Abraham Kuyper, Charles Hodge, Charles Simeon, Charles Spurgeon, Daniel Block, Daniel Bloesch, Holy Spirit, Object of Prayer, Prayer, Prayer to the Holy Spirit, Theology, Trinity, Worship of the Spirit
In Daniel Block’s “For the Glory of God”, he asks the question as to whether we should address worship specifically and personally to the Spirit. His analysis begins with three observations:
- “No one addresses the Holy Spirit in prayer, or bows to the Holy Spirit, or serves him in a liturgical gesture. Put simply, in the Bible the Spirit is never the object of worship.”
- “The Spirit drives the worship of believers yet does not receive worship.”
- “In true worship, the person of the Trinity may not be interchanged without changing the significance of the work.”
He notes two historical developments in the church. First, is the development of the Doxology,
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise him all creatures here below;
Praise him above you heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
He noted that it derives from Gloria Patri per Filium in Spiritu Sancto, Glory to God the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit. This was changed in response to the Arians, which sought to ontologically subordinate Jesus. To avoid that movement, the connections where changed to “and” from “through” and “in”.
The second development was the Charismatic movement to single out the Spirit for particular adoration in prayer and song.
Block is reticent to make the Spirit the unique object of worship
When we read Scripture, the focus will on God the Father or Jesus Christ the Son. However, it seems that the Holy Spirit is most honored when we accept his conviction of sin, his transforming and sanctifying work within us, and his guidance in life and ministry, and when in response to his leading we prostrate ourselves before Jesus.
This emphasis on the Spirit’s work in is matched by an interesting comment from Kuyper
It appears from Scripture, more than has been emphasized, that in the holy act of prayer there is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit working both in us and with us.
Kuyper, Holy Spirit (1946), trans. de Vries, p. 618.
James Hastings has a discussion on prayer directed to the Spirit. The conclusion comes in his last paragraph: