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There are times in which you wonder “Can I pray to the Holy Spirit?”
Yes you can pray to the Holy Spirit. This is based on the fact that 1) the Holy Spirit is God 2) The Holy Spirit was meant to serve as an experiential substitute for interacting with Jesus and that 3) He highlights the ever-present nature of God.
Let’s break this down so we you finally see for yourself that, yes, you can pray to the Holy Spirit.
1. The Holy Spirit is God
We, as Christians, wholeheartedly believe in the Trinity.
God is beautifully, majestically, and mysteriously one in three and three in one. One God, three distinct persons.
What this is means is that…
Just as the Father is holy, so is the Son, so is the Spirit
Just as the Father is kind, so is the Son, so is the Spirit
Just as the Father is lovely, so is the Son, so is the Spirit
..and on and on.
When we are interacting with the Holy Spirit, we are not talking to an object, or a force, we are talking to a person, the third person of the trinity.
While the Holy Spirit is distinct from the rest of the Trinity in manifestation, it is one with the Trinity in unity. The Holy Spirit shares the same character, the same mind, the same heart, the same unity with God the Father and God the Son.
The Holy Spirit is God.
The question of whether we can pray to the Holy Spirit could be stopped right at this reason alone as the reason of him being God is sufficient in itself as a justification to being able to pray to him.
But there’s more!
2. Holy Spirit is the Experiential Substitute for Interacting with Jesus
The Holy Spirit in the Bible is introduced, in my opinion, very interestingly. Obviously, people understand that the Holy Spirit came down and filled the believers during Pentecost. For the rest of Acts, the Holy Spirit’s presence becomes unmistakeable.
Like, water that fills a hose, there is no book of Acts without the Holy Spirit. He is responsible for every miracle, every teaching, every evagangelistic movement in the start of the church.
Particularly interesting to me is how the disciples understand the Holy Spirit.
If we could just remove our preconceived ideas about the Holy Spirit for a second, and walk in the shoes of the disciples who lived with the reality of walking with Jesus of Nazareth, and now walking with the Holy Spirit, one can make a profound conclusion.
Observe this pivotal verse:
When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.
Notice the name of the Holy Spirit.
He is called the Spirit of Jesus.
So that is the mystery of how the disciples understood the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of Jesus. In other words, after the disciples followed Jesus, there was a seamless transition to now begin following the Holy Spirit.
That is because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus.
Much like they heard from Jesus, received from Jesus, hung out with Jesus, were corrected by Jesus, so now that has been experientially replaced by the Holy Spirit.
In other words, it was the Holy Spirit who was actively speaking to them, providing for them, spending time with them, correcting them.
What that means for you and I who live in the 20th century is that even though we do not have the privilege of walking with Jesus in the flesh, our interactions with him is done by interacting with his Spirit, who is the Holy Spirit.
When we talk to the Spirit, we are talking to Jesus. When we hear from the Holy Spirit, we are hearing from Jesus. When we feel hugs from the Holy Spirit, we are feeling hugs from Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is the experiential substitute for the person of Jesus!
3. The Holy Spirit highlights the Ever Presence of God
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
Jesus stated that it was advantageous for him to go such that they would begin following the Holy Spirit post his resurrection.
He is highlighting the experiential advantages of disciples of Jesus now following the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, as a God-man, by his choice, was limited to the confines of space and time. He could only be at one place at one time. But the Holy Spirit can be everywhere at all times. Jesus’ ministry required him to travel physically to places to bring the Kingdom of God.
But now the Holy Spirit, free to roam as He pleases, is able to continue the work of the Kingdom of God without the limit of time and space.
In my opinion (not a hard fact), I believe there is something distinct about what each of the persons of God highlights.
God the father highlights the sovereignty of God over everything.
God the Son highlights the humanness of God.
And here we find what I think the Holy Spirit highlights as his person:
God the Spirit highlights the ever presence of God all around us
Yes, he is in the air we breathe. He is thicker than winter coat, surrounding and indwelling all who call upon the name of the Lord. We as 21st century Christians may not have had the privilege of walking with the Jesus of Nazareth but I assure you that He is alive! And he is alive in the person of the Holy Spirit!
In contrast to God the Father, who knows no bounds, or God the Son, who is seated at the right hand of the Father, when I think of talking to the Spirit, I am cognizant of God’s presence that is taking physical space all around me.
The beautiful thing about praying to the Holy Spirit is that you are literally talking to the God of the universe. What is highlighted is simply the nearness of his presence.
Praying to the Holy Spirit is a choice of perspective. It is a choice of recognition of the omnipresence of God all around us. It is talking to a friend ever present with us.
Therefore, you can and should pray to the Holy Spirit
For those reasons, one can and should confidently pray to the Holy Spirit.
I make praying to the Holy Spirit a regular (not the only) occurrence. If you try it out you should increase your awareness to God’s presence all around you.
3 Steps to Pray to the Holy Spirit
So you’ve never talked to the Holy Spirit, here’s a quick guide that you can try this very minute.
- Draw your attention to God’s presence
Do whatever it takes, close your eyes, relax your muscles. Just draw your attention to God’s presence within you and around you. (Obviously, if you’re not a Christian, this will not work because you need to be Christian to feel the Holy Spirit!)
- Utter a simple prayer of recognition
Like a friend, begin talking to the Holy Spirit. My favorite prayers are dead simple: Holy Spirit, you’re welcome hereThank you Holy Spirit
- Pay attention to what you hear or what happens to your body.
Continue to draw attention to God’s presence, without an expectation of any particular result. Just stay connected to the presence of God. And you will find that at this juncture, and I believe it with all my heart, the Holy Spirit will begin ministering to you, speaking to you, and touching you in physical ways.
Where do you go from here?
A live full of the Holy Spirit is absolutely critical to living a life of legacy. Partnership with God’s presence allows us to live our lives with power, transformation, and meaning.
If you want further resources, I like Benny Hinn’s Good Morning, Holy Spirit as a spiritual reflection guide on how to actively see the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life. See also my thoughts on being drunk in the Holy Spirit.
How was that experience for you? What questions do you have about praying to the Holy Spirit? What resources have helped your relationship with the Holy Spirit?
Leave it in the comments below!