“Sometimes I hear Christians refer to God as “Father”, other times they talk about God as Jesus, and then who or what is the Holy Spirit? And which one do you pray TO?”
This one used to stump me big time. Here’s the scoop:
Christians believe in something called the Trinity – “Tri” = 3. Three persons (not 3 gods) in ONE God. It’s kind of like a 3-leaf clover. This can get deep and others can explain it better I’m sure, but basically here’s what Christians believe:
- We believe in God the Father who created the world and all of us — He is one person, or one part of the Trinity.
- Jesus the Son, who was sent to earth by His (and our) Father to save the world from their sins — He is the second person, and the second part of the Trinity.
- And the Holy Spirit who Jesus sent to us, to live inside His followers, to help us know how to live — He is the third person, or the third part of the Trinity.
As a Catholic Christian, when I pray, I almost always cross myself and pray in the name of all 3 persons, and call them all “Lord”. Sometimes I may just speak to Jesus, but because all three are God, I’m really speaking with all three anyway. It just depends on who I feel I can relate to more at the moment – God, my Father in heaven who created me, or Jesus who walked the earth and knows how it feels to be human, or the Holy Spirit who lives in all of us and connects us as a body of believers, and who fires us up to love well and serve others.
So no matter which person of the Trinity you hear someone pray TO, as a Christian they’re just praying to one God. Some Christian denominations don’t stress the Trinity as much as others though, and I think that’s what can confuse people, too.