A few leading thoughts:
· Those who are against prayer directed toward the Holy Spirit often issue the challenge, “Where specifically in Scripture are we commanded to pray or sing to the Holy Spirit?”
· The issue is not whether one can locate a specific command. What if we required such explicit statements for all points of theology held? There are many biblical propositions that cannot be established on the basis of a solitary “command text.” There is no text that explicitly puts all conditions of salvation into a single command. There is no single passage that teaches explicitly the doctrine of the Trinity or the hypostatic union of Christ. Both of these truths are based on the synthetic study of many texts, none of which contains the full synthesized doctrinal formulation.
It is necessary to observe texts that involve prayer and the person of the Holy Spirit in order to establish whether or not it is appropriate to address to the Holy Spirit in prayer. In this case, most would concede that there are indeed no specific texts in which a prayer is offered directly to the Holy Spirit. This assertion will be investigated later. If, however, this is the only basis of prohibiting such prayers, then it is a rather weak position. As one seeks to establish Christian practice, he must consider not only what God commands, but also what God prohibits. The fact is, although one may not see a command or explicit instance in which prayer is offered to the Holy Spirit, he must also concede that there is no prohibition against it. All would agree that we must never allow what God clearly prohibits, but we must also work through issues very carefully so that we do not prohibit what God may actually allow. In both cases, one would not want to presume on God’s role as the only divine lawgiver. While I understand that the previous statement may spawn discussions of the regulative principle within worship, it would be too great an excursus to deal with it here. Perhaps in a later post.
Over the next week or so, my posts will seek to investigate this topic theologically and textually. The next post will discuss the theological issues surrounding the question.