Proselytiser of Jah wrote: ↑5 months ago
As I am an Arian Christian, I obviously feel that the Father is the true God alone, and therefore, that prayer also be directed toward him alone.
However, I came across a different perception of 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 tonight, which motivated some deep pondering on my account, on whether God also declared it acceptable to also pray to the Son....
I have always felt that In scripture, it appears that all prayer is to be directed to the God Yah (YHWH) alone, the Father, as taught by Jesus himself in his famous “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”[/i]. – Matthew 6:9-13
This example prayer of Jesus, and seemingly most prayers of his Apostles, were directed to the Father.
However, some also consider it appropriate to pray to Jesus, on the basis of scriptures such as John 14:14, in which Jesus says “if you ask ‘me’ for anything in my name, I will do it”
However, I considered further in scripture, that he explained to his Disciples, that after he ascended, they would no longer ask Jesus for anything, but instead were to ask the Father “directly” for all things in prayer in his name. Which may be therefore a proof of a command from Jesus to pray to the Father alone, just as he did in his model example prayer.
” 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.’ 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. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete…. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father’.”
– John 16:16-18, 23-24, 26-28
But I admit, it can be argued strongly that one may also pray to the Son Jesus who has been given all authority in Heaven, on the basis of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9:
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me”.
The “Lord” here, can be argued to either be the Father, or the Son, for we see Paul pleads with “the Lord”, and in response, that Lord said “my power”… of which Paul then cited to be the “power of Christ”, implying that the speaker may have been Jesus, therefore showing that Paul may have been praying or petitioning Jesus directly.
Of course, one may also argue, that the Lord here is the Father, and that the “power of Christ” is the power of God, which is channelled “through” Christ to his followers.
So I'd appreciate some thoughts!
Perhaps I was wrong all this time about prayers to Jesus being inappropriate. I still of course am secure in my belief of him not being God Almighty, but perhaps him having all authority under Heaven, other than over God himself, also allows for prayer to be directed to him.
Nevertheless, I'll likely still pray to directly to the Father, even if praying to Jesus "sounds nice" (as it would be nice to also praise the Son directly as Lord and Master), but based upon his words of asking the Father directly, and the Lord's Prayer, these things make it uncertain for me.
Thank you for starting this thread, it is an all-important topic.
Jesus had said ...I am going my way to the Father. Also whatever you ask the Father in my name I will do this in order that the Father may be glorified in connection with the Son. If you ask anything in my name I will do it
The common denominator here is the name
Yehovah, and the name
Yehoshua/Jesus. Yehovah means, 'he comes to be, and Yeshua means 'he comes to be' saves. So the phrase 'Jehovah God,' as at Gen 3:9, literally means He comes to be God
. Paul who was fluent in Hebrew and Greek would have known what the phrase 'Jehovah God' meant, and what Jesus had said when he gave us what is now called the Lord's prayer, Mt 6:5-13). The penny dropped for him when he was told, my undeserved kindness is sufficient for you
. At that point, it all came together for him.
So let's see if we can understand what Paul understood when he was told my undeserved kindness is sufficient for you
Jesus referred to himself as the 'Son of Man' and so appropriately included himself when he tells us to pray, Our Father in the heavens
. He had told them that they must not pray as the hypocrites do
, who like to pray in public places to be seen by others. So a person's attitude, when they pray, is all important. And he also told them not to ask for the same things over and over again
because the Father knows you need these things
even before they ask, (Mt 6:5-8).
So what is this prayer all about, if it is not about the things the Father already knows we need?
He said to them "You must pray then this way. "Our Father who is in the heavens, hallowed/sanctified be your name
. The verb be
is an aorist imperative verb, so it is not a request but more of a command or vow, something that must happen. Let your kingdom/rule Come
, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
and be done
are aorist imperative verbs, it is something that must happen. And so Jehovah/HeComesToBe God
, comes to be God, when his will is done
on earth as it is in heaven. We are in effect telling the Father to make this happen.
Give us our daily bread for this day
. Again, the verb, give us
, is aorist imperative, we are telling Jehovah to do this. But what is the bread that is here referred to, since Jesus has already told us not to pray for the same things over and over again, for the Father knows we need these things?
When Jesus had spoken to the Samaritan woman at the well his disciples had gone off to buy food/bread. When they returned the disciples interrupted the conversation, saying: "Rabbi, eat"
, and he told them: "I have food to eat which you do not know,"
adding, my food is for me to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish that work
, (Jhn 4:8,27,31,34). This is the bread we demand when we say: Give us our daily bread for the day
. That spiritual bread is different each day, as we approach him about what concerns us most that day. Even as Paul did, and was told ' my undeserved kindness is sufficient for you,'
. For instance today. I was at a loss as to what to write on the forum and I demanded the Father give me my bread for this day. I had briefly looked at your thread before, but today when I sat down at my computer I felt the need to read it properly and answer your question in full. Each of us has different things that concern them each day and so the bread he gives is different each day.
After getting our bread, we are to pray: And forgive us our trespasses/debts as also we forgive those who trespass against us
. The verb, forgive us
, is again aorist-imperative. We are telling the father to follow through on what Jesus had said would happen at Mt 18: 23-33. The second forgive, is a simple aorist verb, it depends to what extent we forgive another that has trespassed against us. We are telling Jehovah to deal fairly with us to the same extent as we deal fairly with others.
But why do we say this immediately after we have been given our bread? Because when we are given our bread, the answer to our prayer, we feel great, so great that we may begin to spout (cf Jhn 4:14), as I am doing here.
To help us regain our balance, get back on an even keel, we ask: Do not lead us into temptation
. This is an aorist subjunctive request, a plea. We are in effect saying, 'please do not let me fall into temptation.' Because when we are given our bread we feel special and are inclined to be hubristic, even as was David, when Jehovah killed seventy thousand in Israel, (read 2Sam 23:1 through to 2Sam 24:15). David had overstepped the mark, and become too big for his boots.
This is what Paul understood when he was told 'My undeserved kindness is sufficient for you
,' (cf 2 Sam 24:1,3), and this is what he attempted to explain to the Corinthians, (cf 2Cor 12:1-5). He preferred is weaknesses because they held him in check.
The prayer ends with us saying: But deliver us from evil
. The verb deliver us
is again aorist-imperative. We are telling our Father to do whatever it takes to stop us from falling into the trap of our own making. To bring us back to our senses. Because what happens when we feel special, whether we voice it or not, it makes those to whom we address our remarks feel inferior, and we may become the hypocrite, as in Mt 6:2 & Mt 7:1-5.
So this is a prophetic cautionary prayer, which we pray with ever-increasing intensity as the need for Jehovah's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, grows more urgent by the day. And as we grow in understanding, we plead with Jehovah to stop us from growing too big for our boots on the one hand, and yet give us the discipline, strength and courage to say what needs to be said.