Prayer to the Holy Spirit

by Amazing 51 Replies latest jw friends

  • Narkissos
    Narkissos

    Jim,

    The BIble teaches that all three dwell within us, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. So praying to any one of the three does not put them outside ourselves, nor dioes praying bring them inside. Rather, asking them to dwell within us is what brings them into our lives, and into our souls. As the Holy Spirit dwells within us, he can hear us when we are distressed, but not sure what to pray for. We can tell him that we are not knowing what to pray for, and he can then read our hearts and know what we need, and then plead to the Father on our behalf.
    (...)

    The Trinity is not really discussed in this presentation ... but I guess could be implied. However, your suggestions does not violate the concept of the Trinity. Given again that the Father and the Son also dwell within us, then is praying to someone who dwells with you puts them outside yourself ... what does that mean? Nothing, really.

    At this point it can only become paradoxical indeed. As prayer always is.

    My point was, Trinity is basically a structure, a gtheometry, where the distinction of "persons" in position and function must be posited before being denied, or corrected (as by the Cappadocian doctrine of perichoresis or "mutual indwelling").

    This structure is more or less adequately reflected by the liturgy. Any liturgy from this perspective is theologically better (to me) than the spontaneistic soup of most "non-liturgical" churches. While the invocation to the Son or the Holy Spirit plays a specific (and limited) role in the liturgy, out of the liturgy it easily turns into a meaningless fad.

    though in Greek grammar he is referred to both as "he" and as "it" which either are proper terms for him.

    Pneuma is a neuter and can only be referred grammatically as such. But it can be verbally identified to masculine figures such as the Johannine parakl├Ętos or feminine ones (in Gnosticism or Judeo-Christianity, there depending on the feminine gender of ruach).

    bluesapphire,

    the communion of saints is the church's most beautiful doctrine

    I tend to agree with this "aesthetical" judgement. Perhaps because it comes close to the very essence of "religion" -- think of the ubiquitous "ancestors' 'worship'".

  • LittleToe
    LittleToe

    I moved from the strict monotheism as a JW through Tritheism to Trinitarianism to Panentheism. This later view accepts God as omnipresent in the fullest sense described by Didier, plus some...

    As such I enjoy continuous commune with the Divine and so prayer to the Holy Spirit, in the manner of Public prayers to the Father, becomes superfluous.

    James:
    Its one thing living in God, but the rational mind also likes to be able to explain it somewhat to others. You are no different. You still try to point to something that is bigger than ourselves by using words. At best we can describe something huge and all encompassing and say that its bigger than that...

  • NanaR
    NanaR

    Jim,

    Thank you for this beautiful article, and for the ones preceding it.

    This statement especially resonates with me:

    "The first and powerful change was that He gave me peace - unexpected peace with myself, with God the Father, with Him, with Christ, with the Christian faith. The kind of peace that we feel sometimes when we have a brief moment of freedom from stress ... like when we were children, just sitting in the yard, enjoying a bright sunny day, and not having a care in the world. Eacept, the peace lasts!"

    I feel that peace now every time I attend Mass (and I am not even able to take communion yet). I am reminded especially of John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." That statement directly followed Jesus' promise to send the Holy Spirit to be with the Church.

    The other scripture that came to mind was Matthew 11:29 (here I will cite the NWT reading because I like the wording): "Take my yoke upon YOU and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and YOU will find refreshment for YOUR souls." I never felt that "refreshment" at the Kingdom Hall, but now I know what that scripture means. When I go to Mass, it is food for my soul. I leave feeling peaceful, rested, with the burdens of the week lifted. I carry the peace with me into my everyday life. It has made me a happy person again. Also, I am longing for the time when I can be baptized and take communion.

    I believe it is entirely appropriate to pray to any one of the Persons of the Holy Trinity according to the nature of my petition, and I do so.

    NanaR

  • Amazing
    Amazing

    Bluesaphire, Bernadette, NanaR:

    Bluesapphire,

    Mouthy, if you can ask a friend who is a sinner on earth to intercede for you and pray for you, then why on earth couldn't you do the same with those who have already gone to their glory and are with god? the saints are the glorified members of christ's church. praying to them is no different than asking a close friend to pray for you. amazing, the communion of saints is the church's most beautiful doctrine. i relate more to those who have lived on this earth and yet sit with God now than to any other Christian teaching. i lean strongly toward agnosticism myself. but for some reason this teaching burns within me still.

    Excellent! Your comment is the Catholic view. Likewise, about 3 or 4 years ago, I considered myself what one might call a Christian agnostic. It is not a contradiction in terms. There is even a nice website devoted to those who share that point of view. I still clung to Christ, but I was struggling. I was not looking for God ... but it seems that he found me. As a Catholic before I became a JW, I never had a patron saint, though I did pray to St. Mary, mother of Jesus. (For non-Catholics, there are other St. Mary's). I suppose one day I will get around to opening up to the Saints ... after all, if they are alive in heaven, I see no reason why I should treat them as if they were disfellowshipped. Bernadette, I used to know a Catholic Sister (Dominican Order - the real teachers of the Church) who was named Sister Bernadette. She was a fiesty Mother Superior of the Convent at our school ... and she was the Principle. She was a very short woman, about 4 foot 8 inches. A high school football player was giving her some lip one day. She reached over, took a cafeteria chair, stood on it, and decked him. Those were the days when parents would cheer the sisters ... lawsuits for discipline were unheard of.

    What you said about the Father Son and holy Spirit dwelling in us seems to suggest to me that we are all talking about the same source but in putting words and names to that source we are all becoming divided. ... I often have to remind myself to stop thinking about it but to shift to a heart awareness stance, then I find that praying in words isn't necessary. I'm going to stick with this way of life as it is very peaceful.

    Well, just how God dwells in each of us is not exactly stated anywhere. But, I believe that these are three separate persons in one divinity ... just as there are millions of humans in one humanity. The three divine persons share divinity, with the Son and the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father. It is a really interesting study, and requires good historical research. I am still scratching the surface myself ... Leolaia has, in my opinion, about the most conprehensive handle on the nature of God of anyone I have met thusfar. However you choose to pray, if it brings you closer to God and brings you peace, then follow your consicence. When God wants change in any of us, he lets us know nicely ... and in a way that works for each of us individually. God does not use preachers to come and knock us over the head with a two by four.

    NanaR,

    I feel that peace now every time I attend Mass (and I am not even able to take communion yet). I am reminded especially of John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." That statement directly followed Jesus' promise to send the Holy Spirit to be with the Church.

    Yes! This is the peace I knew of the Church when growing up ... and the peace is back again. Also we don't have to debate or argue about religion anymore. We don't have to prove anything anymore. We can state what we believe and leave it to God to do the inspiring. Isn't there a verse that says to plant and water, and let God make it grow. When we do things God's way, peace finds us.

    The other scripture that came to mind was Matthew 11:29 (here I will cite the NWT reading because I like the wording): "Take my yoke upon YOU and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and YOU will find refreshment for YOUR souls." I never felt that "refreshment" at the Kingdom Hall, but now I know what that scripture means. When I go to Mass, it is food for my soul. I leave feeling peaceful, rested, with the burdens of the week lifted. I carry the peace with me into my everyday life. It has made me a happy person again. Also, I am longing for the time when I can be baptized and take communion. ... I believe it is entirely appropriate to pray to any one of the Persons of the Holy Trinity according to the nature of my petition, and I do so.

    Amen! Receiving this peace makes it much easier too, to pray for others to have peace. This is something I have finally been able to do ... to pray for others once again. Welcome to the faith ... and my oldest son called me to tell me that he was taking RCIA classes so he too can become Catholic. I have never said a word to him ... and assumed all along he was agnostic. He was Bethel-bound at one time ... and now, he is going to Church. I am very surprised as I did not have to place literature with him, or try to argue him into the Church ... what a difference from our old Kingdom Hall days.

    Jim Whitney

  • bernadette
    bernadette

    Thanks for your reply. Bernadette was the patron saint's name i took at my confirmation/1st communion (forget which) and then dropped it when I became a witness.

    Can remember being rapped on the knucles by the nuns - always deserved.

    Is there a link to Leolaea's research into the nature of God?

    Bernadette

  • Amazing
    Amazing

    Bernadette,

    Can remember being rapped on the knucles by the nuns - always deserved.

    I was only hit by one teacher in my life ... she was a lay teacher at our school. Mrs. Ambrose. I hated her guts because she sprained my wrist and left me with a welt.

    Is there a link to Leolaea's research into the nature of God?

    It's Leolaia. You can go to member directory and find Leolaia, and review the Topics posted. That's the long way. You can take a shortcut, and go to member directory and find Leolaia, and send a PM. I am sure you will get a good response.

    Better yet. You can click on Leolaia's posts or topics here: Start with topics, as it will get you to specific research right away.

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    Jim Whitney

  • JamesThomas
    JamesThomas

    Ross:

    James:
    Its one thing living in God, but the rational mind also likes to be able to explain it somewhat to others. You are no different. You still try to point to something that is bigger than ourselves by using words. At best we can describe something huge and all encompassing and say that its bigger than that...

    Actually if there were no words in my posts they would be closer to the mark.....and so beautifully Zen. It's just that one of my pet peeves is how tenaciously the mind wants to reduce and define God as if it is just another thing or personage (or three personages), just another piece or fragment of existence which moves about through time and space. This type of language most always reinforces the sense that we are separate from the Divine, and so we need to do something in order to enter it's little circle, appease it somehow or motivate it to save us and come to us. This causes a great deal of suffering in the world and divides us into the godly and the ungodly. It's all BS. What does all time and space exist within??? What is the truth of being and existence at every ones and everything core right now???

    On the other-hand I feebly -- and all too often sounding like a arrogant ass -- attempt to point to what is truly without beginning and end, and so then the actual reality of our foundational BEING and real Identity here and now. It's not about appeasing or moving towards anything apart from us. It's about seeing what IS -- ALREADY.

    If others also fumbled around trying to point to a truly INFINITE Source, rather than a somehow circumscribable, confusing and conditional one, I probably wouldn't feel a need to step in and mess up their threads.

    That said, in the end, what anyone of us says or don't say, doesnt matter.

    j

  • JamesThomas
    JamesThomas

    Ross, since you imply our messages are basically the same, why is it that when I speak of a truly unlimited and infinite God, it is most often those who boldly label themselves as "God Loving" that ignore or are offended by such posts? Why is it that generally the more scriptures a person quotes, the less likely they are interested in hearing of what truly has no beginning and no end?

    j

  • LittleToe
    LittleToe

    James:
    First post: I agree, and I love Zen for that very reason. Dansk calls me a Zen-Christian

    Second post: Because folks become preoccupied with their frameworks of reference. While I agree with what you regularly attempt to get across to people by virtue of "knowing" it at the wordless "soul" level, I'm also acutely aware that even though folks might intellectually appreciate the concept of an omnipresent "God", their frameworks of reference hinders them from conceiving of "Him" this way. They are too attached to words and the rational mind to "let go" and experience the "real".

    Most of my arguments with non-believers amount to this. Quite a few of my arguments with believers amount to this. One or two of my arguments with you amount to my acknowledging that for most people it amounts to this

    As we've discussed before, my method would be the babysteps of breaking down self-imposed barriers, whereas you advocate immediate letting go. I have issues with the pragmatism of that in a world where people have to function and can't afford being temporarily unhinged. But I believe there's room for both methods, and I suspect you know this is my opinion, bro

  • bluesapphire
    bluesapphire

    bluesapphire,

    the communion of saints is the church's most beautiful doctrine
    I tend to agree with this "aesthetical" judgement. Perhaps because it comes close to the very essence of "religion" -- think of the ubiquitous "ancestors' 'worship'".

    Actually, the point is that it is NOT "worship" to pray. Praying is an old English word that means "beseach", "request", etc. When Catholics "beseach" the saints, they are asking them to intercede for them.

    The belief is that those who have attained sainthood are with God and have closer access to him. And by virtue of their sainthood, God holds them close and dear and it is hard for him to say "no".

    Think of it this way: Would the president have a difficult time saying no to his own mother? Of course he would. Yes, he could say no. But it would be more difficult for him to say no to her, than to say his brother or his friend, right?

    The saints are as dear to God as our mothers are to us. I mean, they are that dear to him, especially the martyrs. So say, for instance, I like Saint Therese the Little Flower. And I ask her to please pray for me because I'm going through some hard times. And I ask her every day to pray for me and she is praying for me and basically, "hounding" God. Well, you get the gist. That's why Catholics pray to saints. Because first of all, they have been human and know the trials of humans. And secondly, they are in a better position to actually ask God a favor.

    The reason why I love the teaching of the Communion of Saints doesn't have anything to do with this though. I just wanted to explain the doctrine in a simple way because there are a lot of misunderstandings.

    I personally love the teaching because I love the idea of one big family consisting of those Christians on Earth still undergoing their trials and those in Heaven already in their Glory. You put it greatly: "the essence of religion". If only that's what it was all about though, right?

    Jim,

    I don't know if you remember I went back to the Catholic Church several years ago after leaving the JWs. But I am one of those who considers herself an agnostic Christian. I believe the Church has value -- a lot of value for humanity. But many aspects are irrelevant in my view. And a waste of time.

    If I pray, I usually pray to Mary. I have more in common with women. I am a Type A personality that needs to be "reigned in" frequently. I imagine Mary as my counter-self. Someone I could aspire to be more like. I know she lived in a time when women were subjugated (which is a pet peeve of mine). I know she was a mother like I am. I know she faced trials like I do. And I can only imagine how much Jesus must love her since she is the one who took care of him when he was a child on Earth.

    I have a hard time imagining praying to men. And the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not human and of course I know they're not really men, but historically they have been pictured as male. This is a turn-off to me. It irritates me. I'm sure that I'm not the only woman who might feel this way. So it's good for us to have a female personage to be able to pray to.

    BUT ... I hardly ever pray. I think most things that we go through are less important than things others are going through. So I would rather pray for peace on Earth and for a solution to certain political things I feel strongly about, etc. Praying to the Holy Spirit is an entirely new concept to me. I had never thought of that. So last night I did pray to the Holy Spirit, despite his being depicted as a "male", and we'll see what happens.

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