As believers who do we pray to?
What personality should we offer our prayers to?
Do we pray to God the Father or to Jesus Christ or to the Holy Spirit or to angels or to Mary the mother of Jesus?
We must understand the right quarters to direct prayers to because when prayers are not directed to the right quarters it can not amount to any form of effectiveness. Prayer only becomes effective when it is channeled to the right quarters.
There is a dire need for an accurate understanding of how to get God to answer our prayers and how we can prosecute the enterprise of prayers effectively. This understanding stems from the correction of the perspectives we have sustained on who we pray to.
You need to know that answers to prayers is made possible when we pray to the right person. All the time you spend in the secret place is only productive when your activities and prayers are directed to the right personality.
Supposing there is a vacancy in a secondary school for instance and applications are supposed to be submitted to the Vice-principal of the school. If you submit your application to the security man do you think you stand a chance of getting the job? Absolutely not! Why because applications were supposed to be submitted to the vice-principal and not to the security man.
In the same vein, if you direct your prayers to the wrong personality you do not stand the chance of getting your prayers answered. There is a personality we must pray to and there is also a protocol we must submit to in order to pray effectively.
It will amaze you to know that a large percentage of believers do not know who we ought to pray to and we make many mistakes in prayer and wonder why we do not see results.
Before I reveal who we should pray to, let me quickly identify a few misconceptions we have entertained about who we pray to and I do so with love for the Body.
WE DO NOT PRAY TO OR THROUGH MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUS
We neither pray to Mary nor through her and she does not pray for us. According to David Pawson, four persons engage in every prayer prosecution.
These four persons are you, God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There is no mention of Mary the mother of Jesus as part of any prayer engagement.
Mary is only the vessel through whom Jesus was born into the world and she is not referenced through out scriptures to be a mediator between God and man. She is neither praying for us nor carrying our prayers to God on our behalf.
Mary's function in the kingdom is clearly stated in the Bible and that is giving birth to Jesus. Any other thing we believe about Mary outside this is not captured in scriptures.
It is believed by a group of Christians that Mary acts as a mediator between us and God helping us to pray but Scriptures clearly show us that we have only one mediator between God and man and that there is only one personality for provides help for the believer when we pray. Our mediator is the man Jesus and the Holy Spirit is the one who helps us to pray.
The following scriptures proves the validity of my claims:
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. - 1 Timothy 2:5-6
And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of the sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. - Hebrews 12:24
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. - Romans 8:26The first two scriptures that is 1 Timothy 2:5-6 and Hebrews 12:24 shows us that Jesus is the only mediator between God and men. He is the only one declared as an intermediary between God the Father and every man.
The third scripture proves that it is the Spirit of God that helps us pray. Later on, I would discuss extensively on the role the Holy Spirit and Jesus play as regards prayers.
Never in scriptures was Mary the mother of Jesus recorded to perform any role in the prayer of believers. We do not pray to Mary or through her neither does she pray for us. Praying to Mary or expecting her to pray for you is not scriptural and it is not consistent with the character of God.
WE DO NOT PRAY TO ANGELS
Another misconception about who we pray to is praying to angels. Angels are spiritual beings created by God for the sole purpose of serving Him. They function as messengers of God, carrying out His errands.
Angels are also called ministering spirits. As ministering spirits, their duty is to look after us, I mean you and I. This is why scripture records in Hebrews 1:14 saying:
Are they not ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
This is the job description of angels. Never were angels portrayed as recipients of prayers nor as carriers of prayer requests. Angels do not answer prayers nor help us pray. Their job function is service to God which includes declaring His glory, guarding His jealousy and as His messengers delivering His eternal counsel to men.
Any doctrine that teaches you that we can pray to angels is false and not scriptural. Angels can only bring answers to prayers as we see in Daniel chapter 10.
The angel Gabriel was only a messenger more like a delivery man delivering the answer of Daniel's prayer. He was not the one the prayers were directed to neither was he the one answering them. He was only a delivery man, bringing the answers to Daniel.
The main reason I am bringing all these scriptures to you is for you to understand that the perspective I am bringing is not mine but from the word of God. I do not own any opinion I share.
All of the opinions I am sharing and the perspective I am bringing are from scriptures. If you think these perspectives are wrong, bring up scriptures to prove your points so we compare scripture by scripture.
WHO THEN DO WE PRAY TO?
I have explained that we do not pray to Mary, neither do we pray to angels, who then do we pray to? Do we pray to God the Father or to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit?
Remember what I highlighted about David Pawson earlier on, where I spoke about the persons involved in prayer. God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are part of every journey of prayer we engage in.
Each of them have roles they play whenever we pray. Let's quickly run through the roles of these personality so we can understand who we ought to pray to.
THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN PRAYER
The role of the Holy Spirit in prayer is to help us to pray. The Bible speaking in Romans 8:26 tells us that the Spirit helpeth our infirmities, one of such infirmities is that we do not know how to pray as we should. The best of humans do not know what they should pray for and how they should pray. We all must rely on the Spirit of God for us to pray effectively.
Prayer is a spiritual activity and it can only be performed effectively when it is carried out in the premise and in partnership with the Holy Spirit.
No matter how skilled you are or how eloquent your tongues sound when you pray, prayer can not be effectively prosecuted by the energy of the flesh. As a spiritual activity, it must be done in partnership with a spirit.
The Holy Spirit helps to pray by making intercessions for us. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is our helpmeet in prayer. We partner with Him and He helps us to pray. This is made possible when we pray "In Him". We do not pray to the Holy Spirit, we pray in the Spirit. The best place to pray is not in your bedroom nor in the church nor in your car nor on a mountain but in the Spirit.
This was Paul's counsel to the church in Ephesus in Ephesians 6:18
Praying always with all prayers and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
Jude also admonishes us in Jude 1:20
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.
THE ROLE OF JESUS CHRIST IN PRAYER
Having highlighted the role of the Holy Spirit in prayer stating that we pray in Him, what then is the role of Jesus Christ in prayer?
When we pray, we pray through Jesus. Let me explain why and how. The fall of man in the garden of Eden broke the relationship between God and men. Man was unable to have access to God. Jesus' purpose for coming to the earth to die was to bring God back to man. He came to restore the access man lost to God.
Anything we do as Christians in our relationship with God is based on the finished works of Jesus Christ. We are saved from death because of Jesus. We are free from sin because of Jesus Christ. We are able to pray to God because of Jesus.
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them - Hebrews 7:25Jesus Christ is our high priest who continually makes intercessions for us daily. He plays the role of a mediator, an intermediary between God and man as we see in 1 Timothy 2:25. He understands what it is to be human and He knows how to present your request better to God the Father.
For prayer to get to the right quarters we must pray through Jesus. Sadly, we can not pray through Jesus without being in Jesus. Being in Jesus refers to living a life of holiness, a life that is apart from sin. Sin is a major hindrance to prayers and if you must pray effectively then you must flee from sin.
Jesus said "He is the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6). No one can approach the Father who is the right personality to pray to without Jesus. There is no means of boycotting the process. If it is not through Jesus you are not getting to God.
Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:6 that when we pray we should go into our closet and pray to no one but the Father. When He prayed, Jesus prayed to the Father as we see in Luke 6:12 where the Bible records
And it came to pass in those days that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God
When Peter tried to defend Jesus by cutting off the ear of Malchus in Matthew 26:53
Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
We see that Jesus modeled a pattern of prayer both in His teachings and lifestyle showing us the right quarters to channel our prayers. We pray in the Spirit through Jesus Christ.
WE PRAY TO GOD, OUR FATHER
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
The only personality prayers should be directed to is God who Jesus makes us understand to be our Father (Matthew 6:6). Jesus called God "Father" using several prepositions such as my, yours, and our. His goal was to show us that God was Father and our prayers should be directed to Him.
In Matthew 7:11, Jesus made a shocking comparison. He said if our fathers that is our earthly fathers even though they are evil know how to give good gifts, how much more our Father who is in heaven? By implication, when we compare our earthly fathers to our Father in heaven, our earthly fathers are evil but they still know how to give good gifts to us when we ask. Then Jesus asks "How much more your Father in heaven?".
This is what makes us different from other religions. God is our Father and we can refer to Him as such without fear nor favor and we can direct our prayers to Him and be sure of getting answers from Him. Hence we pray in the Spirit, through Jesus Christ because of the access He grants us to God the Father.
We do not pray to angels or to Mary. Our prayers must be directed to God, through Jesus in the Holy Spirit.