Catholic Prayer Question? (from a Baptist)


#1

Why do Catholics start and end their prayers with" in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit," in contrast to “in Jesus name we pray” which is what we Baptists usually say. (or something similar.)

We prayer through Jesus name because Jesus is our mediator.

John 14:13-14
13Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you shall ask me any thing in my name, that I will do.

Not that I find anything at all wrong with it, I was just wondering why you pray in the name of the Trinity?

Thanks,

RyanL’s Wife


#2

I’m not sure if the question has a definitive answer. There is, of course, nothing wrong with offering prayer in the name of Jesus. At the end of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus tells the apostles to go and make disciples of all nations, “baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Since Jesus himself requires that we invoke the Holy Trinity in bringing new Christians into the Church, I suppose the Church just naturally carried that invocation into many of its other prayers.

Mostly it is used to begin a prayer, more so than to end a prayer.


#3

Actually, Catholics do both. We begin prayer in the name of the Trinity (especially corporate prayer, such as the Mass or the Liturgy of the Hours which is the daily prayer of the Church) as a reaffirmation of our belief in the Trinity and to invoke the full name of God, and close with it for the same reasons.

And, we end our prayers in “Jesus’ name” or in “Christ’s name” or “through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever” which is the longest from of asking through Jesus’ name for we too believe that Jesus in the one mediator between man and the Father.

If you are also wondering about invoking in Mary’s name, we would pray something like “in Christ’s name we pray, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary” because she is one of our intercessors between us and Christ, her Son, but not between us and the Father. Of course, we can address any of the Persons of the Trinity alone, and often do.


#4

[RyanL’s Wife]Why do Catholics start and end their prayers with" in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit," in contrast to “in Jesus name we pray” which is what we Baptists usually say. (or something similar.)

Because we believe in the Trinity and pronounce it in prayer as Matthew 28:17-20 says:

"When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the **name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, **teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Notice how it says in the “name” of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and not names, the passage is using a singular term for “name;” this is among other passages a very pursuasive argument against those who deny the Trinity.

We prayer through Jesus name because Jesus is our mediator.

We also use the prayer “through Jesus Christ our Lord” which is praying through Jesus as our mediator.

John 14:13-14

13Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you shall ask me any thing in my name, that I will do.

Not that I find anything at all wrong with it, I was just wondering why you pray in the name of the Trinity?

You being a Baptist would also agree that Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity, and since we both agree that the Trinity persists of three persons and one God, to pray in Jesus’ name or the name of the Holy Spirit or the Father doesn’t matter since when we are praying we are always affirming ONE God.
In Catholic theology there is a term called the divine circumincession or paraclesis which means that where the Father is so is the Son and Holy Spirit and where the Son is so is the Father and Holy Spirit etc. The divine Trinity does everything perfectly within the three persons yet one God.
And I also used to be a Baptist as I grew up a Southern Baptist and I know they agree with and teach correctly, the Holy Trinity.


#5

Hi Amy,
Here’s a GREAT explanation of what this simplest of Catholic prayers means to us.

The Sign of the Cross

“In the name of the Father”- May God be in my mind in all that I do this day and all the days of my life.

“and of the name of the Son”- May Christ Reign in my Heart that I may be His hands and feet to help others that I may meet along the way.

“and of the Holy Spirit”- May God’s love guide me, protect me, and bring me safely home to My Father in Heaven when this life’s journey is through.

“Amen,”

One thing that a priest once pointed out to me was that it is also the most comprehensive prayer for its size in that it speaks of so many of the beliefs of Christians.

  1. The Trinity
  2. The Incarnation
  3. The diety of Jesus
  4. His sacrifice for our sins on the cross
  5. The diety of the Holy Spirit

and there may even be more that I have forgotten, but that is what really stuck in my mind at the time.
Pax tecum,


#6

In Catholic theology there is a term called the divine circumincession or paraclesis which means that where the Father is so is the Son and Holy Spirit and where the Son is so is the Father and Holy Spirit etc. The divine Trinity does everything perfectly within the three persons yet one God.

And I also used to be a Baptist as I grew up a Southern Baptist and I know they agree with and teach correctly, the Holy Trinity.

Great post, Bishopite! One teensy-weensy point: the Greek version of circumincession “perichoresis.” Paraclesis is something else.

I thought Baptists held to this understanding also. Was I wrong?


#7

in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit

could just as easily be said as

In the name of:
God the Father,
God the Son,
God the Holy Spirit.

Plus it corresponds to the disciplined act of “Crossing Ourselves”

God the Father, we touch the head
God the Son, we touch the heart
God the Holy Spirt, we touch breast to breast in essence of the cross that we each must bear in order to follow Christ.

Before the reading of the Gospel, we do minature cross on the head, the lips, and the heart with the implication that the “'May the Gospel be on my Mind, Upon my Lips, and in My Heart” just like the Jews that touch the Scroll containing Deuteronomy 6 with the Implication that the “May the Ten Commmandments be on my Mind, Upon my Lips, and in my Heart”

Our own faith is the fulfillment, the continuation, and the perfection of the Law, the The Prophets, the Old Testament, and the Jewish traditions.

<>< :thumbsup:


#8

[quote=RyanL’s Wife]Why do Catholics start and end their prayers with" in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit," in contrast to “in Jesus name we pray” which is what we Baptists usually say. (or something similar.)
[/quote]

Stated another way, it might be more accurate to ask: Why do Catholics, Orthodox, many Anglicans and some Lutherans — in other words, most of the Christians in the world for most of the history of Christianity— start and end their prayers this way, and smaller, more recently emerging Christian groups, like Evangelicals, fundamentalists, Baptists, etc, etc, do not? :slight_smile:


#9

This tradition goes back to the earliest roots of the Church. Invoking the name of God like that was considered making an oath. This is traced back to Roman soldiers, if not farther. In 110AD, Pliny the Younger, a Roman provincial Governor, recorded that the Christians made an oath to their God during Mass. Scott Hahn, in “Swear to God”, states that this is referring to the sign of the cross.

Notworthy


#10

Thanks everyone!

Like I said, I don’t have a problem with it. I was just curious as to the why and where it came from. But I think I have my answers now.

Thanks,

RyanL’s Wife


#11

[quote=mercygate]Great post, Bishopite! One teensy-weensy point: the Greek version of circumincession “perichoresis.” Paraclesis is something else.

I thought Baptists held to this understanding also. Was I wrong?
[/quote]

Thank you for the correction and I apologize for the mistake, which could be a rather big one if taken incorrectly. You are correct it is spelled perichoresis, a term used with homoosuis, of the same substance. And yes Baptists would hold to this theological term also since they also affirm the Trinity, however I’m not sure if they use the word perichoresis in their theological writings :slight_smile:


#12

Since Jesus came in the name of the Father (John 5:42) and the Holy Spirit comes in the name of Jesus, the Son (John 14:26), praying in the name of Jesus is actually the same as praying in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The latter expression simply makes explicit what is implied in the former expression.


#13

[quote=NotWorthy]This tradition goes back to the earliest roots of the Church. Invoking the name of God like that was considered making an oath. This is traced back to Roman soldiers, if not farther. In 110AD, Pliny the Younger, a Roman provincial Governor, recorded that the Christians made an oath to their God during Mass. Scott Hahn, in “Swear to God”, states that this is referring to the sign of the cross.Notworthy
[/quote]

I just finished reading this book and would recommend it highly. Hahn is strong on the idea of covenants and the sign of the cross can be understood as a renewal of our covenant relationship with God.


#14

[quote=RyanL’s Wife]Why do Catholics start and end their prayers with" in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit," in contrast to “in Jesus name we pray” which is what we Baptists usually say. (or something similar.)

We prayer through Jesus name because Jesus is our mediator.

John 14:13-14
13Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you shall ask me any thing in my name, that I will do.

Not that I find anything at all wrong with it, I was just wondering why you pray in the name of the Trinity?

Thanks,

RyanL’s Wife
[/quote]

Catholics do everything in the name of the Trinity-Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


#15

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Bless us O Lord, for these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, though Christ our Lord, Amen.

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Now, that’s a pretty typical Catholic prayer before eating. Any objections? :smiley:


#16

[quote=RobNY]In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Bless us O Lord, for these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, though Christ our Lord, Amen.

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Now, that’s a pretty typical Catholic prayer before eating. Any objections? :smiley:
[/quote]

As I said before, I don’t object to praying in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I was just asking for a reason as to WHY it is done… As stated before, I know why I, as a Baptist, pray in Jesus name --because he is our mediator. I was just curious as to the reasoning behind praying in the name of the trinity. You see, if I am going to convert to Catholicism, I NEED to know the rhyme and reason behind everything I will be doing as a Catholic, I am not one that can just say I’ll do it because you said so. I am just trying to understand it, among numerous other things, in order to convince myself the Catholic church is the true Church…

That being said, I have been given great answer in this thread, so thank you to everyone who clarified the actual reasons behind it.


#17

Here is a simple theological answer. There is one God and three divine persons–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Where the Father is, so is the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Where the Son is, so is the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Where the Holy Spirit is, so is the the Father and the Son.

So when we pray to the Trinity, we are truly praying to Jesus…and the Father…and the Holy Spirit.

The Trinity, one in substance, and undivided.

When the baptists pray in Jesus’ name, they are also praying to the Father and the Holy Spirit—the Trinity (whether they know it or not) :slight_smile:


#18

[quote=RyanL’s Wife]You see, if I am going to convert to Catholicism, I NEED to know the rhyme and reason behind everything I will be doing as a Catholic, I am not one that can just say I’ll do it because you said so. I am just trying to understand it, among numerous other things, in order to convince myself the Catholic church is the true Church.

[/quote]

Ahhhhhhhh, “Trust, but verify”!:smiley:

Seriously, I think you’ll find that you will enjoy the fruits of your labor so much moreso when you come to understand why we do what we do, as you are trying to do right now! Good work!!!

Notworthy


#19

RyanL’swife, I copied this out for you rather than providing a link because this web site only keeps its material up for a couple of days.

From a letter by Fulgentius of Ruspe, bishop
Christ lives for ever to make intercession for us

Notice, at the conclusion of our prayer we never say, “through the Holy Spirit”, but rather, “through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord”. Through the mystery of the Incarnation, Jesus Christ became man, the mediator of God and man. He is a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. By shedding his own blood he entered once and for all into the Holy Places. He did not enter a place made by human hands, a mere type of the true one; but, he entered heaven itself, where he is at God’s right hand interceding for us. Quite correctly, the Church continues to reflect this mystery in her prayer.
This mystery of Jesus Christ the high priest is reflected in the apostle Paul’s statement: Through him, then, let us always offer the sacrifice of praise to God, the fruit of lips that profess belief in his name. We were once enemies of the Father, but have been reconciled through the death of Christ. Through him then we offer our sacrifice of praise, our prayer to God. He became our offering to the Father, and through him our offering is now acceptable. It is for this reason that Peter the apostle urges us to be built up as living stones into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices pleasing to God through Jesus Christ. This then is the reason why we offer prayer to God our Father, but through Jesus Christ our Lord.
When we speak of Christ’s priesthood, what else do we mean than the incarnation? Through this mystery, the Son of God, though himself ever remaining God, became a priest. To him along with the Father, we offer our sacrifice. Yet, through him the sacrifice we now offer is holy, living and pleasing to God. Indeed, if Christ had not sacrificed himself for us, we could not offer any sacrifice. For it is in him that our human nature becomes a redemptive offering. When we offer our prayers through him, our priest, we confess that Christ truly possesses the flesh of our race. Clearly the Apostle refers to this when he says: Every high priest is taken from among men. He is appointed to act on behalf of these same men in their relationship to God; he is to offer gifts and sacrifices to God.
We do not, however, only say “your Son” when we conclude our prayer. We also say, “who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit”. In this way we commemorate the natural unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is clear, then, that the Christ who exercises a priestly role on our behalf is the same Christ who enjoys a natural unity and equality with the Father and the Holy Spirit.


#20

Hey to the baptist considering conversion to the church:

how did it go? this thread is well over a year old, so how about a follow up? what did you decide about the church?

Journey Home on EWTN is an EXCELLENT series for those considering conversion to the Catholic faith. it helped me get through RCIA, when I had questions about the faith.
I am now enjoying the fullness of the faith and am proud to have joined the Church.

peace:thumbsup:


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