Please open a Bible to the place where it is written, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
Do you ever notice who people pray to? How often do you hear, or even say, “Thank you Jesus!” or “Dear Jesus…?” Why do folks pray to Jesus Christ? Why do folks teach children to pray to Jesus? Did Jesus Christ ever direct us to do this? In Matthew 6:6 above, He directs us to pray to our Father.
Who should we direct our prayers and thanksgiving to? The Father? The Son? Both? Then how about the The Spirit? Then to any? All?
“And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you.” (John 16:23)
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16)
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph 5:20)
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Col 1:12)
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” (Col 3:17)
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
Search the Word of God. While common Catholic tradition goes so far as to encourage one to pray to supposed saints, including Mary, clear direction from the Word of God only encourages prayer to God the Father. There are no examples or instructions given that would encourage anyone to pray to anyone but God the Father. There is no hint that we should to pray to the Holy Spirit, or to Jesus Christ Himself, though both are equal with God. All instruction and example in prayer points us to pray directly to the Father, Who is the true ultimate source of every good and perfect gift. (James 1:17)
Perhaps we tend to pray to Jesus Christ because He is more like us, a Man. Perhaps in doing so we elevate Man. Perhaps that is why the Godhead has directed us to pray to the Father instead.
Further, there is more than one Jesus: “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Cor 11:4) Prayer directed to “Jesus” may catch the attention of one other than the Lord Jesus Christ. It has actually been documented that demon possession has occurred in answer to the prayer, “Jesus, I invite you to come into my heart.” It is quite possible that any general prayer directed to “Jesus” receives similar attention from the same demonic sources.
Worship, as an activity distinct from prayer, may properly be directed to the Son. There are instances of Jesus Christ receiving worship, as from the wise men (Matt 2:2), the man born blind (John 9:38), from the disciples (Matt 28:9), and from angels. (Heb 1:6) We are certainly encouraged to honor the Son: “all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him.” (John 5:23) We give Jesus Christ the same glory and honor and praise that we give to God the Father, and He is well pleased in this. There is also an instance of thanksgiving being offered to Jesus Christ after His ascension, when Paul thankfully acknowledged his call to ministry as coming from Christ. (1 Tim 1:12) Stephen also, when he saw Jesus Christ standing on the right hand of God, committed his spirit to Jesus. Yet, even though we have clear examples in proper worship of Christ, even giving thanks to Him and addressing Him, there is no example given or instructoin provided to ask any thing of Christ himself..
In the matter of prayer, in making any request of Divinity, there is no such encouragement that it be directed to anyone other than God the father: prayerful requests should therefore be directed to him. Jesus informed his apostles that after He saw them again that their heart would rejoice, “and in that day ye shall ask me nothing.” (John 6:23) In this case, their asking was about understanding and clarifying key doctrines and mysteries, which are the treasures of the kingdom. If we are not to ask Jesus for help in even the most important matters of the kingdom, this would naturally extend to all things. Evidently, it is a fact that Spirit-lead believers do not ask anything of Jesus Christ today: they ask the Father.
Whatever the reason for God’s instruction in prayer, see that you follow it. See that your prayer is directed to him who is the ultimate source of every good and perfect gift. Pray always and only to God the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ.