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Last updated: Sep 23, 2013
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What's New: Is the Bible "inspired"?
"Insights" from the New Testament Greek
By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida
Clarification of "All Prayer is Addressed to the Father"
In Luke 11:1-4, the disciples of Jesus asked Him directly, "Lord teach us to pray". Jesus Himself answered with the sample prayer of Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4 and said "Pray LIKE this". Jesus stated to address prayer to our "Father".
If you carefully read the New Testament, I believe you will find, as I do, that, in accordance with the above statement of Jesus, all occurrences of prayer in the New Testament are addressed to the Father. We cannot replace the clear teachings of the Word of God with human reasoning and the "traditions" of man.
What I stated, in my previous devotion on "prayer", is that we have no other Biblical authority, that I know of, to pray to God by any other name, except "Father".
I count 129 Names and titles for God in the Scriptures, and each one gives us a wonderful new insight into God's character and essence. But, I only find that when we pray to God, we are directed to use His title "Father".
I have not found one place in the all the Scriptures, Old, or New Testament, where anyone spoke a single word to the Holy Spirit.
Some will argue that Jesus was speaking from His "humanity" in Matthew 6 and Luke 11, but my question is, where does the Word of God change, or clarify what Jesus taught?
Another argument against addressing all prayer to the Father, is that "NOWHERE in the Scripture does it say NOT TO PRAY TO JESUS or to THE HOLY SPIRIT." Theologically, this is termed, "arguing from silence". In other words, since the Bible doesn't specifically prohibit praying to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit, then itís OK. Children pull the same thing on their parents, until they get "burned" a few times. Just because God's Word doesn't specifically prohibit something, that is NOT authority to do it!.
Interestingly, I believe that Jeremiah 3:17-19 and Isaiah 9:6 teach that during the Millennial Reign of Christ on Earth, and beyond, Jesus will be called "The Everlasting Father". After all, Jesus is the visible manifestation of the Father, and told His disciples "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father". (John 10:30, 12:45, & 14:9).
I only see the New Testament teaching us to pray TO the Father, IN THE NAME of Jesus, and in the POWER of the Holy Spirit (in fellowship), and when we address our Heavenly Father, we are addressing ALL of God.
We love our heavenly Father, and we love Jesus, the visible manifestation of God, who suffered as a human for us, and we love the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, but, the New Testament not only states that Jesus and the Father are One, but, the Holy Spirit is interchangeably called the "Spirit of Jesus" AND the "Spirit of God" because God is one.
One person wrote me and asked about talking to Jesus "during" a prayer. I want to leave at least one thing perfectly clear - even though we are to ADDRESS all prayer to the Father, in the Name of Jesus, what you say and which names of God you use DURING the prayer is a completely private matter between you and God.
Don't forget to pray!