Many of you may be familiar with the "Jesus prayer" – "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner."
I have been praying an extended Trinitarian version of the prayer for awhile (that I think Tom Wright wrote), that goes like this:
Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,
Set up your kingdom in our midst.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
Have mercy on me, a sinner.
Holy Spirit, Breath of the Living God,
Renew me and all the world.
The Trinity is probably the most important "fact" about God. It’s such a strange and unruly doctrine, this One-in-Threeness that the very early Christians worshiped and prayed to. It is really what makes Christianity distinct from everything else.
Praying in a Trinitarian way teaches us to speak and thus think of God as He really is (so much as that is possible). It is incredibly easy for prayer to become idolatrous, where it becomes a "wish-dream", a prayer to a bigger version of ourselves or an image of God that looks just like a slightly more transcendent version of our favorite TV celebrities or political candidates.
Trinitarian prayer saves us from this kind of idolatry by training us to pray (more) according to reality. If we can speak of God more rightly, we shall think of Him more rightly, and thus be able to live for him more fully, because we will have been formed by him more completely. Here’s another Trinitarian prayer from this morning’s entry from the Missio Dei Breviary:
O God, may your abundant grace, the reconciling love of Christ, and the indwelling presence of the Spirit make us new creatures, so that as old things pass away all things may become new. May you send us as your ambassadors of reconciliation into the world, and into our neighborhood.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The only theological quibble I might bring up about the above prayer is that we don’t need to pray that God would make us new creatures, because we already have been made new creatures ("Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" – 2 Cor 5:17). Perhaps a better prayer is for wisdom and courage to live up to, to lean into our "new creationness."
I have a hunch that praying in a Trinitarian way has many other implications and important ramifications. What have been your experiences in this? What kinds of ramifications do you see?