Question...is it okay to pray to the Son (as we do to the Father)?
Date: July 20/2003
I got this question from over in the East:
I wanted to ask that can Jesus be prayed to and worshiped as God the Father is? Thanks.
Yes, He can...in fact, this honors the Father at the same time.
Look at just a couple of scriptures (and comments by commentators):
First on WORSHIP:
John 5.22: 'For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 in order that all may honor the Son, EVEN AS they honor the Father.' [Emphasis mine]
From the Bible Background Commentary: "God sometimes gave others honor as his representatives (Ps 2:11–12), but no one was ever to be honored to the same degree as God (Is 42:8; 48:11; cf. Ex 20:5). Jesus’ hearers could easily construe Jesus’ statement here as a claim to deity."
And in Hebrews 1.6, God orders the ANGELS to worship Jesus: "And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, 'And let all the angels of God worship Him.' "
Then, on PRAYER:
The first martyr prayed to the Exalted Jesus in Acts 7:
"And they went on stoning Stephen as he called upon the Lord and said, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!' 60 And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them!' And having said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7.59ff)
And the Maranatha in 1 Cor 16.22 is a prayer to Jesus: "Come, O Lord".
Ananias in Acts 9.10ff is praying to the Lord Jesus.
Normally, we pray to the Father in the NAME of the Son (with his authority and because of His adoption of us as His own), but scripture shows (above) that to pray to Jesus ALSO INVOLVES the Father (and the Spirit) ANYWAY. Here is a comment by a godly Scholar, Lehman Strauss (in Sense and Nonsense about Prayer, Moody Press:1974, pp.120-121):
"7. Is it ever proper to address a prayer directly to the Holy Spirit?
"Most prayers in the Bible are addressed to God the Father. Jesus said, "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven" (Mt 6:9). "Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you" (Jn 16:23). To these statements Paul added, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph 3:14). From these and many other passages, it seems that believers usually call God "Father" in their prayers. Jesus also called Him "Father" when He prayed (Jn 17:1,5,11,21,24,25).
"On the other hand, I cannot find anything in the Bible to prohibit a believer's praying to Christ or to the Holy Spirit. Each member of the Trinity performs a unique ministry. Stephen prayed to the Lord Jesus (Ac 7:59). It is a perfectly natural and normal thing for any Christian to thank Jesus for dying for his sins. I have done this frequently in my own prayers. And why not? It was not the first nor the third Person in the Trinity who died on the cross. When I thank Jesus for shedding His blood for me, I address Him personally and directly.
"It is the function of the Holy Spirit to teach the Christian (Jn 14:26; 16:13; 1 Co 2:9-11). When I come to study the Bible, I ask the Holy Spirit to guide and teach me. I do not ask the Father or Jesus to do that for me which is the prescribed ministry of the Holy Spirit. For many years I have prayed in this way to the Holy Spirit, and the requests have been granted. I cannot conceive of God refusing to answer such a prayer. The members of the Godhead are coequal; each can be addressed in prayer."
I hope this stuff helps some, brother!
Love in Jesus,
The Christian ThinkTank...[http://www.Christianthinktank.com] (Reference Abbreviations)