What is the Biblical precedent for praying to Jesus?

As a Mormon, I only pray to God as Jesus prayed to God. Why do people pray to Jesus?


"And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

- Acts 7:59

That is interesting. But didn't Stephen see Jesus standing next to God? This sounds more like a conversation, that someone might have with someone else who is in the room, than a true prayer. Still... the Book of Mormon also has one occasion where someone calls upon Jesus...

Update 2:

Greg - Did Jesus pray to his father? or to himself?

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

- Matthew 27:46

Did he forsake himself? Did he have to argue with himself to get himself not to forsake himself? The thought makes reason stare.

Update 3:

Okay, I get that some people think God and Jesus are the same person. Would the Bible be more true if it came right out and said that we should all pray to Jesus because he and his father are the same person? Or are such modern sects that believe this less true because of this belief...?

Update 4:

If I came right out, and stated that I and my father are together, how many people would assume that I meant we were the same person? The common usage of this Greek word, translated into English as "one", is "together". If they had meant "the same", they would have used a different terminology altogether.

Update 5:

These seem like simple questions, and they are all related to the original question. Can't anybody answer them without being rude?

Update 6:

I see the problem. The New Testament doesn't distinguish between Lord God and Lord Jesus. How does one ever know to whom one is referring?

"For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me."

- Corinthians 12:8

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

- Romans 10:13

"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:"

- Corinthians 1:2

"Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk."

- Acts 3:6

"And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:"

- Acts 4:24

"The kings of the earth stood up, and the ruler

15 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favourite answer

    edit:most translations read this way acts7:59They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!"

    but even the kjv :"calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit""

    says stephen was calling to God, and what he said was "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit"

    The danger of putting God who is spirit into a "box" so we can understand him fully is dangerous. You have to take into acct all of Gods words to understand who he is. Jesus was fully man with the fullness of God dwelling in him.

    9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

    God the Father in heaven is who Jesus was praying to.

    God has manifested himself in various ways and the same time:omnipresence

    Jesus was fully man as well as:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

    @rrosskop you being with your father at the same time, IS NOT the same as God dwelling fully in a human body.

    Stephen prayed to Jesus: Acts 7:59

    Paul prayed to Jesus: 2 Corinthians 12:8 , 1 Corinthians 1:1–2 ,2 Corinthians 12:9 , Acts 3:6,Acts 4:23-26,Acts 9:6

    Jesus allowed people to worship him: John 9:38 ,Revelation 5:8–13,John 5:23,Matt. 28:9,John 9:35-38 , Rom. 10:13-14,Joel 2:32

    1 Timothy 3:16

    16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

  • Krista
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    That is very good reasoning. No Jesus is not God.

    The Trinity is a false doctrine. Matt. 26:39, RS: “Going a little farther he [Jesus Christ] fell on his face and prayed, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.’” (If the Father and the Son were not distinct individuals, such a prayer would have been meaningless. Jesus would have been praying to himself, and his will would of necessity have been the Father’s will.)

    Col. 1:15, 16, RS: “He [Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth.” - Jesus was created.

    Mark 13:32, RS: “Of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but ONLY the Father.” (Of course, that would not be the case if Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were coequal, comprising one Godhead. And if, as some suggest, the Son was limited by his human nature from knowing, the question remains, Why did the Holy Spirit not know?

    John 14:28, RS: “[Jesus said:] If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.”

    1 Cor. 11:3, RS: “I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” (Clearly, then, Christ is not God, and God is of superior rank to Christ.

    Mark 10: 17-18 “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” (If Jesus were God he would not have counseled the man who called him Good.)

    Psalms 83:18 Jehovah is the most high God over all the earth (KJV)

    (John 1:18) . . .No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is in the bosom [position] with the Father is the one that has explained him. . .

    If you want someone to get to know you, what might you do? Would you not tell the person your name? Does God have a name? Many religions answer that his name is “God” or “Lord,” but those are not personal names. They are titles, just as “king” and “president” are titles. The Bible teaches that God has many titles. “God” and “Lord” are among them. However, the Bible also teaches that God has a personal name: Jehovah. Psalm 83:18 says: “You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.” (King James Version Bible) that Psalm 83:18 said of Jehovah: “You alone are the Most High.” Similarly, Jehovah alone is referred to as “the Almighty.” Revelation 15:3 says: “Great and wonderful are your works, Jehovah God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity.” The title “the Almighty” teaches us that Jehovah is the most powerful being there is. His power is unmatched; it is supreme. And the title “King of eternity” reminds us that Jehovah is unique in another sense. He alone has always existed. Psalm 90:2 says: “Even from time indefinite to time indefinite [or, forever] you are God.” “In fact, he is not far off from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27) The Bible even urges us: “Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.”—James 4:8.

    Source(s): Jw.org
  • 7 years ago

    Same reason they pray to god. Why else?

    OK, let's get serious, here. But you've asked 2 questions. One, is why people pray to Jesus, which I have answered correctly, and the other want a biblical precedent. Perhaps the most direct such precedent is found in John 14:14 "If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it." Pretty clear: ask ME, and I will do it.

    There is support, elsewhere. Acts 7:59 you have disqualified because Stephen also sees God: 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Finally, vs 59 "While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

    You have styled this as a "conversation." But Stephen was being stoned, and his cry for help couldn't reasonable regarded as a chat. His prayer was clearly addressed to "Lord Jesus."

    Even so, there is no specific instruction from Jesus to pray to him, although there is much to recommend praying to God.

    But maybe that's not really the whole story. Jesus himself had the most to say about how to pray, and to whom to pray, being God the Father. But in no case did he tell anyone NOT to pray to him. However, Jesus, in human form, would hardly be expected to ask people to pray to him THEN. He, himself, set the example by going off alone to pray to God. In his day, there was no fully developed concept of a "trinity." It was enough simply to establish that a loving God was present and accessible. In fact, as a reader works through the gospels, then Acts, he or she will note that they very word, "pray" appears less often. It doesn't it appear in The Revelation, at all. Instead, the noun "prayer" supplants the verb "pray." And we might pardonably think that some of the prayers were issued in accordance with John 14:14 - ask ME, and I will do it. Note that Jesus refers to the time when he will be with the Father, NOT the time he was speaking.

    The NT chronology comes to an end just a few decades after Jesus died. Jesus was expected to return pretty quickly (in those years). Thus Jesus was more widely understood as an actual man, then, as opposed to the divine entity we understand in this age. And much of that understanding - even as to the nature of Christ's divinity - was a subject of study and controversy in the early centuries of the church - the very church Jesus established under the authority granted to Peter.

    You have asked for scriptural support, and having been given the same, chosen to argue with it. But, what's the point, really? Should we think - do YOU think- that prayers issued to Jesus shall violate some holy ordinance, or that those who pray shall fall from favor in the eyes of God? What is to be gained, or what is to be lost, by the "address on the envelop?" And what would Jesus say about this kind of legalistic and technical evaluation? I don't know, but my guess is he would have about the same solicitude as he did for the priests and pharisees in his own day. The question and the refutation of responses, is, to me, right in there with insistence that the peas don't touch the mashed potatoes. Perhaps God is fussy, that way, which would surely mean that you, as a Mormon, have it "all right."

    But, I doubt it.

  • Moi
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    While alive Jesus taught to pray directly to God the Father. After his crucifixion, Jesus became the Mediator between God and men. And since the Father and Son are one then we see no need not to pray to either/both. We here pray for Jesus' intercession as we pray to the Father.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    They believe that jesus said he was the great i am. And that jesus said i and the father are one. But jesus didnt say to pray to him though. Jesus prayed john chapter 17. And jesus said that only god is good. Jesus prayed to the heavily father so we must do the same.

    Source(s): Lds
  • Start with Acts 7:59

  • 7 years ago

    I know that God is One. And I also know that if you honor the Son you honor the Father. So if someone seems confused on this, I try to encourage them by saying that God hears whatever is in his will. Since God is One, he knows his sheep. It's not as though he is against himself, you know. So what I'm saying is, wherever there is faith. Jesus and the Father are not against his children. If God wants to settle things with them, let them do it. It's better than preaching doubt and legalism.

  • rac
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    I think the Lord's Prayer is the ultimate answer to this question. "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name". The Lord, Jesus, showed us that we must address our prayers to our Father in Heaven, who is God, the Eternal Father, or as Christ said, my Father and your Father, my God and your God. He said not to call Him good for there is only one good which is God, the Eternal Father.

    It is clear that we pray to God, in the name of Christ, who is the mediator between God and man. All of the confusion dealing with Christ being God comes from the trinitarians that confuse the oneness of God as being one being with three personalities. This is illogical and impossible. There are three beings with a unity of purpose. Christ prayed to His Father that the twelve might be one as He and the Father are one. Clearly He did not mean for the twelve to become one body with 12 personalities but rather that they might be unified in purpose, one heart, one mind to accomplish the Father's purpose as He, Christ had been doing for three years. Likewise, we pray that husband and wife might be one flesh. That clearly does not mean that we will morph into hermaphroditic physical oneness but rather that our hearts and minds might be knit together into a singlenss of purpose, to serve God and bring a righteous generation into the world.

    Source(s): my LDS opinion
  • We pray to God, in Jesus name (recognizing that it is because of Jesus we can approach God at all and make our petitions known).

  • 7 years ago

    The Biblical precedent for praying to Jesus simply does not exist.

    Christ taught his followers to pray to his Father, just as he himself did.

    Regarding Acts 5:59, allow me to share the wording of it in a few other Bibles:

    "As they were stoning Stephen, *he made this appeal:*

    "Lord Jesus receive my spirit." (2013 NWT)

    "They stoned Stephen as *he called out,* saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" (WEB)

    "And they were stoning Stephen, *calling & saying,* `Lord Jesus, receive my spirit;'" (YLT)

    "And they went on casting stones at Stephen as *he made appeal and said:*

    “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." (1984 NWT)

    When Paul appealed to Caesar, he certainly wasn't praying to Caesar!:

    (“I appeal to Caesar!”−Acts 25:11.)

    The apostle Stephen . . . *demonstrated where his heart was* . . . as he died.

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