People pray to all sorts of beings and objects. They pray to Mary, dead saints religious relics (idols), some pray to trees and objects of nature what have you.
Let us examine the question, "Who, or what, should we as Christians pray to?"
The Bible makes it very clear in numerous New Testament scriptures that we are to pray to God and God alone. Jesus himself, the inspired apostles such as Paul and others all clearly say prayers are to be addressed to God.
Here are just a few passages from the New Testament about praying. Look through them and see if you can can find ANYONE but God being prayed to...
24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, (Acts 4:24 NKJV)
25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. (Acts 16:25 NKJV)
35 And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat. (Acts 27:35 NKJV)
10 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. (Romans 10:1 NKJV)
30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, (Romans 15:30 NKJV)
4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, (1 Corinthians 1:4 NKJV)
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 3:14 NKJV)
20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5:20 NKJV)
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, (Philippians 1:3-4 NKJV)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6 NKJV)
3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, (Colossians 1:3 NKJV)
9 For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith? (1 Thessalonians 3:9-10 NKJV)
11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 2 (Thessalonians 1:11 NKJV)
13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through [b]sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, (2 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV)
3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. (Revelation 8:3-4 NKJV)
Jesus is not mentioned as the receiver of any prayer in the New Testament. He IS mentioned as being the intercessory between man and God, 1 John 2:1 and Hebrews 7:25. We pray to God THROUGH Christ.
In fact, Jesus Himself in the model prayer known as the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4, directed the prayer to God in Heaven.
Any prayers to Mary, to any "saint," to any religious relic will not get to God. He only listens to those who do his will, John 9:31.
There are, however, clear examples of “calling on the name of the Lord” in the Bible. But even in those there is no mention of a prayer.
In Acts 2:16 Peter tells his audience the “calling on the name of the Lord” for salvation prophecy of Joel 2:28-31 has come true on that day.
Then he continues on and tells them what the process of “calling on the name of the Lord” involves. (1.) He convicted them of sin, they believed. (2.) They asked how to make things right. (3.) Peter answered, to change your way of thinking, repent and (4.) be baptized for the “remission of sins.”
Acts 2 continues on telling how many believed, and what (5.) they did in response to Peter’s words, and finishes out with verse 47, “And (6.) the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2 is an example of "calling on the name of the Lord" and its result.
In Romans 10:13, Paul sums up the same process he covered in the first 8 chapters. In Acts 22, Paul himself says how he “called on the name of the Lord” and what it involved- baptism for the remission of sins.
Relying on God hearing any prayer that is not directed to Him though Jesus' authority is not in keeping with the Bible’s examples of prayer is vain and against God's will.
God's Plan of Salvation
1. The great love of God for man (John 3:16) 2. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Saviour (Luke 19:10) 3. Sent the Holy Spirit as a guide (John 16:13) 4. Gave the Gospel as "the power" unto salvation (Romans 1:16) 5. Provided atonement by the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9)
1. Hear the Gospel. (Romans 10:17, John 8:32) 2. Believe the Gospel (Hebrews 11:6, John 20:31) 3. Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30) 4. Confess faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10, Matthew 10:32) 5. Be Baptized (Galatians 3:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38) 6. Be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10)
Marv Walker 706 816-7190
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