6

What is the biblical basis for praying to Jesus, as opposed to praying to God in the name of Jesus?

My question is based on 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.”

I have used the New International Version here. The English Standard Version is similar. The King James Version likewise says to ask in Jesus' name. The New Living Translation is more emphatic:

"Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!"

The New World Translation likewise says:

"whatever it is that you ask in my name, I will do this... If you ask anything in my name, I will do it."

The Kingdom Interlinear Translation word for word translation from Greek into English says:

"If every anything you should ask me in the name of me, this I shall do."

Are there any other Bible verses like that, or verses unlike that (praying to Jesus). Or are there any examples in the New Testament where Jesus' disciples prayed to Jesus?

5

An Example from the first Christian Martyr

Most certainly the earliest Christians prayed to Jesus, as He Himself taught us to do (He explicitly "[does not mean He will] ask the Father for you," Jn 16:26 but that "[He Himself] will do it" 14:13-14; cf. 5:23).

The words on the lips of the deacon and first Christian martyr, Stephen, as he was being stoned to death were (Acts 7:59b W&H 1881):

Κύριε Ἰησοῦ, δέξαι τὸ πνεῦμά μου!

Lord Jesus, recieve my spirit!

In case you don't understand any Greek, 'Lord' appears in the vocative form here (Κύριε kyr·i·e), meaning He is speaking directly to Jesus, who at this point, of course, is in heaven (Acts 7:55).

An Example from the Most Prolific Apostle in the New Testament

St. Paul, the loyal servant of the Lord, besought the Lord Jesus that this affliction ("thorn in the side") from Satan would not plague him any more (2 Cor 12:8):

ὑπὲρ τούτου τρὶς τὸν κύριον παρεκάλεσα ἵνα ἀποστῇ ἀπ' ἐμοῦ

For this did I thrice beseech the Lord, that he might remove it from me,

However, the Lord elects to have St. Paul endure this suffering for His sake, and by His grace (12:9):

καὶ εἴρηκέν μοι Ἀρκεῖ σοι ἡ χάρις μου· ἡ γὰρ δύναμις ἐν ἀσθενείᾳ τελεῖται. Ἥδιστα οὖν μᾶλλον καυχήσομαι ἐν ταῖς ἀσθενείαις, ἵνα ἐπισκηνώσῃ ἐπ' ἐμὲ ἡ δύναμις τοῦ χριστοῦ

but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you: for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, will I rather boast in my weakness, so that the power of Christ might rest on me.

See also 1 Thessalonians 3:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17; Colossians 3:17 etc.

St. John the Apostle Prays the Last Prayer Recorded in the New Testament

The last petition to anyone in the New Testament is to the Lord Jesus directly:

Λέγει ὁ μαρτυρῶν ταῦτα Ναί· ἔρχομαι ταχύ. Ἀμήν· ἔρχου, κύριε Ἰησοῦ

Thus says he that bears witness to these things: I am coming soon. (Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!)

Again, the vocative form of κύριος (Lord) is used, meaning John is speaking directly to Jesus, not expressing his desire that Jesus come to others reading: 'may the Lord Jesus come.'


There are of course other examples, but Jesus' own teaching suffices for this truth that we are to ask Him anything, and He will do it, not merely ask the Father for us. He explicitly rules out that interpretation of His answering prayer.


Bibliography

https://answersingenesis.org/jesus-christ/jesus-is-god/can-we-pray-to-jesus/

2

The key point in the verse you quote is in the Greek text where the word ‘me’ occurs twice, not just once. Here is the literal English translation of the Greek in vs 14:

“if ever anything you should ask me in the name of me this I shall do.”

So, Jesus is not just saying, ‘Ask [i.e. pray as I won’t be around in person for you to speak directly to me] in my name and I’ll do it.’ No, he’s saying, ‘Ask ME in my name and I’ll do it.’ He gives his followers permission to pray to him.

We see the Christian, Stephen, praying to the risen Christ just as he is being stoned to death. This is detailed in Acts 7:54-60. Although Stephen had seen both the Father and the Son, together, in his vision of heaven, Stephen addressed Jesus with, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Further, the NT uses the phrase, “calling upon the name of….” to refer to worshipping the one whose name is called upon. That’s in Acts 2:21 which quotes the OT text Joel 28-32, and in 1 Corinthians 1:2 – “To the Church of God in Corinth… who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This means that to call upon the name of Jesus is to worship him, and prayer is one of the most basic forms of worship there is. After all, if a Christian was locked up in solitary confinement, about the only form of worship he or she could engage in would be singing God’s praises, and praying to God. To pray to God is to worship God. To pray to Christ is to worship Christ as God, and the Bible gives Christians the green light for that.

If Jesus was a created angel then it would be absolutely wrong to pray to him as prayer is a form of worship, and angels must never be worshipped by humans, not even bowing down before them. The Bible shows that in Revelation 19:9-10 and 22:8-9. Yet Jesus accepts exactly that adoration of bowing down before him (Revelation 1:17).

Now, if Jesus the Son subsists in the One Being of God (as the Trinity doctrine teaches), then we most certainly can pray to him as we would be praying to the One Being of God, not to any creature who is distinct from God. And Jesus told his followers that the Father had given him his name – John 17:11, “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name – the name you gave me.”

1

John 16:25-27

25) These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. 26) At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27) For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

Jesus addressed this in terms of reconciliation. Reconciliation to God, by Jesus Christ; spoken of in terms of faith (vs.27), gives access to God, directly. Even so:

Hebrews 7:25 “...He Ever liveth to make intercession for the saints.”

Edit:

After looking closer at the Q, this answer may appear antithetical (rhetorically speaking), this was not intentional.

To clarify, I don’t think that praying to, or praying through Jesus, can be in conflict; according to the passage.

1

"Thou shalt have no other gods before Me" (Hebrew: לא יהיה־לך אלהים אחרים על־פני‬) is one of the Ten Commandments found in the Hebrew Bible at Exodus 20:2 and Deuteronomy 5:6, which establishes the exclusive nature of the relationship between the nation of Israel and its national god, Yahweh the god of Israel

now ask your self this is Jesus god or the son of god we are all children of god so is it not a sin to pray directly to Jesus and even if it is not a sin to pray to Jesus before god then whats to stop a believer in god from praying to god directly

  • @Lesley That look like an answer, so please write an answer rather than leaving an answer in comments. – KorvinStarmast Aug 6 '18 at 17:36
  • OK, duly noted and comment removed. – Lesley Aug 7 '18 at 9:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.