I have run into several people across the years who have been very adamant about the notion that as Christians we should not pray to the Holy Spirit, sing to the Holy Spirit, or worship the Holy Spirit. They say that all of our worship/prayer ought to be focused on Father, through Jesus. Are they right?
Do We Worship the Holy Spirit?
Karl Barth seems to think that they are wrong, we indeed ought to direct prayer and worship to the Holy Spirit. In Church Dogmatics 1.1.12 Barth quotes the Nicene Creed which adamantly affirms that we ought to worship the Spirit as well:
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life; Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified…
The Father is worshiped and glorified, the son is worshiped and glorified, the Spirit is worshiped and glorified. What the creed refers to, according to Barth, is that the One Lord is to be worshiped and glorified as Father and as son and also as Spirit. Thus tritheistic worship is ruled out. All this to say that “the Holy Spirit is denoted as an object of worship and glorification.” As the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is fully God. As part (such a tricky word) of the Godhead he is one with the divine essence. This means that when we worship the Holy Spirit, we are fully engaged in worship with the Triune God. This is just as true as when we worship Jesus or when we worship the Father. All Christian worship is directed at the entire Triune Godhead, its not as though one person of the Trinity gets left out when we worship the other persons of the Trinity.
So to answer your question – “Do we worship the Holy Spirit? The answer is an emphatic yes.”
3 thoughts on “Do We Worship the Holy Spirit?”
Amen. Well said. The emphasis of the trinitarian nature of God is sadly missing even in the evangelical churches. Theological depth needs to be reclaimed by our 21st century Christians. Thanks for the reminder.
I’d be interested to see what those people who say we shouldn’t pray to or worship the Holy Spirit use for their Scriptural support of their position. (It’s not that I agree with them-it’s that I don’t think such support exists.)
I know that Bruce Ware holds this position – his work would be a good place to start if you are interested in that position.