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Prayer – To Whom Should We Pray? Jesus or the Father? Or Mary, the Saints, Or Other Gods?

Posted in Biblical/Religious, and Shared Blog Pages

QUESTIONS: To whom should we pray – Jesus or the Father? What about Mary, the saints, or other gods?

Whom Should We Pray?




ANSWER: Every Christian has received the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of adoption, and has the wonderful privilege of addressing God as “Abba, Father.” A Christian is a child of God by his new birth and thus an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. Led by the Holy Spirit, he is called a son of God. We find these wonderful truths in Romans 8:13-17.

The Lord Jesus spent the last night before His crucifixion with His disciples. He spoke of the fact that He was going away and would no longer be with them. But He encouraged them by saying, “In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father, Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God” (Jn. 16:26-27 NKJV).

Prior to this He had taught them to address God as Father (Lk. 11:1-4), and after His resurrection He sent word to them by Mary Magdalene, saying, “I ascend to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God” (Jn. 20:17). As children we can be absolutely free to speak to our Father who loves us intimately!

To whom should we pray – Jesus or the Father? What about Mary, the saints, or other gods? Share on X

To Whom Should We Pray?  Jesus or The Father?

The Lord Jesus is our Lord, the One to whom we owe allegiance and obedience. He loves us and died for us. He is our Great High Priest to whom we are encouraged to come boldly: “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:14-16).

The Lord Jesus is also our Advocate: “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 Jn. 2:1). Certainly we can address Him freely.

The apostles set a good example for us in addressing the Persons of the Godhead. They speak to God as God, they address the Lord Jesus and they pray to the Father (Acts 4:24, 9:5, 10:14; 2 Cor. 12:8; Eph. 3:14 and elsewhere). Never do we find them praying to the Holy Spirit. We pray by the Spirit or in the Spirit, not to Him – even though He is God and is absolutely co-equal with the Father and the Son.

It is well to bear in mind that the Persons of the Godhead are co-equal and yet distinct. Each has His distinctive role in our salvation and individual lives. Let’s be careful not to confound the Persons. For example, we should thank the Father – not the Lord Jesus – for sending His Son into the world to become our Savior.

We should thank the Lord Jesus – not the Father – for dying on the cross for us. Also, try to be careful to pray with a reverent heart. For example, the Holy Spirit would lead us to call Jesus “Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 12:3), not simply “Jesus.”

Read a related post published on Grace & Truth

The virgin Mary was blessed tremendously by God to be chosen to become the mother of our Lord Jesus. She humbly accepted this responsibility and later expressed herself in a lovely prayer in which she magnified the Lord and said that her spirit was rejoicing in God her Savior and that holy is His name.

Nowhere in God’s Word does anyone ever pray to her; nor is there any hint in Scripture that prayer should ever be addressed to her. In fact, the final mention of Mary in Scripture is in Acts 1:14 where she and the brothers of the Lord are found continuing with one accord in prayer and supplication with the eleven apostles of the Lord and the women who had followed him.

Contrary to all that Scripture teaches, large segments of Christendom [all those who claim to follow Christ, whether they are believers or not] have virtually made a goddess of Mary, ascribing all kinds of virtues, powers, and abilities to her and even calling her “Queen of Heaven” and “Queen of Angels.” This is absolutely wrong.

Together with this evil, the same segments of Christendom have instituted the worship of “saints,” teaching their adherents that they should pray to the saints to intercede for them with God.

In 1 Timothy 2:5-6, God tells us that “there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all.” Thank God, this Mediator is fully sufficient for our every need! It is really an insult to Him to set up mediators between Him and ourselves.

God’s Word terms every believer on the Lord Jesus a saint (Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2). Therefore, we do not need to pray to man-declared saints who have died when we can ask living saints to pray with us and for us.

Isaiah 44:9-10 is one of many passages in God’s Word showing us the foolishness of idolatry. In 1 Kings 18:17-40, we see the powerlessness of idols in contrast to the true God. Furthermore, Deuteronomy 32:16-17, 1 Corinthians 10:19-20, and other passages let us know that the idols of the heathen are really demons.

A Christian should have nothing to do with such wicked beings! Hell is prepared for the devil and his angels.

What a blessing is ours,

as Christians! We are truly a privileged people. We can pray to God who is Almighty. We can pray with holy intimacy to our Father who loves us. We can pray to our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is ever ready to hear us. The Holy Spirit leads us in praying, and when we don’t know how we should pray as we ought, “the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” He makes intercession for the saints according to God (Rom. 8:26-27). We have every reason to give thanks.

Answered by Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.

An adaptation from Grace & Truth, Inc.

(Used by permission)

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