Who should we pray to? Should we pray to Jesus or to God the Father? If the doctrine of Trinity teaches us that Jesus is God and God is Jesus then what’s the fuss about who we should direct our prayers to? Do Jesus and God the Father really play different roles in the place of prayer?
I will have to approach this issue with a little bit of caution and take the risk of writing about it and hope it reveals the heart of the Father, and perhaps answer the question of many believers who are wondering why their prayers are not answered.
Everything in life is wrapped around a basic ‘give and take’ rule before we can have them. We don’t live in a spiritual space where there are no rules. Some of these principles mostly crisscross along the borders of faith. The bible reveals some of these principles. For instance, for longevity of life we are commanded to honour our father and mother so that our days may be long (Exo. 20:5). If you are humble in spirit is only a matter of time you will achieve whatever you desire in this world (Matt. 5). If you are merciful people will return the favour by showing you mercy (Matt. 5). He that kills by the sword will surely die by the sword (Matt 26:52). Even the bible teaches us that money does not answer to effectual prayer. Money listens to the principle of giving (Prov. 3: 9-10, Lk. 6:38, 2 Corin. 9:6, Prov. 11:24, 25). These are some evergreen biblical principles that are written for God’s children to find a ‘safe haven’. As simple as they seem, these are divine, universal principles that need no magic formula to produce results; you MUST go by the book to get answers. Prayer is no different. I will share some instructions from the Bible since it is our authoritative canon of faith to see how God instructs us to pray.
Praying in Jesus’ name is taught in John 14:13-14, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Many people misunderstand this text actually, thinking that by simply pronouncing ‘in Jesus’ Name’ at the end of a prayer, will make God honour their prayer. It is absolutely unbiblical to say a prayer to Jesus!
When you pray, pray to God the Father in the Name of Jesus…don’t pray to Jesus. When you pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus it means you are standing in the place of Jesus the Son and God the Father has little choice in the matter but to hearken to your request. By praying to God the Father through the name of Jesus we bring honour to God the Father as He demonstrates His power through the mention of the name of His Son, Jesus. We even bring glory to God the Father through the agency of the Son by doing exactly that as the Scripture reveals in John 14:13-14. Through Jesus we have access to the throne room of the Father. Stand in the place of Jesus. Stand as the voice of Christ in the presence of God and experience the effectual power of prayer.
It was Jesus Himself (God in flesh) that instructs us to pray directly to “Our Father in heaven” in Matt. 6: 9-13. Each person of the Trinity plays different roles in how they commune with us. When it comes to prayer, the Bible teaches that we direct our prayers to God the Father, but it is through the name of Jesus that we can have that kind of direct access to the Father.
We pray to God through the name of Jesus as a way to honour Jesus and God the Father (Phil. 2:9-11). Obeying this principle shows that we appreciate Jesus for His death on the cross as God’s provision for our salvation – that’s what He died for; He gave His life so that we may have direct access to the Father through Him (Matt. 20:28; Acts 4:12). By praying to God in the name of Jesus we honour Christ’s service as our High Priest, mediating between us and God the Father (Heb. 4:14-16; Heb. 7:25).
Praying to God in Jesus’ name is the ONLY way God has approved for us to approach Him. This was why Christ told his disciples that no one comes to God the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Christ further reiterates this basic rule, saying: “Most truly I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything he will give it to you [but only] in My name” (John 16:23).
Stop praying to Jesus, pray to God the Father through the Name of Jesus and get results. Praying in Jesus’ name means that you are standing before God the Father on behalf of His Son Jesus asking your heavenly Father to act upon your plea because you come in the Name of His beloveth Son, Jesus Christ. At this point transaction, God sees Jesus not you. It means you are the voice of Jesus. You are standing in the place of Jesus.
It happens that everything is bought only the price changes. The price for an effectual prayer is “in name of Jesus!”
Prayer is an art of negotiation. Negotiate and use the name of Jesus to by your answers!