Should Christians pray to the Father or the Son?

Prayers to the Father

Jesus taught us that we are to address our prayers to the Father in His name. This is clearly seen in the Lord’s Prayer  “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9). We may be unworthy to address Him as “Father,” but whenever we do so in sincerity He receives us with rejoicing (Luke 15:21–24) and acknowledges us as His sons indeed. The fact that He is our Father binds us together as Christians in the great, universal fellowship of faith with all men who in sincerity and truth recognize the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In Jesus’ Name

And Jesus said to His disciples that whatever they asked in His name—meaning in His will—would be granted (John 15:16). The fact that men are to petition the Father in the name of Jesus, but that Jesus is the one who brings about the answer, emphasizes the oneness of the Son with the Father. And in John 16:23 the Father is said to answer the petitions presented before Him.

Paul also taught the Ephesian believers to always give. “Thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). God is the recipient of thanksgiving, but it is offered in the name of Jesus Christ. The Father is entitled to gratitude because He is our Father (Romans 8:14–17; Galatians 4:4–6). He has demonstrated His Fatherhood in the giving of His Son; therefore prayer and thanksgiving are offered in the Son’s name. Since through Christ all that the Father has to give has been made available to men, we can approach our God with the utmost confidence (John 14:13; 15:16; 16:23, 24).

In the Holy Spirit

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18). Even though believers may have the best of intents, their supplication often show wrong motives and lack of knowledge of what is best for them. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit revises their prayers, as it were; and presents them to God in such a way that He could answer them. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession [a]for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26,27)

Conclusion

The Bible teaches that we are to pray to the Father (Matthew 6:9), through (or in the name of) the Son (John 14:13), by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:18). All three persons of the Godhead are active participants in the believer’s prayer. All prayer should be directed to our triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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