apollos0fAlexandria wrote: ↑6 months ago
Can you quote me a scripture where Jesus says to pray to the Father only?
Jesus' model prayer.
“….So then, this is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”. – Matthew 6:9-13
Jesus directed how we should pray. He gave an example prayer. He said to the Father. And that's it, nothing else in there. If Jesus is the Son, and not the Father, and Jesus tells us to pray to the Father, then... he's not telling us to pray to him.
Like I said, Stephen "saw" Jesus, called out to him, because he literally saw him. It's apples and oranges. Sometimes prayer can be akin to "calling out" like in the scriptures you cited. But other times, not so, I could call out to you across the street, the same phrase "call out" would be used, but I'm not "praying" to you. It's a case of prayer sometimes being compared to calling out, but calling out doesn't always equate to prayer. It's a false dichotomy to say Stephen prayed to Jesus. And that is the only case when someone ever called out to Jesus when he wasn't physically present (and even that's pushing it, because Stephen saw Jesus literally).
Prayer is communication, I agree, but it is also acknowledgement of who you see as God, it's a very specific form of communication. If I asked you, "do you pray to angels? afterall it's just like calling someone on the phone", I'm sure you would say "no of course not" (at least I hope you'd say that).
So we need to define prayer, and not be hypocrites when we do.
The argument seems to be swaying left to right "it's ok to pray to someone who isn't God because it just means calling out" - "we can't pray to angels because they are not God, but we can pray to Jesus meaning he is God". We need to make up our minds on this.
We see no other times in scripture where people pray to Jesus, only to the Father, in "Jesus' name" (meaning authority).
Jesus also tells us, the time was coming that "nobody would ask him anything, but they would ask the Father directly".
John 16:16-18, 23-28: " Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”... In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. 25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
We see here, Jesus says when he returns to Heaven to the Father (his ascension) they will no longer ask Jesus for anything at all, but they will ask the Father directly, but "in Jesus' name", of which, Jesus explains just exactly what that means when he says "this does not mean I will ask the Father on your behalf", so he's giving us a definition here, that "praying through Jesus" is not "praying TO" Jesus, in some form of second hand communication system.