Our God is a triune God, this simple theological fact is easy enough to believe, but how should the fact of God’s triunity affect the way we interact with a God more complex than we could possible pretend to understand? Here’s a Biblical look at praying to the Trinity. (If you’d rather listen to this being taught, check out the audio file at the bottom of the post where I taught on this subject recently)

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

God always intended to walk with man as He did with Adam. I always pictured this as God the Father walking with Adam His son, but God has always been a triune God. In fact throughout the creation account, God tells us His pronouns are “We,” “Our,” and “Us.” (Perhaps our culture’s recent surge in changing pronouns is a demonic corruption or counterfeit of a status to which only God has right; in simpler terms, a form of idolotry, but I digress.) The plural way that God presents Himself to man changes after the fall of man and for the rest of the Old Testament God says things like, “I am the Lord thy God” (Exodus 20:2). True there are situations where the trinity pops up in the Old Testament (Gen 11:7. Isaiah 6:8), and specific situations where we see each member of the trinity individually (Melchizedek, the Cloud by day and Pillar of fire by night), but aside from these few examples, God is represented as singular and sets a perfect standard through the law and judgement to establish our need for a Savior.

It isn’t until Jesus starts His earthly ministry by getting baptized that we see once again the trinity in it’s completeness (Matthew 3:16-17).  Following the resurrection of Christ in the New Testament, we are called the bride of Christ. This new opporunity for relationship comes with it the responsiblities of a multi-faceted relationship. Of course, if a marriage relationship is to be successful, it must be enjoyed on all of the spiritual, mental, and physical levels. Likewise, your relationship with God may be hindered because you have never stepped into a multi-faceted relationship with the Trinity. The Bible sets the standard clearly for the role each part of the Trinity should play in our relationship with God, I have laid out their roles here:

The Father’s Role in Relation to a Christian:

  • Judge of all the Earth – Genesis 18:25
  • He is our rock, fortress, and deliverer2 Samuel 22:2-3
  • He chastens us as His children – Proverbs 3:12; Heb 12:6, 
  • As the Heavenly Father, he is the Supplier of our needs – Matthew 6:26
  • He avenges His children – Romans 12:19
  • As the Father of lights, He gives giftsJames 1:17, Luke 11:13
The Son’s Role in Relation to a Christian:
  • As the Creator, He created us – John 1:3
  • As the Propitiation, His sacrifice saved us – 1 John 2:2
  • As the Burden Bearer, He gives relief and rest – Matthew 11:28-30
  • As our Advocate, His ongoing work keeps us redeemed  – 1 John 2:1
The Holy Spirit’s Role in Relation to a Christian:
  • As the Comforter: teaches all things, and brings all things to remembrance – John 14:16, 26
  • As the Comforter: He is the Spirit of truth and testifies of Christ – John 15:26 
  • He is our source of God’s powerActs 1:8 
  • As the Spirit of Adoption, He bears witness that we are children of God – Romans 8:15-16 
  • As our Intercessor: He prays for us and helps our infirmities – Romans 8:26 
  • As the Holy One: He makes us to know all things1 John 2:20
  • As the Spirit: He draws all men unto Him – Revelations 22:17


The Bible never defines the Holy Spirit’s role as “the convictor of wrongdoing.” The only passage that speaks into this is John 16:8-9 “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me;” This verse however is speaking of the unsaved, every other verse where His role is mentioned He is a comforter who guides in truth, prays for us, and helps our infirmities.

The Holy Spirit is often confused for two things:

1. Our Conscience

The Bible mentions our conscience over thirty times and even the unsaved have a conscience. The conscience of man can be grown, cultivated, ignored, or corrupted. How to know: The Holy Spirit’s perspective, however, never changes for culture or tradition but is directly adhered to the Bible.

2. The Devil

The Holy Spirit guides us in truth, but will never make us feel bad for wrongdoing. Unfortunately, we’ve unintentionally given space to the devil as the accuser of the brethren and called him “God.” God never is demeaning towards His redeemed children or accuses them, because that is Satan’s nature, not God’s. Romans 8:1 says,There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” How to know: The Holy Spirit will never make you feel bad or hate yourself for what you’ve done. If you feel guilt, shame, or dread, you’re experiencing the devil in spiritual warfare. He wants to rob you of your identity in Christ.

This is a common misconception among Christians and has been an ongoing source of help for the people I have counseled, even God the Father who chastens His children does so in love. Read more about the Father’s relationship by clicking here. Your heavenly Father will illuminate sin or wrongdoing in your life as an invitation to do right and be brought into reconciliation with Him. 1 John 1:9 reminds us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Therefore, once you have repented of your sin, you should never again be reminded of it; once God forgives, He forgets. If you are constantly being reminded of your sinful past, you’re likely under a spiritual attack. Satan wants you to feel defeated and unqualified to serve God.

You may be asking, “So why does any of this matter? Can’t I just continue praying to “God” and be totally fine?” Maybe. However, I believe strongly that your relationship with a triune God has a major affect on your identity. If your relationship is one sided, knowing well only one side of God’s three parts, you may be missing out on the fullness of the identity God intends for you to have. Because of the Father, you should see yourself in love as a son or daughter of God. Because of Jesus, you should see yourself in atonement as a sinner in need of a savior. Because of the Holy Spirit, you should see yourself in companionship as a steward with a purpose. 


Thoughts for reflection

Since every part of the Trinity has different roles, how should those roles affect the way you pray? What part of God should you approach for your needs? If you have a burden, who should you go to for help? If you needed power, assurance, or wisdom which part of the Trinity should you seek out?

How does the list above change your perspective on praise? Should we praise each part of God individually for their specific roles? Let me encourage you to pray through the list above thanking each member of the Trinity for what they have done for you.

I taught a lesson on this subject recently, if you’d like to listen to it, you can do so here. (Due to a recording issue, there are a couple minutes of the recording missing a few minutes in and a change in quality, sorry in advance for any added listening difficulty these issues cause.)