Question: Can we pray to Jesus?

Can we pray to Jesus? Some say we should not pray to Jesus but only to the Father. But from the Bible, Jesus is the mediator (1 Tim 2:5) and intercessor (Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25) through whom we have access to the Father (Eph 2:18).

  • On many occasions during Jesus’ ministry, people would come to him and asked for mercy and healing. The criminal on the cross also asked the Lord to remember him, and his request was answered (Lk 23:42,43).
  • Stephen prayed to Jesus (Acts 8:59). Paul gave thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim 1:12) and prayed to the Lord to take away the thorn in his flesh (2 Cor 12:8). Peter called the one who spoke to him in his prayer “Lord” (Acts 10:9-14; the designation “Lord” in the New Testament usually referred to Jesus).
  • When the disciples worshiped the Lord Jesus, the Lord did not refuse their worship (Mt 14:33; 28:9,17; Lk 24:52). The believers in Antioch also worshiped the Lord with fasting (Acts 13:2).
  • The Lord Jesus promised that he will answer us when we pray in his name (Jn 14:14).
  • The notion that we can pray to the Father but not to the Lord Jesus is based on the mistaken assumption that Jesus is not the Father.

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How should we begin our prayer?

We should begin every prayer by calling upon the name of Jesus. This is because Jesus says, “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (Jn 14:13-14; cf. 15:16). Therefore, when we pray, we should first say, “In the name of Jesus, I pray…”

Also, we pray in the name of Jesus because it is the name of God: it was given by the heavenly Father to the Son (Jn 17:11-12). Therefore we understand that Jesus is God Himself, and the words of Isaiah confirm this truth: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isa 9:6).

What makes for an effective prayer?

An effective prayer is the result of faith. Elder James says:

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8)

The writer of Hebrews adds, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6). Also Jesus offers us this encouragement: “Therefore I tell you whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mk 11:24).

We invite you to pray to Jesus whether or not you are a Christian, because He is our mediator, intercessor through whom we can access to the Father. When we pray to Jesus in faith, He will hear and answer to our requests.

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