Do we pray to Jesus or God?

by Matt Slick

It is okay to pray to Jesus and God because Jesus is God in flesh. Biblically speaking, God is a Trinity consisting of three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It's like saying that time is one thing that consists of three aspects or parts: the past, the present, and the future. So we would say that time is one thing with three "parts." God is a Trinity. The Trinity is three parts, and one of those parts became flesh. John 1:1, says "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." In John 1:14 it says that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…" This means that Jesus has two natures, God and man. Therefore, we can pray to God the Father, we can pray to the Holy Spirit, and we can pray to the person of Jesus because they are all in one God.

Jesus is prayed to in the Bible. We see in 1 Corinthians 1:2 it says, "to the church of God which is at Corinth, 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." I underlined the phrase that is relevant here. The New Testament was written in Greek, and in Greek what it says is...

epikaloumenois      to       onoma    tou     kuriou     hamon     iasous     kristou
calling upon           the     name       of the  lord        of us        Jesus      Christ

Around 250 BC the Jews translated the Old Testament into Greek. The Old Testament phrases such as "call upon the name of YHWH" were translated into "call upon the name of the Lord." YHWH consists of four consonants that are used in the Hebrew Old Testament to designate the name of God. When the Old Testament talked about "calling upon the name of YHWH" it meant among other things, to pray to God (Psalm 116:4). Paul the apostle used the Greek equivalent of the Old Testament phrase in relationship to Jesus.

Therefore, it is biblical to pray to Jesus.

Finally, all false religions refuse to pray to Jesus, because to them Jesus is not God in flesh. But, we also see that Jesus said in John 14:14, "Ask me anything in my name and I will do it." So, Jesus is telling us it's okay to pray to him.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.