Yes we can pray to Jesus! Prayer is simply talking to Jesus.
Praying to Jesus
The oldest surviving fragment of an early Christian liturgical prayer is probably "Our Lord, come" (Maranatha, I Corinthians 16:22; compare Revelation 22:20); it implies that prayer was addressed to the risen, glorified Christ. The Aramaic title Mar or Lord (Greek Kyrios; I Corinthians 12:3) was a term or title regularly used in religious worship. (Encyclopedia Americana, Trinity, p116)
Praying to Jesus is scriptural:
There are three ways to establish Bible authority: (Command, example and inference.)
Jesus is God, so we can pray to God the son, and God the Father.
Paul wrote of Jesus that "by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him" (Col 1:16). When we address "Jehovah" or "God" in prayer, does that not automatically include all three members of the Godhead? Obviously we can pray to the Holy Spirit as well! We pray only to God! The Holy Spirit is God! Arian's actually say that we cannot pray to Jesus because He is not God. (but JW's have never read Jn 20:28 and obey whatever the apostate Watchtower says.)
The "A.C.T.S." of prayer:
We commonly divide prayer up into and acronym = "A.C.T.S."
A= adoration (praise)
S= supplication (asking)
It is clear that the pattern of making requests "S." appears to be universally directed towards the Father. Although there are a few verses that may justify even asking Jesus directly, (1 Jn 5:11-15 Acts 1:24 for ex.) these appear to be weakened by Acts 4:26-31 and other verses but cannot be outright rejected any more than they can be outright proof texts. I am satisfied that the majority, but not all of the evidence is that we direct our requests solely to the Father. Yet we still need to grapple with Jesus own words, Jn 14:14 "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it" (Jn 14:14 may be a textual variant in the Greek, but is properly translated in the NASB.) Perhaps we need to think what "In the name of the Lord really means, perhaps we have wrongly defined it.
2 Cor 12:7 is a passage that clearly and irrefutable has Paul praying to Jesus 3 times in a petition request.
"And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me." (2 Cor 12:7-9: 7)
Notice this closely:
Other examples of prayer to Jesus:
But making a request is just a small part of prayer. We also have praise, confession and thanksgiving! To say that we cannot pray (talk or communicate in any way) at all to Jesus then we cannot "thank" Jesus either:
A. Yet Paul said: 1 Ti 1:12 "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service"
How did Paul thank Christ?
X"Father, please tell Jesus that I am thankful to Him"
X"He never really had thanked Jesus, he just felt thankful"
X"Thank you Jesus for considering me faithful and putting me into service"
"I thank Christ directly"
B. Rev 5 is a scene in heaven where all creation, except men, are praising Jesus. It seems strange that we are not allowed to praise Jesus on earth but we will in heaven? Or will we be also forbidden from praising Jesus in heaven too?
C. It is also interesting that Acts 7, where Stephen sees BOTH Jesus and the Father together in the vision, that Stephen choses to address Jesus in prayer. If praying to Jesus is sin, then maybe God should have not allowed Jesus to be the vision, forseeing that Stephen would pray (talk) to Jesus. Stephen called upon Jesus in a time of need, the very function stated in Heb 2:18 and Heb 4:16 of Jesus.
D. Of course we are commanded to sing to Jesus in Eph 5:19. I have even heard some argue that singing and prayer are two different things??? Not if prayer is communication! Such a false distinction is proven to be false by Acts 16:25, where Lenski says, "the present participle and the imperfect verb express simultaneous action: their singing was praying". In other words, not all singing is prayer, and not all prayer is singing, but we can pray through song and that is what Paul and Silas were doing. Songs where we pray to Jesus: If we cannot address Jesus in prayer, we cannot address Him in song. While some Christians actually believe it is sin to sing a song that mentions praying to Jesus, we suggest it would be more logical for these Christians to rip out of their song book, every song that MENTIONS Jesus at all.
E. The Lord's supper is a memorial to Jesus death, but we are not permitted to show our gratitude directly through prayer? ("God, please tell Jesus I appreciate what He did")
F. A careful reading of 2 Thess 2:16 is enlightening: 2 Thess 2:16ff, "16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word. Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you;2 and that we may be delivered from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith.3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.4 And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command.5 And may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ."
G. 1 Cor 1:2 "to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours"
H. If we cannot prayer to Jesus then we cannot say, as Thomas said, "MY Lord and my God!" directly to Jesus.
I. It seems strange that we are commanded to Love Jesus (1 Cor 16:22), but are never allowed to tell him verbally, only with actions or by relaying it through the Father.
J. How are we to worship Jesus when we are forbidden from ever addressing him in any way at all.
K. Jesus is the "man in charge with all authority", but I cannot talk to him. I cannot talk to Christ who is my head, my vine, my king, my Lord, my brother, my high priest, my physician, the bishop of my soul, my husband, my counselor, my friend....???? Wow! That is quite a unique relationship!
L. By way of inference, Jesus, the one who is able to help in a time of need, hears us when we cry out to him for help and he makes intercession to God on behalf of us. Is he making intercession only as he watches silently from a distance to our plight? Or is he acting upon our specific requests! Catholics pray to the "saints" for intercession, Christians pray Jesus for intercession. Heb 7:25 Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
M. The very last verse of the Bible ends with a prayer to Jesus: Rev 22:20 "Even so, come Lord Jesus" is an example of prayer to Jesus.
N. The prayer of Acts 4:24f contained a quote from Psalm 2, a psalm clearly Messianic and referring to Jesus. To say this prayer was directed to the Lord Jesus Christ is in complete harmony with Acts 4:24f.
We ask you to consider the following:(These 14 points by Kenneth E. Thomas)
In conclusion you can pray to Jesus unless your definition of prayer is limited to making a specific request by asking and you ignore the many commands and examples in the Bible.
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