First, I want to say that it really doesn’t matter to God.
Why? Because they are all ONE in every way. And they hear our prayers together, as One God.
We’re in a relationship with God as Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. That relationship is affected similarly to the way that we’re in relationship to people here on earth.
For example, the way I relate and communicate with my wife should be sensitive to what is actually happening at that moment. If we were on a date, and I spent the whole evening telling her what a great housekeeper she is, I would be missing the primary purpose of going on a date. In that moment it would be most appropriate to tell her about my love for her and how beautiful she is. It wouldn’t be wrong to tell her she’s a great housekeeper, but it wouldn’t be the best time to say that.
If we are after a real, authentic relationship with God, it’s helpful to pray and relate to Him as He has affected our lives in the specific roles in which He operates at particular times.
I will briefly explain how this works for me.
Journaling helps me with this because when I write down my prayers in the form of a letter, I have to address the letter to someone. I begin all of my journaling to God with either “Father,” “Jesus,” or “Holy Spirit.” The title I choose is a reflection of what is actually happening at that moment in my relationship with God. I’m responding to the role I see Him in at that moment.
When I’m writing to my Father in heaven, I’m usually journaling/talking to Him about areas of my heart that I’m asking Him to heal. The conversation might be my response to Him concerning a Psalm that I’ve read about His faithfulness and His unfailing love, followed by my asking Him to help me trust Him more or asking Him to help me receive the love He has for me.
These are usually my most intimate moments with God.
After all, He is my Father who knows everything about my heart, my wounds, and my journey of healing that He sacrificed His Son to bring me. He is the one to whom I bring my deepest sorrows and greatest pain. He is also the one with whom I share my greatest joys and triumphs.
I see and experience Jesus relationally as my friend. Most of my journaling and prayers about life’s joys and struggles having to do with family, friends, and work are all directed toward Him. Jesus is the one to whom I babble on about everything practical. If I’m having an issue with work, He hears about it. If I’m dealing with parenting or marriage struggles, I’m asking Jesus to help me.
He is the one to whom I bring all my problems, concerns and burdens.
When I’m alone, Jesus is the one I picture in my mind being there with me. I want Him there with me, doing life with me. When I go surfing, I surf with Jesus.
He has walked the walk I’m called to walk as His follower. He knows best, and He knows me best, so I bring all my life to Him so that I can do all of life with Him. He is my companion, counselor, friend, and HOMIE!!
That leaves the Holy Spirit, who, for some, is the “black sheep” of the Trinity. I think that many of us struggle the most to understand His role in our prayer life. Again, I can only share how I relate to Him, so here goes:
I find myself addressing Him in my journal when I’m desperate for His power to invade my life to bring transformation or change to me or to others.
Before I teach, lead a meeting, have a difficult conversation, or pray for someone to be healed, I ask Him to come and fill me, empower me, strengthen me, and give me wisdom to do what I sense God is calling me to do. He is the source of all power and hope for things to actually change. He is THE CATALYST for all change in a person or in this world. He is the one who makes “God’s Kingdom come and God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
I have been journaling and praying like this for years and don’t even think about it anymore. But, as I look back on my journey with God, it has been helpful to address Him as my heart naturally feels led to respond. Over time this pattern has emerged, but I didn’t start out trying to fit Him into these categories.
We are all different and how we relate to God is different. I hope this helps you to relate to God better in order to experience real, authentic relationship with Him.
Remember, God (Father, Son and Spirit) hears and answers every one of our prayers. What is most important is that we are praying to Him and including Him in every aspect of our life.
If it helps to pray specifically to Jesus, the Father, or the Holy Spirit, then go for it. If it doesn’t, then don’t. Either way, pray, pray, pray!