In my Wednesday session at the Covenant Church’s Midwinter meetings, I spoke about Praying with the Church. As I was sketching Jesus’ own prayer life, I mentioned that I thought we should address God as “Father” in prayer because of Jesus’ teaching. The pattern of the NT, I stated, is “to the Father, through the Son, and in the Spirit.” A conversation arose, and it has continued. I’d like to bring it to you for your conversation.
A handsome young man, a pastor out in Redwood City, CA, informed us of an issue during our session: some are now praying to “Lord Jesus” or “Jesus,” while others are praying to the “Holy Spirit.” Tony, the handsome young man, wrote me again today and he thinks this is a serious issue and needs to be addressed … and I told him that I basically don’t have a handle on any serious discussion of this issue today. I know of no in-depth discussion.
Then I spoke with my colleague, the ever trusted Brad Nassif, and he informed me that Basil of Caesarea had weighed in on this one and had urged that a fullly Trinitarian theology will advocate the primacy of the Father, but that prayers could be addressed to the Son and the Spirit. Both the Eastern and Western Church traditions have prayers addressed to Son and Spirit.
Do you think it matters? Do you think anything is seriously at stake? Any thoughts?