All Christian prayer is trinitarian prayer, and this is true whether the one who calls on God in prayer recognizes it or not. Its foundation, direction, and grain are given by God’s saving economy in which the Christian is caught up: Christians pray by the Spirit, through the Son, to God the Father. The Father is the object of prayer not merely because Christians follow the pattern and teaching of Jesus, but also because, as adopted sons and daughters and coheirs with Christ, God is their Father and knows their needs before they ask (Matt. 6:8-9; Rom. 8:15-24; Gal. 3:29; 4:5-6; Eph. 1:5; 3:1; Titus 3:7). Christians share in the sonship of the Son who continually intercedes for them as their high priest and brother; their prayers never initiate but only join (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). And even this joining is a gift of grace, for the Holy Spirit is their gift who cries out from within them, “Abba Father!” (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6). When their own words fail, the Spirit groans for them according to God’s will, finding expression when the one who prays can find no words at all (Rom. 8:26). Hans Urs von Balthasar thus writes: “The very possibility of Christian contemplation is founded entirely on the doctrine of the Trinity.”2