To whom should we pray, and with whom should we develop a relationship, the Father or Jesus?

Email Received:

Dear Ted, I am a Christian as I have asked Jesus into my life and repented of my sins and trust in His salvation. I found your discourse on the Trinity very helpful. Thank you. But I have related questions I need help with, please.

Christians in my church pray invariably to the Father or simply to the Lord. To whom should we pray, and with whom should we develop a relationship, the Father or Jesus? How do we deepen our relationship with God unless we know with whom we are building it? I tend to spend time with God as a composite of Father and Jesus, calling Him Lord. Hope you can help. Thank you.

Tedís Response:

There is a difference of opinion on the issue your raised. The word "Lord" probably means "Jesus" to most Christians, but that can vary from person to person.

As for me, I typically state my requests directly to the Father and end the prayer by saying, "in the name of Jesus I pray, amen." I look at these verses for verification of that:

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)

In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (John 16:23)
When you talk to a person, you are directing your words to the person's mind. In my view, the Father is the Mind of God (as explained in my spirit, soul, body section). I don't think it is wrong to pray directly to the Son, Jesus, but I believe that Jesus will refer all things said to Him directly to the Father.

As believers that Jesus' blood has atoned for our sins (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17), we are part of the family of God. Jesus always prayed directly to His Father in heaven. As spiritual brothers and sisters of Jesus, His Father is our Father. We are the Father's sons and daughters, so we can pray directly to Him, just as Jesus did.

As far as a relationship goes, we have that with all aspects of God. So I will make my requests directly to the Father, in the name of Jesus. I will talk to Jesus and thank Him for shedding His blood for my sins and for rising from the dead so that I also can rise from the dead unto everlasting life. I will tell Him that I long for His coming to rule the world in righteousness and justice, during the Millennium.

I will thank the Father for giving me life and for sending His Son to die for my sins. I will thank Him for sending His Holy Spirit to indwell me, to convict me of my sins, and to direct my life in a way that will please Him (the Father). I also will thank the Father for the blessings He provides to me and to others who know Him, and I will thank the Holy Spirit for extending to me the gift of faith, for communicating to me the Father's messages, and for being instrumental in delivering to me the Father's blessings.

By doing all of those things, I feel that I am developing and maintaining a relationship with all of the facets of God: Father and Son and the Holy Spirit. Like you, I spend time with the composite God, who is both singular and multiple. But my prayers virtually always begin with "Father" because that facet of God is above all things, and He is the one who directs and controls everything.

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