pattern to prayer. God is worshipped:

Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: "Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!"

Acts 13:16

As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, "God is truly here among you."

1 Corinthians 14:25

... with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

1 Timothy 2:10

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.

Hebrews 12:28

And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God.

Revelation 7:11

Then the twenty-four elders and the four living beings fell down and worshiped God, who was sitting on the throne.

Revelation 19:4

With respect to the Trinity, the Father is worshipped:

Jesus replied, "Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem... But the time is coming - indeed it's here now - when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.

John 4:21-23

and the Son is worshipped:

They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.

Matthew 2:11

Then the disciples worshiped him. "You really are the Son of God!" they exclaimed.

Matthew 14:33

When they saw him, they worshiped him...

Matthew 28:17

So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy.

Luke 24:52

"Yes, Lord, I believe!" the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.

John 9:38

However, despite the Nicene creed, there is no biblical basis for worshipping the Spirit; we worship by the Spirit:

For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised.

Phillipians 3:3

We worship God who is spirit:

For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.

John 4:24

and this is made possible by the Spirit who makes us alive to God.

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