We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pray to Whom?

This short article has been floating around in my head for a while now, so I finally decided to get it on paper.

Here is the problem:  I have heard people praying to Jesus and to the Holy Spirit, and also hear them ending a prayer “in your name.”  

If we are praying to God the Father, how does it make sense to end the prayer with, “In your name”?  This is saying we are going through God the Father to talk to God the Father!  Even if we were to pray to Jesus, would that even make sense to end the prayer “in your name”?  Of course not.  And why is it that the only people I’ve heard praying to the Holy Spirit are charismatics?

Here’s the question:  Biblically speaking, to whom do we pray?  God the Father? Jesus? The Holy Spirit?  Is there a distinction — after all, aren’t they all the one God?

In the Trinity there are different roles for the different persons: Jesus is the mediator between man and God, and the Spirit is the indwelling counselor.  While they are all God, our prayers are not directed to all persons.

Let’s look at “the Lord’s Prayer,” which is what Jesus used to teach the disciples.  To whom does he pray — the Father or the Spirit?  The Father.

Look at Paul’s letters; in some of them he begins by saying that in his prayers for the readers he thanks God.  Notice he never says he thanks Jesus.

The clincher is Colossians 3:17.  Paul says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  (NIV)

So, our prayers should always be to God the Father, through Jesus our mediator; which is why we end our prayers with, “In Jesus’ Name” (although I maintain we don’t need to say that in order for our prayers to God be through Jesus, since Jesus is our mediator and high priest who allows us to go directly to God the Father).

1 comment:

Marie said...

Oh thank-you for posting this Glen. There is such freedom in knowing this truth! It's like a burden has been lifted from my heart.