by Rod Hugen
Trinitarian prayer comes from a desire to establish a relationship with the three Persons of the Trinity. We recognize God as Father, Son, and Spirit.
As a kid, one of the beauties of a proper relationship with our father is that we are always amazed at what he can do and we are always excited and willing to ask him for anything, knowing that he is good and loving and will do what is best for us. We recognize that in our sin flawed world we don’t have good father role models, but also recognize that God is the perfect father. With that in mind, we begin our Trinitarian Prayer time by telling God how amazing he is and we describe to him our experience of his attributes. We tell him about our knowledge of his strength, or majesty, or beauty, or love, or any of the other qualities that we see in him. We choose to fully trust him. We also ask him for anything we desire. We are willing to risk him answering ‘no’ or ‘later’ because we know that the perfect Dad knows best what we should have. He may say no to ice cream before dinner, but he may take pleasure in giving us our heart’s desire. We are confident that whatever we ask in his name he will give us and that he loves us completely and will not give us that which would harm us.
The second part of our Trinitarian Prayer comes out of recognition that Jesus is the perfect older brother to us. He has already been though whatever we might be going through. He has suffered death itself on our behalf and sits at the right hand of the Father. He knows what to do in every situation we face since he was tempted as we are tempted and he suffered in ways that we cannot imagine as he suffered the consequences of our sin. He loves us as brothers and sisters and we can ask him to help us with anything. He is always available to us when we are confused or frightened or when we simply don’t know what to do. He will show us in his word and through his Spirit everything that we should do or say. He never mistreats us or treats us evilly since he is good and righteous and loving toward all he has made. We can depend on him whenever we are unsure and we know that he will correct us when we do that which is harmful or sinful. We have confidence in him and can trust whatever he tells us to do so we simply tell him what an amazing older brother he is and bring all of our cares and concerns before him.
The third part of our Trinitarian Prayer is recognition that the Spirit is our encourager. The Spirit always speaks truth to us and urges us to do that which is righteous and good. The Spirit can be trusted and when we listen to the Spirit we hear that which the Father and Jesus would have us do. We realize that the primary way the Spirit speaks to us is through the Bible so we open our Bibles and listen for what he might be saying to us. We also recognize that the Spirit prompts us to do what we are called to do through the still, small voice that urges us into the ways God would have us go. With that in mind, we sit silently and expectantly waiting to hear from the Spirit. We ask the Spirit to guide us into all truth and we make note of that which we read in God’s word and that which we ‘hear’. We listen knowing that the Spirit will never lead us astray and will always encourage us and give us hope.
We finish our time of Trinitarian Prayer sharing with our community what we heard from God. We share the Scriptures that came to our minds and we offer what we believe we heard to the scrutiny of others who walk with Jesus. We recognize that God is also a God who speaks through his people and we willingly submit what we believe is true to other believers and especially to the elders who are called to be responsible for our spiritual care. We recognize that sometimes we do not hear clearly and that we need others to speak truth to us. We listen carefully to those God has placed in our lives recognizing that in humility and submission to others we can most often hear the truth of what God is saying to us.