Day 8 of 21 • This day’s reading

Matthew 6:9
John 14:13-14
John 16:23-24

Day 8: Do I Pray to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit?

Prayer is one of our greatest privileges as Christians. We’ve spent the past seven days emphasizing prayer during our fast, but an important question is, “Are we praying to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit?” The Christian faith believes in a God Who is three in one: the Holy Trinity of God the Father; Jesus the Son; and the Holy Spirit. As we talk to One, we are talking to the Other. While Their unity is a complex concept, following Jesus’ teaching can help us understand our approach to prayer and relationship with God.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray to the Father. In other passages, Jesus also directed us to ask the Father in His name. While there are deeper theological explanations, praying to the Father in Jesus’ name is an expression of faith. We’re acknowledging everything that Jesus has done on earth and in heaven, and that He is the way to the Father. We’re also presenting our faith in God the Father, believing that He sent Jesus to reconcile us into a righteous relationship with Him. So when we pray to the Father and finish with, “In Jesus name,” we’re exercising our right in faith to enter into God’s presence.

Beyond being a guide for semantics, these passages are Jesus’ encouragement for us to approach the Father with requests. Our perception of who God is becomes very important. Praying can be challenging if we see Him as a cold, distant, and removed God. But we need to remember that God created us to be with Him, despite needing to sacrifice His only Son so that we can enjoy His intended relationship.

Since Christ has carried all our sins to the cross, we’re welcome into His presence without shame or condemnation. Our prayers are then a declaration of eternal freedom, but also a reminder of the Father’s love to hear our hearts. Despite our language, attitudes and imperfections, God invites us to enter His presence with our needs.

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