Who was Paul Praying To? (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

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Proselytiser of Jah
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Who was Paul Praying To? (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

#1 Post by Proselytiser of Jah » 2 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”. – 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.
"The fruitage of the Spirit is; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control..." Galatians 5:22-23

goghtherefore
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Re: Who was Paul Praying To? (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

#2 Post by goghtherefore » 2 months ago

Hi Proselytiser of Jah

I like to keep in mind synonyms for the word pray:

ask
beseech
recite
urge
adjure
appeal
brace
crave
entreat
implore
importune
invoke
petition
request
say
solicit
sue
supplicate
commune with
cry for
invocate


.o2 goghtherefore
“This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!”
Luke 9:35

Get out of her
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Re: Who was Paul Praying To? (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

#3 Post by Get out of her » 2 months ago

If we would be praying to Jesus rather than the Father, then there would of course be no reason to ask for things in Jesus' "name." (Joh 14:14)

Prayer is part of worship, which Jesus himself made clear goes only to Jehovah. (Joh 4:10) (Re 22:8, 9, 16)

Since Jesus is our leader and exemplar, we could also simply consider the question of who it was that he always prayed to?

Agape love;
Sol

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Re: Who was Paul Praying To? (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

#4 Post by Stranger » 2 months ago

Get out of her wrote: 2 months ago If we would be praying to Jesus rather than the Father, then there would of course be no reason to ask for things in Jesus' "name." (Joh 14:14)

Hi Sol,

The scripture plainly says that if you want Jesus to do something for you then pray in His Name and HE will do it. It does not say to to pray to Jehovah and then make mention of Jesus' name at the end and then hope that Jehovah might get the message. Very plain and simple without cognitive dissonance.



Stranger

Get out of her
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Re: Who was Paul Praying To? (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

#5 Post by Get out of her » 2 months ago

Hello again Stranger:

If you were to examine the Greek to English interlinears you will find that the translators actually recognize the rendering of John 14:14 that both Paj and yourself are citing as a mistranslation. In both the 13th AND the 14th verse of this chapter we find this statement of Jesus rendered as follows:

13 "And whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, so that the FATHER may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in my name, this I will do." (Joh 14:13, 14)

We might notice once again that as always, Jesus is directing all glory and honor to his father rather than to himself. Nevertheless if we are paying close attention to the context we find that Jesus is once again reminding his fellow anointed brothers who were actually SUBMITTING themselves to the teachings and commands of the prophets or "two witnesses" (on this fifth foretold occasion of the "seven times" in which this reconciliation was foretold to occur), that in do doing they were now "IN" or "ONE WITH the Father;" sometimes translated as- "in UNION with" the Father. (Joh 14:20) Compare (Joh 17:22)

Once again the holy kingdom covenant that was once again being renewed at that time was also described as a MARRIAGE covenant, and this arrangement or holy union was ALWAYS identified in this manner of "oneness." (Mt 25:10) (Re 21:2, 9) (Ge 2:24) While the spiritually adulterous violations of this holy marriage covenant would always result in the "divorcing" spoken of in accounts like Jeremiah 3:8, what we are considering here in the setting and context of John 14 is yet another of the reconciliations foretold for this period of the "gentile times." (Lu 21:24) Among the things this points to therefore is something else that is very problematic when it come to the notion of wanting to pray to or even worship Jesus.

Once again this "Christ" the scriptures always speak of (a word which once again simply means-anointed one) is ultimately identified as a "body of MANY members." (1 Cor 12:12) (Ro 12:4, 5)Assuming we are anointed or otherwise among what Jesus identified also as his "brothers," endeavoring to worship the Christ would therefore basically amount to SELF worship. (Mt 25:40) Moreover, when Jesus gave his fellow anointed brothers instructions on how to pray, he made it clear that these prayers were to be directed towards their "FATHER," certainly not one of their brothers. (Mt 6:9)

Agape love;
Sol

lamesa
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Re: Who was Paul Praying To? (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

#6 Post by lamesa » 1 month ago

Stephen prayed to Jesus (Acts 7:59):
https://biblehub.com/text/acts/7-59.htm

Get out of her
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Re: Who was Paul Praying To? (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

#7 Post by Get out of her » 1 month ago

Assuming my intention was to completely ignore all the scriptures I have already cited over the years on this topic (including the ones in my above posts on this thread) and nonetheless advocate for praying to or even worshiping Jesus as opposed to Jehovah, quite honestly citing accounts such as here at Acts 7:54-60 might be among my very last choices to do so. This would be for the following reasons:

First of all when we consider the context we find that Stephen is suddenly experiencing a vision in which he is beholding both Jesus and Jehovah at the same time standing side by side. Naturally if he were inclined to communicate with them at this point this communication would amount to exactly that, namely JOINT communication. Moreover if we seeing someone face to face (even if only in a vision) the tendency is to simply speak to them. At least normally we do not begin praying to someone who is essentially standing right in front of us.

This would certainly explain the Greek words that were utilized here in these verses of Acts. But even before we get into them it would be good to understand that even among the various English translations there is great discrepancy or even disagreement as to how these words such as—"Stephen prayed" in verse 59 should have actually been translated. Quite often even in the English translations we instead find this rendered as something like –"Stephen invoked," "Stephen cried out," "Stephen called upon" or "Stephen made appeal." This is undoubtedly because the Greek word used here was evidently –epikaleomi. While this word evidently CAN incorporate the idea of prayer, it most often is used simply to convey the notion of calling out to someone. In fact some of the Greek versions even use the word –krazo here instead, which literally means- crying out to someone or even screaming to them.

Stephen does however appear to suddenly take a more prayerful approach to things immediately thereafter in verse 60. Not only does he now drop to his knees, but he begins repeating some words that Jesus himself uttered in prayer to Jehovah when he LIKE Stephen realized he was about to experience a death in the flesh. (Lu 23:34) Regardless of exactly how this verse is rendered in the Bible you happen to be reading at the moment, here is how it is basically found in the koine Greek writings:


"And falling to his knees he cried out, "GREAT Lord," do not charge this sin against them," then he fell asleep in death." (Ac 7:60)


Now first of all we (once again) should not overlook the fact that Stephen is simultaneously seeing a vision of both Jesus AND his father side by side, but particularly since Jesus would not even allow anyone to even call him "good" LET ALONE "great" (Mr 10:18) and Stephen suddenly DOES seem to actually begin praying at this point, we would undoubtedly do well to consider the following questions:

Could the fact that this Greek word –megaluno might actually tend to CONFIRM that Stephen suddenly began directing his words more specifically to Jehovah perhaps be the very reason that virtually ALL translators choose to simply ignore it altogether here, despite the fact that it is found in the ancient Greek writings? Since the vast majority of so called "Christians" obviously hold strongly to the notion of praying to and worshiping Jesus, could there possibly be a strong bias at work here?

Yes while it evidently is recognized as rather inconvenient to most translators, immediately prior to the word- kurios there which is commonly translated as Lord, we find the word –megaluno, which literally means –great. In fact the first four letters of this word likely provide a strong clue in this case. The NWT is the only Bible translation I have found so far that seems to give any credence whatsoever to really ALL the things I have just covered here, and it moved the translators in this case to use the name Jehovah in verse 60 in place of –"great Lord." Would this not really just help to clear up any potential confusion? All things considered I feel compelled to give credit where credit is due even if it pains me a bit to do so.

Agape love;
Sol

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Re: Who was Paul Praying To? (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

#8 Post by Proselytiser of Jah » 1 month ago

Get out of her wrote: 1 month ago Assuming my intention was to completely ignore all the scriptures I have already cited over the years on this topic (including the ones in my above posts on this thread) and nonetheless advocate for praying to or even worshiping Jesus as opposed to Jehovah, quite honestly citing accounts such as here at Acts 7:54-60 might be among my very last choices to do so.
lamesa wrote: 1 month ago Stephen prayed to Jesus (Acts 7:59):
https://biblehub.com/text/acts/7-59.htm

I'd like to add a quote from my article on this subject. In that I agree with GOOH, in that Acts is not a good account to use to point to someone praying to Jesus, as it's a very common mistranslation.


Whilst some Bibles will translate this verse to render the word “prayed”, the word for “praying” in Greek is “proseuchomai” (προσεύχομαι). The word used by Stephen was “epikaloumenon” (ἐπικαλούμενον) which is a general word simply meaning to “call out”, and is not specifically/exclusively used in reference to prayer, though people do "call out" to God.

The second point, as gooh mentioned, was that this was a "vision", where Stephen saw Jesus, and so it made sense for him to speak to who he saw.


However, the most convincing scriptures I find which say we can speak to Jesus, is the one I quoted in this thread in my OP, where it appears Paul speaks to Jesus (not in a vision), and Jesus replied to him. And in John, where Jesus says "whatever you ask me"... (given that it is not a mistranslation or manuscript corruption. Some, including the earliest ones, have the "me" in it, others don't).


So I figure, from the account with Paul, there may be some kind of difference between "praying" and "speaking" in general (though some argue, pray is just another term which means "ask", as in the past people have said to 'each other' "pray you" in conversation).

In the sense that prayer might ‘not’ be appropriate toward Jesus, would be the form of contact which is aimed with the intent of seeing him as a deity or God, of which, such glory belongs to the Father alone (Isaiah 42:8).
"The fruitage of the Spirit is; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control..." Galatians 5:22-23

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Re: Who was Paul Praying To? (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

#9 Post by Get out of her » 1 month ago

Paj wrote:
Whilst some Bibles will translate this verse to render the word “prayed”, the word for “praying” in Greek is “proseuchomai” (προσεύχομαι). The word used by Stephen was “epikaloumenon” (ἐπικαλούμενον) which is a general word simply meaning to “call out”, and is not specifically/exclusively used in reference to prayer, though people do "call out" to God.
I wanted to thank you Paj for what I am compelled to recognize as a legitimate correction to my last post on this thread, even if a minor one. I actually felt forced to use the word –epikaleomi rather than epikaloumenon for the reason that Strong's Concordance seems to insist this is actually the word that was used in this verse of Acts. In the interlinears I was examining however I could see that there was a slight variation in the koine Greek characters or letters from this word which indicated to me that there was another Greek word which was likely very similar both in its spelling and meaning. For the moment however I could not think of where else to look, likely because as per usual I was in a bit of a rush. For that same reason I was hoping you might please tell me where it was exactly that you found this information?
So I figure, from the account with Paul, there may be some kind of difference between "praying" and "speaking" in general (though some argue, pray is just another term which means "ask", as in the past people have said to 'each other' "pray you" in conversation).
There is absolutely a difference! Saul (who of course received the name- Paul only after converting to Christianity) was actually a devout Pharisee who was actively engaged in PERSECUTING Christians at the time when Jesus appeared to him there in Acts Chapter 9. On this basis alone he most certainly would not have been praying to Jesus. Saul nonetheless was engaged in speaking to him however and knowingly so since Jesus openly informed him of his identity upon being asked who he was. (Ac 9:5)

In fact since we are speaking of Paul at the moment, here are just two of MANY scriptures he himself penned that confirm he also would never have prayed to Jesus AFTER he converted:

(Ro 1:25)
(Col 1:15)

Yes Paul is among the Bible writers who point out that unlike his father, Jesus was actually created at some point. Even if Jesus would be involved in assisting Jehovah with further creations from that time forward, this nonetheless makes him part of the "…creation rather than the creator." In turn, scriptures like Romans 1:25 make it perfectly clear this excludes him from receiving any actual worship.

Frankly for at least most of my life, my biggest challenge by far when it comes to this topic has been determining exactly where to begin. There are so many scriptural options available to debunk the status quo or mainstream views on it that gradually over the years I have just learned to focus more and more on the passages I recognize as the most straightforward on the issue. (Mt 7:13, 14)

Agape love;
Sol

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Re: Who was Paul Praying To? (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

#10 Post by goghtherefore » 1 month ago

Colossians 1:15...

"The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.…"

Scripture also refer the Logos/Word (who became the man Jesus), was begotten.

John 1:14: "... ... his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, ... His glory, a glory as of an only begotten from the Father, full of grace and ..."

To me begotten means: born from; which, imo, is much different than being created. Further to coming into existence by means of (born of/from) the Supreme One; was used to create "all things" (except His (and our) Father and Himself...grin)

.02 goghtherefore
“This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!”
Luke 9:35

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