Can I pray aright if there is no Trinity?

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God (the Father), and there is one mediator between God (the Father) and men, the man Christ Jesus (the Son), who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. – 1 Timothy 2:1-6) 

…how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God (the Father), purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. 15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. – Hebrews 9:14-15

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. – Romans 8:26-27

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God (the Father), waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. – Jude 1:20-21

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. – John 14:13-14

The Celtic Knot symbol of the Trinity

First, let’s do a little bit of theology. We need to parse this term, Trinity. I think we all know it refers to God as the three-in-one God. One God, three persons. But let’s take it a little bit further. We need to understand the Trinity in both ontological terms and economic terms. Now, I hope I didn’t lose anyone already. It’s not that complicated. Here’s what I mean.

The Ontological Trinity is the teaching that each member of the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, possesses the same divine nature. In other words, the Father has the quality of being God as does the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is important because only God has this divine essence. We do not.

The Economic Trinity is the teaching that within the Godhead each of the members has a different role. The Father sent the Son (John 6:44; 8:18 ), but the Son did not send the Father. The Son came down from heaven not to do his own will but the will of the Father (John 6:38). The Father gave the Son (John 3:16), who is the only begotten (John 3:16), to perform the redemptive work (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24). Neither God the Father or God the Holy Spirit were given to the world to redeem it. The Father and Son sent the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit does not send the Father or the Son. The Father, who chose us before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), predestined us (Eph. 1:5; Rom. 8:29), and gave the elect to the Son (John 6:39). The elect are not given to the Holy Spirit or the Father. It was not the Father or the Holy Spirit who became incarnate–but only the Son. Therefore, within the Economic Trinity we can see a difference in function among its members. But, these differences do not mean that each member is not equally divine.

I want to thank Matt Slick for the previous two concise paragraphs.

If God were unitarian, there would be no adequate mediator between God and man. We would be approaching God on our own in all our sin. That doesn’t work. We would be vaporized by his holy presence. Sorry about that. There must be a mediator.

Paul makes it clear in 1 Timothy when he exhorts us to prayer that there is only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. It is through the mediator, the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God, that we can approach the Father. He bore our sin for us and has given us his righteousness that allows us access to the Father “in his name.”

Sooner or later every Christian will face a dilemma. What to do, or how to pray. It isn’t obvious and, we don’t know. So, what is the solution? The fellowship of the Holy Spirit. When we face these deeply agonizing circumstances that may have life and death consequences, either literally or metaphorically, we have to rely on the aid of the Holy Spirit to pray according to the will of God. Paul calls it “groanings too deep for words.” The beauty of this kind of prayer is that we are entering, in a special way, into the fellowship of God. We are coming to the Father, in the name of the Son, in the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to lay our hearts before him in holy resignation to the will of God. This kind of prayer is at the same time a prayer of giving up and a prayer of tenacious grasping to the promises of God and his amazing work of power. This is not possible without a Trinitarian God.

It is the Trinity that allows me to have fellowship with God. It is the Trinity that allows me to bring my petitions to God. It is the Trinity that grants me a mediator. Without the Trinity, not only can I not pray aright, there is no Christianity. There is no Christianity if there is no Trinity.

And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” – Isaiah 6:3

And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” – Revelation 4:8

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