Christianity--Prayers/Questions about praying
I have some questions about how to pray. I want my prayers to have more power.
Is it okay to just pray to Jesus?
Are prayers to Jesus as powerful as prayers to God?
When I pray to God, should I address him as Lord, Father or God?
When people pray to the Lord, are they praying to Jesus? I'm asking this, because Jesus is Lord.
Is praying to the Lord as powerful as praying to the Father in Jesus' name?
I want to pray the right way.
ANSWER: Hello, Kari.
Our prayers, in of themselves, have no power. It is God Who has the power, and He chooses to do whatever He wishes with it.
1) The Bible gives us an understanding of how we are to pray. In Matthew 6:6, Christ says:
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
And then, in verse 9: After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
It is impossible to pray 'only' to Jesus, for God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are still God, and they know all things, as the Son does. But we should direct our prayers to the Father, as the Bible indicates.
This doesn't mean that our prayers have to echo precisely the words found in Matthew 6. We bring our own words, but Matthew 6 gives us some good things to consider while praying.
2) Again, our prayers in of themselves have no power.
3) What matters is a person's heart attitude. As I've stated, Christ did indicate that we are to address God as the Father, but there are instances of believers addressing God as Lord (Psalm 17:1), and of believers referring to God as God (Psalm 17:6). So, I don't think it matters, since in each case proper respect is being given to the Creator.
4. Yes, Jesus hears all prayers, because He is part of the Godhead. He is eternal God. I do believe that our prayers should be directed toward the Father. Whether or not we address God as 'Father' is another question altogether, though.
5. Once more, our prayers don't have any power in of themselves. God has the power. When we pray to the Lord or pray in Jesus' name we are showing that we are praying to the One True God, the only One Who can change things for us or for those whom we're concerned about. And that is a wonderful attitude to have. We must be very humble when approaching God in prayer and understand that He is sovereign. He calls the shots, as it were. We have to accept what does or doesn't happen, but we are encouraged to pray to God repeatedly (Hebrews 4:16; James 5:16).
I hope this helps.
May God bless you,
Daniel 4:27: Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Since God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, do I have to pray to God or can I just pray to Jesus, since Jesus is God?
When I pray to Jesus, am I praying to God?
When I pray to Jesus and my prayers are answered, is God the one who is answering my prayers?
God the Father and God the Son are one. God the Holy Spirit is one with the Father and Son. Yet, they are three distinct Persons. This is a divine mystery which the human mind cannot comprehend.
All I can show you is what the Bible teaches. And Jesus in Matthew 6 encourages us to pray to the Father, not to the Son. You can pray to Jesus, and Jesus is God, but you would not be following the commandment set forth in Matthew 6.
Yes, ultimately it is God Who answers prayers. But again, there's a divine mystery, since Christ is fully God (Colossians 2:9). It seems from the Bible's Witness, though, that it is God the Father Who will answer prayers, according to His will, as it is to the Father that the believers' prayers are directed throughout the Word of God.
May God bless you,
Jeremiah 9:6: Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me, saith the LORD.